Career Spotlight: How to Become a Paid Ads Specialist – Day in the Life of Ngawai

PPC, pay-per-click, SEM, Google Ads, Facebook Ads… you’ve probably heard a few of these words thrown around on the interwebs, especially if digital marketing and business strategies are on your radar. Paid media is on the up and we don’t see this trend coming to an end anytime soon. So, how to enter this booming industry as a young professional or a career switcher?

The thing about digital marketing is that the work is very hands on – which is why roles can vary big time from company to company, based on needs. This can make it somewhat confusing to try and break into the industry, especially when experience counts much more than degrees and certifications.

The key skills a paid ads specialist needs:

  • Reading data (Google Analytics)
  • Writing ad copy
  • Split testing, or A/B testing
  • Reporting
  • Defining and redefining the target audience
  • Strategy, consumer psychology

So, you want to know how to become a paid ads specialist? Keep on reading to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. We have interviewed our paid ads specialist Ngawai Mason to dig into her career path and how she ended up in her current role.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you and what is your role at Gordon Digital?

I’m Ngawai, the paid ads strategist here at Gordon Digital. I’ve been working at Gordon Digital for almost 1,5 years now. I’m originally from Taupo, New Zealand, but have been living in Brisbane for a long time.

What did you study at university?

Business Management. It truly wasn’t very exciting, we did a couple of accounting papers, marketing, torts... the usual. Not much of it stuck to be honest and it was a while back, haha!

How did you become a paid ads specialist?

Typical "started from the bottom now we're here" style. I actually started out like most kiwis who move over here start... Good old telemarketing. Then, I transitioned into newspaper account management.

I really liked how the Australian market valued local service, but I also realised that with the move to digital, the market was evolving, and I needed to do that too. This led me to a couple of roles in the digital space, eventually becoming a paid ads strategist.

What are some of the essential skills that make a great paid ads specialist?

Adaptability. This skill covers both the technical implementation of your strategy and your communication with clients. While I think that it’s important to be "strategic", a lot of what we do is plain old common sense.

Any Digital Marketer worth their salt will know that Google is consistently inconsistent, and that means we need to adapt not only how we approach strategy, but how we communicate this to our clients.

This also applies to how we learn. We need to be open to reassessing what we think we "know" about our roles as digital marketers and be willing to try new things. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes if you have done things a certain way for a long time, you tend to be averse to change.

Can you walk us through what a day in your life as a paid ad specialist looks like?

5:00 am - Involuntarily wake up because my body refuses to sleep more than 5hrs. Scroll through food hack videos on Facebook.

6:15 am - Get up, brush teeth, wash face, glare at my partner who is still sound asleep while I have to be awake. Wander around the house aimlessly.

6:30 am – Finally get dressed, try to find my phone that I swore I left on the bedside table. Accidently wake my partner in the search.

7:00 am – Head out on the 3km walk to the train station. (getting most of my 10k steps out early)

7:30 am – Pretend not to notice the perplexed stares by other commuters as I walk up and down the train platform trying to get my steps to 5k (which I calculated is the minimum needed to reach 10k by the end of the day).

8:00 am – First human interaction. Visit my favourite coffee shop where I ironically don’t buy coffee. Chai Latte with Almond Milk is my “drug” of choice.

8:15-9am – I scan my emails and plan out my tasks for the day. Inhale my Latte. Make myself a giant mug of green tea.

9:00 am – I respond to emails and review my ad accounts. Rage at that one campaign that isn’t doing what it’s meant to.

10:00 am- Refill my giant tea mug. Head back to desk to work on that difficult account I am convinced has a vendetta against me. Not sure why increase in keyword bid yesterday didn’t improve visibility. Implemented a top of page automated bid, readjusted ad scheduling and refined keywords. Set task to assess again in 48hrs

11:45 am – Notice another difficult account has seen marked improvements this week. Found the new keywords I introduced funnelled converting traffic. Congratulate myself. Look around to see if anyone else saw. Refill my giant tea mug again.

12:00 pm – Pretend to have lunch but stay at my desk because I am a workaholic.

12.30pm  Prep for client meeting. Spend another 15mins trying to get zoom to work.

1:00 pm – Take client through their monthly reports. Discuss the strategy. Make readjustments based on their feedback. Joke about my baby Yoda virtual background.

2:00 pm – Follow-up on sales proposals and emails. Refill my giant tea cup, again.

5:45 pm - Return home. Check that I reached my 10k steps. Inform my partner like it’s a competition he didn’t choose to enter.

Are you looking to improve your results with Google Ads? Contact our paid ads specialist Ngawai for a free Google Ads audit.

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