I started the Digital Mums social media management course in January this year, and as I come to the end of my 6 month learning journey I thought it might be good to share the ups and downs for those of you who might also be considering it.
Before I signed up I already had a pretty good understanding of social media. I have a very successful Facebook page for my blog and I had run my business using Facebook alone. I’d used social media to raise over £20,000 for the adaptions we needed to make to our house wheelchair accessible and I’d even run a social enterprise, primarily via Instagram & Twitter, with a friend selling slogan tees to raise over £5,ooo for a local charity. I’d also helped people use it for their own businesses but despite that I felt as though I wasn’t quite qualified enough to be doing it for a living, imposter syndrome at its finest!
I’d seen people recommending graduated Digital Mums for jobs in some Facebook groups I was in and heard them mentioned on Podcasts. It sounded like the way to be considered a professional social media manager was to do their course so I signed up in October 2017 to start in January 2018 and was full of excitement about what was to come.
As part of the Digital Mums course you have to plan and run a live campaign using your choice of social media channels, this was probably the hardest part of the course. Deciding what topic you want to concentrate on and build a community around for the next 6 months was so hard, and I bored my friends senseless trying to decide. But eventually, after a couple of changes, More Than A Mutha was born with the intention of celebrating all the things us mums achieve, on top of being awesome parents!
My peer group, ‘The Social Seven’ (although there are now only six of us) was an integral part of my learning, and without them I probably would have jacked it in months ago out of sheer frustration. Thanks to our WhatsApp group and our weekly video hangouts we all managed to stay sane, and succeed in growing some really successful campaigns. Over the last 6 months together we’ve been through pretty much every emotion you can imagine in our quest to become Digital Mums.
Fear of what was to come and whether we’d picked the right campaigns.
Nervousness of our first video hangout and panic around whether we could actually do this!
Frustration, and often disappointment, about the course content itself. And sometimes even anger when we expressed our disappointment and were fobbed off with excuses by Digital Mums HQ.
Sadness when one of our peer group decided to quit.
Excitement when our influencers engaged with us, or in the case of Elizabeth, when celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and John Torode engaged with her on The North Essex Larder!
Intrigue and fascination when Maria opted for a live Instagram interview with one of her biggest influencers instead of a twitter chat on her Relove My Fashion campaign.
Delight when we fell in love with running our campaigns and realised that each of us had chosen the perfect one which was not only fun but was allowing us to meet some incredible people.
Admiration at seeing all the amazing places Claire was finding to visit for her Cambs With Kid campaign.
Surprise at the lack of direct support from the Digital Mums team, and concern when throughout our 6 months we only had feedback about our campaigns 3 times, and were pretty much left to our own devices the rest of the time. Even disillusionment when we only had 2 x 15 minute video chats with a tutor throughout the whole six months.
Stress when Twitter analytics weren’t showing us all the figures we needed for our reports… until the very last week!
Admiration when Lucy was doing so much exercise for her Girl Dunmow Well campaign and guilt that we weren’t!
Anxiety around whether our twitter chats would be successful, whether anyone else would get involved or if it would just be the 6 of us. But this soon turned to relief and happiness when all our hard work paid off and our twitter chats went down a storm.
Tiredness when some weeks became too much and regret that we didn’t savour the first few weeks of the Digital Mums course when there wasn’t much to do at all.
Determination when we realised that we’d have to look elsewhere for a lot of the information we needed to learn to be really up to date and confident in ourselves.
Depressed when we realised that would mean we might have to pay for more online training to enhance our learning. Grateful whenever one of the group found a useful source of great information or advice for us to learn more from.
Terror when I took on my first client during week 17 but joy when they loved what I did for them and confident when I realised that actually I am rather good at this.
Shock and awe when Ruth’s A Place To Meet Facebook post about a local play area went viral in her area.
Skint, although that’s more a fact than a feeling. The course cost us £2000 but we hadn’t considered the additional costs each of us would incur from choosing our particular campaigns. From having to buy food for a food campaign, to shopping in charity shops or going to children’s activity venues, each of us has spent a small fortune for our campaigns even before having to budget for advertising.
Regret that none of us decided to use LinkedIn for our campaigns which means we now need to invest some time building our presence on there for our own business purposes. Rookie mistake!
Guilty about the lack of time we’ve spent with our kids, or that the time we have spent with them has been with one eye on our a phone. Turns out that trying to find flexible work means you’re not always able to focus on your kids so the mum guilt is real.
Concerned about the future as a social media manager as we don’t all feel job ready, as we were promised. We thought we’d feel empowered and confident by now but that’s not really the case for all of us.
Confused about some of the practicalities of how to run a business as that isn’t part of the course and not all of our group have business backgrounds.
Hopeful that joining the DM Collective (the group for graduated Digital Mums) and the ‘Do The Hustle’ course when we graduate will help fill in the gaps and boost our self esteem so we are ready to take on the world.
Inspired to keep on top of the ever changing social media landscape and excited about helping businesses harness the power that social media can bring to their brand.
And thrilled to be meeting the rest of the ‘Social Seven’ (now 6) in the flesh for the first time in September!
Who knew that a 6 month social media course could be such a roller coaster ride of emotions!
Right now I’m feeling pretty glad it’s almost over and normal service can soon resume! But also really excited about what the future holds for all of us as we are all determined to be successful, and I know we will be.
More Than A Mutha is here to stay for the time being, so don’t go anywhere!
Have you got your ticket for the More Than A Mutha Collective Launch? Click here for more information.