Part 10 - Preparing to Teach Social Media Marketing
It’s hard to describe just how little I knew going in to this. I knew nothing about marketing. All I knew was if I didn’t pull off teaching a class on it, I’d be fired. I had two months.
In an ideal world, the class would be nothing but personal stories of my past clients. I do not live in that world, so I went with option B - stealing from the best.
My company mailed me a package of books that gave me a solid foundation. If all I wanted was to learn the subject, I’d have stopped there and started applying it, but I wanted more. I needed to have an answer to every question thrown my way.
I read blogs for as long as I could stand, but kept getting distracted. I dare you to try learning about social media without being constantly side tracked. The line between just reading blogposts and actually working was nonexistent. Worse, none of the information was sticking. It all felt like random pieces of data. I couldn’t figure out how to fit it all together. It’s as if I was given directions to 20 different overlapping routes, but had no idea what the map looked like underneath them.
I chased down the top rated books on Social Media, and over the course of the next three days lived in a back aisle in Barnes and Noble. I waded through seas of bullshit, trying to find actual advice. After thee days, I had a blurry vision of the map, but wanted more. I kept going.
Over the course of 2 weeks I went through 20 more books on the subject. At some point they all started running together. The map became clear. How were referrals related to tracking related to targeting? What’s the greater message that binds them together? It took over a hundred hours of reading, but I got there.
It reached a point where the reading became a stall tactic, letting me avoid actually outlining the class. I held off on that until after I observed someone else teach it. I got to go to one presented in Pasadena.
After observing the class, I created an outline. I took apart the slides my company gave me, removing anything that repeated, updating the old data, and making it simpler. I’ve never been one for business-y bullet points so by slide 7, I realized it would take longer to update their slides then it would to just start from scratch. So I did.
I wrote 20 pages, breaking the class down into one minute sections. It weighed in at 5,000 words, all color coded. Black meant I fully understood the subject. Green meant I knew it, but needed to find better examples. Red meant I didn’t understand it at all. Company facebook pages, for instance, were black. iFrames and Radian6 were red.
By this point, there was only two weeks before I had to teach the first class, so I moved on to the next phase - turning the notes into slides. I turned the major bullets into slides, and as I went through the five sessions, started pulling as many examples as I could.
By the time the first Social Media Marketing class rolled around I had five hours worth of slides that got slowly lazier over the course of the day. I was ready. Or I thought I was.
The first week was a disaster.
Next Week: Part 11. The Disaster