How my life changed in a car park — my Digital Mums Story (so Far)
I was on maternity leave when my boss left me a voicemail telling me I was being made redundant. I’d half expected it. Whilst the decision to leave me a voicemail didn’t sit well with me, I was delighted to be able to have some more time off work with my long awaited baby girl. I always knew I’d want to go back to work at some stage, but was happy to put that thought to the back of my mind.
As is always the way, that baby girl became a chatty toddler in the blinking of an eye. As I emerged from the fug of new motherhood I started to think about work again.
It was time to find a new career, after 2 years as a stay at home mum.
I just couldn’t work out what that new career should be. I knew I didn’t want to go back to a corporate job. I knew I wanted to do something different, a new challenge. I had been thinking it over for months, but not getting any closer to an answer.
I was in a car park, with a snoozing toddler in the back seat. I was reading some standard celebrity gossip on my phone, when I came across an article about Digital Mums. It was a classic lightbulb moment, I knew straight away this was the answer. I used social media, but was no expert. I knew nothing about digital marketing, but I still knew I wanted to be a Digital Mum.
After spending hours on my application form and having a chat with the lovely Nikki Cochrane I was accepted onto the programme. I was absolutely delighted. I didn’t have a plan b, this was what I wanted to do.
I starting reading everything I could find about social media and following any Digital Mums I could find on Twitter. I really couldn’t wait to get started.
Then it all started to get real. An email with details of the course struck total terror into my heart. Surely I couldn’t do this, it was all total madness. What was I thinking? All the other Digital Mums were clearly far more intelligent and far more experienced than I was, I could never be as good as them. After a sleepless night I managed to calm down and get ready to get started.
After week 1 it was still scary but I’d had the initial conference call, I’d read through the training for that week, I’d emailed the business I’d be working with (and had a lovely reply from my client). Everything felt much clearer, although the amount of work ahead still felt daunting.
By week 2 my personal social media accounts were up to scratch, I was tweeting total strangers, I had a whole new vocabulary (Hootsuite, Buffer, Canva, Trello), although I didn’t really know what any of these new words actually meant.
During week 3 I had the first feedback from my client. She was using words like ‘really well thought out’ and ‘clever’. This was the first feedback I’d had in years. (Other than ‘Mummy, what has happened to your hair?’) It felt amazing. After being worried that I’d struggle with being creative I found that I was buzzing with ideas.
The weeks then started to fly by, before I knew it I was half way through the course. This was when I was starting to tweet on behalf of my client. I pored over and analysed my first tweet for an absolute age before clicking the tweet button. I waited, but the sky did not actually fall in. After that it felt great to be acting like a social media manager.
The course has been incredibly rewarding. Like everything in life, you get back what you put in, I have worked hard because I was so determined to do well. Some weeks have been really tough, because I had so much to learn. The support of Digital Mums and of my fellow trainees has been invaluable. The live learning method of putting the lessons straight into practice is so effective, it makes it all so memorable. I’m motivated both by my own desire to succeed and by my determination to do a good job for my client.
It hasn’t always been easy to fit the training in, life has a tendency to get in the way. I can access the training from anywhere at any time though. To my total surprise I’ve found that I’m really productive first thing in the morning, so if I can fit in an hour before my daughter wakes up it really helps. When I have a sleeping toddler in the back seat there’s no time for celebrity gossip now, it’s straight to the Twitter app.
This has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me (despite the times when the best option seemed to be to throw my laptop straight out of the window), I really can not believe how much I have learnt over a relatively short period of time. When I’m talking to my client sometimes I can’t quite believe it’s really me talking, I sound like I actually know my stuff!
I have 8 weeks of the course left, the social media campaign that I am running for my client is off to a good start, I’m genuinely excited each time she gets a new follower or a nice comment. I’m starting to feel like an actual social media manager.
Digital Mums have given me a great opportunity, fantastic training, a slightly bonkers (but great) peer group and a lovely client to work with, they really are helping me to change my life.