My Digital Mums experience

Pre-Digital Mums
I was both anxious and excited about signing up for the Digital Mums Social Media Management course. After two kids and over three years mostly out of the PR/social media/marketing world, I was really lacking in confidence. Things move so fast in the field and I felt well and truly ‘out of the game’ skills-wise. I was also quite excited about the prospect of regaining some of my pre-children identity.

I doubted whether my brain actually still worked, aside from retaining kid-related information. Another concern I had was ‘would I really stick the course out until the end?’. I have what can only be described as ‘obsessions of the day’ and my husband was fairly sure I’d get bored of the idea before long.

Digital Mums as an organisation seemed dynamic and modern, and seeing the course content broken down into sections really encouraged me it was do-able around family life and to just go for it. Fairly soon after the course started I was introduced to my peer-group, we all seemed to share the same sort of concerns which really helped us bond.
 
The Social Media Manager course

My client was an interior design business that was moving into selling homeware online.

I created a brand awareness campaign that used the hashtag #MakeHomeUnique and focused on inspiring people to improve their homes by injecting their individuality into their décor, making it unique to them.

The campaign was primarily targeting affluent, design-conscious women aged 25–45, who live in the UK, with an interest in home décor.

As well as posting about my client’s products, I delivered content within three areas:

1. Improving homes to make it unique to the owner; 2. Sharing unique and inspiring interiors/homes; 3. Showcasing the personality behind the brand to help communicate its ethos and knowledge.

My campaign ran across Instagram and Twitter (using Facebook as a tertiary platform). I also ran a competition for three weeks to win one of my client’s products. It used the hashtag #ElizaBarnesRobot and was a fantastic success with well over 900 entries. I smashed all of my KPIs and really achieved what I’d set out to do — increase the brand awareness of my client.
 
At first, I found the most challenging aspect of the course was that it was really difficult to switch off, especially at night. It was like starting any new job/product — my head was brimming with information and ideas and sleep seemed boring compared (I never EVER thought I’d say that after dealing with two babies!) but I really enjoyed the feeling of being challenged by something again.

As the weeks went on I became more disciplined about when I worked by creating set days and times which fitted around my family, and I began factoring in a good hour of awful reality TV (and often wine — is that bad?) to wind down after an evening Digital Mums session, such as my peer group’s weekly Google Hangout.
 
Finding a really good social media scheduling tool really helped things click into place for me and I started to hit my stride. I already had experience in social media advertising, but when we learnt more extensively about running ads across all the different platforms we were using, things very quickly fell into place and that really boosted my confidence. A voice with an American accent in my head was saying “Stiiiiiiilllll got it!”. I make no apologies for the voices in my head.

Aside from literally blowing my KPIs out of the water (every single one of my % increases were way WAY above my KPIs — and one was as high as a 61,300% increase (retweets on Twitter)), I’d say my biggest success was actually finishing the course! I really felt like I’d achieved something by sticking it out, even when occasionally it felt overwhelming — I’d done it and done it well. I felt really proud of myself.

I’d definitely recommend the Digital Mums Social Media Management course to others. It’s most certainly brought me up to speed — I’ve learnt loads. It’s also given me a focus, introduced me to a supportive community and a great peer group who I’ll continue to be in contact with.

The course has also reignited my appetite for achievement and learning — and that feels GOOD.

Next
The future now feels like I’m heading somewhere fresh and exciting for me professionally — not just personally. Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Mum-Life’ but this #WorkThatWorks feels like a great, fulfilling, complementary addition to my life.

I’m now exploring freelancing options and my cohort and I have even discussed forming a collective, but first things first — next step is the Digital Mums #DoTheHustle course. Can’t wait.