When I started out in the PPC industry five years ago, I never would have guessed I’d end up where I am today. I feel so lucky to have been given so many amazing opportunities and have learned from the best! But, there are always those few things you look back on and say, “I wish I had…” So here are 5 PPC life lessons I’ve learned along the way. Hopefully they serve as helpful tips to anyone starting out in the PPC industry, and resonate with the rest.
Build a Wide Breadth and Depth of Knowledge and Experience
Be passionate about what you’re learning about and work to get experience in the areas you find the most interesting. If you’re not getting the experience, ask. Not every work environment is set up this way, but chances are that if you want to learn it, there’s a need for it. Generally, employers should be thrilled and encourage the growth and development of their employees’ knowledge and skills in different areas – particularly in the PPC industry, where the different digital marketing channels are highly complementary and having a larger breadth and depth of knowledge can be very advantageous (think paid search and SEO, paid social and programmatic display, etc.).
This doesn’t have to be someone in your company, but should be someone that is a trusted advisor who knows you and can help guide you and give you the career and industry advice you need. Sometimes all it takes is that one person asking you the right questions to gain a little self-perspective.
Personal Phone Number
Unless you are required to do so, I would recommend not adding your personal phone number to your email signature or your business cards. We are fortunate to be in an industry where you can begin to see and collect data right away, but that also means that the work we do can easily be carried over to other aspects of our lives, 24/7, or wherever you have internet access. While I’m not saying that you should never give out your personal number to colleagues or clients or never go above and beyond the call of duty (in fact, you should!), but it can be nice to start new client relationships with certain boundaries and expectations set. It’s much harder to go backwards.
When you’re deep in conversation during an ad hoc or weekly call, it’s easy to forget about that briefly mentioned request to increase budgets or a change in goals. This is why you should always create a paper trail. After a phone call, send a follow-up email detailing not just action items for both parties, but also notes that include any changes to the account that were discussed over the call. This will create a resource for you to look back on for confirmation of a change or update, and also help to facilitate a great client relationship with clear communication and expectations. Yes, it will take extra time, but I promise you, there will come a day where you will be very grateful you made that time.
Work to learn as much as you can about different bidding platforms, analytics setups, call tracking options, display vendors, etc. This knowledge will really help you out in the long run. Knowing the different pros and cons to each platform, what questions to ask when making a recommendation on a call tracking solution, or where to start troubleshooting conversion tracking issues when you take over a new account, are those value-added extras to your digital marketing background that can be the leg up you need when wanting additional responsibility or trying to impress a client.