Article by Adam S. Kamras
Photo by MEL Brand Photography | Illustration by Cindy Dolan
August 09, 2021
While serving as an intern for a Delaware monetary firm in 2007, Heather Cox took on the unassigned challenge of making a Facebook web page for the enterprise. Though the social media platform had been based simply three years earlier for the usage of school college students, Cox sensed one thing huge was on the horizon.
“I noticed the potential for Facebook and the direct marketing capabilities it will probably deliver to companies internationally,” stated Cox. “I noticed the writing on the wall of how a lot will be achieved by straight speaking with and promoting to the buyer.”
Despite being advised to take the web page down, she was not deterred and was impressed by her convictions to take her profession in one other course and has not seemed again. Having grown up with a mom who owned a present boutique, Cox inherited that entrepreneurial spirit and based a social media and net design enterprise that has gone by a number of rebrands during the last 14 years and is at present often called #heathercoxcodes.
PCS program pays dividends
Although she was doing nicely and had developed a big shopper checklist, together with Delaware’s Maile Deli and Salumeria, V&M Bistro, and Two Stones Pub, Cox was seeking to elevate her enterprise by growing her skillset and credentials. Largely self-taught to that time, she accomplished the Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business Certificate program provided by the University of Delaware Division of Professional and Continuing (UD PCS) in 2018.
“My enterprise has elevated significantly since taking the class,” stated Cox. “Along with all the pieces I realized, having a certificates behind me gave me extra confidence, which in flip elevated my enterprise, my value and my work ethic due to the assumption it gave me in myself.”
While there have been loads of social media coaching lessons provided by numerous suppliers to select from, Cox approached her determination to enroll on the University of Delaware like a marketer.
“Earning a certificates from a good college is a greater marketing technique than getting a certificates from some place individuals are not acquainted with,” stated Cox. “There are so many alternative studying platforms on the market, however this makes it a lot extra credible.”
Cox offers nice credit score to the information and confidence she gained and the following spike in enterprise to Nancy Dibert, program director and teacher for the UD PCS Social Media Marketing program and CEO of EPIC Marketing Consultants.
“Nancy is a incredible instructor who I knew in different circles because the proprietor of an exquisite firm,” stated Cox. “She is relatable, all the way down to earth, actually is aware of what she is speaking about and is passionate. I beloved the content material she introduced, and it positively helped me elevate my enterprise.”
Cox, who had beforehand principally targeting free (“natural”) social media posting, enormously benefited from the teachings on paid promoting that confirmed her the right way to improve engagement and produce extra gross sales. Along with using many different subjects lined, she has utilized the teachings on the right way to deal with on-line bullies — often called trolls — to the social media platforms of each her enterprise and the organizations she runs on-line campaigns for.
Motivated by household
Having been out of the classroom since finishing an authorized nursing assistant program at Delaware County Community College in 2008, Cox was fearful about returning to formal training and never with the ability to slot in. However, the only mom had some further motivation.
“I used to be so nervous and was positively stepping out of my consolation zone,” stated Cox. “At the identical time I knew I wanted to do it as a result of I had a 1-year-old daughter who lit a fireplace underneath me to higher myself and present her that it’s by no means too late to enhance your self both personally or educationally. I had by no means met any of the opposite college students earlier than the class started, however I shortly knew I used to be surrounded by individuals who had been form of striving for a similar factor I used to be.”
While Cox has purchasers in different components of the nation, most of her work is performed for native corporations. When many companies stopped utilizing her companies after the COVID-19 pandemic hit this area, she drew on the teachings from the course as she offered free web site design and social media posts for her purchasers.
“I used to be born and raised Delawarean, and we’re all on this collectively,” stated Cox. “My purchasers are my buddies and I used to be not going to allow them to down. I used to be capable of take the social media abilities I realized to assist them pivot and market accordingly in regards to the new companies they had been providing, comparable to curbside pickup, takeout or a market.”
Having seen the ability of social media and a web site through the well being disaster, most of her purchasers have rehired her, and he or she has added some new prospects as nicely. Her dedication and repair have been acknowledged by being named to the lists of Top Women in Business 2020 by Delaware Today and the Delaware Business Times and Most Influential Delawareans 2020 by Delaware Online and The News Journal.
“I didn’t even know I used to be nominated for both of these awards till I came upon I used to be chosen,” stated Cox. “I nonetheless get emotional about it and am grateful to be acknowledged. Having my very own enterprise has been superior, and I really like this trade.”
Classes start in August and September
The subsequent session of the University of Delaware’s on-line Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business Certificate begins Aug. 30. For these in search of introductory stage training, UD PCS additionally has a web based Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing Certificate course beginning Sept. 20. Students concerned about UD’s Social Media Marketing program are inspired to search out out which course most closely fits their wants by finishing the self-assessment questionnaire at pcs.udel.edu/socialmedia.
Discounts and fee plans can be found for each programs. For extra info, go to pcs.udel.edu/socialmedia, electronic mail [email protected] or name 302-831-7600.