An honest review of the Digital Mums course
I completed the Digital Mums Social Media Marketing Management course and thought it might be good to share the ups and downs for anyone considering it.
Why I signed up
I’d also used social media to raise over £20,000 for the adaptions we needed to make to our house wheelchair accessible and I’d even run a social enterprise, primarily via Instagram & Twitter, selling slogan tees to raise over £5k for a local charity.
More importantly I had also worked with local businesses as a social media manager and I had worked in sales and marketing since 1998!
But despite all of that experience, I felt as though I wasn’t quite qualified enough to be doing it for a living, imposter syndrome at its finest!
I’d seen people recommending other ‘Digital Mums’ for jobs in Facebook groups and heard them mentioned on Podcasts. It sounded like the only way to be considered a professional social media manager was to do their course so I signed up hoping it would fill in the gaps in my knowledge.
But the key reason I was keen to do the Digital Mums course was because of the promise of a flexible career as a social media manager and I needed a career that could truly fit around my family.
That hadn’t been my experience of social media management so far so I was sure there must be something key I was missing.
How the course worked
As part of the Digital Mums course you have to plan and run a live campaign using your choice of social media channels.
Choosing something to grow a community around for 6 months seemed like a good idea. However, coming from a marketing background I was keen to ensure the campaign was something I could transition to be my business in the future.
My peer group, ‘The Social Seven’ (although one left part way through the course) was an integral part of my learning, and without them I probably would have jacked it in months ago out of sheer frustration with the course.
Thanks to our WhatsApp group and our weekly video hangouts we all managed to stay sane, and succeed in growing some really successful campaigns. Over those 6 months together we went through pretty much every emotion you can imagine in our quest to become ‘Digital Mums.’
The ups and downs of training as a social media manager
Fear of whether we’d picked the right campaigns so we weren’t wasting time building an audience we wouldn’t be able to harness in the future.
Nervousness of our first video hangout. This was pre-covid when people weren’t quite so used to video calls!
Frustration, and often disappointment, about the course content itself which was out dated and lacked the detail we needed. Sometimes even anger when we expressed our disappointment and were fobbed off with excuses by Digital Mums HQ.
Sadness when one of our peer group decided to quit.
Excitement when our influencers engaged with us, or in the case of Elizabeth, when celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and John Torode engaged with her on The North Essex Larder!
Intrigue and fascination when Maria opted for a live Instagram interview with one of her biggest influencers instead of a twitter chat on her Relove My Fashion campaign.
Delight when we fell in love with running our campaigns and realised that each of us had chosen the perfect one which was not only fun but was allowing us to meet some incredible people.
Admiration at seeing all the amazing places Claire was finding to visit for her Cambs With Kid campaign.
Surprise at the lack of direct support from the Digital Mums team, and concern when throughout our 6 months we only had feedback about our campaigns 3 times, and had been pretty much left to our own devices the rest of the time. Even disillusionment when we only had 2 x 15 minute video chats with a tutor throughout the whole 6 month course.
Stress when Twitter analytics weren’t showing us all the figures we needed for our reports… until the very last week!
Admiration when Lucy was doing so much exercise for her Girl Dunmow Well campaign and guilt that we weren’t!
Determination when we realised that we’d have to look elsewhere for a lot of the information we needed to learn to be really up to date and confident to offer social media services to clients.
Grateful whenever one of the group found a useful source of great information or advice for us to learn more from.
Terror when I took on a client during week 17 but joy when they loved what I did for them and confident when I realised that despite the imposter syndrome, actually I am good at this.
Shock and awe when Ruth’s A Place To Meet Facebook post about a local play area went viral in her area.
Skint, although that’s more a fact than a feeling. We hadn’t considered the additional costs each of us would incur from choosing our particular campaigns. including Facebook ads budget. That would have been fine had it been expressed to us prior to the course, but we weren’t really given any support before, during or after.
Regret that none of us chose to use LinkedIn for our campaigns which meant we needed to invest time building our presence on there for our own business purposes. Considering the length of the course, LinkedIn should have been a key part.
Guilty about the lack of time we spent with our kids, or that the time we did spend with them was with one eye on our phone.
Turns out that I was right – social media management is not flexible work and you’re not actually able to spend more time with your family.
Concerned about the future as a freelance social media manager because we didn’t all feel job ready, despite being promised we would. We’d been taught how to grow an audience, not how to sell to them which realistically was what clients would be looking for.
We thought we’d leave the course empowered and confident ready to start our freelance social media businesses. I felt lucky that I’d come from a sales and marketing background and could easily transition back to that knowledge as the course had a big focus on brand awareness.
Some of the cohort felt confused about some of the practicalities of how to run a business as that wasn’t included in the course.
Hopeful that joining the DM Collective (the group for graduated Digital Mums) and the ‘Do The Hustle’ course when we graduate would help fill in the gaps and boost self esteem. Disappointed to discover it didn’t, and annoyed with the lack of leadership.
Inspired to keep on top of the ever changing social media landscape and excited about helping businesses harness the power that social media can bring to their brand.
And thrilled to be meeting the rest of the ‘Social Seven’ (now 6) in the flesh .
Who knew that a 6 month social media course could be such a roller coaster ride of emotions!
Despite all of that, we were all really excited about what the future held for us.
If you are a social media manager, or are training to become one, then you’ll love our Social Media Managers Toolkit.
This toolkit fills the gaps to help to make your life easier as a social media manager. The content includes templates and training to help you to grow your business and start earning good money.