How long have you been working in PPC?
I have been working in PPC for 4 years, across agency and client side, and a range of platforms, analytics tools and CMS systems.
How did you get started in PPC?
From 2009 to 2017 I worked in the Hospitality industry, working my way up from a glass collector in a small town sport’s bar to working alongside the operation manager for a chain of pubs and restaurants across England.
In 2017, the company had to downsize, which resulted in my role being made redundant. This left me directionless and out of work, so I took this opportunity to upskill myself in digital marketing – an interest of mine.
I did several online courses and read everything I could find, and attended the local Google Garage (a pop-up workshop in Birmingham).
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I went to Aberystwyth University (2010-2013) and studied English Literature. Aberystwyth is a lovely seaside Welsh town with a small population, but a big appeal.
I also completed several Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) courses and Google certificates in 2017 during the redundancy.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
My first marketing role was as a marketing executive (and only marketer) for a family-run stainless steel stockholding company. My role involved all aspects of marketing: trade shows, press releases, social media, content writing, lead generation and newsletters.
I was eventually asked to support the IT manager with the eBay listings for stainless steel tubing, this eventually led to me setting up and running a Google Ads account for the business to drive traffic and enquiries via a webform.
Once I started my first agency role in 2019, I got more heavily involved in PPC, with Google Ads and Microsoft Ads becoming my main responsibilities.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
I’m currently a PPC Specialist at Evoluted, a digital agency based in Sheffield, England that specialises in web development & digital marketing.
I joined Evoluted in April 2021 as a PPC Executive and was promoted to PPC Specialist in December 2021.
Due to being based near Birmingham, England (115 miles away from Evoluted), I predominantly work remotely and visit the office 1-2 times a month. Despite this, I don’t feel like I’m a 2.5 hr drive away from everyone.
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
I currently directly manage the Google Ads and Microsoft Ads for a portfolio of B2B and B2C clients, with each account being different in size, industry and budget.
I also provide my PPC expertise within the pitching and proposal aspects of the business, including doing the initial research, drafting proposals or delivering pitches to prospective clients.
I am also the Happiness & Wellbeing Officer at Evoluted, a voluntary role that supports employees wellbeing, and promote a positive and healthy work culture.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
My main hiccup/nontraditional aspect would be the redundancy and the self-taught approach I took to starting in digital marketing.
Between August 2017 and Feb 2018, I spent 9-5 Monday to Friday learning everything I could. Whether this is via Lynda (LinkedIn Learning), Google online certificates or attending Google’s Garage workshops.
Once I felt like I knew enough I then started applying for roles and reaching out to recruiters. I did a bit of bartending during the redundancy just to pay the bills.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
I’m most proud of the fact that I had the courage to get started in the first place, and having the confidence to use the little platform I have to speak up about mental health, as I feel like imposter syndrome and burnout are rife within the digital marketing sector.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
I wish I would have reached out to the online communities (like PPC Chat) sooner. In my first role, I felt isolated as the only marketer in the company. Now I feel like I have dozens of people I can turn to for a second opinion or advice.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Join (and be active in) as many communities as you can
- This will increase your exposure to digital marketing and help you learn quicker. It’ll also get your name and face out there and help you build up confidence in speaking up.
Learn as much as you can
- Find out how you best learn and lean into it. There are plenty of YouTube series, blogs, podcasts, courses and books out there for free/cheap. Find out which format works best for you and embrace it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or say “I don’t know”
- You’re not expected to know everything or do everything without support.
- Reach out to colleagues, friends or marketing communities for support and advice.
Take care of yourself
- Self-care and work/life balance are important.
- Reach out if you ever feel like you’re struggling.
Accept that PPC involves a lot of variables outside of our sight and/or control
- We cannot predict the future, especially in PPC.
- Google’s black box is getting bigger and it’s normal to feel stressed due to lack of control.
- Accounts will have ups and downs.
- Google will make changes we don’t want/like.
- Just remember to take it in your stride and don’t let it impact your self-worth.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Yes, I am interested in speaking opportunities. I haven’t done any yet (watch this space though) but it is something I’m keen to get experience (and confidence) in.
I’m happy to talk about:
- Paid Search (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads)
- The future of digital marketing
- Data privacy
- Building strong agency/client relationships
- Mental health and wellbeing in the workplace
Anything else you’d like to share?
Evoluted are hiring and looking for UK-based remote workers, including a Head of PPC – https://www.evoluted.net/join-us
I regularly produce content on PPC and Mental Health, I’m also a frequent contributor to the Marketing o’Clock Discord server and the Tuesday #PPCChat on Twitter.
My content can be found here – https://linktr.ee/PPC_Chris, I also share my latest content on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?