How long have you been working in PPC?
I have been working in PPC for seven years now and got my hands on my first set of paid search accounts at age eighteen during the Google Adwords, Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini days and haven’t stopped working for clients since. It’s a bit of an addiction for me, I’m really obsessed and enjoy every bit of the process from interacting with clients, to auditing, to building robust accounts, etc.
How did you get started in PPC?
Technology has always been a theme throughout my life. I’ve always been fascinated by it, especially computers and enjoyed the challenge of trying to make sense of it all. At the age of fourteen I knew I wanted to go to a high school that would foster my desire to be on the computer as much as possible, honing in on a valuable skill. St Georges Technical High School presented an opportunity to do exactly this. It was here that I took a three year career program, web & print. I clung to the web side of things and learned HTML, CSS, and WordPress. Advancing so fast by coming home and studying web dev myself, I quickly became an aid to the teacher and helped other students as needed. Having studied so much in my free time at home as well as in school afforded me the opportunity to start working with clients as early as the end of sophomore year of high school.
The reason I’m sharing all of this is because this is how I got started in PPC. I worked as a web developer as much as possible throughout high school and ended up landing a new job one month month after high school that had me doing web dev, digital marketing (mostly paid search) and I.T. Support. It was at this job that I really fell in love and discovered PPC. The vertical I was working in at that time was travel/hospitality related.
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I went to the University of Delaware and got my Associates in Arts. It was mainly core classes but there was at least one marketing one thrown in and I worked as a digital marketer throughout the entire duration of college. Following obtaining that degree, I took the 8 Month Google IT Support Certificate. After that I took an eight month Digital Marketing Specialization run by the University of Illinois. The specialization explored several aspects of the new digital marketing environment, including topics such as digital marketing analytics, search engine optimization and social media marketing and was taught by industry leaders such Kevin Hartman (Visiting Professor & Head of Analytics at Google).
What was your first job that involved PPC?
As mentioned earlier, my first job that involved PPC was a diverse one. It involved web development, paid search, paid social, email marketing, SEO, direct mail, I.T. Support and more. The role was in-house for a company based in the travel/hospitality vertical. Working in the travel industry definitely had its perks. For one the work was fun, but the free hotels were always great too and was a hard perk to walk away from. However, I knew that I wanted to narrow the scope of my work and focus on what I was and am most passionate about and that is digital marketing, especially PPC.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
I currently work for a fully remote agency named Elumynt. I have been working with them for a little over 11 months now and have loved every moment of getting involved with their diverse portfolio of ecommerce clients. Since starting here, they have experienced extreme growth in a very short period of time. Despite that fact, the quality of the teams’ work has remained of high quality and continues to drive growth for our clients.
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
I handle all aspects of the process when it comes to PPC. The only things I don’t work on is actually going out and finding the client to pitch to. But everything that comes after that step such as auditing, planning, executing, QA’ing I do. None of this is done in a silo though, I work with a terrific team comprised of brilliant marketers, collaborating with me at any given moment (shout out to the Elumynt team).
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
My background with building sites has helped me on numerous occasions as a Digital Marker. If you can show a client the update that needs to be made by making just a few changes in the inspector, it’ll be hard for them not to want to make it or at least test it! It’s also just provided me with a keen eye for website issues that could affect marketing performance. I find myself constantly examining sites for reviews, consistent messaging, content, proper site titles, favicons and more.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
I am most proud of my strong aptitude to remain “in the know” when it comes to all things PPC. Constantly remaining on top of a platform and industry updates and being able to relay that to fellow team and community members has always proved beneficial. I’m also proud of my strong drive and ambition, I simply want to learn as much as I can when it comes to all things digital marketing in order to drive the best results for my clients and employers and I’ve been doing everything in my power to do exactly that for the last 7 years, even when that meant spending time outside work hours to accomplish such.
Recent achievements that I’m proud of:
- Meeting with Barry Schwartz to do my first ever in-person (on Camera) talk about PPC (spoiler alert)
- Winning the Paid Search Associations “Why I Love Paid Search” Contest.
- Being mentioned on several Marketing O’Clock Episodes
- Mentions on several Paid Search Podcast Episodes
- Released two articles on the Paid Search Association Website
- Became a Paid Search Association Board Member
- Became a Silver Google Ads Product Expert
- Mentored by 1 of 7 Diamond Level Product Experts (shout out @MicaSpecialties)
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
I interviewed with Google and made it through the final stages of interviews but didn’t land the role. If I could go back, I would make slight tweaks in those interviews to see if I could have obtained the job otherwise.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
- Start a Twitter account and participate in #ppcchat, it’s fun and lets you show everyone what you got, and you can learn a lot just by lurking. Follow all the people you see using that hashtag, you’ll find your feed filling up with great posts regarding PPC.
- Frequently visit Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Roundtable and Marketing O’Clock for all the latest news – which is likely to be relevant to you.
- Go through all of the Google Skillshop courses. After each one you will take a test and earn a certification, which in my experience employers and clients dig. After each course (search, display, video, app) try and create at least one campaign in that format (in a paused state), that way you have that hands on experience. You will of course learn even more as you get access to accounts with data that you can analyze.
- Learn Excel/Sheets, you’ll likely be using those a lot.
- You don’t need to pay any money to learn PPC, although there are premium resources available. All of the content you need to learn is readily available online. If you have a question about something you can probably just Google and find a help article or you can ask your question in the Google Ads Help Community.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
I am interested in speaking opportunities and some topics of particular interest to me are:
- A Digital Marketers Approach to Obtaining a Job | a bit of quirky presentation on how one could (in italics) go about obtaining a job
- I love promoting the various ways digital marketers can give back. Not only can you give back to other marketers but you can also make a real world difference for nonprofits which I think is really powerful.
- Commonalities of a Third Party SEM integration
I’m open to other topics as well
Just need significant time in advance to prepare 🙂
Anything else you’d like to share?
My address is 326 North Bedford St Georgetown, DE 19947, for anyone reading this, feel free to send any swag or cryptic messages.
I’ve never been to an in-person conference but am really excited to attend my first, which will probably be Hero Conf.
Where can people find you to connect?