How long have you been working in PPC?
First started on Overture back in 2005, so 16 years now? Yikes.
How did you get started in PPC?
I was working at an early web services company helping with sales support, proposal writing and making sure that clients would get something that really worked for them. However, I started hanging around the two folks that were doing the marketing, taking over their reporting and doing anything I could to learn. It stuck and haven’t looked back!
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I did go to college, but learned nearly nothing applicable to my job today.
While not a certification or degree, one part of my education that I am most proud of is going to Toastmasters. I was a member for 8 years until recent scheduling conflicts. I had a great club here in New York and it helped take my communication (not just speaking) game to the next level. I cannot recommend a local Toastmasters club enough if you think you have ANY ability to improve. They can help get bad speakers to good and good speakers to great.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
My first Full time job in PPC, was when I was promoted to “Internet Marketing Manager” at a company called LogicalSolutions.net. I was a few years out of school (see how I got started above) and it was very challenging in the early 2000’s to sell folks on myself and my company. I was very young and didn’t have a ton of experience, but I learned early on from this that people can tell when you care and when you are genuine/truthful with them. Being so young and having to sell really helped shape me and my sales/communication style into being “education-first” – winning trust with clients by explaining and teaching clients.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
I currently am a partner at Cypress North and run the Digital Marketing team here. We started the company over 11 years ago after I left 10e20 right before the infamous BlueGlass merger took place.
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
Mainly client strategy, but I still do a lot of execution as well. I think that with all the new bid types and options that we have now, that high level strategy has become more important than ever. I love helping other team members get more for their clients and really teach and train strategic thinking to those in the office.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
Yes, my career is really one giant hiccup. We’ve failed and missed on some many things, but the one that stands out is Fantasy Gambling. At one point, we had created the largest fantasy gambling site (at the time) but didn’t have the effort or resources to keep it going. We ended up shutting it down maybe 5 years before waves and waves of states have approved Sports Gambling – with people making 100’s of millions through acquisition.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
Creating a company that can attract such amazing co-workers. Our team is so special and amazing and we work so hard for our clients. I just am so honored to work alongside such great people and minds everyday. I don’t take it for granted for a minute and am so so proud.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
Besides the obvious “Buy GOOG” or something, I don’t really have any major do-overs. There are some people that I would have liked to hire that we missed on, some client pitches that were off the mark, but overall all the bumps have helped get to today.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Be genuinely curious! You can tell early how well folks will do by their tenacity to learn. There is more information out there than ever before – it is so great. If you have an insatiable hunger to get better, absolutely nobody will stop you.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Right now I am stepping aside from being a speaker on panels. But if anyone at all needs a podcast guest I’ll happily jump on & promote it on our show. Love helping the community out any way possible.
Anything else you’d like to share?
a) I absolutely love the PPC Industry. People are so so nice. Don’t hesitate to reach out! People are friendly and it is so cool to see others help those that could be considered competition. I love it, and thanks Julie for cultivating such an awesome #ppcchat community.
b) Shameless plug, we have a weekly Digital Marketing news show that is heavy on PPC called “Marketing O’Clock”. We’ve done nearly 200 episodes without missing a week and I think we (finally) have a good product. I’d say it is half entertainment and half news/tactics. If you tune in even just for the news & paid portion of the show, I think you’ll learn something – or at least have a laugh or two!
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?
I’m @gregfinn everywhere. Would love to connect!!