With the New Year approaching, it’s often time to take inventory of personal goals, areas to work on, reflecting over the past, etc.
At Clix, we like to do the same. So along those lines, we took a break from posting about PPC strategy today. Instead, we wanted to share some of the top advice each of us has received as we’ve navigated the maze of our own career paths.
“What is the best advice you have received that you have been able to apply to your career?“
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I remember when I first started my career, there was a certain process we followed that didn’t quite make sense but I assumed since that’s the way it had always been done that it was correct. It wasn’t until over a year later when I asked a question about it and we realized we had been doing it wrong the entire time.
Be willing to challenge assumptions, whether they be from clients, ad platform reps, or colleagues. Of course, do it nicely, but you’re doing nobody a service if you’re just blindly taking instructions and not applying your own expertise. For instance, a client may have had a negative experience in the past with a particular advertising channel, but they may be willing to test it again if you can provide rationale from your own experience.
You have to find ways to measure your success outside of the numbers or scoreboard. Not every day will end in a win, and not all clients will pick you or stay forever. The truth is you may even be hitting goals and find out a client is leaving, or that a prospect is going with another agency they’ve maybe just worked with before. Those decisions aren’t always a reflection of your efforts, and usually aren’t indicative of your capabilities in any way. Try to take time afterward to consider ways you could have improved, of course, but make sure you balance that list with the things you did well and want to do more of intentionally in the future. That exercise will far outweigh any that’s focused on the negatives.
Believe in yourself and your talents. Remember that your gut instinct matters and you should learn to trust your gut. While you should always test and try new things, you have to believe in yourself and your marketing prowess to make recommendations and move forward. You might not always have statistically valid data to draw conclusions, but if you feel something isn’t right, believe that it really isn’t.
You have a unique perspective that’s different from others; so don’t be afraid to speak up if you interpret a client email differently, draw different conclusions from a data set, etc. At Clix, there are often two or three of us working together on an account. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had intriguing and productive conversations because everyone involved shared their viewpoint. It can be easy to stay quiet and just let other people speak up or take the lead, but your perspective matters too, and you might provide insight that no one else has thought of.
Be willing to teach yourself things that others don’t know how to do. One of the biggest benefits of working in PPC is that this industry is so open to sharing ideas and strategies, even if it seems counterintuitive as if it was giving away secrets. Since day one in this career, I’ve been told to go seek out answers that weren’t clearly available and this industry has delivered. It’s made a huge impact on my career, not only from an expertise/skill perspective as I learned lots of things, but it also drove me to be one of the people sharing ideas. In turn, I’ve been able to travel all sorts of places talking to other marketers about all the cool strategies we can employ in our accounts.
“Best practices” are established at the account level and not at the channel level. Google will tell you how to do things. Facebook will tell you how to do things. But it all comes down to the account’s goals. I’ve worked on multiple accounts (not at the same time) where the industry and product were very similar. Each of the clients had different goals, different target audiences in mind, and a different mentality of success. It should always be what’s best for the business. Not what is going to make the ad channel more money.
It’s okay to say “I’m not sure, I’ll look that up and get back to you.” Sometimes you’re caught off guard with a question and it’s okay to say you’re not sure about the answer but you’ll get back to them. They’ll appreciate your honesty and you may learn something new when looking for the answer.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a mentor or team of colleagues to collaborate with or receive advice from, so don’t be shy about reaching out to greater PPC community when you need to. We are all a team together, working to help one another. There is camaraderie in this industry unlike many others. We hope some of these tidbits will help affirm, guide and strengthen you in your own career path.
If you’re reading this and have received solid advice that helped you along the way, please comment below to share with the Clix community. We’d love to hear it!