The marketing field changes every day with a new social media marketing tool, trend or fad to learn that will help our online business grow or that of our clients. Teaching the basics of social media and marketing isn’t easy but recently, I had the chance to try my hand at it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
For the past couple of months, I have been immersed in teaching social media, marketing and essential skills on the Blood Tribe Reserve as part of a partnership between Lethbridge College’s Corporate and Continuing Education centre and Blood Tribe Social Development, along with some other agencies that helped organize and fund the program.
Going into this, I was a bit intimidated. I’ve only taught social media one-on-one to a few local clients and while I have a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL/TESOL), I’ve never used it before. I did have some presentations under my belt from Lethbridge College‘s Merging Realities conference and the Lethbridge Chamber‘s Social Savvy Summit, along with my numerous BNI Platinum presentations. I was a little more confident due to my recent speaking experiences but my knees weren’t quite steady.
Thankfully, my first day went well. My students were various ages and skill levels with technology and marketing but were all eager to learn. Their desire to acquire new skills and apply themselves was inspiring. As their instructor, it was easy to feed off of the energy of the room because my students seem to enjoy what they were learning.
We started off with essential skills, which included active listening, showing confidence, some writing, and basic math skills. While these may not seem important to a social media and marketing course, I found myself constantly reflecting on these skills once we moved on. The essential skills were a backbone that made it possible to really dive into the world of marketing.
- Active listening skills are used in customer relations, client meetings, interviews with media, and speaking with co-workers.
- Basic math is what makes us able to understand all of the facts and figures from Facebook and Instagram Insights to Google Analytics.
- What really made an impact on me, as a marketer, was the importance of empathy. Understand your customer’s problem, empathasize with it and solve it. This is at the core of any business or work interaction and as marketers, we sometimes want to push our product or service without considering the emotion involved or benefit to the audience.
Once we got into the real meat of the course with marketing and sales, internet marketing, social media marketing, and public relations, I found that there was a lot of correlations between the skills they were learning and the careers some of them had chosen. Most of the students were planning on going into other fields rather than marketing, yet the parallels were there, such as computer skills; the importance of copyright; and internal and external communications.
Marketing is an ever-evolving field and that’s one of the reasons why I made the switch from journalism to communications five years ago and then to a combination of social media marketing, public relations and copywriting with Coulee Communications. Now that my career has also lead me to teaching, I feel blessed for all of the opportunities I’ve been given. Here’s to many more adventures in my future! I can’t wait to see where my career in communications will take me next but my main goal is to keep writing for both myself and other businesses.