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Greetings Happy Readers! During this week’s discussion, experts shared their PPC career path with the host Julie F Bacchini .How have they started their career, have they done any certifications, have their career path had any hiccups and more.

Q1: How long have you been working in PPC? What is your current position and how long have you been in it?

I’ve been in PPC for almost 4 years now, currently doing in house PPC for both b2b and ecom at a consumer shrub brand. @hamboy_PPC

Started in 2013. Worked for an agency for 3 years and have been freelance for 5.5 years. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve built and love the flexibility and ability to say no when it’s not something I want to do. @ReevaCutting

I have worked in PPC for almost 8 years, 7 of those were agency side in which I have lead a PPC team. I just moved inhouse as a Senior Digital Marketing Manager (I may be doing a bit more than PPC nowadays. @scright

Too long, year 17 last week. @JonKagan

Oh yeah and I’m a VP of Search and Biddable, at this specific title for 2-3 years now. @JonKagan

I have been working in PPC for 8 years and am a Sr. Paid Search Specialist @BrettBodofsky

I have been in PPC for about 20 years now – as I like to say in my bios “literally since the beginning”. I am the president of Neptune Moon, which is a fancy way of saying I do PPC consulting work! @NeptuneMoon

About 15 years now! My current position is Digital Director for iProspect West, been with the group for 4 years this week. @JuliaVyse

Although I’m not out-and-out PPC 24/7 anymore (was 4 years as a PPC specialist), I’ve been in the industry for over eight years. My role now is a broader digital marketing role. I enjoy getting to see the role multiple channels play in the overall cx journey! @AzeemDigital

13yrs. Account Director at @MarinSoftware – only a few months. New challenges – exciting times. @TheMarketingAnu

I have been doing PPC since 6 months after Google created PPC. I own 707 Marketing (7+ years), which is basically just me freelancing with some help every so often from other freelancers, but I try to keep it manageable for just me. @lchasse

I have been working in PPC since 2018, so coming up to 4 years now. I am currently a PPC Specialist at @evolutednm – who are hiring. @C_J_Ridley

6 years. Working as Digital Marketing Associate. @PPC_Reddy

I’ve been working in PPC for 5 years. My current title is Digital Advertising Manager, which I’ve been in for just over a year. @_RileyDuncan

I have worked in PPC for nine years, since an early client asked me to run their Google Ads. Me: “I don’t know Google Ads.” Them: “You’ll learn.” I now run a small agency that focuses on PPC and content marketing. @SquarelyDigital

Almost 10 years. I’m actually working 40% in-house (I’ve changed company 9 months ago), 40% freelance/consulting (5 years), 20% teaching (6 years). I’ve been always combining in different %s depending on the year & my experience. @MaiMolina_

Been in marketing around 12 years, focused solely on PPC for the past 5 years. I’m the cofounder of a small paid search agency (Discosloth) @gilgildner

I have been doing PPC for 5.5 years. I’m the Director of Lead Gen, and I’ve been in that position for a little over a year now. @jord_stark

Been doing this since 2007. I guess that’s 15 years. Been running our agency for 5 years. We’ve a great team and work with ecom, DTC and SaaS brands. @duanebrown

(runs to check LinkedIn, and back) 13 years in PPC now and almost 3 years as a consultant. @zerospin

12+ years now. @ameetkhabra

I’m working in PPC for 8 years, mostly with Google Ads. For 10 months I’m the Paid Search Manager at CIENCE Technologies, a b2b Lead Gen company @morenothejose

Q2: How did you get started in PPC?

I got offered two marketing internships, one in ppc, one in something else. I took the ppc internship and never looked back. My degree is actually in Public Relations, maybe one day I’ll use it @hamboy_PPC

I was building web sites (hand coding HTML & using Dreamweaver. then that took me into SEO as a natural way to make better sites. When paid emerged, I was excited to try it and even back then fell in love with the instant data! @NeptuneMoon

Completely by accident, got a random internship with @DiditMarketing in 2005 when I misunderstood a job description and now I can’t get out. @JonKagan

I got started in PPC after a period of redundancy in late 2017 to early 2018. This led to a change in career from Hospitality to Digital Marketing. To learn more, check out my PPC Spotlight profile:… @C_J_Ridley

I met my wife, who in my humble opinion is probably one of the world’s best PPC experts (she was the primary author of our Google Ads/Analytics textbook, which is used in dozens of university marketing courses now) @gilgildner

Graduated uni with a degree i didn’t want to pursue. did a few months in SEO but I didn’t like how it was done back then. Then went to the interview – they asked whether I liked “Microsoft Excel”. I had the like of a kid in a candy store…and the rest is history. @TheMarketingAnu

Started with affiliate marketing. First sale was a clickbank product on sold via what was then the “Content Network” over 14 years ago. @KurtHenninger

I started my career as a web dev and found myself in a few generalist roles. Eventually one of those generalist roles involved PPC and I immediately wanted to narrow my scope to just that. I talked about this with Barry: @BrettBodofsky

I studied Advertising & upon graduating I noticed that a lot of agency roles had these two common acronyms in: PPC & SEO. I chose wisely, studied everything I could find on YouTube and Blogs. Failed a few interviews before landing my first PPC role agency side. @scright

I graduated with a degree in marketing and a friend got me an interview with an agency. @jord_stark

See A1 (A1: I have worked in PPC for nine years, since an early client asked me to run their Google Ads. Me: “I don’t know Google Ads.” Them: “You’ll learn.” I now run a small agency that focuses on PPC and content marketing.) @SquarelyDigital

I started doing SEO writing for an affiliate marketing shop, and moved over to agency life to be a copywriter. @JuliaVyse

I was a senior marketing manager for a semi-conductor company. We did everything from email marketing (using lotus notes w/session codes and browsing server logs manually to see how folks interacted with our emails). We promoted our design solutions to engineers. @lchasse

My university degree had a major/minor and part of that was to not only build a website, but to also draw an audience in a niche I knew nothing about at the time. I was sold from there on in. @AzeemDigital

Internship for a non-profit in college & a digital marketing class. For the internship, we had a Google Grant & I had to teach myself all the ins & outs. This was back when the certifications from Google actually taught you something (they were very helpful) @selley2134

I actually started in paid search helping the lead person & the demand was so great they offered me a choice: hire a new search person so I could write, or hire a writer so I could do search. I chose search and ramped up fast! @JuliaVyse

Took a freelance gig working with a small startup to do some marketing research. Found that PPC platforms could be a good fit for them, learned the basics, got certified & launched a couple campaigns. A few months later, I joined an agency to do PPC. @_RileyDuncan

Okay last one – one of my earliest experiences in paid search was for Pfizer Canada. yes, the people who’s flagship product was one of the biggest spam words on the whole dang internet. agency life = learning FAST @JuliaVyse

I was the only spanish in an Ukranian city. An eCommerce w/ a filial there needed someone for spanish market. As an architect didn’t have any chance to work on my field in that country so I accepted a mkt job there. Had 0 idea but a tough boss. Needed to learn fast @MaiMolina_

Got a job at an ad agency doing paid ads for job & recruitment ads. So I spend 24/7 learning lead gen which helped a lot because tracking & analytics back then was a lot harder. Clients like RIM would grill me to get tracking as granular as possible. Learn on job. @duanebrown

Completed my degree in Internet Computing. Put my CV on got an email, then a call along the lines of ‘have you ever heard of Google AdWords?’ the rest is history as they say.@zerospin

When I was 19, I started my first business and event planning because someone told me that they thought I couldn’t do it lol. I was also in University at that time and had one class on online marketing. It was enough to spark interest, so I used ads for the events. @ameetkhabra

By running Google Ads for my online food store business. Had to learn everything by myself. @morenothejose

Q3: Do you have any schooling, degrees or certifications in PPC? If so, what type? If not, do you have a degree and/or certification in something else?

Lots of Google certifications, a Hootsuite cert and lots of learning on the job. My official degree is in Religions with a focus on women and gender dynamics. @JuliaVyse

Bachelors in marketing, associates in forensic science, and a firefighter 1&2 certification, so ya know, logical. @JonKagan

I keep my google certs up to date because it doesn’t take much time but other than that I think PPC is much more of a learn by doing field than most. My degree is in Public Relations which is close, but not really there @hamboy_PPC

I went to college for design/film/advertising. But when I graduated from college, they hardly knew what digital was…so I can’t claim any formal training in it. @gilgildner

After a few years doing Paid search – i did a Masters in Marketing. Practically effective to how I do PPC today – naaah! Also have the Google Ads certifications. @TheMarketingAnu

Journalism/Communications degree, which I have found is actually not that unusual in the digital marketing world! @_RileyDuncan

Similar to @JuliaVyse many Google certifications and hours looking through accounts in pretty much most verticals. Seems like many people from the replies studied similar disciplines to marketing! @AzeemDigital

Google certifications, but my degree is in Marketing. I also did 2 years of computer science in college. @lchasse

I have a bachelors in marketing and I’m Google certified. I’ve been FB Blueprint certified but that was, in my opinion a huge waste of time and money. @jord_stark

No formal schooling in PPC. Did I mention already I’ve a degree in Internet Computing. So I thought I’d be building websites or being a computer network engineer for my working life. @zerospin

My degree is in International Politics with a minor in French. I also attended art school for a year for interior design. You can succeed in this field with any type of background! I am completely self taught. @NeptuneMoon

Nope, I studied Advertising but it was more traditional advertising for print and media than digital. A lot of transferable skills of course, but I left university oblivious to what a match type was. @scright

In marketing, I don’t. I learnt making 100k questions on the Google Ads community. Back then I thought google certifications were worth to have updated. Not anymore. @MaiMolina_

Beyond what the ad platforms gave out. I went to college for PR. At university it was business and marketing management. @duanebrown

I have a degree in marketing. Have most of the, now IMO useless, Google certs. At one point I had certifications in GTM, GA, and bing ads but not sure if or when those lapsed. @selley2134

I didn’t go to school specifically for PPC. But I did take a Digital Marketing Specialization by University of Illinois. It was cool because some instructors were employees of Google. @BrettBodofsky

Google certifications are about it for me. I have a journalism background, which you would think doesn’t fit at all for PPC. But I wrote a lot of headlines with tight character counts — often with mere minutes left before an edition closed. @SquarelyDigital

I have a diploma in Marketing Management (95% traditional) and Audio Engineering & Production. @ameetkhabra

The standard Google certifications and the awesome @CXLdotcom courses, which I recommend to every PPC professional. @morenothejose

I have an Arts degree in film and history. Worked in admin then was a business systems analyst. Moved to USA & couldn’t even get interviewed. Got an entry-level job at a small agency and now am a freelance Google Ads specialist. @ReevaCutting

Q4: Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?

For the first two years of our agency’s life, my wife and I traveled the world (right at 46 countries!) Then we got old, tired, settled down, hired a full-time employee, and got a dog. I recommend. @gilgildner

I suppose going from electronics and navigation in the Navy then to web developer, then to marketing is probably not very traditional. @lchasse

I mean, every single day in this industry is a hiccup. @JonKagan

I graduated college in 2012 (rough time for job searching) & every agency I applied/interviewed for required agency experience. So I started in-house even though I knew I wanted to be at an agency. I always keep this in the back of my mind when interviewing others. @selley2134

My main hiccup is I left PPC for around 6 months to focus on agency partnerships at a technology company. I wanted to try something new… I returned to PPC 6 months later trying to learn what I had missed which turned out to be Smart Shopping getting better. @scright

Oh – i’d say 90% of my roles have had hiccups. Very non-traditional have been how often i’ve moved around jobs. Several 6month stints in roles. but I have learnt so much & genuinely won’t do anything different. @TheMarketingAnu

I like to joke that I had to start my own agency to keep a job… Was fired from a video production company because they fired the person in charge of our division & I took on his responsibilities, but at office manager salary. I demanded more $$ or hire replacement. @NeptuneMoon

Army Engineer -> Ops & Finance at Fortune 100 company -> Digital Marketing / PPC #ppcchat Third solid career here. @KurtHenninger

I was fired from a traditional ad agency because I stood up for a pay raise I was promised and then denied. My last position before Neptune Moon, the entire marketing dept was just eliminated from the budget. So, I took the plunge & it’s been 23 years in 2022. @NeptuneMoon

Um, yes. yes it has. Big recessions, consulting, time spent helping local artists. I went from Montreal night-life to the coast of BC, and now remote during a damn-demic. Truly waiting for a traditional path to unfold at some point! @JuliaVyse

I’ve got a hiccup! My first go as a freelancer resulted in me having to file a lawsuit against a client within 45 days of use starting work together. A few months after filing the suit, I stopped working for about 8 months. It was fun @ameetkhabra

It can take time to find the right fit for you, your skills and your personality. Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on as you endeavor to find the right opportunity! @NeptuneMoon

Digital marketing has been the second phase of my professional life, and I really never figured PPC would be a big part of it. But people kept asking about it … @SquarelyDigital

In my early years I would say, trying to learn PPC when the information was very poor while trying to manage a large account in a country where I didn’t speak the language. Today, the challenge of balancing teaching, freelancing and in-house job with life. @MaiMolina_

The original agency I was at was bought by a large company back east and they basically ran it into the ground. I jumped ship to a new agency which is where I’ve been for the last 4.5 years. @jord_stark

Nothing too unconventional, but I left my first full-time agency job to freelance + work part-time at a new agency. Ended up being the right call! @_RileyDuncan

Lived & worked in Sydney, Melbourne and London (UK) over the last decade. Plus a few Canadian cities. I think getting to work in-house at brands & vendors, at NGOs and with agencies small and big like Ogilvy. I have gotten to see it all; good and bad. @duanebrown

Got hired in an agency just before the first lockdown. It’s true that we lost some clients but the ones who stuck skyrocketed! It was the best learning experience I could have. It lasted 8 months but it felt I’ve worked there for years. @morenothejose

Yeah.. when asked for a rise from the agency contractor, they cancelled my contract & messaged negative/false things about me to the clients I managed for them. In return, clients fired them and hired me directly.. lol. @Yogennathwani

Q5: What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in PPC and/or just starting out?

Start out by testing/auditing/experimenting – and learning from peers. Once you’ve understood the fundamentals and how to move the dials in the right direction, then move onto strategy and upselling/cross-selling into other channels. @AzeemDigital

A) It’s never too late. B) Soft skills are more important than hard skills. C) If you’re gonna focus on hard skills, learn analytics/ conversion/ attribution/ reporting and nail that down. Clients will love you. @gilgildner

Listen to veterans of the space, never think your engine certifications set you apart, don’t present yourself as the best, and never be one of those gurus on FB selling classes/courses to increase ROAS 1000%. @JonKagan

My biggest advice would be not to just learn a single platform. Omni-channel is the way to go and instead find the platforms that will let you hit your brand/client’s goals the best no matter what they are. Messaging and creative are going to be very important. @lchasse

The more time you spend learning the better. @hamboy_PPC

There is rarely just one “right” way to do anything. Be curious and soak up as much as you can from quality resources. Then try new things (in a responsible way) and learn from those trials. Being able to write well is a huge help. Empathy is huge. Have fun! @NeptuneMoon

Be curious always, be skeptical always (particularly when big companies answer questions) & be honest w yourself. If you find lots of questions/unknowns anxiety-provoking rather than invigorating, this might not be fun for you. And try it! just try it and see. @JuliaVyse

You need resilience, Google isn’t always right, plug into a community. Things may not make sense for a while but it would be worth it if you hang in there. And the only constant of this industry is change so be ready to be very adaptable. @TheMarketingAnu

I usually recommend following experts on Twitter as this platform has helped my career massively from finding my first and third jobs to just the amount of knowledge shared on here. Involve yourself in the community, even if you just lurk! @scright

Get hired in an agency. You can learn a lot with peers and get acquainted with different business/account types. And you can learn everything really fast! @morenothejose

Get as much hands on experience as possible. Get people in your life who can mentor you that are successful. Understand data and get good at troubleshooting. @jord_stark

It’s an odd industry in which we are at the whim of huge companies & what they decide to change that day, but it never gets stale. You have to be able to roll with the punches & adapt. Also, use the community, most are more than willing to help @selley2134

Don’t be afraid to ask questions from peers – Learn one thing (GAds, FB, Analytics, GTM etc) at a time to avoid confusion – Auditing is a really great way to learn quickly as it’ll prompt you to ask a lot of questions that you will need to answer @ameetkhabra

My advice for anyone starting out in PPC — especially if you’re on your own — is keep your clients in the loop constantly. They might not ask for reports, or act like they care, but send them anyway. Make it clear what you’re delivering for them. @SquarelyDigital

Being good at research, figuring out problems and liking to solve situations is going to make this job easier. Most ad platforms have support doc pages that will answer questions. You need to be keen & curious to go find the answers. Critical thinking is a must. @duanebrown

Study your heart out! Outside of that if you’re looking to join an agency, know that many often want you to already have agency experience. Having certs, example campaign builds you’ve done, and things to make you stand out, can help you get your foot in the door. @BrettBodofsky

Be intellectually curious. Learn more than just one platform or discipline, but be a “T” shaped marketer. Demonstrate initiative and results before you are looking to get hired. @KurtHenninger

Read a lot to learn from others but be aware of whose advises you follow. Don’t waste time in people who talks more than tries. @MaiMolina_

NEVER bs/lie on client calls no matter what anyone says. You will almost always be setting yourself up for failure further down the line. If you don’t have the answer to hand, tell them you will follow up via email, or do some research then come back. @AzeemDigital

Automate from day 1 everything you can automate. Reports, tasks… Same for scheduling. Organization is key to have more time to optimize better and avoiding interruptions @MaiMolina_

Document, Document, and Document. Emails and screenshots saves lives. @StephsNextPage

Study the fundamentals of marketing. Listen to customers and potential customers. Empathy. Because our greatest lever right now is messaging not the tweaks of the engine. @armondhammer

Play around and run some ads on your own money. £50 FB ads for your local football team. Start a blog and spend a little to promote it. Help a family/friend out with their business marketing. Looks good in a job interview. Shows initiative. @zerospin

You don’t need to accept aaaall clients to learn. You can pick the ones that will uplift you the most. @MaiMolina_

Make a new mistake every day. If you’re never making mistakes, you’re not learning + you’re certainly not pushing performance for clients. Also: read + learn. A lot. I still spend ~30% of my day reading — everything from news to PPC info to tech trends. @DigitalSamIAm

Knowledge is just like money: it compounds if invested well. And if you aren’t actively adding to your knowledge bank, you’re not going to see the same results as someone who is. Invest in yourself + your future FIRST. @DigitalSamIAm

Q6: What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?

I am a firm believer that if you like your life now, you do not change anything, even those challenges we may not have enjoyed. One thing changes, we are not where we are, so for me nope. I am good with the good and the bad. @lchasse

Listened more and was less sarcastic. @JonKagan

I’m not really sure how much I’d change. We can all learn from small mistakes, and usually it’s pretty easy to avoid big mistakes by thinking long-term. If anything, I guess I would have started earlier…but I’m pretty content with how things have turned out! @gilgildner

I wish I had joined the #ppcchat community earlier. Been part of this community has helped make sense of a lot of things. I wish I had that feeling a lot earlier in my career. @TheMarketingAnu

I wish I’d worked in an agency before founding an agency. Made a lot of mistakes trying to learn while doing ppc at the same time. In house isn’t the same. @armondhammer

Honestly, nothing is coming to mind. @ameetkhabra

I wouldn’t want to do anything differently as I’m a big believer in the experience I’ve had has shaped the marketer I am – the good and bad! I wish I focused a LOT more on writing content and a bit more on speaking opportunities – but there’s still time for that. @scright

Getting out of my head that I know (and I value) less than anyone around me. I understimated myself a lot. Still working on it. @MaiMolina_

I will echo what others are saying in that I would not necessarily change anything. Comfort with uncomfortable things has definitely come with time and experience. There are some clients from early on that I should have fired. @NeptuneMoon

I would ask for more $$ sooner, I would say no to certain engagements earlier. There are wonderful women in this community who very likely have felt and been undervalued and underpaid. It’s a real thing. @JuliaVyse

Maybe not a do over as much as I wish I lived in a few more countries and done advertising work. New Zealand being one spot and somewhere in Asia maybe. I seriously looked at Singapore before moving to Australia. @duanebrown

Surprisingly, I’d change nothing (similar to @scright.) Even the worst times in my career have set me up for where I am today. “The comeback is always greater than the setback.” Being tough on myself, I’d throw myself into advanced MS Excel learning earlier. @AzeemDigital

I honestly would have preferred to have done PPC instead of college coursework. It would have been more relevant to my current day to day. I’d be all that much more experienced. @BrettBodofsky

My “do over” has to do with the client that got away. It was a great business to be working with early in my PPC career, but I wasn’t good enough with a few key aspects of PPC management to keep them. If I knew then what I know now .. @SquarelyDigital

I have learned from every negative experience I’ve had and wouldn’t change any of them, except there is one job I should have left sooner than I did. @beyondthepaid

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