My Leap Into Digital Mums
Well, two things happened on the same day: 1) My 17-year-old son informed me that one of my top talents was knowing what was/wasn’t tumble dryable without looking at the label (seriously!?). And 2) I got notification on my phone that ‘one of your contacts has joined Twitter’!
And that’s how it all began….
I’m a mum of 4 happy, crazy, exhausting kids ranging from 12–20 years and I have a part time job helping at my family’s Garden Centre. I love the company of my friends, a glass of wine, a good DVD box set and a mind-clearing yoga class. However, as my children have grown older my parenting duties have changed from housekeeper/teacher/nurse/chef to taxi/banker/administrator/still chef! Basically I have time on my hands! To be honest I am shocked that my kids haven’t seen the ambition/achiever/risk-taker in me! (Obviously that all happened pre-kids).
So with my Son’s words still echoing in my ears and a Tweet from an old friend announcing she had joined Digital Mums, I explored a little further….And oh, what an adventure I’ve been on!
The upshot of it all is I’m re-training to become a Freelance Social Media Manager for small businesses. It was extremely nerve-racking applying and being interviewed for a place on the course — the only thing I had applied for in the last 20 years was a passport — but through the whole process everyone involved at Digital Mums was supportive and reassuring. Surprisingly, I’ve realised that I am Social Media savvy. I have been active on Twitter for a few years, used Facebook to promote the family business and enjoy the creativity of Instagram and Pinterest. With 4 bright sparks in the house to offer assistance, I understand Google+, Snap Chat and Tumblr. Plus any new app/trend on the scene has usually been tried and tested by one of the kids.
So when I delved a little deeper into Digital Mums, I realised I had the beginnings of some really useful skills in my tool box! I was also confident that what I didn’t know I could learn or get help with. I hadn’t studied in over 20 years and certainly hadn’t studied anything online! But on the course everything is so interesting, hands on and relevant it doesn’t feel like learning at all. It feels the same as when you’re reading a really good book and you just can’t put it down. The best bit for me is that the learning is real time, immersive and inclusive (Live Learning)!
From week one, you are introduced to a client and everything you learn is put into practice straight away. My client, the Girly Gang is a social group of friendly women with a connection to London. The Girly Gang provides a platform to form new friendships, socialise and a natural environment to network.
It’s not been a breeze. Finding 15+ hours a week to dedicate to the course and my client has been a challenge. Scrambling to meet the deadlines; mastering new digital tools; learning completely new vocabulary; following Social Media rules I had never considered and scampering around in the deep rabbit holes of the internet finding great content to share. But there is so much more to Digital Mums than learning new skills, so much more that I won’t be able to list it all, but I do love a list, so I will try:
- An impressive and comprehensive course that has so much thought, structure and resources that you can’t imagine how much effort Kathryn Tyler, Nikki Cochrane and the Digital Mums team have made to get this well-oiled machine working so smoothly.
- Detailed videos and tutorials that are easy to follow and understand, combined with constructive feedback on submitted assignments.
- A strong, supportive network of women who are there for you day and night, all communicating on an organised web group chat.
- A small peer group of mums that you get to know really well, texting almost every day and ‘hanging out’ with every week (video conferencing, would you believe? Check me out!).
- Guidance and assistance from the Digital Mums Mothership when all else fails.
- The ability to sell yourself as a knowledgeable professional in the field of Social Media and have the confidence to believe in yourself from the start.
- The fact that as you finish your 20 week course not only are you ‘job ready’ and have an abundance of digital skills to offer, but also have solid experience with a client to prove it.
I have totally surprised myself and my kids. They are still shocked but now very proud that not only can their Mum tumble dry clothes without having to check the label, but she can schedule a whole weeks’ worth of Twitter posts, review a client’s Facebook analytics, find and create great content, write a blog post, have a coffee with a friend, go to the cinema during the day, and make their favourite dinner! As we say in our house… ‘Let’s work smart, not hard’.
Digital Mums gives you the skills and the confidence to work flexibly around your family, and the choice to work when you want how you want. As my coffee coaster tells me ‘Do What You Love Everyday’. And I truly do.