I’m Passionate About PPC and SEM

Oct. 29

I’m very passionate about PPC. I’m very passionate about the corporate career path in pay per click. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than managing my awesome paid search team! Does this sound like you? Good! Does this sound very different from your tone and thought pattern each morning? That’s ok, but let’s work on that! This topic has been blogged about to death, but I couldn’t resist because it’s so core to my personal value. Let’s talk about passion today because I sincerely think it could get you a raise and a promotion.

Why Passion In Search Engine Marketing Counts: Your Perspective

Search On Keyboard

Let’s purely look at it through your personal lens first. What’s in it for you? Before I even get to that, let’s get one thing out of the way. I’m not a psychology major, but I know from experience that passion is at least partly up to you. Every single morning, you have the conscious decision whether you want to be passionate or dull. If you’re not currently overly passionate every morning, I’m about to show you what’s it for you if you make that conscious decision. If you already get up with enthusiasm and passion each morning, I’m about to ask you to bring it up a notch. There’s always room for more fire! I’ll show you what you’ll get out of even more passion…

First and foremost, let’s talk about happiness. It’s a fact: Passion is directly correlated to happiness. If you’re passionate about your work and purpose every single day, the day will go by much faster and you’ll have a lot more fun (with a lot more energy). At the end of the day, we all want to be happy. That’s one of the most important things in life. Pay per click search engine marketing can be daunting. Sometimes it’s hard to be passionate, especially if your numbers are trending down or if you’re under pressure from your manager (it happens to everyone and pressure can be a good thing). Every single morning, take a step back and push yourself to be passionate. Write a note if you need, seriously. I can guarantee this conscious exercise will become more and more natural over time and will result in a nice bump in your happiness and job satisfaction. It’s in your hands.

Second, let’s talk about your career path in pay per click. It’s a great industry. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about PPC as a great career is the ability to grow quickly. I’m a director of SEM only five years out of college. In a more traditional industry, it would probably take me 10 to 15 years to hit the director level. Now, let’s face reality: The quick upward mobility in pay per click can cause problems because one can’t possibly learn all of the judgment of a 10 or 15 year veteran in only 5 years. This is where passion comes to play. If you’re passionate, you’ll learn quicker. If you’re passionate, you’ll emerge as a leader. What do leaders do? They rise above the naysayers and push the team forward, even when things are difficult. If you want to become a leader and people manager within pay per click, you need to consistently demonstrate passion for the industry and also the company. You need to be more passionate than anyone else. Excessive passion alone, in my opinion, can overcome management judgment that will take a bit longer to grow through experience, success, and failure.

Why Passion Counts: Your Employer’s Perspective

This part is really easy. Employers love passionate employees. Already mentioned, passionate employees increase the morale and purpose of the overall team. The output of the team is much larger than the output of any one individual. Passion from one employee can have tremendous leverage and exponential returns from an employer’s perspective. Passion can spark new innovation on the SEM team, one of the highest leverage teams within the company.

I’ve seen it time and time again in search engine marketing. There’s high turnover because people tend to burn out. In good cases, the employee decides to transition out of pay per click but stay at the current company. In the worst case, they leave not only the pay per click team but also the company as a whole. Companies want passionate leaders who can overcome this effect and retain their team. I have an awesome track record for employee retention even at companies with overall retention issues. This is one of the main reasons I’ve been able to consistently manage and grow leading PPC teams with a good deal of authority and autonomy from my employer. Not yet managing people but want to be? Invest in your passion! Managing people, but want to grow even more and be the most successful manager possible? It’s all about the passion!

A Topic Worth Visiting Over And Over

There’s a reason it’s hard to find a business leader who hasn’t commented on passion. It really works! Whether you’re already passionate about SEM or completely lack passion, there’s room for all of us to grow. Make it your purpose each morning and you’ll have more fun, get promoted faster, and add exponential value to your company! Don’t believe me? Check out my LinkedIn profile and specifically my recommendations. You’ll see a recurring theme around my positive attitude, passion, and morale-building powers. All of this has been a conscious decision, one that you can make as well.

Image of Search on Keyboard © iStockPhoto – NickS

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  1. Nicole says:

    Passionate – no. A better description would be obsessed :)

  2. Darren says:

    Hey Ian,
    So glad I read your blog post on being passionate about SEM and PPC. Right now I’m in the transition phase going into a SEM job in Dallas, TX – There is tons of potential there and some amazing companies to work with.
    It’s so true what you said about having passion (obsession) with PPC. It can be really fun but you must always have a positive attitude and outlook on things SPECIALLY when things get tough.
    I can’t wait to achieve the level that you are at it’s totally my goal! I love working with teams to make things better and hope I can make a great manager :-) Your posts like this are AWESOME to keep myself in check. I think it’s great that you are leading and really loving what you are doing!


  3. Ian says:

    Hi Darren,
    Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment and positive feedback! :-) I truly appreciate it. I really like your point about having a positive attitude whether times are good or bad. A positive attitude (along with passion) is absolutely critical in this industry. Thanks again!
    All the best,

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