Watch the previous episode of Heroes of Marketing Cloud here.
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Anthony: Hi Kaelan, welcome to this series.
Kaelan: Hey there, Anthony. Thanks for having me.
Anthony: Well, you know my pleasure really we’re glad to have you here. Could you please introduce yourself to our audience?
Kaelan: So my name is Kaelan Moss also known as Minute Admin or people who are following my YouTube channel. I am a Marketing Cloud, basically Email Specialist, Consultant, Administrator anything you want to you know, anything besides the developer role. I’m also a Marketing Cloud instructor, so about a month ago I was actually certified as a Salesforce Marketing Cloud instructor.
Kaelan: Thanks, that was a very thorough process. I’m definitely glad to have that under my belt now, so that’s probably my most proud achievement right now in the Marketing Cloud spaces. Being certified by Salesforce having that stamp of approval to be able to teach their courses.
Anthony: That’s great. I’ve seen the courses, I’m a big fan. So we’ll make sure to put the link in the comments of the video. I’m curious though, the name Minute Admin. Where did that come from?
Kaelan: Yeah, that was actually, you know something that really just came to me out of the blue. I was in San Antonio at the time and I was thinking about how difficult it was for people to really grasp Salesforce. And really I’ve always been someone who enjoys videos over reading even though I do both but I started thinking about how I could make videos that would teach somebody a subject in a minute or less. And so I was like, I’m going to teach people how to be an Admin. Marketing Cloud Admin, Salesforce Admin, any sort of admin in a minute or less and that’s where that idea spark from. Showing them what they needed to know without spending years teaching them a subject.
Anthony: Yeah, I love it. It’s a catchy name too, so good pick. When did you start on your own SFMC journey?
Kaelan: I started in 2017. So September October of 2017 and it really started as you know, just kind of there was a need. I was kind of an accidental Marketing Cloud admin. So, you know, you hear those stories about accidental Admins for Salesforce, but that was me for you know for Marketing Cloud. So yeah really started in October of 2017.
Anthony: Why I must say it’s pretty impressive. You’re already an instructor sounds like you’re doing pretty good at doing this fast-track. So if anyone can teach people how to be an Admin in under a minute, I think you’re the guy so Kaelan are you working on any courses we should be excited about?
Kaelan: Yes, I’m glad you asked you know, I am working on actually putting together three courses into one bundle right now. So it’ll be like a full Marketing Cloud course which will help people get certified as Email Specialist and Marketing Cloud administrators. So, you know, there’s a lot of overlap between the two and I decided to just go ahead and put a course together and really just, design a course that shows people the Marketing Cloud system since a lot of people don’t have access to it, showing how to do things through video and also through documentation that I’ve created to show people what a data extension vs. a list is, what a data filter vs. SQL query activity is, Automation Studio vs. Journey Builder and when you would use one or the other as well as the study guide, so there are not many study guides for people.
So I started creating an Email Specialist study guide and Marketing Cloud Administrator study guides as well. So people have not only the types of questions they’re going to see on the exam but they’ll also have every single definition they need to know for each section of the exam. So yeah, that way people aren’t confused when they see certain jargon or lingo when they go and take the exam, they’re not confused as to what you know, what Contact Builder is or something like that if they’ve never been exposed to it and, we can talk about attributes in the study guide before they go and see that on the exam that way, you know, I’ve shown them that definition, I’ve told them what it is. I’ve also given links to the official documentation to go learn more about that and then for each section. I’ve done that for each section of each exam and then also given exam questions on top of that. So that’s just that’s the second piece and then I’ve also created 35 to 40 Marketing Cloud interview questions with exactly the types of questions I’ve been asked and what other people have been asked and should be there.
Anthony: Sorry, to interrupt you. These are interview questions for job interviews?
Kaelan: Yes, for job interviews. You know I obviously want to teach people Marketing Cloud but not just stop there. I wanted to also help people get prepared for a real world Marketing Cloud job interview. So one thing I’ve seen on LinkedIn a lot, you know in my direct messaging box as well as email messages. I’ve been receiving a lot of people want those interview questions once they understand Marketing Cloud. So I’ve gone ahead and just created about 40 interview questions and people can have access to that once they sign up for that course. So it’ll yeah, hopefully it provides a lot of value to people and they not only learn Marketing Cloud but they learn the types of questions that will show up in an interview.
Anthony: I’m sure and I also love the interview questions because you give a real world practical application also like the dictionary. I remember, gosh, when I had to study for these exams there’s just so much jargon. So it’s good to know that you’re doing this because several people on my team are getting certified, so, you know, I’ll point them in the right direction. In general, who can benefit the most from your courses and who are the courses for?
Kaelan: So it’s obviously for anyone starting out in the Salesforce ecosystem. What I really want people to understand is when you come into the Salesforce ecosystem, you don’t just have to go and be a Salesforce Administrator or a Salesforce Developer. Now that’s the biggest, you know, the biggest media hype I guess you could say whenever someone comes into the Salesforce ecosystem, but I really want to show people you can start off in Marketing Cloud.
So this course is really for beginners as well as people who may have already started as a Salesforce administrator and they’ve been working as a Salesforce admin, but they want to get another certification. They want to go get it, you know, learn that Marketing Cloud platform and really get Marketing Cloud certified so really anybody who’s not Marketing Cloud Email Specialist certified or Administrator certified, you know, definitely that’s who the course was designed for also, you know, the course is designed for people to you know prepare for a job interview as well, which is why I’m throwing in those job interview questions, so it can be a refresher for somebody who does have experience for Marketing with Marketing cloud and have a place to you know, refer back to is kind of like a one-stop-shop to really just basically learned everything when it comes to marketing cloud and refresh on their skills when it comes to Marketing Cloud.
Anthony: Yeah, staying with the topic of the interview questions for just a little bit longer. Is it something that people asked you about?
Kaelan: Yes, I’ve been getting a lot of requests. I’ve been getting, I would say, I mean just within the past two weeks I have 10 people asking me real-world interview questions. So I was like, you know, there was a point where I was just calling them on the phone or sending them one-on-one like just typing it up and say “here’s what I’ve been asked” that was like well if this is a need, you know, what are the people who aren’t asking me these questions struggling with and they may be struggling with the same things. These are just people who’ve reached out and maybe you found me or you know, were courageous enough to reach out to me and ask me those questions. So I just went ahead and you know I feel the need that I’ve been seeing is there and hopefully, that helps a lot of people.
Anthony: Great. I think it justifies good entrepreneurial instincts. And so you mentioned though the Specialist certificate you mentioned the Admin certificate. Will there be a Dev certificate at some point?
Anthony: Well, I will do a little shout-out right now. If there’s a really good SFMC developer listening to this you know who to go to. I think it’s a good opportunity to co-create something that could be really useful to the community. Now going back to your own learning experience, you’ve come a long way, obviously, you justifiably an expert but how long does it take, let’s stay, until you feel proficient with Marketing Cloud?
Kaelan: I would say it wasn’t really until I started teaching it to other people and that was just you know, that wasn’t even Marketing Cloud instructor certification. I was really teaching this to people just out of pure passion and just helping people and I would say that probably took me about honestly a year-and-a-half maybe two years after I was using it every single day because it’s such a big platform, it’s such a big system. There’s so much to do and at my first job, I was actually using the entire suite of Marketing Cloud. So there was so much coming at me from all angles whether it was Email Studio, Mobile Studio, Interaction Studio, you know and Automation Studio, Journey Builder and I just I was kind of like, you know, what are they saying fire hydrant drinking from a fire hydrant?
And so it was pretty tough at first so it took me a while to really understand what I was learning and understanding how to put all of that together is probably what took me the longest but to the point where I would say I felt comfortable with it as whenever I started teaching that to people which was I would say about a year-and-a-half to two years after using it. But that was you know like I said that was because I was using the full breadth of the system from day one and it was just like where do I go from here? I didn’t have any guidance so there wasn’t a Trailhead whenever I first started. There was a Trailhead, but not for Marketing Cloud, and yeah and everything was just pure help documentation. So that was my dilemma, which is also why I created the courses that I’ve created so I could put it all into one place and not you know prevent someone else from having 70 tabs open like I would normally have when I was learning.
Anthony: You become proficient the moment you teach. I think therefore Marketing Cloud admin is probably a good role in teaching their company about the product and it’ll make them better admins. So your courses are very interesting, but what distinguishes a Minute Admin course from the others?
Kaelan: Like I said I’m making sure you understand the concept you understand what you need to know. I’m one of those people that you know, I watch a YouTube video and I’m like, let’s cut straight to the chase here. You know, I don’t want to see five minutes of you talking about why you created the video, you know, a really quick intro and then go straight into it.
Anthony: Right, when you google for a new YouTube video and then skip the first five minutes because they’re just talking about themselves.
Kaelan: Exactly, and that’s where I think I differentiate. I get straight to the point, you know, my courses are designed to just get straight to it. Here’s what I’m going to cover, let’s cover it. If you have questions here is documentation about it, you can also join the Facebook group. What I’m trying to do is build a community around people who are trying to learn Marketing Cloud, so it’s really… there’s a lot of communities out there. But there’s no one-stop-shop community where people can go that are specifically learning what it takes to pass these exams and to get a job in my courses. That environment, that community that people can join to really say, hey, I’m a part of this community. This is exactly where I need to go, this is the one place I need to be at I don’t need to have a hundred tabs open. I can be here to learn every single thing I need to know step by step to pass the certification without having to do a hundred Google searches for a data extension versus a list, you know, it’s all there for people who are learning. So yeah, it’s just it’s all put together.
Anthony: Actually, I’m going to jump at the one question I wanted to ask later, but 2020 been a pretty interesting year for the world so far I’m kind of curious have you seen a change in the way that your visitors on your website consume your courses given there’s a pandemic, has it changed?
Kaelan: It definitely has, it’s really crazy I didn’t really start doing this really heavy until the pandemic. Right up until I would say about a month or two before the pandemic. I started getting serious about teaching Marketing Cloud. So I don’t have too many metrics to go off of compared to pre-covid-19. But I will say that there are a lot more people who are interested in learning skills that they can use online. There has been an increasing demand for not only learning online but for trainers. Like before the pandemic I would tell people “Hey, I want to train Marketing Cloud. I want to teach Marketing Cloud”. That’s all I want to do. Like I can do an implementation that is cool. But I want to teach this to people to give them back what I already know and there was really not much interest for that up until the pandemic really because then there was this influx of people who are like hey, I want to learn this, and now all of a sudden they need to be a trainer to come over here in and teach these people and that’s the biggest shift that I’ve seen is beforehand learning and development. It wasn’t that big of a deal in terms of Marketing Cloud or Salesforce. But now I’m seeing there’s a big uptake and in the learning and development space.
Anthony: Oh, absolutely. I think you hit the timing just right on this. I also remember at the start of the pandemic even Salesforce themselves started to create more awareness about Trailhead and so on and then suddenly I saw a stream of people having their certificates on LinkedIn. Yeah, kudos well done. Maybe a bit more general just beyond Marketing Cloud even what do you think for marketers are the biggest challenges today given the situation?
Kaelan: I would say really for marketers it’s relating to people, you know, focusing on creating a campaign that matter to people and not coming off like you’re trying to just sell the people, you know, the biggest thing that I’ve seen for marketers, in general, is there’s a push for, hey, we have email marketing for a reason we have products we want to sell these products to our customers but really, you know, the biggest thing I would say is to focus on helping the customer and making sure that you’re providing value, you know to your customer base to your subscriber base. I would say especially with the pandemic people are looking for how people are looking for ways to improve their lives and I would say if you can give them a way to do that with your product I would say you’re going to set yourself off for a lot of success. Because if you can help somebody get further in life increase their value increase their status, you know, especially in this in this day and age, I mean people’s lives have been changed completely some not so much some drastically and if you can come in and then provide any sort of, you know, positive help to that change, I think that’s the biggest thing marketers can do now.
Anthony: That’s great. And how has your life changed by the way?
Kaelan: It’s funny that it didn’t really change that much other than the fact that I can’t just travel anywhere I want to. You know working in the Salesforce ecosystem is amazing like you can work remotely, I’m sitting here in my room. I’m sure you’re sitting somewhere either at home or at the office, but you don’t have to go into the office and it’s not a requirement. So I would say, you know, that’s the biggest thing about Salesforce that I really was attracted to when I first started but it hasn’t changed much other than the fact that I’m not traveling as much with that freedom to work anywhere I want to.
Anthony: Yeah, pretty much we have been lucky enough to be allowed to go back to the office, you know, where I’m based in Europe. But, of course, yes less travel. But fortunately enough as you said in the Salesforce ecosystem remote work is definitely possible. I think you know being able to work with marketers, marketing automation specialists, and just work with technical profiles. It seems that it’s very ingrained into the culture in business.
Kaelan: Yeah, really is not and that’s the biggest attraction for me is out. I want freedom, you know, freedom to basically work wherever I want as long as you get the job done, you know, that’s what really matters.
Anthony: Freedom of space in a sense. I’d like to go back here to something you’ve mentioned earlier in the interview that I thought was very interesting. I think you said that in your first project you were exposed to all modules?
Kaelan: Yes, I was so I worked at a company in Basin, Oklahoma City and we had the full suite of Marketing Cloud. So I was using everything like mobile push like I would you know, I would test all the messages that we were sending to our app, I would set up the SMS campaigns, I would set up the email campaign, make sure that the data was set up correctly do SQL, dabbled in some AMP script some HTML literally like when I say that the reason it took me so long to learn Marketing Cloud is that I had to learn so many different, you know things.
Anthony: You did it all?
Kaelan: Yeah, I would go to conferences like Connections in Chicago, learn about Interaction Studio or Mulesoft and you know, come back and start working on that. So it was like we were using everything that we could possibly use to get the most out of the system.
Anthony: So, of course, I have to ask which module did you like the most, and which module did you like the least?
Kaelan: I would say honestly, I like Automation Studio the most. It’s not the prettiest tool. It’s not like Journey Builder, but I like Automation Studio the most. I’m someone who thinks in terms of, you know, creating the right processes like this board right here this these boards are literally just the processes of how I do things jot it down on the board and I’m, you know, trying to recreate the process to make it as efficient as possible. And I think when you do that and you put that into an automation tool, like Automation Studio your life is just so much easier as you can segment your data you can you know, just basically you can import your data segment it, you know, export your data, transfer all of that without you know having to do it every single day, you know making sure that the process that is correct. And I like the fact that I don’t have to do tons of data work every single day once it’s set up.
Anthony: Yeah, I can relate. And which module do you like the least and why?
Kaelan: I honestly, I couldn’t say what I like the least.
Anthony: If not a module, the feature is fine.
Kaelan: I’ll tell you one thing. I do not like it whenever you create a data extension, you can’t change the order of the fields. I don’t know why that hasn’t happened yet but ever since I first started in Marketing Cloud in 2017, I’ve messed up. I created a data extension with like 50 fields and I messed up on the order of 1 maybe like somewhere between 36 and 37 and I was like, can I go back and change this? And I was like, yeah oh gosh, you can’t go back and change that order. That’s what I dislike the most but hopefully, there’s an update to that soon.
Anthony: Or you create a DE and you realize field number 7 out of whatever has the wrong field format and you just don’t care anymore. You’re like, oh God, this is from now on this number field is going to be a text field. That’s the way it’s going to be from now on.
Kaelan: Yeah, that’s definitely the most disliked feature, but I can’t say I dislike any module or anything like that or studio or builder. Definitely that feature right there.
Anthony: Now about your favorite module Automation Studio, I’ve heard feedback a couple of times it is still pretty technical to what extent do you think that marketers today should become technical?
Kaelan: I do think that you know marketers should have some technical abilities in Marketing Cloud whenever we’re talking about technicalities obviously we’re talking about the whole system being a technical system. So you have to understand obviously the basics of Marketing Cloud and at least understand how you know how to operate Marketing Cloud, but what I tell people all the time is if you know pretty much where to click buttons in Marketing Cloud you can get 90% of the job done. Like you can it’s like going to Facebook if you can go to Facebook and you know, which group you need to go to if you can like if you know the step by step process to creating a page or a group in Facebook, you can utilize Facebook if you know how to add friends. It’s the same thing, you know if you just know where to go.
Anthony: Thanks for bringing that up. You know the Salesforce ecosystem is very open. That’s one of the reasons why partners like it, customers like it, and obviously, we like it. Now you’ve had a try at DESelect as a segmentation solution so I’m kind of curious, what was your experience working with it?
Kaelan: I loved it. Especially, when I found out that you can create a resulting data extension in DESelect when I first used it I was like, okay, I’ve got to create this filter this, you know to create what would I need to create and then I realized I hadn’t created a resulting data extension and I was like, okay I’m going to have to either save this or delete all my progress leave out to exit out of DESelect go back create resulting data extension and it was like, “what do you want your resulting data extension to be named” and I was like, okay, this is legit because I mean you can do everything that you need to do with SQL with DESelect I was like if I had access to this when I first started off in Marketing Cloud the amount of “a” time I would have saved would have been like mind-boggling.
People would have been like, “how are you getting all this done that fast” that would have increased productivity also probably got me, you know some more recognition or something like that at my company because you know if you’re getting the job done extremely fast then people are going to recognize that be it would have just allowed me to also save time on having to learn “a” SQL and “b” refer back to SQL code and whatever just allowed me to do the same exact thing without having to learn that entire language to do it. It’s like I tell people all the time, you know like I’ve mentioned a little bit earlier if you get the job done, it doesn’t matter how you get it done as long as it’s obviously legal which good thing we’re doing is you know…
Anthony: We would assume this.
Kaelan: Yeah, it doesn’t matter how you get it done. And I think that’s the biggest thing people, especially through this pandemic are going to realize is that normal isn’t always the best, you know, you can adapt, you can overcome certain societal, I guess, societal norms and that’s just like a philosophical way of thinking about it, but that’s you know, also with your product DESelect is that you don’t have to learn a new language to get the job done. Like for example, you know, I don’t know if you got the new update on the iPhone, but there’s an app here on the iPhone if I could pull that but it’s like a translate app you don’t have to learn a new language to speak to people nowadays. You can just translate it on your iPhone. Technology has come so far it allows us to still do the same thing and get the job done without having to spend a ton of time learning how to do it. It’s just here now and that’s, you guys offer it’s something that’s here easy that you know easy learning curve, pick it up really quick, start working on it day one still get the same job done, you know, so.
Anthony: Thank you for sharing that and I do like the philosophical note that you left there. I guess obviously, it is so covid-19 pandemic has been horrible for the world and everyone in it, but it is anything good that it’s maybe that now we can think of more unconventional ways of getting things done remotely. Either at the way we learn and teach and maybe even how we do our own operations. To sum that up actually, not just DESelect but any apps on AppExchange in general do you think that people should have a look there and should also learn about and educate themselves about what apps are available there?
Kaelan: I think they should, I think that should come you know after they have an understanding of the platform and where they’re going to need to use it but for you know for somebody starting out learning the platform, but once you learn the platform definitely get an understanding of what is out there to help you make your life easier because at the end of the day if you make your job easier, you’re making your life easier. You know, I always look at it like this. I want to be the type of Marketing Cloud consultant that creates a solution that allows people to still get paid possibly even get paid more than they would normally get paid but by doing less work because your productivity is increased tenfold a hundredfold, you know, so if you’re still outputting either the same or more, you know output in less time, you still deserve to get paid the same or more.
That’s why I’m saying the whole societal norm is, you know, I think we’re so used to trade in our time for, you know, money. Yeah, and I think it should be the other way around. I think it should be you should be getting paid for what you produce and I think that you know, it’s important to know the tools that are out there that allow you to produce more. So if you can figure out the tools on that the AppExchange that allows you to get more done than in less time and without also, like I said “a” less time actually doing the activity “b” less time learning about how to use something difficult and just using a solution that’s already built to get the job done. I think that’s at the end of the day the only resource we can’t get back is time. So if you find a solution that saves you that, you know, you’re literally increasing, you know, I think life happiness overall.
Anthony: Oh yeah, I think it’s a beneficial thing for society obviously you’re increasing efficiency and I’m very much aligned on whether we should reward people on results and not just how much input they give. You know I think it’s a great note to end up with but are there any closing thoughts that you would like to share with our audience?
Kaelan: I would say the biggest thing is to stay hungry. Stay hungry for knowledge. Stay focused choose the niche you’re going to go into when you come into the Salesforce world Marketing Cloud is an amazing niche to come into, it’s only growing, I’ve heard regional managers, regional directors managers at Salesforce say “learning a Marketing Cloud is like becoming a brain surgeon” like you’re becoming so specialized and you’re going to be in such high demand. And everybody’s going to need marketing for their company so why not learn Marketing Cloud to get into this niche do that.
But also stay hungry to continue learning because, at the end of the day, we’re living in the information age. The more you learn the more you earn so that that goes back to figuring out which sort of apps you’ll need to increase your productivity. If you learn about an app, that’s because you put in the time to figure out which apps are going to help increase your productivity and more than likely going to earn more because you’re more productive to stay focused and stay hungry for learning. I think that’s the biggest thing in our society. There is so much that’s changing and it’s constantly changing especially in tech, but now the world is seeing that life is changing and if you don’t learn something new and you don’t adapt that I think it’s going to be hard to keep up. So learning is the best way to keep up. The powerful thing we have is our mind. So, utilize that that’s my biggest thought. That’s all I ever tell people. It’s to continue learning whatever it is that you know, you’re interested in yeah continue doing that right stuff.
Anthony: Yeah, so stay hungry, stay focused, keep educating yourself. Kaelan, I want to thank you so much for coming over to our series. Thanks
Kaelan: Thanks Anthony, thanks for having me.
Anthony: Our pleasure.
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