How long have you been working in PPC?
I’ve been working in PPC for almost 9 years now! It seems like just yesterday, but so much longer at the same time! Most people can’t believe I’ve been in the industry this long.
How did you get started in PPC?
I was one of those rare types that found my “career” job right out of college. I had applied for an in-house E-Commerce Marketing position for a shell company owned by a larger company, Taylor Corporation. I started this job 3 days after graduating college! Digital marketing was not taught in college back in that time, so I had a mentor who helped me fast-track my learning and tactical skills the first 3 months. From there, I self-learned everything I needed to know in PPC. At one point, I single-handedly managed 3 multi-million dollar e-commerce brands in the Wedding Invitations and Stationery industry. I sure made a lot of mistakes, but it also helped me become more confident in my decision-making abilities.
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I went to a small, Lutheran college near my hometown where I majored in Business Administration. They didn’t have separate majors for Finance, Marketing, etc., but I did get my emphasis in Marketing.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
As noted above, my first job that involved PPC was the job I got right out of college. I personally couldn’t believe I got the position, as there were others more qualified. I really hit it off with my soon-to-be boss and I think she felt like we would work really well together (which we did!) I’m so blessed to have had those 4.5 years of in-house experience; I still talk to that team semi-frequently!
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
Currently I serve as the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for NordicClick Interactive agency. I’ve been with the company over 4 years now, and I started there as a Digital Manager and worked my way up to Director through a lot of hard work, personal development, and many challenges along the way. I’ve held the Director position for about 7 months now.
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
I manage a variety of paid media platforms for clients. The most common ones I’ve managed include:
- Google Ads (Search, Display, YouTube, App)
- Microsoft Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Twitter Ads
More non-common platforms I manage for clients include:
- Reddit Ads
- Quora Ads
- Programmatic Ads
- Apple Search Ads
I also manage our team of Specialists and Managers at NordicClick to help these individuals grow in their profession and career.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
One nontraditional aspect I would share is that I started in-house and then switched to agency. From conversations with peers, it sounds like the opposite usually happens (agency turned in-house).
There haven’t been any hiccups in my career, but because I started so young, I became a master of my trade in PPC. That’s what I became known for. As I grew more and have my own personal development work, I’m finding that I like to help my clients beyond PPC, which has led me to this unique role of Digital Strategy. I help clients with larger business issues or goals with my knowledge of digital marketing.
Another result of my personal development work has me focused on training our staff properly, which takes a lot of time and effort (more than most people realize). Because there’s not enough time in the day, I struggle to juggle my time between clients and our employees to make the most impact.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
I’ve accomplished a lot in my almost 9-year career, but there are a few things that stick out in my career.
- Writing an entire article and being published in the Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing (after someone heard me speak at my first conference!).
- Winning a US Search Award for one of our long-time clients in 2018.
- Becoming an empathetic manager. It takes a certain type of person to be an effective leader and I wouldn’t be there myself without working on myself in my “me” time.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
This is more of a personal thing, but it directly affects my work. I wish I would’ve learned how to establish healthier boundaries at a younger age. I was (and sometimes still struggle with!) being the “people pleaser”. I do believe this has helped me advance at a faster rate, but after turning 30, I’m finding that I truly need some time back to myself. I spent years putting other people first (co-workers, bosses, clients) and when you try to set boundaries after giving for so long, many people are uncomfortable with that and don’t understand. Sticking to your boundaries is crucial.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Be open-minded and curious. Ask “why” all the time. Be willing to actively listening to your mentors and managers – they are there to help, guide, and grow you! Get used to receiving feedback early on in your career – everyone makes mistakes and if it’s pointed out, it’s typically to help you make sure you understand why and to help make you a more consistent marketer!
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Absolutely! I love speaking about anything PPC-related, but particular audience strategies and tactics. Lately, I’ve really been interested in talking about mental health and careers. I’ve spoken for SMX, PubCon, MnSearch, etc. in the past and am a bi-monthly writer for Search Engine Journal.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I think that’s it! I try to be an open book, so if anyone has any questions, I’d love to chat!
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?