The 9 Building Blocks of Confidence via Digital Mums’ Social Media Marketing Course

I’m not entirely sure why, but a lot of us Mums these days lack confidence.

“I’ve forgotten everything.”

“The working world has moved on while I’ve been playing Peppa Pig with my kids.”

“The full-time working Mums look down on me for being at home.”

“I just don’t get Twitter.”

“Have I missed the Social Media Revolution?”

“In short, I’m scared I’ve turned into a marketing Dinosaur.”

This is what I was saying to myself when I first heard about the Digital Mums concept to get Mums back to work flexibly through an online Social Media Marketing course. My heart said “Yes! Go for it” but my demons were holding me back. So I held back. Then panicked when I heard that they had had thousands of inquiries following articles in the Guardian and Daily Mail, so I signed up. To my surprise, I was accepted.

To start with it was a bit of a steep learning curve, to be honest.

Matters Technical

Week 1 and we had to embrace a new social media platform (Google +), chat to our mini group on a Google Hangout (like Skype for several people at once) and get to grips with our online course. Once I’d realised that you couldn’t really break anything and just tried it all out using tips from fellow Digital Mums, I could amazingly get it all to work.

Confidence building block number one had been slotted into place.

Peer Group Support

We held weekly Google Hangouts. Daunting at first, but I soon used to look forward to them — a chance to reassure each other, brainstorm, giggle and moan. We were really all in the same boat together — all understood when we were struggling to find the right costume for a school project as well as the rigours of the course. We also had fun tweeting to each other in the evenings as our businesses about such varied topics as Strictly Come Dancing, Britney Speaks and World Cup Rugby — so fully into our business’ characters were we!

Level two confidence block in place.

Campaign Plan

We immersed ourselves in our businesses for which we were going to be running real, live 8 week campaigns and put together a campaign strategy plan. I used to love campaign strategy writing but the doubts began to creep in again — were the detailed user personas OK? Was the content pitched right? Had I selected the best social media channels? This was for real. No more theory. Phew — yes — the campaign “hook” and plan were signed off. Big pat on the back to self.

Confidence block number three.

Social Media Tools

The vast amount of content relating to our businesses seemed overwhelming at times and most weeks I was committing well over the suggested 10–15 hours. But we learned to use clever tools and hacks to ease the workload for scheduling and analytics. I could also sneak in odd minutes working on it on my phone while I was waiting to undertake my kids’ taxi duties. No wonder @DigitalMumsHQ used the two hashtags #workthatworks #whereweareworkingtoday.

Confidence block number four.

Creativity

We were encouraged to vary our posts. So very slowly, little by little, our creative juices (so long locked up in the worlds of My Little Pony and Happyland), were allowed to flow. I loved experimenting with videos, posters, Instagram filters, Word Clouds and GIFs. And these original posts were actually liked, shared, favourited and retweeted!

Confidence block number five.

Writing

As well as sharing others’ content, we had to post our own original material. I used to really enjoy writing in the past but hadn’t written anything longer than a thank you card for a toddler’s birthday present in years. Slowly and meticulously, I wrote my first “tips” blog post about local business networking, agonising over the wording. I clicked “publish,” tweeted about it, switched my phone notifications off and ran away. When I returned that evening, to my amazement, it had been been liked and shared! Encouraged by this, I’ve since written more blog posts which have resulted in inquiries for my social media marketing services.

Confidence block number six.

Engagement

A key part of Social Media is the engagement (ie interactions or chatting with other people). Digital Mums likened it to being at a networking event or at a cocktail party. A bit like when you walk into a room and you don’t know anyone but need to start up a conversation. When you’re a bit low on confidence, it’s the last thing you feel like doing, offline or online. But we were helped to find the main influencers in our business’ space and interact with them. At first it seemed a huge ask, but by the end, some influencers shared our posts and even followed us back.

Confidence block number seven.

Analytics

I’ve always loved my marketing stats. Response rates, A/B tests, ROI — you name it. Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics were new to me, but had the same principles as my old Direct Marketing campaigns. I have to admit to a big smile on my face when I saw my Twitter followers, Impressions and Engagement numbers soar by the end of the campaign after putting so much work into it. #proud

Confidence block number eight.

Final Report

I’ve just finished writing my Final Report on my campaign. That’s when I realised just how much I had learned. Not just the technical stuff (the platforms, tools, analytics) but also how much of myself I had reclaimed back. I did have a business brain in there after all. It’s been rudely awakened, given new direction, a keenness to learn more, not to mention a stubbornness not to let it go when it didn’t understand the mechanics of Facebook Insights the first time round! It wasn’t easy, but the harder the challenge to overcome, the more my confidence returned.

Final block in place.

Thanks @DigitalMumsHQ, it’s been hard work, but worth it.

Here’s to more confidence building and learning. #MumsFirst

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