Nutshell ver 3.0: 3 years in 60 seconds
A week before Halloween in 2013, I found myself flying to Las Vegas courtesy of Google. A few weeks later I was helping Google test the waters in retail space at Google’s Snowglobe. When the party was over and the Google gig began fading away in my rear view mirror, I headed up to Lake Tahoe where I ran into Google co-founder, Sergey Brin. We had a brief and inspired engagement about international food and where he could find some. This auspicious event triggered me to get back on the Google train, which I did and promptly.
Today, I’m preparing to take my Google game to Oakland and San Francisco to meet with some major players in the 501(c)3 space. That may sound mundane, but trust me – it’s anything but routine.
Google Explores Retail
In 2013, Google took a serious pitch at entering the retail game, albeit late when compared to their rival, Apple. Sure, they had endcaps at Best Buy, but this pitch would be much stronger than setting shop up under somebody else’s tent. Enter Google’s pop-up shop, aka Snowglobe. This effort required some 200+ trained Google Specialist to keep the shops running smoothly across the country from New York to Los Angeles.
As the week-long training came to a close, the prospect of failing the final exam was nerve-racking. Had I come this far only to fail and be left behind by one of the world’s most successful companies in tech? Hell no. I passed with a relatively low score of 97%, but it worked for me.
On my flight home, I thought about all the endless possibilities before me. Could I land a gig at Googelplex? How would I handle the commute from Sacramento? Were there other ways to get on but stay in Sacramento? Could I be a Google marketing manager at Best Buy? Did I really want to work at Best Buy? Who did I know at Google? All that I knew for sure is that this was just the beginning of a long-term relationship and I was betting big all on Google.
As I wrapped up my last shift on Christmas Eve, I felt triumphant but also knew that I had to figure out how to continue working with Google. As luck would have it, three months later, Google launched a program called “Google Partners.” I jumped in hook, line, and sinker. This was exactly what I needed to keep my Google “juice,” fresh and not allow my recent experience to fade to black.
Google Partners are tested and certified by Google as competent ad specialists, (AdWords). Their ad system is fairly complex and requires serious studying and hands-on use before becoming an adept user. By 2016, I was managing Google Ad campaigns for the Sacramento Public Library, the Sacramento Zoo, The Crocker Art Museum, The California Nurse Practitioner’s Association, The Sacramento Philharmonic and others.
As 2016 came to a close, I began working more and more with nonprofits. My job evolved to help them leverage Google For Nonprofits and Google Grants, both of which are well suited for management by Google Partners.
After three years and three months of working on Google stuff, the upshot is that it’s super critical to know your stuff better than the next person. After that, keep your professional relationships alive with regular communication. Lastly, realize innovative ways to apply what you’ve learned and carve out a new niche market if you can.
Know your stuff better than the next person. Communicate regularly with your network. Carve out a niche market.
Within 24 hours, I will be expanding my services into Oakland and San Francisco’s financial district. The players at the table have budgets beyond my wildest imagination. I’m not trying to get rich here, I’m trying to make a living and provide nonprofits with value added services that put money and results back in their pockets.
I like to tell clients that my goal is to help them realize a 10-to-1 return on investemt. For every dollar they spend with me, they get ten back.
As an aside, I was approached by Wanderlust management after I was spotted walking around with Sergey. They asked me if I knew how to get in touch with Google so they could present a proposal. Yes, I answered and dug into my digital Rolodex. I shot off some emails and made a few phone calls to Googlers I knew. Long story short, Google ended up being on-site the next year with Google Play Music. Below is the video they produced from this experience. My job often feels like a connector or people and ideas which often leaves me outside looking in. Lucky for me, I’ve got a memory like an elephant. Even better, I’ve finally developed a niche service for a huge market and I barely have to leave home to meet with my new clients, and besides all that – I love San Francisco and Oakland.