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I just recently finished my MBA and have been trying to get into digital marketing. I have done a diploma in DM and also just recently got my GAP certification. I have also been freelancing, helping SMEs create paid advertising campaigns. However, since I have explored DM all on my own, I do not really know someone well enough in this field to ask them to be a mentor. Do you have a mentor? If yes, How did you come across him or her? What are the best practices in finding a mentor?

  • CJ

    Cory Jaccino

    over 3 years ago #

    This question is from today, October 13, 2016, but the first answer is from Logan almost 2 years ago. Are these answers recycled and reposted? Bad UX.


    Ashwin, you say you want to get into digital marketing and that you have an MBA and a diploma in DM. That is a lot of education prior to a lot of experience, but congrats on your accomplishments! At this point I would start learning and actually getting experience with Google Analytics before learning anything else.

    Since you said that you have your GAP certification (I'm assuming AdWords, not accounting) and that you are already helping with paid search campaigns, I would do the following depending on what you are comfortable with:

    - Ask your SME clients if they could ask their colleagues and connections who they are using for paid search.

    SMEs all have friends or colleagues who they learn from and they should be comfortable asking who they use. Try to get someone who wouldn't be a direct competitor so they'll actually be willing to help you or at least point you in the right direction to learn more. I understand if you don't want your clients thinking you don't know what you are doing.

    - Invite 10 recruiters out for coffee or lunch so they can help find you placement at an agency, even if it's in an entry level position or internship.

    It's literally their job to find you work in the field. When I started in PPC back in 2007, I didn't even really know what I was applying for. All I knew was that I would be working with websites and putting ads on Google. I was certified in Excel and had a reporting background so they hired me. I quickly learned I needed to keep learning and I did. So, if you keep learning AdWords, Analytics, and you can learn how to use PivotTables, filters, and lots of Excel formulas, someone will train you. I understand you just want a mentor, but someone at an agency will take you under their wing and train you and you'll make connections. Try it for 90 days and see what I mean.

    - Reach out to people on LinkedIn who use the words "boutique," "CEO," "founder," "principal," "startup," or "small agency," in either their personal profile or company profile, preferably in a company of less than 10-15 people.

    Offer to do some volunteering or really cheap hourly contract work on demand like keyword research or mining search query reports in exchange for them teaching you a little about PPC or giving you small projects to work on for them. If they say no, say thank you and please keep me in mind for when they get their next client and need help onboarding them. It's getting close to the holiday season in the US and EVERY agency would love to hear that.

    Although you will likely start with tasks, it's important to learn strategy from these people. Ask if you can see what they do with it so you can learn and get a better understanding of how they use it so you can do it better next time. Anyone who is secretive or doesn't let you know is likely intimidated so I would keep looking for another mentor at that point.

    Anyway, about strategy... Different tactics, technology, and tools will come and go but the real core of good AdWords strategy (within the platform itself) hasn't changed that much since Quality Score came out 10 years ago. Before people disagree with me, I will say that Microsoft adCenter (now Bing Ads) and Yahoo! Panama & Gemini have changed (or came into existence), but these are really just platforms (technology, tools) that we strategists use as part of something much bigger.

    People can argue all they want, but anyone who has been managing paid search for that long will tell you to master paid search strategy, but to do that you'll still need to learn the tools and tasks. -- Like in The Karate Kid, Daniel had to learn the techniques by helping Mr. Miyagi, but he didn't know how to put them together until Mr. Miyagi showed him. -- If you do your part well and REALLY learn the tools, tasks, and techniques, mentors will show you how it all comes together. They will help and even put you in contact with other potential mentors. You can find paid search strategy from PPC experts starting their own business who need help while they try to go out and bring on more clients. That's a great place to look.

    So, search LinkedIn for these people, even if they are not in your town, and offer to do the work I mentioned. They can automate reports and send the search query data to you. You can prove your value by providing great recommendations for positive and negative keywords back to them. They will lean on you more and more.

    This is something ALL paid search marketers need help with and if you focus on helping them with their needs, they will naturally help you get what you need too.

    • AG

      Ashwin Gupta

      over 3 years ago #

      Hi Cory! Thank you for such a detailed reply. My life has changed completely since I posted this answer. I was in the UK when I typed my question on Growthhackers. Pretty soon after, I came back to India, and started working for Wingify (the company behind Visual Website Optimizer). I worked for about a year as a Product Marketer, learnt a lot on the job, and then started working on new products within the company.

      Over the past year, I have worked as a product manager, doing insane amount of user research, strategy work, growth hacks etc. for news apps and services. I am still learning though. I came back to the platform to get some inspiration, and what a lovely surprise to see some replies to the question I asked couple of years ago :)

      Btw, I am still looking for a mentor!

  • DA

    dani amitay

    over 3 years ago #

    My suggestion to you is to keep learning by following the best out there - Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, etc.
    Read their blog posts and follow their Marketing methods, engage with them on social platforms so they'll get to know you and you'll feel free to ask them anything (via email, DM messages, etc. ).
    In no time you'll feel like an expert, and you'll have a real value to add to your next job/project.
    I don't think you need to contact with a mentor direclty - they're all over, track them :)

    • AG

      Ashwin Gupta

      over 3 years ago #

      Hi Dani! Thanks for the reply :) I do think mentors are important in guiding careers, and pointing ship in the right direction. I work with some very interesting people now but I would love to still find a mentor!

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    over 5 years ago #

    I don't have one specific mentor for digital marketing, I've just used this site to have conversations with some of the best digital marketers out there. The community driven responses I've received have been stronger than trying to cold email a variety of potential mentors.

    Both ways are successful though - depends on what you're looking for.

  • KL

    Kari Litzmann

    over 3 years ago #

    Hey all, I am also curious about this. I'm about to startup the B2B marketing function at a fintech startup and would love to hire a coach or mentor - similar to a career coach but one with the tactical know-how of B2B growth strategies - as I take on this new challenge. Ideally I would meet up once a month and go over strategies and approaches. Any ideas would be helpful!

  • AN

    Armando Neves

    over 3 years ago #

    Really great seeing such detailed answers from so many people.
    I'd just like to throw my 2 cents in.

    I had the same issue but in business development and sort of lacked the time to be able to constantly meet mentors and build relationships so I just paid for it from qualified CMOs and Head of Business in proven companies from a website I recently found. So far it has provided me immense value.


  • RJ

    ryan jennings

    over 3 years ago #

    I think they're recycled and reposted...

    My answer is MKTG Mentor https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5O7Hp3CLo9OOIXBQsbnfF8KufU0oUAE0

    ....but by now Ashwin has probably retired!

  • LG

    Lee Goff

    almost 3 years ago #

    It must be my lucky day, I had my staff checking our organic rankings and they forwarded this over to me. I just so happen to be a digital agency mentor, if you would like to chat about the different programs we offer, let me know.

    Here is a link to our website if you want to check us out.

    If you have any immediate questions or would like to schedule a one on one consult, you can email me or click on my calendar link.

    Let me know how I can serve your agency growth needs?

    Nothing but the best,
    Lee Goff

  • RJ

    Reggie James

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Ashwin, this is a great question! However, you have to define what you mean by mentor.
    Many Digital Marketing experts are great at what they do i.e. growing brands digitally across online platforms. Very few are good at nurturing or mentoring.
    If you are genuinely interested, please DM me and I will happily forward you some trusted contacts. Good luck with your quest. Thanks.

    • SB

      Shelbz Brown

      over 1 year ago #

      Hey Reggie! I’m new here. Can you send me some info? Trying to start a digital marketing career.

  • VV

    Vidya Vidhu

    12 months ago #

    I would recommend Mr Shyam Sekar of Startup Xperts, who has mentored so many, and continues to mentor lot of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. You can visit http://www.startupxperts.com/how-to-find-the-right-mentor-for-your-startup/ and send you request. I am sure he could be of help!