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Student Q&A: Marianne Mentis
Business Faculty Student - Social Media Marketing
Marianne Mentis has extensive experience in the marketing field. Despite running her own business, M Mentis & Co, she realised that she had a skills gap in social media marketing and wanted to earn a qualification in order to run effective social media campaigns for her clients to help increase their revenue, brand exposure and sales.
After identifying the market in social media, she decided to take the plunge and study a qualification in
Social Media Marketing
with Upskilled. In this Q&A, Marianne shares her experience in studying the course and how it has helped her grow as a professional.
What interested you in taking up the Social Media Marketing qualification?
I am a classically trained marketer, who has over twenty-five years experience in marketing, branding, strategy, business development, sales and managing budgets.
I have worked with International FMCGs (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) as well as boutique companies across all facets of marketing - from strategy development, product and website launches, sales, online marketing and lead generation campaigns, business development, public relations, event management and copywriting.
In 2015, I established a business development/sales support organisation, M Mentis & Co, whereby I provide sales, marketing, business development support to SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises), acting as an “outsourced” sales partner.
My clients were requesting I also manage their social media campaigns. I recognised that this was not my core strength but mandatory to provide the sales support required for my clients. Whilst I was self-taught and able to manage basic social media, I was mostly interested in completing formal qualifications and really scale-up my knowledge so I could provide outstanding support to my clients.
Could you tell us about where you work and a brief description of your role?
I work one-on-one with my clients to help them realise their sales potential, nurturing and investing in their potential buyers to close their deals, delivering measurable results of increased sales and revenue.
I work with a broad range of industries including:
Hospitality & Catering
Online Retailers & Online Services
International Event Speakers
Beauty, anti-ageing & well-being
Food and Beverage Franchising
Online learning and Positive Psychology Educators
Digital and Offset Printers
Since completing the qualification in social media marketing, how has this helped you in your role?
I now manage social media for two of my clients in addition to their sales and business development support. Social media is now incorporated in their overall marketing and business plans and is used to implement tactical and strategic plans, as well as continuing to brand build.
The templates provided in the
Social Media Marketing
qualification are excellent and I use them for all of my clients, albeit whether I am employed to manage their social media or not. The disciplines I have adopted from this course have also enabled me to build my own personal profile, as well as my organisation's.
What skills have you developed since completing the Diploma?
I now genuinely understand the impacts of social media, SEO performance, measuring results, monitoring effectiveness and have seen the success of a planned and strategic social media campaign. I continue to learn every day as the social media landscape and “flavours” change.
How did you balance work with online study?
The juggle of my business, being a mother to three sons and study certainly did have its challenges, but my theory in life is if you are going to do something, give it your best shot. I’m passionate about learning and always want to provide my clients with extraordinary support and exceed their expectations, so I took the same approach to study.
I knew that the investment of this course would deliver huge returns for me – personally and commercially, so that was the motivator. I was also genuinely interested and wanted to talk-the-talk and be a digital native to connect with my three sons.
As a night owl, I would often study and complete assignments throughout the night. Sacrifices were made but definitely worth the end result.
What aspects of the course did you enjoy and why?
I loved using each of my clients’ organisations for assignments and getting terrific professional feedback from the mentors for the strategy I was implementing on the channels selected. Implementation of the strategy was at times nerve-wracking because you are “going live” with someone else’s brand, but if you don’t take a risk, you don’t get results.
I found campaign analysis challenging at first, but I persisted and now it’s what really excites me because it's so measureable. With all the analytical information available to us, it was so easy to see how to change one’s tact, who is buying, the demographics and really segment the message to the target market.
All of my clients were delighted to have such a highly detailed social media plan designed specifically for them at no charge as part of my studies. If this was completed by a professional, they would have spent thousands of dollars. I have since continued to use the templates and strategies for my clients in real-life situations.
Social Media Marketing is a relatively new industry. Why do you think there is a big demand for companies now to hire professionals who are skilled in social media marketing?
Anyone can do social media, but not anyone can do it really well and can understand the analytics and write a plan and execute it to really make a difference.
It’s an industry that attracts many “snake oil salespersons” and as the landscape changes so frequently, a formally-qualified
social media strategist
will be able to understand why google changes algorithms, what works, testing, consumer behavior, able to segment the market by individual sectors, the difference between brand-building, sales, customer loyalty, writing for SEO, back end of websites, etc.
Do you have any further advice for those interested in the course and/or a career in social media marketing you’d like to share?
It's a terrific course and if you really want to understand social media and excel in it, complete all the online learning and do extra. Google is your best friend! There are so many resources and podcasts out there to really consolidate your learning and deliver a new bit of “gold” everyday.
Want to be a social media superstar like Marianne?
Upskilled offers a
range of social media marketing courses
suitable for either seasoned professionals or those starting to work in the industry. Depending on what qualifications you're after, the diploma can help you prepare for job roles such as
Social Media Manager
Social Media Strategist
. The short course can help you learn the basic fundamentals of social media marketing and can be completed in eight weeks.
Both courses can be completed online and are self-paced, meaning you have the flexibility to study anywhere at any time. Kickstart your social media career and
begin your marketing course search
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