Improve ad agency new business development with a brag file

Hey there, Daddyo! Thanks for stopping by. I spoke with another agency new business development guru the other day and she reminded me to write a few hundred words on the value of having a brag file. Both for yourself and for your agency.

In the continuing effort to be helpful, I thought there might be some value in sharing a couple of unique and interesting ways to use said file in smart career and business development for your ad agency.

But first, let’s define the term. A “brag file” is a collection of nice things people say about you. A part of your own permanent record. One of my first ones was mumble-something years ago when Dan Fox, Group Account Director at FCB wrote, “Nice job. Really!” on one of my Nielsen reports. It was routed through the Coors account team.

But this is just one example. Letters of recommendation, voice-mails and emails are great things to have thrown in your file.

And nowadays, you have a whole new source of things to add to the pile: tweets, LinkedIN recommendations, blog post comments and more. Of course, the higher the title from a recognizable source, the better. You could also collect other notable personal achievements.

From a career perspective, here are some more interesting things you might do with these kind of comments and positive juju:

  • Work it into a page and add it when you are asked about references
  • Sprinkle it in a resume
  • Throw them on your LinkedIN profile or on a personal blog
  • Share it with recruiters as you put your materials on file
  • Take a look at it next time you have a crappy day
  • Note why and how you received the accolades and make an adjustment or two

From an agency perspective, we’re really talking about a form of testimonials, right? With a little imagination, all of the above can apply to you. But here are some additional thoughts that might not immediately spring to mind:

  • Use them throughout an RFP response (or to add color to a specific question)
  • Create posters out of the comments and throw those on the walls between stop on an agency tour
  • Make a coffee table book out of them and put it in your lobby
  • Work them in in specific agent pitch videos

Anywho, hope this gets you thinking! Thanks.

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