How Breaking Out of My Shell Helped My PPC Career

Typically I write posts with step by step, actionable items you can take and implement right away. Today, I’m going to give a very short version of my personal experience networking with individuals in the search industry and how it has impacted my career.  I hope my experience sheds some light on how important networking can be whether online or at an industry event. I’m also going to use this post to thank some people who have selflessly helped me along the way, and how I have learned from them.

Alright (cracks knuckles) let’s get personal.

It All Started from Meeting Peers on Twitter

When I accidentally discovered #ppcchat, I had no idea how much it would impact my life. I got to learn from PPC peers who had many more years of experience under their belt. The weekly discussions helped me make a lot of new contacts I could reach out to if I had any questions. The chats also taught me more than any other training I ever had at the time. Implementing all the advice into accounts, which led to successful results, strengthened the passion I had for PPC.

As my passion grew, I wanted to start writing to share what I’ve experienced. I reached out to #ppcchat founder, Matt Umbro, if I could write on the PPC Hero blog as a guest. Matt gave me the encouragement, opportunity, and advice to launch my first industry post. That one post flowed into other posts and writing opportunities, and I have Matt to thank for that. After I had a collection of posts under my belt, I could use them in pitches to showcase my knowledge.

The Writing Flowed into Speaking

Besides Matt, I’ve met so many friends via #ppcchat. One in particular, Kirk Williams, has always been there for me. In mid-2016, Kirk tweeted out of the blue how he noticed all the writing I was doing. That caught the eye of Matt Decuir who, at the time, was in charge of planning for Confluence Conference. After some initial discussions, and of course a formal pitch, I got accepted to speak at my first national gig in fall of 2016.

joe martinez confluencecon 2016

Ha! I remember when I used to dress up to speak. Man how times have changed.

When I first walked into the speaker’s room, Zeph Snapp was already there practicing because he was the first speaker. I didn’t want to interrupt him so I sat down in silence. He stopped what he was doing, walked over to me, and introduced himself. Later in the same day, Zeph and Greg Gifford saw me working by myself, and asked if I wanted to go to lunch with them. I don’t think they realize how much that gesture meant to me as a newbie in the speaking world. They gave me great encouragement and advice that I’ve used to this day. Damon Gochneaur showed up later in the day and also introduced himself and was a great source of encouragement for my first speaking event. I’ve used this moment to try and do the same for other new speakers I meet.


At the speaker’s dinner, I got to sit right next to Steve Hammer and Larry Kim. Steve gave me the best advice on how to pitch to conferences. His advice worked and got me into more conferences in 2017. Larry gave me advice on blogging and content strategy for posts and conference slides. I still use what he told me to this day. That dinner had one of the biggest impacts in my career to enable me to do more writing and speaking. Steve and Larry gave me so much valuable information without any hesitation.

How I Landed This Job

All of the writing and speaking helped me get into more conferences. At SMX West 2018, I was lucky enough to be asked to speak in two sessions. By chance, Michelle Morgan, was also asked to speak in the exact same sessions. During this conference, we realized we write and speak on a lot of the same topics. This led to us working on a course on audiences in PPC for CXL, along with some other content coming out soon.

i wasn't asking you michelle

Discussions eventually went to us working together more, and in the end I thought it was a good fit to join the Clix Marketing team. You can see how one thing led to another if you trace back all of what has happened in this post. And it all started from breaking out of my introverted shell and talking to fellow PPC marketers online.

Thank You! And I Hope You See the Value of Putting Yourself Out There

We work in one of the greatest industries with some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. To the #ppcchat community for selflessly sharing your knowledge. To Matt Umbro giving me my first writing opportunity. To Kirk for helping me get into my first national speaking gigs (yes more than one). To Matt Decuir for taking a chance on a new speaker. To Damon, Zeph and Greg for making me feel welcome and for all the confidence boosting. To Steve and Larry for all the advice. And to what’s-her-face for being a great friend and now coworker. Thank you! I hope everyone reading this post can see how important networking is. Besides meeting some great friends, networking will help your career more than you realize.