Episode 02 | Transcript

Kaelan Moss: Starting Your Career in SFMC and Learning Technical Skills

Anthony Lamot: I’m Anthony from DESelect. In today’s, interview, I’ll be talking with Kaelan Moss also known as the MinuteAdmin. Kaelan recently became a Salesforce Marketing Cloud certified instructor, and he has created a very thorough learning platform for SFMC professionals. Now, we will be talking about how you can quickly gain expertise in SFMC, and how to leverage this in the current job market. And we will also be discussing different modules of the platform. So sit back and enjoy. Hi, Calen. Welcome to the series.

Kaelan Moss: Hey there, Anthony. Thanks for having me.

AL: Well, you know, my pleasure. Really. We’re glad to have you here. Could you please introduce yourself to our audience?

KM: Yeah. So my name is Kaelan Moss, also known as MinuteAdmin for people who follow my YouTube channel, you know, I am a Marketing Cloud basically e-mail specialist consultant administrator. Anything you wanna, you know, throw in there everything kinda besides that developer role. I’m also a Marketing Cloud instructor. So, about a month ago, I was actually certified, as a Salesforce Marketing Cloud instructor, so.

AL: Congratulations.

KM: Yeah, that was a, very thorough process and I’m definitely glad to have that under my belt now. So that’s probably my proudest achievement right now in the Marketing Cloud space is being certified by Salesforce and having that stamp of approval to be able to teach their courses. So, yeah.

AL: That’s great. And I’m 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?

KM: 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 gonna 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 sparked from, showing them what they needed to know without spending years teaching them a subject.

AL: All right. Yeah, I love it. It’s a catchy name too. So, you know, good pick. When, when did you start on your own journey?

KM: I started in 2017. So September of 2017, 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 in Salesforce, but that was me for, you know, for Marketing Cloud. So yeah, I really started in October of 2017.

AL: Why, I must say it’s pretty impressive then that you’re already an instructor. It sounds like you’ve done, 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 Helen, are there any, are you working on any courses that we should be excited about?

KM: 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 e-mail specialists 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, you know, design a course that shows people the Marketing Cloud system. Since a lot of people don’t have access to it, you know, showing how to do things through video and also through documentation that I’ve created. You know, to show people, you know, what a Data Extension versus a list is. You know, what data filters, SQL query activity is, Automation Studio versus Journey Builder, and when you would use one or the other as well as study guides. So there are not many study guides out there for people. And so I’ve started creating e-mail specialist study guides and Marketing Cloud administrator study guides as well. So people have not only the types of questions they’re gonna see on the exam, but they’ll also have every single definition they’ll 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, you know, 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, you know, 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 him what it is. I’ve also given links to official documentation to go learn more about that. And then, you know, for each section, I’ve done that, for each section of each exam. And then also just, you know, given exam questions on top of that. So that’s yeah, that’s the second piece. And then I’ve also created 35 to 40 Marketing Cloud interview questions with, you know, exactly the types of questions I’ve been asked what other people have been asked and…

AL: Sorry to interrupt you. These are interview questions for job interviews?

KM: Yeah, for job interviews. So, you know, I wanted to, you know, obviously teach people Marketing Cloud but, you know, 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 message inbox as well as e-mail messages I’ve been receiving is 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, provide a lot of value to people and, they not only learn Marketing Cloud but they learn the types of questions that’ll show up in an interview.

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AL: I’m sure. And I love also the interview questions because you give it real-world practical applications. Also like the dictionary, I remember gosh when I had to study for these accents which is 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, do you think could benefit the most from your courses? Who are the courses for?

KM: Really, it’s for obviously anybody 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, you know, learn that Marketing Cloud platform, and really get Marketing Cloud certified. So really anybody who’s not Marketing Cloud, e-mail specialist certified or administrator certified, you know, definitely that’s who the course was designed for. Also, you know, the courses 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 as kind of like a one-stop shop to really just basically learn everything when it comes to Marketing Cloud and refresh on their skills when it comes to Marketing Cloud.

AL: Yeah, getting, I mean, staying with the topic of the interview questions for just a little bit longer. Is this something that people asked you about?

KM: 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’ve probably got 10 people asking me for real-world interview questions, right? So I was like, you know, there was a point where I was, you know, just calling them on the phone or sending them one one-on-one like just typing it up and saying here’s what I’ve been asked and I 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 found me or, you know, we’re courageous enough to reach out to me and ask me those questions. So I just went ahead, and, you know, fill a need that, I’ve been seeing is there and hopefully that helps a lot of people.

AL: Great. It, it, I think it justifies a good entrepreneurial instinct. And so you mentioned the specialist certificate you mentioned, the admin certificate, will there be a dev certificate at some point you think?

I hope to work with a developer to create that course. So I have been as I’ve been creating the courses that the admin and the e-mail specialist courses. I’ve also been thinking about how I’m gonna create the consultant certification course which will come up next after this. But, you know, my biggest thing is I’m not a developer. I’m not someone who knows server-side JavaScript and gets really heavy into the development tools like API. But I would love to co-create a course with a developer or with a team of developers and just really utilize, the knowledge that we both have or maybe myself and a team have, and come together and create a course like that. So that’s definitely on the horizon but I will need some help with that.

AL: Okay. Well, we’ll do a little shout-out right now. So if there are any good developers listening to this, you know who to go to. I think there’s a great opportunity to create something that could be really useful to the community. Now going back to your own learning experience, you know, you’ve gone far away. Obviously, you’re you know, justifiably an expert, but how long did it take? Let’s say until you felt proficient with Marketing Cloud.

KM: I would say it wasn’t really until I started teaching it to other people, and that was just, you know, that wasn’t, that’s not even the 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 e-mail studio, mobile studio, interaction studio, you know, an Automation Studio Journey Builder. And IU, I was kind of like, you know, what did they say? A 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 is 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 like from day one and it was just like, where do I go from here? I didn’t have any guidance there. There wasn’t Trailhead when I first started. Well, there was 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.

AL: What you just said is so relatable, especially the part about you becoming proficient. The moment you teach. I think they’re for Marketing Cloud admin is probably a good role in teaching their company about the product and I’ll make them better admins. So your courses are very interesting. But what distinguishes Minute Admin courses from the others?

KM: So, my courses really a, my course is like, you know like I said, I focus on making sure you understand the concept. You understand what you need to know. I’m one of those people that’s like, 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, really quick intro, and then go straight into it. And that’s where I’m…

AL: It’s like when you Google for a new YouTube video and then you always have to just skip the first five minutes because they’re talking about themselves.

KM: Exactly. And that’s where I feel like I differentiate is I get straight to the point, you know, my courses are designed to just get straight to it here’s. What I’m gonna cover, let’s cover it. If you have questions here’s documentation about it. 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, you know, it’s really there’s a lot of communities out there. But what I’ve seen is that there are not many there. Not like a one-stop shop community where people can go that are specifically learning exams and, to get a job in my course, is that you know, 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 100 tabs open. I can be here, and learn every single thing I need to know step by step to pass the certification without having to do 100 Google searches for a data extension or, a list. You know, it’s all there for people who are learning. So, yeah, it’s all put together a.

AL: Yeah, actually, I’m gonna jump ahead to one question I wanted to ask later, but 2020, it’s 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 the pandemic, has it changed?

KM: It definitely has, it’s really crazy because I didn’t really start doing this super heavy until the pandemic, like 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, but I will say that people are a lot more interested in learning, you know, learning skills that they can use online. I will say that, yeah, there’s been an increase in demand, for not only learning online but also 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 wanna do. Like I can do an implementation that’d be 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 there needs to be a trainer to come over here 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, in the learning and development space.

AL: 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. So, 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?

KM: I would say really for marketers, it’s relating to people, you know, not creating a, you know, let’s say focusing on creating campaigns that matter to people and not coming off like you’re trying to just sell to people. You know, the biggest thing that I’ve seen for marketers in general is there’s a push for, hey, we have e-mail marketing for a reason. We have products, and 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, 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 gonna set yourself up 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, is in this day and age, I mean people’s lives have been, you know, changed completely some not so much, some drastically. And if you can come in, and provide any sort of, you know, positive help to that change. I think that’s the biggest thing marketers can do now.

AL: Sounds great. And, how is your life changed by the way?

KM: It’s funny. I, it didn’t really change that much other than the fact that, I can’t just travel anywhere I want to without, you know, like, you know, working in the Salesforce ecosystem, is it’s amazing like, you can work remotely, you can, you know, 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.

AL: Yeah, pretty much the same here. 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, yeah, let’s travel. But fortunately enough, as you said in the Salesforce ecosystem, remote work is definitely possible. And I think, you know, being able to work with marketers, marketing automation specialists, and just more technical profiles. It seems that it’s very ingrained into the culture and business.

KM: Yeah, it is. It really is not, and that’s the biggest attraction for me is, I want freedom of, you know, freedom to basically work wherever I want as long as you get the job done, you know, that’s what really matters.

AL: Freedom of space in a sense.

KM: Exactly.

AL: Hey, I’d like to go back here to something you 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.

KM: Yes, I was. So, I worked at a company based in 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 e-mail campaigns, make sure that the data was, you know, set up correctly, do SQL, dabbled in some AMPScript, some HTML, literally, like when I say, the reason it took me so long to learn Marketing Cloud is that, I had to learn so many different, you know, things.

I Did everything and so, and, you know, 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.

AL: So, I gotta ask which module did you like the most? And of course, which one did you like least?

KM: Yeah, 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. It’s to me. I’m someone who thinks in terms of, you know, creating the right process is like this board right here., these boards are literally just the processes of how I do things jotted 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 that and you put that into an automation tool like Automation Studio, your life is just so much easier. Like, 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, just, you know, making sure that the process, is correct. And I like that. I like the fact that I don’t have to do tons of data work every single day once it’s set up, you know? So.

AL: Yeah, I can relate… so, but that leaves us which module do you like the least. And why?

KM: So, which one do I like the least … I couldn’t say what I like the least. I’m just trying to think of.

AL: If not the module, a feature is fine.

KM: I will tell you one thing, I do not like is whenever you create a Data Extension, you can’t change the order of the fields. That to me is like the most like, that to me, I don’t know why that hasn’t happened yet. But ever since I, you know, first started in Marketing Cloud in 2017, I’ve messed up like I’ve created a Data Extension. I created a Data Extension with like 50 fields in it one time and I messed up on the order of one, maybe like fields 36 and 37. And I was like, can I go back and change this? And I was like, gosh, yeah, so couldn’t go back and change that order. That’s what I would say like, I dislike the most, but hopefully there’s an update to that soon.

AL: You created, and then you realize field number seven out of whatever has its own field format and you just don’t care anymore. You’re like, this is from now on this number of fields is gonna be a text field. It’s gonna be the way it’s gonna be from now on.

KM: Yes, yes, yeah, 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, but definitely, that feature right there.

AL: Now, for your favorite module Automation Studio, you know, I’ve had the feedback a couple of times that it’s still pretty technical. To what extent do you think that marketers today should become technical?

KM: 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 really just understand how to, you know, 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 percent of the job done like you, 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 and 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. So that’s what I tell people when they’re learning Marketing Cloud is just know where to go, know where things are at. And once you get there, know what you’re actually doing when you press that button, which is why, you know, Salesforce is so great because they’re all about clicks, not code. And so that leads me to say, you know, as far as technical abilities, I would say, I do encourage people to learn some SQL as well as AMPScript. And I don’t really go much further than that if they want to learn HTML, server-side JavaScript, you can learn that. But there are so many different ways to get around to know SQL and things like that. So which is what you guys offer, the DESelect. So, you know, that’s why, I’m not super big on telling people you have to learn SQL anymore because they’re solutions like yours which are so great that allow people to yeah, to continue to just know where to click and still get the job done.

AL: Yeah, and well, thank you for bringing it up. You know, the Salesforce ecosystem is very open that’s I think one reason why a lot of customers, and partners like it. And obviously, we like it. Now, you’ve had a try at DESelect as a segmentation solution. So I’m kinda curious what was your experience working with it?

KM: I loved it especially when I found out that you could 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, create, what I need to create. And then I realized I hadn’t created a resulting Data Extension. And I was like, okay, I’m gonna have to either save this or delete all my progress, leave out, exit out of DESelect. Go back, and create my resulting Data Extension. And it was like, what do you want your resulting Data Extension to be named? And I was like, okay, yeah, this is it. And because I mean, you can do everything that you need to do with SQL with DESelect. And I was like, if there was if I had access to this when I first started off in Marketing Cloud, the amount of 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, it would have just allowed me to also save time on having to a learn SQL B, refer back to SQL code and would have just allowed me to do the same exact thing without having to learn that entire language to do it. It’s like I was tell people all the time, you know… like I 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 everything we’re doing is right? We, we go on the star. Yeah, you know, as long as you’re getting the job done, 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, a, you can overcome certain societal, I guess societal norms and that’s just like a, you know, 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’ve got the new update on the iPhone, but there’s an app here on the iPhone if I could pull it up, but it’s like a, it’s 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.


KM: And, you know, technology has come so far and it allows us to still do the same thing, get the job done without having to spend a ton of time learning how to do it. It’s it’s just here now and that’s what you guys offer. It’s something that’s here easy to, 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.

AL: Great. Thank you for sharing that. And I do like the philosophical note that you left here. I guess obviously this whole COVID-19 pandemic has been pretty horrible for the world and everyone in it. But if there’s anything good that it’s maybe that now we can think of more unconventional ways of getting things done, be it remote working, be it the way we learn and teach and maybe even do our own operations… to sum that up actually not just DESelect but any apps on the AppExchange. In general. Do you think that people should have a look there that should also learn about and educate themselves about what apps are available there?

KM: I think they should, I think that should come, you know, after they have an understanding of the platform and where they’re gonna need to use it. But, you know, for, you know, for somebody starting out, learn 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 wanna be the type of Marketing Cloud consultant that creates a solution that allows people to still get paid, possibly even get paid more then get paid. But by doing less work because your productivity is increased 10 fold 100 fold, 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 about the whole societal norm thing is, you know, I think we’re so used to trading our time for, you know, money. Yeah. And I think it should be the other way I think it should be, you should be getting paid for what you produce. And I think that, you know, it’s know the tools that are out there that allow you to produce more. So if you can figure out the tools on the AppExchange that allow you to get more done then in less time. And also like I said, less time actually doing the activity, be 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 because you’re getting quite a.

AL: Yeah. And, I think it’s a beneficial thing for society. Obviously, you are increasing efficiency. And I’m very much aligned with your thinking that, we should reward people on results, not just how much input they give… you know, I think this is a great note maybe to end up with. But are there any closing thoughts that you would like to share with our audience?

KM: I would say the biggest thing is to stay hungry, stay hungry for knowledge, stay focused, choose the niche you’re gonna go into when you come into, the Salesforce world Marketing Cloud is an amazing niche to come into. It’s. Only growing. I mean, I’ve heard, you know, people say I’ve heard regional managers at Salesforce, regional directors, managers at Salesforce say, you know, learning Marketing Cloud is like becoming a brain surgeon like you’re becoming so specialized and you’re gonna be in such high demand and everybody is going to need marketing for their company. So why not learn Marketing Cloud, get into this niche, and do that, but also stay hungry to continue learning at the end of the day, we’re living in the information age and the more you learn, the more you earn. So, you know, so that goes back to figuring out which sort of apps you’ll need to increase your productivity. If you learn about an app, you know, that’s because you put in the time to figure out which apps are going to help increase your productivity and you’re more than likely going to earn more because you’re more productive. So stay focused. Stay hungry for learning. I think that the biggest thing in our society is there’s 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 you know, adapt, I think it’s gonna be hard to keep up. So learning is the best way to keep up. The most powerful thing we have is our mind. So utilize that. That’s my biggest thought that’s all I ever to tell people is continue learning whatever it is that, you know, you’re interested in. Yeah, continue doing that.

AL: Great stuff. Yeah. So keep hungry, stay focused. Keep educating yourself. Kalean, I want to thank you so much for making time to come in on our series. And yeah, thanks.

KM: Thanks, Anthony. Thanks for having me.

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