I started my PPC career in a poorly lit, musty basement in Rexburg, Idaho. I was a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho and Stu Draper took a chance on a kid that knew nothing, but was hungry to learn and make a name for himself. We were happy to have our own space—which happened to be in the unfinished basement of Stu’s uncle’s real estate business—while we worked on those cheap card tables from Walmart. I worked on some tiny accounts and a few small accounts (yeah, they are different), and began cutting my PPC teeth.
Fast forward several years and a move to Avalaunch Media to start the PPC division. My team has been recognized by Google as one of the top PPC agencies in North America!
Getting into the Premier Partner’s Program
We were informed earlier this year that we were part of an unnamed beta program (later called the Premier Partner Program), where we would get a dedicated AdWords team, and gain access to betas, sales support, exclusive training, and expedited help on disapprovals/policy issues. We were selected because of our retention rate, total spend managed, and client reviews. Surprisingly, other industry peeps expressed that it was just a badge and it didn’t mean much.
It actually meant A LOT to me.
I sometimes caught myself wondering how I stack up against all the other PPC agencies out there. The easiest way to gauge was by employee count, and unfortunately my PPC team size wasn’t skyrocketing. It was easy to think I was missing something everyone else wasn’t.
Slow and Steady Growth
All this time, I tried to focus on doing good business: telling clients when I felt I could NOT do a good job, figuring out systems for more clients, keeping up with industry changes and translating those changes to results, and focusing on my clients’ bottom lines—not just my own.
I also tried to contribute to and learn from the PPC community. I got involved with #PPCChat early on. Matt Umbro asked for topics to talk about, and I DM’d him frequently with ideas. Eventually he invited me to host a chat and I gladly accepted! I tried to share my expertise by speaking at schools like Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, and Utah Valley University. I tried to find bright minds to join my team and was able to find several. I even created a Fantasy Football league for PPCers. I had a lot of fun!
The PPC community was my school and other PPC experts were my classmates who got me through the hard times. I reached out to friends who generously shared their knowledge. I remember specific conversations with Aaron Levy, John Lee, Michelle Morgan, James Zolman, Larry Kim, Neil Sorenson, and Heather Cooan—and I’m sure I’m forgetting others. Several years ago, a random guy called me up and said Pam Lund had referred me! I was floored. I learned how a community really should operate.
All the Work Paid Off!
Throughout all this, business improved. My team focused on its strengths, helping us win and keep more clients. We lost at times, but learned from those losses. At times, business was slow and steady, but I think that helped us build a solid foundation. My PPC players helped me realize the importance of teamwork; eventually, we were recognized by Google as one of the best teams out there.
Even if others feel differently, it means a lot to be recognized by Google. It means the thousands of hours of work for my clients, my team, and my company have paid off. It means we’re headed in the right direction. It means that hard work brings success—so have fun while doing it!