It’s six months since I embarked upon the Digital Mums’ Community Manager Programme. So what? Here’s what!
In February I was all adrift and talking a lot about fish. I was just embarking upon my journey to become a Social Media Community Manager, courtesy of the training program run by the critically acclaimed Digital Mums.
Six months later and I emerge, knowing my reach from my spread, my goals from my metrics, and my backside from my bonce when it comes to all things social media.
But really, so what?
Six months ago, I was feeling flat.
Hopes and dreams of a career that could accommodate the fact I had children were being perpetually squished. Joining Digital Mums allowed me to take back some control over my future work/life destiny. With that control came happiness.
Weekly hangouts, online tasks, and adding some much-needed umph to a campaign I am utterly passionate about has filled the spare hours I have with doing something that matters to me and to others. The fact that those spare hours aren’t found between 9 and 5 doesn’t matter a jot.
Being tasked with measuring progress, engagement and the reach of my campaign weekly was daunting. But the results slowly started to speak for themselves. As the KPIs grew, so did my self-belief.
…of working for myself, or if I can go it alone, of not being within that rigid office based environment which is comforting despite being restrictive but….
For six months I have been surrounded by women who have never questionned whether or not I can do this. They’ve just asked me to try, righted me when I’ve wobbled, and huzzah’d when things have gone well. Who wouldn’t be brave with that support?
I can make work work for me. I can deliver. I can do this around sports days, chicken pox, swimming lessons and two loads of laundery per day. Minimum.
I know I can work independently, ‘cos I just did.
I’m not alone
No matter how independent you think are, you still need support. Just ask my four year old.
It’s therefore so reassuring that the Digital Mums’ community does not now disappear back into the internet. The alumni, key resources, my peer group, my friends: they are here to stay.
…as in, despite my embracing the visual side of social media, I’m still primarily about high quality, written content. Making a story, an issue, a campaign come to life via the written word – that’s still where it’s at for me.
With an appreciation of the perfectly crafted tweet, the funny one liner, and *shock-horror* the well placed emoji, as well as the longer form post, I’m now more content in crafting that content than ever before.
I’m all about community
Engaging with, and being a part of our communities – that’s always gone without saying. But by creating online communities and using social media to define and empower the physical spaces and groups that are on my doorstep, I’ve never felt more at home.
I’m listened to
Ask any mum, and she knows how miserable it is to speak without ever being heard. It therefore stands to reason that knowing how to get heard above the Social Media din is reward enough in itself.
Next step? Have my communications make the same impact when asking the kids to find their shoes. One can dream.
Why would anyone listen to what you have to say if you never shut your own cake-hole and instead forever blow your own trumpet? Trumpet playing with a mouth full of cake? It’s never going to end well.
As a Mum, and a Digital Mum at that, the importance of listening has never been more apparent. It’s the key to all communication, insights, and interest. It’s the key to anybody caring about what you have to say.
In February I was looking at shift work stacking shelves in the local supermarket. If I need to do this to support my family, I’ll do it and be grateful to have a job. However, it still irked that the supermarket twilight shift was looking like the only option available to me despite the degree, the hard earned climb to well over halfway up the corporate ladder, and the new skills acquired via motherhood.
Now I am optimistic that I have options that will suit my skills, my experience, my passions, and my abilities. Happy days.
I’m not all about me
It’s true, this post is pretty much all about me. That’s because it’s celebrating my journey – so no apologies there. But to pretend social media, writing, or Digital Mums’ courses would be anything at all without others would be foolish and wrong.
Engagement, caring, reciprocating is what makes this space so fabulous, and so fun. It’s what makes this vocation sing. Get your voice warmed up and come sing along with me!
I’m still me
Throughout the Digital Mums’ course, thanks to the subject matter and The Pinks – my wonderful peer group – being me wasn’t just enough, it was critical.
No need to do the corporate speak and pretend I didn’t have the challenges that having kids brings. Indeed, no need to act like I didn’t have kids at all.
Where I am in life, where you are in life – these are strengths, not weaknesses.
I am Abby – a Mum, a wife, a daughter, a friend.
I’m a school runner, cleaner, household planner.
I’m a fun lover, cake baker, reader.
I’m a blogger, a lover of local, an online-life-is-real-life-so-embrace it, grafter.
I’m a creator, an imaginator, a writer, a thinker, and the odd drinker.
And now, to add to that heady mix?
I’m someone who draws upon all these skills, hobbies, roles and interests and is not forever at odds with them.
So, I am a Digital Mum.