Digital marketing ... help?
July 23, 2019 4:47 AM   Subscribe

I have a digital marketing course to attend. I don't understand anything and my attention just keeps on tuning in and out.

Hi everyone. My mother gang pressed me into paying for and attending a professional part-time digital marketing course. It's a ten month, twice a week thing that will cost a total of 7000 dollars.

I actually don't want to do it and I have a very alarming problem. I don't understand anything the lecturer says and I can't pinpoint why I don't understand. Like, we went through how to use Google Ads. And my main impression of the lecture is always, wuggawugga wugga wugga. I just surf the internet in class and try to keep my cool if I feel like crying.

I can't quit because, in my life, whenever I want A and my mom wants B, she screams like a banshee. I'm thirty and I can remember this happening since I was like five. Also, we see a fortune teller and she was like, this one is great! Keep at it.

And if the thing fucks up, then its my fault no matter what.

Can you reccommend how I should learn how to wrangle digital marketing on my own, so that at the end I'll have something to show for 10 months and 7 grand?
posted by catbird to Education (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Professional marketer here.

If you could provide some more information that would be helpful - i.e. what you do for your profession, how digital marketing could further that (or get you started), whether you have an option of dropping out (and getting a pro-rated refund, even if you have to fight for it).

Plenty of less expensive or even free options (the Hubspot one comes to mind, along with Google Analytics online courses).

Feel free to MeMail if it's too much to post here.
posted by scooterdog at 4:54 AM on July 23, 2019

My primary source of motivation to do well in school was so I could get into a good college far away from my parents who were killing my soul.

It worked. I was valedictorian. I got into a great college 1000 miles away and left and have been here ever since. Looking back it's the only thing that has ever truly motivated me, because it's the only thing I ever really, truly needed before I could feel happy.

Maybe you can look at this digital marketing class like that. Work as hard as you can, put in as much effort as possible to do well, learn this new skill. And use it to get a job as far away from your mom as you can possibly get.
posted by phunniemee at 4:57 AM on July 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

Digital marketing isn't a super technical topic, so it seems more likely this is about being able to focus on and process the lecture than to understand the content. Have you had trouble focusing on lectures like this before? From your question it's hard to tell if what's going on is something like ADHD or something emotional (subconsciously not wanting to listen because you didn't choose to be there).

I think with the web surfing during class you may get stuck in a loop of being less and less able to focus on the material, because you're going to be reading different words. Could you try a distraction that only occupies part of your brain, like doodling? Or force yourself to listen to the information even if you're not processing it in the moment, and take notes you could read later?
posted by space snail at 5:09 AM on July 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

If you feel like crying in this class, I think you might have a larger problem, like depression or anxiety. I had both in undergrad and was unable to do my work until I started seeing a therapist to help me with the issues that were causing me to distract myself from lectures and avoid work. Ultimately I think you should not take this course because you don't want to, and instead focus on how to be healthy and deal with the problems caused by your mother. Short of that, take the course and get therapy to help you through it.
posted by girlpublisher at 5:19 AM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

I see several issues here:
1) Family dynamics
2) Attention issues
3) Professional development

Based obviously on not much information, I think the above is the correct order of operations. Why does your mom care what her adult daughter studies, and why are you so intent on keeping the peace? Are these issues with attention new, or is this par for the course? And finally, why digital marketing?

That said, there’s plenty of supplemental material around on the subject, so if synchronous online learning isn’t your jam, you should back it up with independent reading etc.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:05 AM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Whoa... let's talk about the price and length.

professional part-time digital marketing course. It's a ten month, twice a week thing that will cost a total of 7000 dollars.

I am a professional digital marketer as well and this 100% sounds like a scam. It is however pretty boring if you're not interested in it (I am not) and it did lead me to getting diagnosed with ADD because I just could not focus on it. I can mildly more now while job hunting. Anyway, I bet everything you're learning now can be learned from the free HubSpot classes (someone above mentioned and they're awesome actually) and Google trainings. I do learn things going to free marketing one-off classes around town that are fascinating but at the end of the day digital marketing is not that complex of a topic. I could walk anyone through each platform on a basic level in a hour and cover advanced stuff as it came up, I bet.

If you're getting some sort of certificate I don't even understand what that would do for getting you into marketing. Basically just know how to run social media campaigns or be a copywriter and apply. Or have a bachelors in marketing or journalism (I think a marketing bachelors is kind of silly but I'm an English Creative Writing one so who can throw stones).

I can't imagine what takes 10 months part time to learn in this arena. The interesting stuff I learn is like niche or how to tweak your SEO tags on YouTube for more hits. It's like things you learn then practice. If it was just all theory presented to me, I'd be bored to tears and instantly forget.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 6:46 AM on July 23, 2019 [7 favorites]

Hey, I don't know if this will be of any use to you, but it helped me at some point as a young adult to realize: my parents are not always right. Sometimes, and in some areas, their judgement is not great. There are a lot of things they don't know. Part of life is learning to recognize the parts of our parents, or other authority figures, that are good guides and models, and to recognize the parts where their guidance is not what we should follow.

I'm sorry this course is hard for you, and I think it's probably because it's not where you want to be and what you want to be doing. Your mom didn't give you good advice. I hope you'll get something out of this course at the end, but if you don't, don't stress it. The really important thing you need to learn is how to deal with her when she tries to be controlling, because she'll likely display some bad judgement again in the future about what's right for you. Think of the $7000 as the price of that lesson, and put in the work to get your money's worth, namely the ability to act independently when your judgement isn't in sync with hers.

That said, on the marketing front - pick a very low budget, set up a small website (WordPress or whatever) and go through the processes you're learning about with your own practice site. It'll be less boring than learning abstractly.
posted by trig at 7:03 AM on July 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Would it be possible to follow along with the lecturers' web clicks on the whatever-is-the-subject instead of free-surfing the web? I always find it easier to learn while doing, rather than trying to absorb it through lecture (cue me dropping out of Flash class.)

I agree with others citing this being a problem with sooooo many facets. If, as it seems you have already decided, the easiest way out is through, I'd recommend locking yourself out of websurfing during session and getting your dopamine another way. Big coffee drinks are speed-y like add meds and pleasure-center rewarding. If you live in a legal pot state, try some 5 mg dose edibles or mix thc/cbd stuff, as long as that isn't going to interfere with home life. But I agree with space snail, who said doodle, not internet, and trig who said the best way to learn is DIY.

Also, consider having your hearing examined ... maybe you literally cannot pick up some frequencies in the lecturer's p.a. setup. Best.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 9:02 AM on July 23, 2019

Is there any assigned reading, like a textbook? If so, see if you can read ahead to prepare for each class. Look up any unfamiliar terms prior to class so that you can better understand what your instructor is saying. It's hard to pay attention when the terms someone is using are going over your head, and you can't connect them up to any sort of a point.

I had a chemistry teacher who was a HORRIBLE lecturer. Making sure I had done the required reading made it somewhat easier to understand what he was rambling on about in class. The other thing that helped was taking the best notes I could, and looking for additional resources to supplement the class materials. Google, YouTube, "For Dummies" books, etc. Especially things meant for beginners that present the information in a clear and simple way.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:10 AM on July 23, 2019

Response by poster: Hi. Thanks guys. I've found that its just best to take things as they are, in that I just do whatever homework there is. And I've taken the advice to chug coffee in class. It helps.
posted by catbird at 3:41 AM on August 26, 2019

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