Your desired future is not too far away. It starts with a decision to serve!
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I recently passed my Facebook Blueprint Planning Certification – Facebook’s highest and only recognised certification for Facebook marketing professionals – and my heart is so full of gratitude to God.
 
I look back in amazement to see how it happened and I feel strongly that I should share my story to encourage someone here.
 
How it started
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Sometime last year, I made a decision to be more active in the WordPress ecosystem in Nigeria.
 
Hence, I volunteered to speak for free at a Lagos meetup on how to use Woocommerce to build an online store.
 
During my session, I shared a few gifts to those who participated and I guess that made an impression on Olusegun Oyetunji because he won something. LOL.
 
Lesson Learnt:
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It is always great to have swags (i.e. gifts) to share during a training – no matter how small it may seem. It helps with engagement, and like in my own case, could even open new doors for you.
 
Several months later, Segun contacted me to join his team of trainers. He was trying to recruit digital marketers who would empower Nigerian business owners to grow their businesses by using Facebook and Instagram.
 
It had some requirements attached e.g. completing part of the Facebook Blueprint course, attending Facebook’s Train The Trainers (TTT) program and signing up with Digivate360 as a Digivate360 Facebook Certified trainer.
Facebook Train the trainers event
 
I passed the Business growth in 30,60 and 90 days course, attended the TTT program and eventually signed up as a Digivate360 trainer.
 
The training project came with its own challenges but the Digivate360 team always tried to make the project interesting and encouraging for the trainers.
Digivate360 Facebook Certified Trainer
 
The journey to being certified
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Sometime in September 2018, some members of the training team, including I, were selected and contacted by PWC Nigeria (Facebook’s Program Manager).
 
We were informed that we had been chosen for special favours due to our performance in the “Boost Your Business With Facebook” project :).
 
Hence, we were being given the opportunity to write Facebook’s Blueprint certification exam for free (all expenses to be paid by Facebook).
 
However, to take up on the offer, we had to pass a pre-assessment test and be available for the bootcamp preparation training.
 
Challenges faced
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The information came while I was preparing for my Home Business Startup Success Summit, and things were a bit hectic for me during that period.
Home Business Startup Success Summit
 
So many things seemed to be going in the opposite direction and the workload involved was quite much.
 
The time given to pass the Blueprint pre-assessment also seemed short and the value of the certification was not well known.
 
However, after being told that only 25 people were Blueprint certified in Africa, that the cost of the certification was about $300, and that some trainers were wondering why they were not chosen for the pre-assessment, I decided to take the opportunity more seriously.
 
Help from different quarters
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Hence, when Joy Eneghalu offered her office space and suggested that the remaining people who were yet to do their test do group studying together, I jumped at the opportunity to interact with those of us left to do the assessment.
 
Ken Ndubisi was also kind enough to be a part of the study group and lend support in areas we needed help.
 
Lesson Learnt
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Group studying sometimes help you to build confidence in your abilities especially when you observe that the answers you give are correct and you do know book after all. LOL.
 
I eventually did the pre-assessment test and passed; thus enabling me to qualify for the 3-day bootcamp organised by Facebook at NG_Hub, Lagos.
Facebook Blueprint Certification Bootcamp
After a grueling 3-day period trying to balance bootcamp, doing homework with my daughter, studying for the rigorous exams and keeping in touch at late hours with a loved one who was away in another country 6 hours behind Nigeria’s time, I finally passed the exam.
 
Facebook Certified ProfessionalsIt was a moment of joy and excitement for me and I was one of the few people who passed (less than 10) out of about 50 people who wrote the exams.
I look back and cannot help thanking God for how it all started.
 
After the exams, Sherry Dzinoreva, Public Policy Programs Manager Facebook, EMEA, informed me that this was the first time Facebook was doing something of that nature for Facebook partners in Nigeria.
 
The people who usually got access to the pre-assessment tests, bootcamp training by Facebook’s Certification team and free coupons to write the exams, were the big agencies who were already doing very well and spending big money (possibly millions in $ 🙂 ) in Facebook ads.
 
How to become Blueprint certified
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Facebook does have a free Blueprint online course for those interested in preparing for and writing the Blueprint exams.
 
The exams can also be taken online or at a proctored testing centre. However, I was told that there is currently no proctored testing center in Nigeria for the Blueprint exam.
 
Hence, a proctored testing centre had to be set up just for us to write the exams.
 
Those who wanted to do a second certification (you can choose the Planning or Buying exams) or retake the exams were told they had to do it online (but you know Naija with internet conditions and all).
 
Conclusion
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Catherine Mayokun Egwali FB Certified PlannerMy journey to being a Facebook certified planner (highly recognised and valuable position) started from when I volunteered my expertise at the WordPress meetup.
 
I made a good impression as a trainer and was remembered when an opportunity opened up for digital marketing trainers.
 
I also gave my best input during the project; hence, I was selected to benefit from Facebook’s generosity to empower her partners to grow.
 
Are you currently putting in effort to help humanity and it seems like you are not getting so much in monetary terms especially at the onset?
 
Do not give up! You might just be laying the foundation for bigger opportunities in the future.
 
Did you get inspired by this story? Please do let me know. Looking forward to you also sharing inspirational stories.