So MCC is a pretty cool option when it comes to managing client AdWords accounts, but there seems to be confusion (myself included) about the best way to set everything up when you ALSO want to have an AdWords account to advertise your own business. From what I can gather there are many ways to make this happen, but here’s one suggested way that does work. This method assumes that you don’t already have an MCC account setup, and that you don’t have an AdWords account setup for your business. In theory if you didn’t mind losing your existing AdWords data you could create a new AdWords account and then move forward. If you already have an AdWords account and you can’t lose the data, there are some workarounds on the Google support forums to try to help you setup an MCC account while keeping your current data.
The Big Picture Here: You are going to create an MCC account to help you manage client AdWords accounts, but you are also going to create an AdWords account that you can use to advertise your own business’ services. So basically you will have an MCC with a bunch of clients, and your own busisness will be a “client” of yours, as well.
So here’ the situation:
1. You have a separate Google Account for your own personal use, and now you want to separate some of your business and clients out of this personal account. So go ahead and create a new Google Account for your business (E.g. email@example.com).
2. Enable Gmail so you become firstname.lastname@example.org (or something similar that you like), as later on when you are going to want to be able to share Google Analytics data, you will find that you cannot share Analytics data with a non-gmail email address.
3. Now you have a Google Account for your business and a Gmail account for your business, it’s time to create the MCC. When you create the MCC, use your business’s Gmail account address, as this is the address you are going to use to manage all of your clients in the MCC (e.g. email@example.com).
4. Once MCC is configured, go ahead and set up an AdWords account outside of MCC (e.g. as if you were setting up an AdWords account and you’ve never heard of MCC before), using an email from your business’s domain as the email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). And yes, this will be another Google Account you have to create. But with this new Google Account (email@example.com), don’t enable Gmail or other Google services. The idea here is that you are going to use firstname.lastname@example.org to manage everything for your business and for your clients — EXCEPT for your company’s own AdWords account. And since you are going to be managing your OWN AdWords account (the email@example.com) from within your MCC (e.g. you’re not going to need to go to AdWords and login as “firstname.lastname@example.org), then I’d simply setup “email@example.com” as an email forwarder. Of course remember to setup the forwarder BEFORE you create the AdWords account.
5. Now simply link this new AdWords account to your MCC, and you can now manage “yourself” along with your other clients.
And just to clarify, you will need a Google Account for your business to manage your client’s services such as Analytics and your MCC (firstname.lastname@example.org). But in order to create your OWN AdWords account WITHIN the MCC — e..g to manage your own company’s advertising (E.g. to advertise the fact that you manage AdWords for people), you will need to create a new AdWords account (email@example.com), which in turn is what will require the creation of the second Google Account. Whew!
* Note: In theory you could simply setup a new AdWords account via the MCC that does not require a verified email address, so it’s possible that you could create an AdWords account for your business advertising without having to create a second Google Account just for the “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address. I’ve read this is possible but I’ve never tried it — so if anyone out there has tried this approach can you verify it for the rest of us?
Hope this helps!