Orlando Valencia‘s nominator wished to remain anonymous.
How long have you been working in PPC?
I’ve been working in PPC for just over 12 years now and I’m looking forward to my rebellious teenage years. Wait… Is that why Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC) sports a mohawk?
How did you get started in PPC?
I graduated college during the recession and took a paid internship at DGWB advertising agency. It was a great experience because I was able to work with so many channels (social, creative, media, video, PR and PPC).
I immediately found my passion for PPC with how verifiable the metrics were when compared to the other channels at the time.
Luckily, I had a great PPC manager to help start my career, Max Kewal.
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.
People always talk about how they don’t use their degrees, but I took a lot away from the accounting, economics, and finance classes that are required in my business degree. For example, learning excel from my finance classes translated perfectly into PPC.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
My first FT job in PPC was with WebMetro, at the time it was a small digital marketing agency which ended up growing into 200+ and was eventually acquired.
I started at the bottom as a Junior Media Specialist and within 3 years was managing my own team. It was a great learning environment with so many amazing colleagues that I still keep in contact with today.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
I am currently running my own agency, Valencia SEM.
I’ve been running Valencia SEM on and off as a side gig for about 9 years with this year being the first time I’ve been solely dedicated to running my agency full time.
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
With any start up you tend to wear a lot of hats and there is no exception to working in a small PPC agency.
I’m currently the managing biz dev, audits, account management, analytics, and reporting for my agency.
We currently run PPC campaigns across Google Ads, YouTube, Google Display Network, Facebook/Instagram, Microsoft Ads, LinkedIn, and Apple Search Ads.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
I don’t know if there really is a “traditional career path” for someone in PPC. I started at small agency, went to start up in Silicon Valley, then did some freelancing, went to a big Fortune 500 brand, then to a large global agency and now I run my own agency.
There were plenty of hiccups during those 12 years, but I always remembered what a colleague told me after being laid off when our company was acquired, “Don’t worry about it, you know your shit, you’re going to be fine.”
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
The thing I’m most proud of in my PPC career is being able to run my own agency full time. I’ve been able to accomplish this by letting my performance speak for itself. All my clients have been referrals from past clients or colleagues.
My biggest accomplishment to date was taking a $10K/month client and helping them become the leader in their industry now spending $4M/month on PPC.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
It’s difficult to consider doing something over since everything I’ve done has led me to where I am at today and I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my career.
Instead, I would try to envision myself in 5 years and what I wish I should have done now; focus on building relationships, scaling my agency, finding the right clients, and hiring more employees.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Make sure you enjoy it, PPC can be a very lucrative career, but it will always require a lot of work and learning.
Things are always changing in this industry, and you will need to stay on top of it.
Just as in life, you’ll find a lot of BS’ers in the PPC industry. Find yourself resources you can trust (mentor, manager, colleague, #ppcChat, Linkedin, podcast, etc).
When possible, choose the manager and not the company.
Look at marketing as a whole and not just per channel.
Don’t go chasing new betas, please stick to the testing and optimizations that you’re used to.
If you didn’t catch that last one, be sure to have fun!
Lastly, never be afraid to ask questions.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Yes, speaking at a conference has always been a goal of mine but I’ve never gotten around to applying myself for consideration.
I’ve worked across so many channels and platforms through my career, but Google and Bing PPC have always been at the core of my entire career.
My strongest topics within PPC would be around conquesting campaigns, lead gen, new betas and how to navigate the Google/Client relationship.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes, I’d like to give a big thanks to Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro), Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk) and Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon) for keeping the awesome community at #PPCChat on Twitter running through all these years. It’s been an incredible resource and helped me learn a lot throughout my career. I don’t join the chat as often as I used to, but I plan on changing that!
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?