We’re often asked how we get the results we do (4 out of 5 of our vocational course students go on to find work that works around their family) with an online training course. The answer in short form is: we’re not just any old online training course! For those who’d prefer the longer answer though, we’ve pulled this blog together to give you a taste of what it’s like studying the Digital Mums way. This includes some sample lessons and an overview of our vocational approach to training that gets you job-ready like no other online training can.
To start with, you need to know that on our social media vocational training you will get over 350 hours of training. That’s a lot of experience under your belt before you’ve even started looking for work - and it’s a lot of content to deliver and keep updated!
Because of the fast changing nature of social media (literally, not a week goes by without some change taking place) and the fact we create all of our 200 lessons in-house, it’s a tall task making sure everything is the latest screenshots or videos at all times. We instead concentrate on making sure the core learning materials are in line with the latest developments. To give you an idea of how current our content is, 94% of our lessons have been updated in the last three months and the remaining 6% are in the process of being updated.
So what is REAL Learning?
In its simplest form, REAL Learning is learning by doing. Unlike the majority of online courses out there, our focus is to get people job-ready so they can find rewarding work that fits in around family life. Instead of offering theory-based courses with simulated projects, you will run a real-life social media campaign during your training - putting into practice all the elements needed to be a successful social media marketer. You gain a level of experience you simply couldn’t get from a more traditional content and knowledge-based course, which helps you do the job for real when you graduate.
So, what does our content actually look like?
We know that people learn in different ways and that time is precious as a mum, which is why we include different learning formats throughout our training, from podcasts and interactive video tutorials to Google Hangouts and practical assignments. We also want to keep it fun and reading document after document is not going to keep students motivated. Here’s some examples of how we like to mix our content up:
Podcasts aren't enough by themselves, but in tandem with other content types they're a great way to stay learning while you're busy. Here's an example of one of the podcasts that you'd listen to around the time you develop your user personas. It's a great introduction to the different social media platforms, how they should be used and who's on them. When you're next cooking, driving or at the gym, give it a listen!
A lot of the material we teach is quite complex, so we’re conscious of not bombarding you with long paragraphs of text as this just isn't an effective way to learn. Students zone out and find it hard to take in lots of dense information. Breaking things up into visual and interactive formats make it much easier for the learning to sink in. And it's way more fun!
Luckily, in 2019 there are so many cutting-edge digital technologies that make this possible. One of these is Articulate, which lets us create interactive content visuals for you to work through. Here is an example of one of these lessons to give you an idea of how immersive our training materials are.
On a similar note, we’re very much over the PowerPoint party. Instead we use Touchcast to put the fun into presenting. Best described in their own words: "TouchCast looks like TV and feels like the web,” which basically means while you’re watching a presentation, you will be able to pause at different points to get a more in-depth view of a particular topic. Seeing is believing - take a look at this sample lesson below
Let’s get organised
We don’t just teach you the theory, we show you the best tricks and tools to put your learnings into practice. One of the tools we use is Trello. Post-its meets wallchart meets calendar, Trello allows you to organise your weekly and daily tasks, tag in work colleagues, link to documents, colour code by priority (goodbye, highlighter pens), add notes and checklists to yours and other people’s boards and change priorities with a quick click and a swipe. One of the ways we use it on our training is when students are pulling together User Personas for their client or campaign. Our walk-through video below shows exactly how to use it and we even create a template for students to adapt or use as is!
We don’t just love you and leave you
Once you graduate, we don't just dust our hands off and call it a day. We want you to build a sustainable freelance career that supports you and your family for years to come. We give you a range of after-care support to help you do just that, including our Do The Hustle resource bank. You can read more about this here, but essentially it’s a free resource bank where you'll get access to dozens of hours worth of content, focused on teaching you how to set up as a freelancer and find paying clients.
Last, but definitely not least, there’s our amazing alumni community, the #DMCollective - a virtual tribe of freelancers to share ideas, successes, challenges, questions, best practice, and job opportunities with. Many go on to work together with some teaming up to cover holidays, share work opportunities and even form their own agencies together. It’s a really special community and one that will support you throughout your freelance journey.