We’re on countdown to the start of our next pilot of the 12 month Social Media Management Course 3.0, starting on 28th January. The beauty of this course is that it’s only 7 hours a week so is perfect for women already working full time or with full time commitments (like pre school-aged kids!). You can read more about the course here.
We’re actually half way through our first pilot which we launched last Autumn so to give you a real flavour of how our students are getting on, we caught up with three of them, Kirsten, Debbie and Joana. Read on to hear about their experience so far...
‘I intend to grow my own enterprise without compromising my home and family life' - Kirsten Toft
"I’ve worked in marketing and digital for financial services brands for over 20 years and am currently work full time as a digital optimisation manager. It’s not the easiest when you have two boys, aged 10 and 7, a household to run, various clubs to cart boys to and from, plus the commuting - all as a one-car family - across the countryside of Gloucestershire! Phew!
Two years ago I knew I needed to change my routine without giving up everything I’d built through my career - but I felt there were no options - it was either full-on work or give up everything. That binary choice was demoralising to say the least.
But then along came Digital Mums…
Fast-forward a year or so and I’m part way through the pilot 12 month Social Media Management Course 2.0. What I enjoy and appreciate the most is the flexibility of it. I can squeeze it in each week when I need to, dialling it up and down as my week dictates whilst staying on track.
Whilst the course itself is taught remotely, it has plenty of support opportunities: my student peer group, the Mothership, the course content giving hints and tips for further reading and all the video tutorials keeping it interesting. During those really-busy-at-work weeks, you can’t really fall too far behind because the momentum of these combined facets keeps you going.
The learning curve is monumental, and that’s with me speaking from a marketing background! When I look back to November 2017, I didn’t know a thing about optimising my profile or scheduling posts or saving content with Pocket or creating my own GIFs - the list goes on!
As for the time commitment, all mums (all parents in fact) are great jugglers, right?
Taking on this course requires structure and determination - something I’ve learnt the hard way. The hours aren’t actually that long - at 7 hours per week - but I found myself easily forgetting to incorporate my new learning routine in with the more established home/work routine.
It’s taken me a while to weave that extra routine in but it does happen and now that extra juggling ball is much easier to handle. I’ve even noticed the boys gaining an interest in what I’m doing and that initial culture-shock for my family, of me constantly being nose-deep in my laptop or phone, has ebbed away too!
Back to the only choice I thought I had 2 years ago of “do everything or do nothing” - how wrong I was. With the new social media management skills I’ll have learnt on this course, I intend to create a work set-up that reflects my drive to succeed, use my 20+ years of marketing experience and enable me to grow my own enterprise without compromising my home and family life. Becoming a freelance social media manager for small businesses really will tick all the boxes. “Working mum” has now takes on a whole new, positive meaning. And at 43, this feels very empowering!”
'I've already started volunteering for Oxfam's fashion twitter channel' Debbie Smith
"I have really enjoyed learning again and find social media fascinating. I love how, when it comes to social media, Digital Mums has created a set methodology to work through - there are so many conflicting blogs and articles online on how to do social media right but Digital Mums has created a really authoritative and clear approach.
I'm currently working 4 days a week in London in a completely unrelated role in finance. I chose to do Digital Mums partly to learn job-ready skills and brush up on social media, but also because I’ve have had it in my mind to start a fashion blog for a really long time. I was so excited that I was able to create my own fashion campaign as part of this course.
I use my commute into London 3 days a week very wisely - generally scheduling posts and engaging with my followers. The workload goes up and down, so there are weeks where it is probably slightly harder to juggle, but generally I am finding that I can work on it in the evening and if I'm super organised about scheduling then I can pretty much manage whatever is going on in life - usually quite a lot with two kids under five!
I’m keeping my options open as to what the future holds. I have recently started volunteering on the Oxfam Fashion Twitter which is great experience for working with clients in the future. I just want to keep learning and to see where the opportunity takes me!”
'I am expanding my professional horizons' - Joana Mateus
"My son Thomas, 4 was diagnosed with autism a year ago. He is an utter joy and while it didn’t come as a surprise it really woke me up to the fact that I am bound by a 5 day a week job - I’m a Portuguese journalist and work as a TV producer for an international news agency = and that my main job, being Thomas' mum would require me to be much more present than I had initially expected.
I realised I had to expand my professional horizons, gain new skills and understand how I could potentially get more flexibility that would allow me to be there for Thomas as he starts school. Leaving my current job altogether would be financially crippling but I’ve thought perhaps I could scale back my current work to three days a week and do the other two from home as a social media manager. That would be a dream come true.
I have already learned a lot on the strategy side since starting the training. I started a blog, www.mindthemummy.com two years ago and the course has already taught me how I was doing things wrong on Twitter, for starters. The real value always come with having a seamless plan of action. The pie chart and the user personas we learn about, for instance, are really valuable tools.
We’re only a half way through the course so I am not yet talking to potential clients. I am already looking forward to the Do The Hustle part of the Course where we learn how to set up as a freelancer and ideas to find work.
The schmoozing I have done throughout my campaign has put me on the radar of some of the businesses I would be looking to approach so I am hoping to capitalise on that when the right time comes. I would really like to manage clients in the food industry. I am a writer by profession and I can also edit video so I love the idea of perhaps getting together with a few other Digital Mum graduates who have different skills and offering up really exciting packages to potential clients.”