Test, Measure, Reflect, Refine, Learn … HUSTLE

How I joined some inspiring and intelligent women and learned a shed load.

Returning to work part time after maternity leave just didn’t add up at the end of the month after travel, childcare and bills. I was excited to be back at work but the commute was harder than ever. I was up for a new challenge and I wanted to up skill from my Communications and Marketing background to be able to work freelance.

I needed something that would better fit my new life as a mum and I had heard about the Digital Mums course through a friend who had enrolled. After a good grilling she encouraged me to apply. The live learning on a real client’s channels whilst in the safety net of a course was too much to pass up. The fact that it was 20 weeks — not too long, not too short — made the transition to study a lot easier.

It’s a great excuse to buy lots of stationery

I was assigned Ali Miller London as my client. A lovely little company that make quirky British home ware. My campaign objective was engagement and was a content themed campaign around the key areas of the business. Tea, tea and more tea. Also BBC Sherlock, interiors, baking and home wares. One thing I learned here was that there is SO much out there that you can attach to any brand but it’s about searching for what will really work for your client’s audiences and spinning it to get people interested.

Before finding content to share for the campaign I had to write the actual campaign. WHAT? ME write a campaign? I was always the person who was told what the campaign was and then fired ahead with ideas to fill it out. I was tearing my hair out actually writing the thing. Is it right for the brand? Is my hook hooky enough? Those campaign drafting weeks seemed to go on forever but after invaluable peer and tutor feedback (another great part of the course) I managed to see the light and through all the tweaks I had myself a campaign!

It’s hard work. Harder than I thought it would be. There were times where I wasn’t sure I could get through. Illness, self-doubt, client relationship changes and life in general all had to be dealt with whilst learning and ploughing through assignments.

However, once I got into the campaign the weeks flew by with scheduling and content finding. Around week 18 I stopped, took a moment and looked back. I had learnt SO SO much. I couldn’t even work out how but after many long evenings I actually knew what I was doing. I was a sponge and soaked it all in. That was an amazing feeling. But doing this course not only gave me the skills to do social media well but it also gave me the confidence in my ability which I had lost somewhere along the way.

Would I recommend this course? Absolutely — I already have! The support of your peer group is second to none and I now miss our weekly hangouts and Whats app streams. We’ve already met up in person and I am so proud to be in a group with such intelligent, inspiring women. There is also a G+ Community with the other cohorts, where you can find answers and ask questions. If another Digital Mum can’t help, then you can be sure that a DM Captain will come to the rescue.

So the future … I have had lots of conversations with people, from parents at the children’s centre, staff at nursery, to my wedding photographer. There are people and businesses that need help with Social Media everywhere. Most businesses use it and if they are not they want to. Now it’s time for me to firm up those conversations, get some business cards printed and #DoTheHustle. I can’t wait.