Client Services Manager

Background Stories
Organization Summary

Background Stories ( is a small Minneapolis-based design consultancy that helps audiences understand complex ideas, systems & metrics through visualization and messaging. We are experts on communicating sustainability issues in visual and emotionally-engaging ways. We work with change-making clients throughout the US (and a few in Europe and the U.K.).

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
West Central
Job type

Compensation depends on qualifications and is based on Twin Cities cost-of-living.


40 hours per week

Primary Duties
  • Client service: Maintain relationships with clients and prospects (35%)
    • Guide new clients through the project process
    • Keep in touch with clients throughout the design process (this includes timely response to emails/calls)
    • Manage budgets throughout projects
    • Coordinate client kick-offs with the design team
    • Set clear client expectations and scope boundaries
    • Setup project timelines, with input from design team
    • Coordinate with the Background Stories team to continually improve the process for our clients
  • Business Development: Initiate and manage new business opportunities – with an eye towards long-term goals and strategic vision (50%)
    • Research, network, and pursue prospective clients
    • Write proposals, outline project scope, prepare estimates, and respond to RFPs (Request for Proposals)
    • Follow-up with prospective clients
  • Business scheduling & logistics (15%)
    • Maintain a high-level overview of weekly/monthly project priorities for designers
    • Track upcoming projects to make resource allocation decisions to ensure our creative team has the support they need
    • Continually improve our workflows
  • Other tasks as needed. We’re a small team, so everyone pitches in! 


  • You have 5-10 years of experience in account service, managing creative teams, and business development.
  • You are very organized and are an excellent communicator and writer.
  • You have a thorough understanding of the design process.
  • You excel at initiating, maintaining and growing client relationships, as well as managing creative projects. You initiate relationships and pursue new business opportunities (with a strategic vision). You are well-connected within sustainability-focused industries. You keep clients happy.
  • You are a self-starter and strategic thinker. You have the ability to translate strategy into action steps to get things done. You thrive working independently and you manage your own workflow.
  • You are a collaborative leader and team player. You approach your work along the lines of ‘everything is figure-out-able’. You have an experimental mindset and constantly seek to iterate, test and try new things. You know your strengths and your own limits: you can identify when it’s time to step aside and seek the expertise of others. You are good at setting clear boundaries with both clients and creatives in a way that empowers the team toward strong outcomes.
  • You are passionate about sustainability. You are knowledgeable and up-to-date on social and environmental sustainability, and the science that supports it.
  • You have a thorough understanding of communication design, the design of information, and design concepts. You ‘get’ information design and are able to articulate the power of visual information and the purpose of creativity (when it comes to communication).
  • You are comfortable with ambiguity and the ever-evolving nature of a small, growing business.
  • You embrace technology. We’re a remote-work environment.

THESE THINGS ARE HELPFUL (and not essential): 

  • You have knowledge of data visualization (such as what type of graph to use in which scenario).
  • Experience with an entrepreneurial venture. 
How to Apply

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