Social Media Discovered with @DigitalMumsHQ

I am Emma, I am a #digitalmumtobe, I am a stay at home working mum with 2 beautiful daughters and I am busy; very busy. But I am almost at the end of my amazing quest to learn about and experience social media for marketing; I am feeling more confident about myself and my future; and life is good.

I came to digital mums much like many of my fellow students, with a solid background in sales and marketing, 2 young children, a need to earn money and a desperate desire to see as much as I can of my babies growing up.

I have been successfully freelancing for 3 years, and I am not short of work. But I am a perfectionist (when it comes to work that is, sadly the line doesn’t follow with housework) and in January this year I started to feel, for the first time in a while, that I was no longer the expert in the room. I had a huge gap in my experience, the result of a maternity leave taken amidst the digital explosion, and for some time now I had been watching social media campaigns with curiosity. I had so many unanswered questions running through my mind that had been increasing in numbers with every week and month that passed. Should my clients be using Social media for their sales and marketing? Few were keen, and I could offer no strong argument either for or against… I needed to know more, I needed actual experience of running a campaign and I needed knowledge quickly.

1). I looked online…. Too much conflicting information — who should I listen to?

2) I looked at courses in Social Media management …. 2 days? Really? I couldn’t be an expert after a couple of days surely? I definitely need real experience of running a live campaign….

3). Who would I run a campaign for in order to get experience? I have no knowledge or confidence and I can’t charge for the work. What is social media etiquette and how do I ensure I protect my clients’ brand? What if I don’t get results? How will I even know if I get a good result?

4). Actually lets go more basic than that — where would I start? I am 36 years old and although I had used social media on a very, very basic level it doesn’t come naturally to me to tell everyone what I am up to on a daily or hourly basis or to take a photo and upload it for the world to see. And I certainly did not feel equipped to act as a voice for my clients online either.

Then I came across Digital Mums. I called them and knew immediately that it was right for me. Real on the job experience, working for a live client, course materials, online learning, no travel, peer group support from other experienced mums and experts on hand pretty much anytime of the day (and often the night) all provide an amazing learning environment. I didn’t think about where I would get time to do the course, I didn’t worry about the money, I just knew that I needed to do this; for my clients, for my family and for myself.

The only reservation I had was in the name….What a label! I edited my twitter profile to include that I was a #digitalmumtobe and one client thought I was indicating that I was expecting another baby (#digital Mum-to-be). Anyway, with that little misunderstanding cleared up I began the course and met my client.

I was to be working for a medical company, Forte Medical — inventors of the Peezy Midstream, a device to assist with the accuracy and ease of delivering urine samples. A useful product, a great awareness campaign targeted at pregnant ladies and 2 very fabulous contacts at the business. I felt lucky to be marketing something that I felt to be very useful, but a little intimidated about promoting such a personal and intimate product in such a public arena. I needn’t have worried, Forte Medical were immediately approachable, they have been very supportive of my learning and experience throughout the course as well as being very understanding of the fact that I am, first and foremost, mum to 2 lively (and very noisy) under-fives.

Alongside a fabulous client I also met my peer group and got to know the other Digital Mums. This course is made up of a community of talented, highly experienced and understanding ladies. The tutors, the support staff and all the Mums studying, you really couldn’t ask for a more supportive environment in which to learn and grow. Not only have I learned about Social Media Management on this course, but I have been exposed to a wealth of information, ideas and recommendations from some of the most talented ladies I have had the pleasure to encounter throughout my career.

So today, I finish my course, I submit my final assignments and I cannot believe how much I have learned about Social Media, about marketing, about freelancing, about account management and about working and balancing life as a mum with the working world.

In addition to my learning I feel more confident about my abilities as a Sales and Marketing Manager. I have always worked for fairly small organisations and have not always had peers with a Sales and Marketing background, so it has been wonderful to share in learning with others who have a similar, and in many cases more senior level of experience. I have learned so much from my fellow students as well as from the course itself. I have grown in knowledge and confidence over the past 6 months and feel ready to face my clients with my new found information and expertise.

Thank you Digital Mums and everyone on the course for a fantastic experience. I look forward to hearing all the great success stories to come out of this, and I have no doubt that there will be many!