Day in the Life: Business Development Director

If you’ve ever wondered or been interested in how a digital marketing agency gets new clients, this blog is for you. We’re deep-diving into Irene Wambui Muchai’s day-to-day activities and learning all about a day in the life of a Business Development Director. 

Irene graduated from Roehampton University in South West London with a degree in Philosophy before she jumped into a career in e-commerce. While working in e-commerce, she got the insight she needed to start her career in digital marketing and learned different search engine marketing, optimization, and social media strategies.

In 2018, she left London and moved to New Orleans. In 2020, Irene joined Online Optimism’s team as a Business Development Specialist. Shortly after that, she was hired as a full-time employee and a part of our Growth team as a Business Development Associate. Then, in July 2021, Irene became the Business Development Director. 

Irene’s role mainly involves handling new leads that approach Online Optimism for our services. This process includes doing preliminary research on that company’s mission, values, discussing their goals, creating custom proposals, presenting them, and following up with them. Keep reading to learn more about the life of a Business Development Director. 

Fast Facts about Business Development at Online Optimism 

Leads are companies or businesses that are interested in our services. New leads come to us through agency directories, Request For Proposal (RFP) directories, and due to our SEO and advertising efforts. Online Optimism tracks new leads via Hubspot, which keeps all new and old leads in order and is where all the information for our leads is stored. 

Discovery calls allow the Growth team to ask the lead more questions about their business, goals, marketing strategies, and who their competition is. From there, a proposal meeting will be scheduled. 

Once our Growth team has qualified a lead during our discovery meeting, Irene and the team discuss the best strategy that fits their goals. Once they’ve decided on a strategy, our team will create a proposal specifically for that lead which outlines how we would manage their campaign and what it’s like to work with us. 

Growth will then present that proposal to the lead and answer any questions they have. Growth keeps in touch with the potential client following the proposal meeting to ensure they don’t have any additional questions. If a lead says they’d like to work with us, the Growth team works on a comprehensive list of onboarding items, such as questions about their goals and what they’re expecting out of their campaign, to get the Optimists who will work on the account up to speed with their new client.

Irene’s Daily Life

There’s probably not a single employee at Online Optimism that does the same thing every day. Our jobs simply aren’t set up that way. 

On a day-to-day basis, Irene could be doing anything from checking in with her team, having discovery calls with potential clients, presenting proposals to new leads, checking for relevant RFPs, onboarding new clients, checking in with previous leads that Growth has pitched, updating our Hubspot list of contacts or researching new leads.

RFPs are typically sent out by government or government-like agencies and non-profit organizations. They send out these RFPs to assess the number of different agencies offering the services they’re looking for and find one that best fits their needs. For example, our Growth team receives an email once a day that contains anywhere from 5 to 25 RFPs worldwide. 

In dealing with these many different aspects of Business Development, there are many different tools that Irene has to use daily. These tools include Hubspot, Google Analytics, Google Workspace, and more. 

Being on the growth team means that you have to know a little about every industry and department. Here’s what Irene had to say about learning SEO:

“The biggest learning curve for me was learning about SEO. Google is pretty secretive about why some pages rank over others, so learning many ways to get potential clients to rank higher on Google was a lot to understand. Luckily our SEO team is always available to answer my many questions!”

Monthly Tasks

Every month, Irene could be onboarding new clients, updating our other tools or guides to those tools, and creating client reports. In addition to that, she could also be going to networking events, updating any directories in which we’re listed with new case studies, or discussing any company changes and challenges with the leadership team.

Onboarding new clients involves more than just the Growth team. Depending on the services we’re offering the client, every department at Online Optimism could be involved, or it could be just one. Before we meet with the new client, we’ll have an internal meeting with everyone on the account for a dress rehearsal of how the actual kickoff call will go. This internal preparation ensures that everyone is on the same page and knows who will take notes and cover certain call sections. Onboardings can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the scope of services. 

Additional Responsibilities

In addition to leading pitch meetings and creating proposal decks, Irene participates in Online Optimism’s culture. She is the leader of Motherland, our BIPOC affinity group; a member of Rainbow Connection, our LGBTQ affinity group; and a member of Online Optimism’s Women’s Group. She is also involved in our culture committee and our wellness group. In addition, she is the brains behind Online Optimism’s walking group, Optimovers. All employees are split into teams and compete to see who can walk the most in a year. At the end of the year, whichever team walks the most gets a prize. 

One of Irene’s favorite things about working at Online Optimism is helping smaller businesses establish themselves and giving the OO team new and exciting opportunities to work on. Everyone wins all around. 

“One of the things I enjoy most about my job is when we get new clients. It’s great to be helping businesses grow and also helps keep the staff motivated by having new and exciting projects to work on. Being able to branch into different industries and services helps us to expand our experience (beyond the many talents we already have) and make us more competitive on a national scale.”

When she’s not working, you can find Irene cooking up a storm and sharing her recipes on her Instagram page or listening to The Weeknd or Burna Boy. 

Learn More About Digital Marketing Today! 

If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, there’s no time like the present to start. Digital marketing is an exciting, fast-paced field that allows you to learn about how businesses want to promote their branding, why some pages appear at the top of Google and others don’t, how to create a compelling social media calendar, and so much more. 

If you’re interested in starting a career in digital marketing, our Specialist program gives you real-world career experience and allows you to increase your skills and grow your portfolio. Check out our Specialist program today.