I’ve often mentored interns and apprentices but I found that the office space was expensive as our marketing team grew. There are many bonuses to having an apprentice in your business though, including growth of social media platforms and new ideas. In return, my apprentices and interns would get good mentoring or coaching and training, and also a reference at the end of a successful apprenticeship. It’s a win-win situation. Recently, I have found this fabulous platform called GenM which runs apprenticeships virtually and allows you to take on an apprentice regardless of geographical location. I hope that you enjoy my GenM review.
What is GenM?
GenM is a platform designed to match apprentices who want to learn and progress in Digital Marketing with business owners and mentors who want help in their business and are willing to coach them. As everything is done remotely, you don’t have to meet face to face with your apprentice. A Skype or video conference once a week plus management of workload over a platform such as Asana will be enough to manage and train them.
For a business owner who has growing social media, SEO or content marketing needs, GenM is the perfect platform to find an apprentice who can help. I have found it a great way to find students to help me to grow several blogs and social media platforms. I have now seen two apprentices through the 90 day period and I hope to be keeping one of them on as a freelancer now that she is trained.
Tasks that I have set my GenM apprentices include…
- Social Media strategy Planning
- Social Media content writing (checked in a spreadsheet first)
- Social Media interaction e.g. likes based on a particular topic or #hashtag
- Blog writing and copywriting for website
- On page SEO – Yoast
- Off page SEO – building backlinks and guest blogging
- Instagram branding and revamp
How much does GenM cost and is it Worth it?
GenM costs $149 for a three month apprentice and this is for 10 hours a week for three months = 120 work hours. This is a good deal….as long as you get the right person onboard. My advice is to make sure that you test their commitment and skills through chat and then progress to a video conference interview. Make sure that they have some skills that you need, for example, if you need a content writer go for a native English speaker.
You also need to be willing to invest some time for the development of the young person. But considering it’s working out at less than $2 an hour, this is something that I am more than happy to do.
I think that the key is getting the person and the training right. I try to stick to UK time zones and UK native speakers. One or two problems I had was with someone not being online at UK time and another sending social media content and blog content riddled with spelling mistakes.
It’s crucial that you check in with your apprentice frequently – with a weekly meeting and daily support on chat in the early stages. I have the following documents to hand to send my apprentices when they start, and this really helps things to run smoothly…
- Social Media Strategy planner
- Social Media Schedules (date, post and link)
- SEO keyword research guideance
- Blog structure and tone of voice guidance
GenM Review – Any downsides?
I’ve already highlighted the fact that if you hire the wrong person, it can often be more problematic than its worth. You don’t want to be in a situation where it takes you longer to check work than to just do it yourself! But the proper interview process in place with clear questions can help you to get it write. Questions I often ask at interview are…
- Where are you at right now in your studies or career, and where would you like to go?
- What skills can you bring to our company in terms of Digital Marketing?
- Are you comfortable working to deadlines remotely?
- Can you fully commit to 10 hours a week for a period of 90 days?
- Is there anything particular that you would like to learn from this apprenticeship?
I don’t take anyone forward who is in the wrong time zone or does note appear to be able to commit. Anyone who is late or does not turn up to interview is a definite no. I also often ask for samples of their writing or social media accounts.
GenM could be set up better, for example using calendars and planning tools on their platform. However, this something that they are looking at developing.
Apprentices MIA (Missing in Action!)
I’ve spoke to a few business owners in the online community and one of them who have had an apprentice completely disappear on them. Signed the contract to start, and then…nothing…..for weeks! The great thing is that GenM staff are on hand through the chat facility, and when this happens, they will refund your fee so that you can go ahead and find another apprentice.
Is GenM Ethical?
One of the only issues that may be a concern is that your fee doesn’t actually go towards paying the apprentice. However, it does fund their course. Students have access to the platform for free, because business owners pay.
Although students are not receiving a salary for this work, they are getting the free training courses provided by GenM. They are also coming out of this with a certificate and reference, plus the experience gained from being taught by you, their mentor. The bottom line is that those who are not willing to do this work to progress can go to find paid work elsewhere, but they obviously get something out of this, or they wouldn’t be doing it. For many students, it is difficult to know where to start in the world of work experience.
There is also the chance to be kept on as an employee or freelancer following a successful apprenticeship.
GenM Review – Overall Feedback
As a business owner who needs students and apprentices to help me to grow blogs, I really feel that it is worth signing up to GenM. If you would like to get a GenM apprentice or even just find out what it’s all about, you can sign up here. You don’t have to pay straight away – not until you are ready to hire.