Starting any new job is difficult: Getting a lay of the land from office desk maps, realizing who is in charge of what, and discovering the ins and outs of whatever industry in which you’ve chosen to work. I was ruminating on my early days working in digital marketing and the stress it brought me learning the ropes. I started in 2012, though the first time I encountered the Google Ads – then AdWords – Editor on the job was in 2008. Things have changed a lot since then. And while finding job opportunities in PPC need not be too hard with the PPCHero Job Board, and some challenges of starting a new job remain universal. And in digital marketing, we are faced with our own unique challenges of a fast moving industry.
For this blog post, I have reached out to the 2018-2019 “noobs” on our Hanapin team to get their tips to help others starting out in the PPC field. I have huge thanks to extend to these co-writers from left to right:
- Margaret Hoffman
- Emma Smith
- Brittany Sager
- Charmain Johnson
Below are their thoughts and my thoughts on how to integrate well into the industry and fast-paced marketing agency life.
1. Get to Know Your Team
The beauty of agency life is that you are surrounded by a wide variety of pros. In-house, you might have a thinner field of marketing brains, but at an agency there is boundless opportunity to tune into the passions of others on the team. Their passions not only inspire and motivate but can help you to find your niche and discover where you are passionate and where your natural skills lie.
“Spend time with your team. Invite new co-workers to lunch, hang-out in common spaces, and ask them questions! Asking your new team members questions is not only a great way for you to learn the ropes, but it also allows you to get to know the people you’ll be working with a little better.” – Margaret Hoffman
Charmain mentions that finding a mentor can kick your learning into high gear. Finding a dedicated person with which to share your troubles and discover opportunities is a wonderful thing in your early days on the job!
“Getting to know the team also really helped me feel comfortable in asking for help on a problem I was having. Asking people to go to coffee or just finding the time to introduce yourself and chat with people you don’t normally work with can be so beneficial while trying to get to know PPC and the Industry as a whole.” – Emma Smith
2. From Day 1, Keep Up With Industry Changes
The PPC world is constantly changing. In an agency environment like Hanapin Marketing, we have viewing parties during the annual Google Marketing Live, to digest key takeaways for a new year of fresh features on the Google channels. I would encourage any new marketer to encourage these kinds of off-the-cuff training opportunities and viewing parties. With the new Hero Academy training resource, you can quickly get up to speed. Learning in a group can also be more fun, more engaging, and produce more varied ideas. As you learn, make sure you are getting input from those around you and begin to understand the agency’s way of doing things. Each agency has a different philosophy and it’s important to understand your teammates’ stance on key industry issues, whether they are campaign structure, audience targeting, or automation.
“Keeping up with industry updates and learning PPC from scratch seems daunting at first, especially with so many blog articles out there. My advice would be to start slowly, reading a little at a time. Look up the terms or concepts you don’t know, and don’t get frustrated with yourself when things aren’t moving fast enough… learn a little every day.” – Margaret Hoffman
“Check out some Google Ads and Bing certifications (they’re free!) And listen to podcasts.” -Charmain Johnson
I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes listening is easier than reading. Top marketing podcasts on my listening list include Edge of the Web, Social Media Marketing, PPC Rockstars, and Perpetual Traffic, although there are tons of digital marketing podcast lists to be had for 2019.
“To keep up with industry news on top of learning all of PPC at once, I found myself getting into a routine of reading blog posts every morning to start my day. I would also start researching every topic I heard a coworker mention that I had never heard of to try and stay in the loop.” – Brittany Sager
3. Ramp up Your Education
It becomes easier to learn when you reach out to others or sit in on every opportunity to learn. Even when a client isn’t your own, if you see a manager with a great communication style, ask them if you can sit in on a call to take notes on how they drive actionable conversations. Ask others for templates or examples of their written communication style or samples of presentations. There are resources all around you and your co-workers should be open to giving you not only advice but simple resources that can be had just by forwarding an old email.
“My advice to anyone starting a new PPC job is to be a sponge. Try to absorb as much information as possible! Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for shadowing opportunities or to ask questions.” – Brittany Sager
Feel free to crowd-source solutions to your problems as well, and pick the solution that fits best for you:
“When you have a question, ask as many people as possible. I asked one question to 3 or 4 different people every time. That way, I get to know all the different ways things could be set up and problems could be solved.” -Emma Smith
4. Get into a groove with Time Management
Time management can be difficult in a fast-paced work environment. Thankfully, there are tons of resources for organizing your time. Some of our favorite tools at Hanapin include:
- Pomodoro Tools like the PomoDone App and the Tomato-timer.com website
- Timeboxing (or time-blocking) your calendar, as explained in this handy video by productivity YouTuber Thomas Frank
“To help with time management, I have found it very useful to stay organized with checklists before I start my day. It really helps with keeping track of smaller routine tasks while managing bigger projects as they come along.” – Charmain
A Final Word – Take Your Time
Like any great new venture, it will take a lot of time and practice to grow. Don’t be too impatient with yourself as you begin, whether you are brand new to the industry or settling in at a new gig. We have all started rock bottom at the beginning, and in time you will grow more confident in your strategies.
“…give yourself time to learn everything. I put a lot of pressure on myself to know everything all at once, but the pieces will start to click together with time.” – Emma Smith