We’re back for another Ad Purp Profile! And this time, you’re in for a special treat.
In a little over a year, I’ve interviewed thirteen Advertise Purple employees for this segment and, honestly, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. I absolutely love learning about all the members of our team and finding out interesting tidbits that make them who they are.
Today, I am planning on completing interview fourteen, but this one is going to be a little bit different. I’ll be interviewing none other than… myself (Talking to myself is already a hobby of mine, so this shouldn’t be too difficult).
But seriously, I’m not normally one for self promotion and you’re going to have to bear with me, but I am hopeful that after reading this and going forward, you’ll have a better idea of who the man behind the keyboard really is.
I’ll pull from some of the interviews of other employees and answer (to the best of my abilities) the same questions I’ve posed to them. But I’ll also come up with some new questions to attempt to dive into some serious self reflection type vibes.
So, a guy interviewing himself. Got it? Good. Let’s go!
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background, Stephen. Where are you from, where’d you go to school, how cute is your dog, etc?
A: Funny you should ask, Stephen. I grew up in Brentwood, here in Los Angeles. I attended Harvard-Westlake High School in North Hollywood and later went to Stanford University where I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication.
How’d you know I had a dog? Well, anyway, he’s a goldendoodle named Theo, he’s 3 and he’s a 12/10 on the cute scale.
Q: Very cool. What did you do before Advertise Purple?
A: Right before Advertise Purple, I was working for Uber in their Downtown Los Angeles office, based in the historic LA Times Building. Basically, I was a part of their support content team. Everything about it was pretty cool, besides the commute. Prior to that, I worked at Fullscreen as an editorial manager (fancy word for writer) and Movie Pilot as a staff writer.
Q: How did you find out about Advertise Purple?
A: It was all very serendipitous. I actually saw the listing for content strategist on BuiltInLA, which is a site we collaborate with all of the time now (shoutout to our account manager, Yale!). We have a great relationship with them.
But I sent over a writing sample and heard back within 15 or 20 minutes. Next thing you know, I was taking a sick day off from Uber to come in for an interview and boom, I got started a week or two later.
Q: What about affiliate marketing interests you most?
A: As far as modern advertising goes, I’m a firm believer in the affiliate channel and data driven marketing methods in general as the future of how we sell products and services online.
I think clients deserve accurate projections based on clear data of how they will benefit from working with an agency, and I think when things aren’t going well there should be ways to be held accountable. They should also know when things are going well, why exactly that is.
I love that in the affiliate space, nothing is random. Everything is tracked and monitored. The goal is to optimize strategies, and when doing so, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Utilizing one clients’ successes and failures to support another’s is the norm here. The more experience we get, the more data we have to help other clients.
I also think the CPA (cost per acquisition) payment structure gives incentive for the agency (in this case, Ad Purp) and the client to both want to see the same thing – click, order, and revenue growth. Having skin in the game makes us want you to win.
It’s cool when an agency-client relationship is symbiotic rather than an agency either really needing one major client or the client desperately needing the agency. I think working closely with partners and clients we really care about is awesome, and very unique in this space.
Q: That answer was a little long Stephen, dial it back a bit.
A: Ok. No problem, Stephen.
Q: What exactly do you do as a content strategist?
A: I write our blog posts and manage our social channels. I also pitch in anywhere we need anything that would involve a writer. Lately, I’ve been assisting with case studies (internal and co-branded), collaborative articles with other companies, press releases, website copy, and more.
Q: Name one specific thing that makes you proud about working at Advertise Purple.
A: There are a lot, but if I had to narrow it down it would probably be our reaction to the #BlackLivesMatter protests and the fact that we took Juneteenth as a company holiday in the wake of the death of George Floyd. We also donated and supported the cause in other ways, and it made me incredibly proud as a black man in America to know where my employer stands on issues relating to social justice.
Q: Can you please describe the culture at Ad Purp?
A: I don’t know if it’s really even describable in words, but once you are a part of it, you understand that the culture at Advertise Purple isn’t just work-hard play-hard (which it also is). It’s making real friends, supporting one another, knowing every single person – out of what is now close to 90+ employees – very well. Genuinely wanting to see each other. I remember, coming back from the holiday break, when most offices would be dreary and dead, the office was filled with energy. People wanted to tell each other about their trips, stories from their time with family, all energized to get back to business. Ad Purp is a genuinely uplifting place. And even during quarantine, we’ve managed to keep a bit of that culture alive – even if it’s over Zoom.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the Randos. Who are they? What are they about? Etc.
A: Shoutout to the Randos (Christina, Tim, Marissa, Vennie, Nicole)! We are basically the team members who don’t necessarily have a big large team to call our own. So, together, we’ve decided to unite and build our own coalition. We’re IT nerds, Project Managers, HR pros, and in my case a Content Guy. Our team outings are much better than the larger, less intimate ones the analysts, sales, and accounts teams have. I’m preeeetty sure they’re all jealous of us. But it’s not really a big deal. They just don’t want to see us shine!
Q: What’s it like reporting directly to the President, Kyle Mitnick?
A: Kyle is the best boss I’ve ever worked for. That’s not an exaggeration. And I’ve had a few really good ones. He understands what he’s doing, he’s an affiliate marketing whiz, has a true entrepreneurial mindset, and he knows how to motivate his team. Whether it’s bringing Sidecar donuts on a day when we could all use a morale boost or spearheading meditation in the office as a way for us all to unwind, he’s innovative. We all get everything done and work hard, but we do it very much together. Very rarely have I seen anybody come into this environment without being given the chance to succeed. And I think that trickles down to the rest of the management team. Giving a damn is kind of rare in this day and age, and he does.
Q: What’s it been like working from home?
A: Working from home has had its ups and downs. There’s certainly something to be said, though, just from a gratitude standpoint, for how lucky we all are to be able to continue being employed right now in general, with COVID-19. I have friends and have heard stories of lay-offs, furloughs, and other difficult situations. So, complaining about having to work from home when the alternative could be much worse feels like a poor use of time. But yes, I miss my coworkers, all the office dogs, and our lovely office in Santa Monica.
Q: What are some quarantine hobbies you’ve picked up?
A: Tennis. I’m playing a lot and loving that it’s a socially distant but fun way to get exercise. I’ve also been getting into any and all trashy reality TV and some less trashy shows too. Plus I’m reading way more. It’s kind of amazing.
Q: Before you go, what’s some advice you’d give someone looking to get into a content or writing role?
A: My main piece of advice is just to write. I love writing! I have been blogging in some form or another since I was in 7th grade. I wouldn’t have been able to land this job without having a bunch of written materials I was able to show off that indicated what my voice was like and how I tell stories. So, if you just saw a movie you really liked – or hated – maybe write a recap on it and publish it. Don’t be afraid to let people see how you think and how you express yourself. You got this!
Thanks Stephen! No problem, Stephen.