My Boys…

How Digital mums changed my life.

I was four months pregnant and my contract came to an end. Neither was entirely planned, then I came across digital mums in a magazine and it immediately appealed to me. Being a Mum of a beautiful 3 yr old boy, Sam, the possibility of working from home in an industry which I has spent my entire working life seemed too good to be true; I had to find out more.

I spent months researching, believing it had to be too good to be true; there had to be a ‘but’. However, everything I read seemed to confirm that the course was for real; I was beginning to get excited. I decided to ask my husband to check it out; he of all people would find a chink in the armour. He too thought the course looked and sounded ideal for our family and me.

Decision made; I’m signing up. My second baby was due in December 2015 so I was looking to enrol for the course starting in May 2016, perfect timing. However, my baby was eager to meet us and arrived 5 weeks early, a perfectly healthy baby boy, James.

At this point in my life digital mums had gone to the back of my mind, until I received a call from them informing me that there was space on their course starting in March. I was immediately interested, nervous about managing a baby, a family and a course but I was too excited and jumped at the chance.

The course started the first week of March; I was so excited. First up was a trip to Ikea to set up an office in the house. I was ready to go.

A core element of the course is working with a real client on a live campaign. I was partnered with, Rynew Lettings. My first strategy call with their creative Director, Desmond Moreira, went really well and I established a good connection with the business. Previously I had worked in the housing sector so I was able to transfer some knowledge. I approached the call with complete honesty and transparency and I think this was my biggest success.

Desmond quickly brought me up to speed with their objectives. They were an established property business who had recently expanded into lettings and they wished to raise brand awareness. That would be the objective of the campaign and it would be achieved by establishing Rynew as a knowledge bank for new and existing landlords.

We scheduled weekly calls so that I could update Desmond and also run anything past him that I thought would be a good idea. From the beginning I had total trust from Desmond, he very gave me the freedom to be creative and lead on this campaign. Things were going great.

I was given access to their website so I could add content and images, I also created a series of blogs which were uploaded to the website. The blogs were really useful as they provided links to the chosen social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter.

Rynew Lettings had very little activity with regards to marketing or social media so I knew from the outset that this was going to be an exciting and challenging journey. Each week I spoke to Desmond giving an update on the course, assignments and the campaign, and what was coming next.

I felt very fortunate to have such an understanding and open programme partner. When the results of the Brexit referendum were announced many of my peer group were restricted on tweeting or posting, but I had free reign to continue and embrace the changes and challenges ahead given the outcome, we saw it as an opportunity.

With the new added confidence boost from the course and my programme partner I managed to secure part time working for a local deli; managing their social media.

As each week passed I was beginning to realise that this really could be the answer I was looking for, but it was proving more difficult than I had anticipated. Managing a baby, a family, part-time work and a course was very difficult. I ended up having many late nights and scheduling tweets in-between my night feeds.

The assignments felt relentless, so too was the campaign, you simply had to be there, meet deadlines and be available, social media is such a fast paced environment and to be effective you must be available when your audience are. The penny really dropped at this point; I had to be structured with my work, plan my day methodically and work when baby James was sleeping, this was a must.

There’s was a huge amount of reading and learning to be done but somehow you to fit it in. That’s not to say my stress levels weren’t at a record high, there were times I thought about giving up but I could see the overall benefits, this was going to change my life and I was determined.

As we approached the half-way stage the course became even more intense and I really started to struggle, but with my peer group, great family and friends and the amazing digital mums community I focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.

I was also incredibly lucky to have the best peer group. We were all in the same boat and there to help each other, through words of comfort or advice. And then there’s my husband, so supportive from the start and put up with all my stress throughout, they all got me through this.

My dream was to be there for my family and to have an income, preferably through something I enjoyed. Through digital mums this is becoming a reality, I already have two clients and take inspiration from the other amazing mums who have already graduated. Reading their blogs and realising that they too are in the same position as me are an eternal source of strength.

I’m in week 20 and have submitted my final reports; I’ve done it! It’s a reality. I have work, two clients, and I can take my kids to nursery and school. I work flexibly around the needs of my family.

Digital mums have given me the confidence and ability to be a mum and have a career.

Would I recommend this course? A great point came when one of my Facebook friends noticed my likes and shares from Digital mums; she contacted me and asked questions about the course and my thoughts. I was honest; it’s hard work, intense at times but well worth it. I should be on commission as she has signed up and has started the course; from her posts, she loves it. So yes, I would recommend digital mums.