You Go Girl!

I remember being stunned the moment I was told that I had made it on to the Social Media Marketing Programme. Totally nerve racked, I hadn’t officially studied for 25 years — could I really do this? Feeling proud of myself for being accepted on to the course I was simultaneously terrified about failing and unsure about how I was actually going to fit all the hours of work / study in around the family and my three day a week job in London.

Thoughts quickly turned to wondering who I would get as my client, my partner for the next 6 months? I filled in a questionnaire with my interests and preferences and then shortly before the course began, I found out that I had been matched with the very talented artist, Jo Peel. Her work spans large mural commissions, fine art painting through to limited edition screen prints and it was the promotion of the screen prints that Jo wanted help with. Unable to be measured on driving sales, my KPIs were set on driving traffic to her website (also the location of her print shop) and we developed a competition to win one of three limited edition Jo Peel prints.

There were a number of real challenges I encountered doing this intensive course, both personal and professional, but if you don’t try you never know and I am a believer that you only learn by going out of your comfort zone. Having mild dyslexia I had always learnt best when I had a physical memory e.g. gone to a class, listened to someone explain or show me how to do something, and now I was embarking on a remote working programme. Time management was incredibly challenging from the outset, there were so many new things to take on board, so many online tools to get my head round, weekly deadlines and never enough time to cover everything in the depth that I wanted to. Juggling the course and family demands saw me often working through the evenings and weekends but I loved learning. I found that self doubt and could creep in when working alone, so I went and worked in local coffee shops and a shared office in town. This is where my wonderful cohort come in; practical and supportive, we managed to meet up face to face fairly regularly throughout the course and I looked forward to our weekly Wednesday hangouts.

It was a great moment when the campaign had kicked in and I suddenly thought ‘I can do this’. It was gratifying to see the spikes in website traffic, empowering to be able to source and post relevant content, and schedule posts for days in advance. Having moved out of London to Kent, I had a lot resting on the course. All of a sudden there was a glimmer of hope, that #workthatworks was possible.

My biggest success was actually getting to the end of the course having been millimetres away from backing out at least 3 times during the 6 months. Showing my children aged 14yrs and 10yrs the tenacity you sometimes need in life and how difficult studying can be, but also how rewarding it is when it all goes right.

If people are serious about a career change, and/or about optimising their marketing skills for todays communications channels then I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the course, but I would caveat with a number of considerations; Ask yourself are you disciplined, are you self motivated, are you good at self learning, do you really have enough hours each week to do all the coursework and finally do you have the backing of your family? Without the support, motivation, understanding and love from my husband and children I wouldn’t have been able to get through the last 6 months. My birthday present was a wonderful original typographic framed screen print shouting out ‘You Go Girl’, which took pride of place on my desk.

Having completed the DM SMMP course (not yet graded!) I feel totally energised and excited about my new career opportunities. My vision is to help solopreneurs and SMEs to successfully reach their business goals whether that is setting up their marketing strategy, planning and executing their social media campaigns or empowering them to be able to manage their own social media channel. You can email me at Hannah@HanSocial.co.uk!