Francine Barsam
Mar 31, 2016 · 3 min read

My new delivery

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It’s nearly 10 years to the date when I gave birth to my son, and I am nearing the end of my Digital Mums social media course. The connection? Well the client that I was matched with for the duration of the course was Neighbourhood Midwives an independent midwifery service operating in London and the South East. I never gave much thought to giving birth, for me, I was focused on getting and staying pregnant. Maybe I should have considered my options more seriously, but then I was lucky. The birth of my son was really straightforward and I experienced a wonderful water birth at the Royal Free Hospital. On a Sunday lunchtime he swam to the surface, greeted me a howl and soft skin that even a decade on is still silky smooth. I was also fortunate that at the time social media was in its early development and the need to share every moment, feeling and photo was not common place. Live streaming of birth was something you only saw on a sex education programme in secondary school.

The course is a bit like a pregnancy. Lots of unexpected things that will take you by surprise. A learning process that is quite unique. Sleepless nights from worry over assignments. Headaches from the volume of lessons. Confusion was high on the agenda but I didn’t have the excuse of a pregnancy brain. Learning and knowing new tools and techniques; Bitly, Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Klout and Pocket to name but a few. I did put on weight from the amount of hours sitting at my laptop and that’s really where the parallel ends.

It has been a challenging 6 months with client management, analytics and content curation not to mention getting the hang of advertising on Facebook.

The end result is not a baby, but hopefully a new beginning embarking on a freelance career in social media. The course itself is high intensity with scheduled assignment and tasks and combined with working with a live client. It allows you some time to learn new skills and then start using them straight away which is something you will not find on a traditional course. In my opinion, practical experience is a far superior learning method than writing long dissertations. I combined the course with my current role working part-time for a charity 3 days per week. There is no part-time on the course you need to put in the hours in fact find the hours. The saving grace was my supportive cohorts the Cyndi Laupers and although we did not ‘just wanna have fun’ we were always on hand to celebrate our achievements and support each other through the challenging times.

I bumped into a friend by chance the other week and I explained to her what I had up to for the last 6 months. I even impressed myself with the fountain of social media knowledge that I had accumulated and I was not even hustling for work. I sounded like a true professional.

I hope that with combination of my new set of social media skills and growing confidence level will put me in good stead for the future.

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