PPC Networking

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “PPC Networking.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: When attending search conferences, what is your plan for networking with other search professionals (if you have one at all)?

  • Connect real faces with the names and avatars I see on PPCChat. It is crazy how we can spend hours talking and not meet IRL for years. – Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
  • Meeting as many people as possible is great, but getting to know 1 or 2 people a little better is a great goal. It is really fun meeting people you “know” on Twitter, for sure! – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • I try to set up breakfast or dinner with PPCChat friends ahead of time. Try to hang out during confs as well. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Line up dinners, drinks, etc connecting with those you want to meet IRL. Otherwise, ppl get busy & opportunity lost. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • No plan per se, but I go with the flow – I leave myself fairly open for getting together with other professionals. – Matt Umbro
  • Generally don’t have a plan. Might have arranged to meet a few twitter buddies. Go to bar – have beer – meet interesting people. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • I try to connect with people in similar industries with similar clients. Easy to find in specific conference sessions. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Be friendly & get to know them as people 1st, marketers 2nd. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Be flexible – A rigid plan might take away opportunities that present themselves naturally. – Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
  • I find someone I know to get things flowing and then step into groups where I know some people but not others. – Brett Stevens (@BrettStevens1)
  • No particular plan, just swing by the pool or the bar and meet folks who look familiar or who have a badge. – Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
  • It also helps that PPCChat people love to make plans via Twitter when they’re attending a conf. – Julie Bacchini
  • Never Eat Alone” can inspire introverts to take the risk. Scary at first but always worthwhile. – Chris Haleua

Q2: For those that blog and/or speak, do you have a strategy for keeping up your brand awareness (to use a GDN term)?

  • Watch Twitter and blog page views/visits. Typical analytics stuff. – Melissa Mackey
  • Swag! Good swag that people actually want. I try to tie it into my presentation to make it memorable as well. – Brett Stevens
  • I probably should have. Don’t really do much more than ranting on twitter these days. – Richard Fergie
  • 95% actionable value in presentation content. 5% sales. Nobody wants hear a long pitch. – Chris Haleua
  • I try and space out my blogging/speaking gigs so I always have relevant content and don’t burn out. – Matt Umbro
  • Honestly, speaking is something I’d love to get into; I’m very comfortable in those settings. – Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
  • I know no one will admit to looking at their Klout score, but you know everybody does. – Lisa Sanner
  • Never stop being me… here on Twitter, G+, Facebook, MnSearch, etc. – James Svoboda
  • If speaking, GA utms added to all URLs on social, bitly links and slideshare presos. Makes it easy to track conference traffic. – Diane Kulseth (@dianekulseth)
  • Breaks are necessary, but don’t stay dormant too long. Can lose your audience. – Joe Martinez
  • I honestly approach all of this for the purpose of learning more myself. It’s not a soapbox. – Leo Sussan
  • Some day I’ll submit to speak. Until then, the folks who know brand “Max” best are the folks who look at the financials. – Max Fink
  • Always do things in spirit of giving rather than getting. Pays dividends! – Julie Bacchini
  • Swag is great, but most would trade coffee mugs for tangible takeaways related to content e.g. infographics, excel templates. – Chris Haleua

Q3: How has LinkedIn impacted your PPC career (if it has at all)?

  • Man, a lot. Wouldn’t be at my current position without it. – Leo Sussan
  • LinkedIn has impacted my career significantly. Wouldn’t be where I am without it. – Diane Kulseth
  • I want so much more from LinkedIn. Not much engagement there for me anyway. – Julie Bacchini
  • I sometimes like the ego boost when the recruiters come crawling. – Richard Fergie
  • I wouldn’t be where I am without. 90% of recruiter messages come through LinkedIn and skill-related search. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • No major effect. Trying it out as a B2B channel though and it’s got some promise. – Max Fink
  • Got me into the field from in-house search generalist to agency paid search focus. – Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
  • My philosophy is to connect with everyone I can on LinkedIn – I get recruiters often, but not that big a downer. – Matt Umbro
  • I’m sure most of us get messages from talent network recruiters on a consistent basis. We’re in high demand! – Joe Martinez
  • I don’t know if it has directly impacted my career, but believe it helps to some degree. – Michael Knight
  • Life would be better without it as far as networking goes. Why can’t people just call/email? – Matt McKenna (@socceruci)
  • Helpful for homework before face to face intros. Nice when something in common can break the ice in pitches or interviews. – Chris Haleua
  • Sometimes its nice to feel the recruiter love, even just to ignore them. Has also lead to some client prospects. – Lisa Sanner
  • I’m using it to stalk people very effectively, made hiring a bit easier. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo).
  • I use every avenue to try connecting with people and read everything (or try to) that y’all post. – Nate Knox
  • Tons, an integral component to connecting with ppc professionals. I take risks with genuine personal messages. No soliciting. – Jake Waldrop
  • There was a tipping point for # of connections where recruiters started reaching out. Opened eyes to opps + boosted confidence. – Jason Stinnett (@JasonStinnett)
  • Actually write something unique and sincere in LinkedIn connection requests instead of the lame default message. – Chris Haleua
  • I get lots of headhunters approaching me. Other than that, zilch. – Sarah Danks (@bernier)
    • I stopped accepting connections with most recruiters. Most of those have been only 1 way connections. – James Svoboda
    • I connect with reputable recruiters/firms. I’ve started filtering out ones that are more 1-way. – Diane Kulseth
  • LI is also a great tool for pulse of the industry…what are the job titles, skills, certs peers are getting. – Diane Kulseth
  • We first started MnSearch as a LinkedIn group before the website or Twitter. So 100% positive impact. – James Svoboda
  • I try to keep it clean from recruiters, actually. Just people I know/met at conferences. The recruiters use your contacts. – Max Fink
  • LinkedIn was the first point of contact for many SEM people who’ve since become colleagues. That, and the – Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
  • My whole family has worked in recruiting. Connecting w/ them on LinkedIn is like inviting Dracula to dinner. – Max Fink
  • LinkedIn gives me a reason to put on a shirt and tie long enough to have a profile pic taken. – Brett Stevens
  • I’ve found that it’s a great place to share content. seems like my connections are more apt to share thru LI than FB/Twitter. – Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)

Q4: When blogging/speaking/sharing, do you feel you should be representing your personal brand or your company’s brand? Why?

  • Both. If employer is paying, you’d better put that on your preso. But it’s ok to include personal brand also imho. – Melissa Mackey
    • Agreed – whenever I present I include both brands. – Matt Umbro
      • Yes. I wouldn’t go to many conferences if I didn’t promote employer brand. – Melissa Mackey
  • 1st – empathize with audience. They are the hero of the story – not you. 2nd – build personal brand. 3rd build company brand. – Chris Haleua
  • I don’t think it’s possible to separate them if you’re speaking publicly. You represent both. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Wouldn’t know. But I think you’re inherently representing yourself by being up there. Being explicit comes of ecotistical. – Leo Sussan
  • It depends on the context of your presentation, but I’ve had clients come to an agency after speaking purely because of my own work. – Nate Knox
  • Usually both. Your name will be associated w/your company no matter how you represent yourself. – Diane Kulseth
  • If your employer spends time/money on promoting these events, they deserve the recognition. – Joe Martinez
  • How you conduct/present yourself is a reflection on everything you’re associated with – not just work entities. – Julie Bacchini
  • Definitely a mix of personal & company. without the company, we may not have the ops to speak and get personal brand out there. – Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
  • If you’re on your personal account you represent yourself but don’t be stupid with what you say and you’ll be ok. – Loz Jones (@HomeOfJones)
  • If you’re presenting/speaking/blogging on behalf of the company (or yourself), represent accordingly. – Sarah Danks
  • Both. Blogging isn’t social media — typically company directly tied to it. If solo consultant, maybe OK to have only personal? – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
  • In a perfect world, the two should align! first and foremost, i represent my personal brand…employer’s comes second! – Erin Sagin
  • Both, in my case. And also MnSearch. At the conferences I’ve spoken at or will in the future. – James Svoboda
  • Me, the personal brand, company second. It’s hard to connect w/a company unless billions of dollars or orphans are involved. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • If the company is paying for the swag then I’m there for them, if not I’m there for me. – Brett Stevens
  • Impossible to separate the two, but you can prioritize based on your goals – eg recruiting new clients v building personal brand. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • Building personal brand can help build company brand as well. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • I also often feel like I’m representing for the PPCChat community. – James Svoboda
  • I usually represent the company’s brand, but make sure my personality/expertise is represented. – JD Prater (@jdprater)

Q5: What are some hidden benefits of networking with other PPC professionals that others may not know? Why?

  • Always the amazing generosity others show in sharing their knowledge. – Theresa Zook
  • You guys are way smarter than me, so I only benefit. – Nate Knox
  • Not every PPC pro is super social, but sometimes have incredible ways of approaching work. So much to learn from them. – Diane Kulseth
  • Aside from getting to know some really great people, having trusted resources for 2nd opinions is amazing. – Julie Bacchini
  • The knowledge share! None of us can know everything, and the learning and sharing is killer in the community. – AJ Wilcox (@wilcoxaj)
  • The best presentations heard at any conference are short and real experiences told over good food instead of canned PPT on stage. – Chris Haleua
  • I’ve often talked strategy and shared knowledge with those I’ve networked with. I’ve gotten great insights from that. – Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
  • I’ve reached out to many of you over the years for questions and thoughts – wouldn’t have been able to do that otherwise. – Matt Umbro
  • If you going to conferences a lot it can feel like you work in a silo. Networking with your community is good for your soul! – Max Fink
  • There are many niche markets out there. Advertisers managing in those industries have lots of knowledge gems. Find them! – Joe Martinez
  • Building bonds within the community is critical–you’ll always have a go-to group to hash out tough account questions with! – Erin Sagin
  • I supplement my weaknesses with the strength of others, and I try to do the same for others. That’s the benefit for me. – Leo Sussan
  • DMs and emails where knowledge is shared. You’re only great if you have a curiosity about what’s working and want to learn. – Jesse Semchuck
  • Different vertical insights. The game changes and connections all have their vertical of expertise. Know the ins and outs. – Jake Waldrop
  • Dare I say it? We are each other’s back up plans in case things go south at the current place. – Nate Knox
  • Experience and idea-resources outside of the ‘norm’ in our day-to-day ops. Lots of different ideas and strategies out there. – Michael Knight
  • I will take you to donner at the next conference if you tell us those tips. – Chris Haleua
  • You can talk about things that ur Google non-disclosure keeps you from blogging about…I mean that never happens. – Brett Stevens
  • Also good for when you have a prospect that isn’t a good fit–you know who you endorse and can refer them to! – Erin Sagin
  • Each of you is stronger because of the community and visa versa! – Chris Martin (@chrisemartin)
  • Camaraderie is underrated benefit. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)

Q6: Please share a story about how your networking efforts either helped you, a colleague, or your company in general?

  • Got to meet awesome peeps including Jesse Semchuck which led to me working Purch Group all through Twitter! – Bryant Garvin
  • First Pubcon years back, David Szetelainvited me to dinner. Showed me benefits of networking. Haven’t stopped since. – Robert Brady
  • I got into the search industry via networking & mentorships which now help the company I work for and the orgs I support. – Diane Kulseth
  • I did my first speaking event at Pubcon in oct. i was terrified so having PPCChat friends cheering me along saved the day. – Erin Sagin
  • I would not have speaking opps were it not for people here liking & getting value from what I have to say. Thank you!!! – Julie Bacchini
  • Its the person, not the product. Networking has been the root of every meaningful deal I have touched. – Chris Haleua
  • We hire friends of friends all the time. That’s how I got my current position. – JD Prater
  • I still bounce ideas off of contacts I’ve met on conferences as well as return the favor. We all have each other’s backs. – Joe Martinez
  • Participated in PPCChat since the beginning, got to know Matt, hosted on ocassion, and got to participate in HeroConf. – James Svoboda
  • HeroConf 2012 met most of you and learned about this PPCChat. I’ve gotten a lot from it–lots of help thru the years and good ideas. – Max Fink
  • Almost every dollar in the bank is a result of conferences (speaking, attending, networking, breakfast, drinking, blogging). – John Ellis (@JohnWEllis)
  • Have met some awesome people thru PPCChat & at conferences. They’re not only smart ppc’ers but nice people. And I may have hired one or two. – Lisa Sanner


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• AJ Wilcox (@wilcoxaj)
• Brett Stevens (@BrettStevens1)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
• Chris Martin (@chrisemartin)
• Diane Kulseth (@dianekulseth)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
• Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
• Jason Stinnett (@JasonStinnett)
• JD Prater (@jdprater)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Ellis (@JohnWEllis)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Loz Jones (@HomeOfJones)
• Matt McKenna (@socceruci)
• Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
• Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
• Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Sarah Danks (@bernier)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)

Network This

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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