“Oh, so you’re a writer?” I said. “I thought you were an attorney.” (I knew I was playing hardball but hey! We’re talking about an attorney here. Of course her answer was “no” but many small business marketing solutions are thought to be more effective if you just “do it yourself.”
The fact was that she- like many small business owners- was faced with the two major dilemmas that often confuse the entrepreneur.
1. No one does it better than me
2. I don’t have enough money to hire out
See, the business community is full of people like her (and me) who have braved the storm, left the nest, and decided NOT to follow the traditional path of employment. Instead, we have decided to carve out our way and in doing so we’ve met many nay-sayers and human obstacles that have taught us that
If you’re gonna do something right, you gotta do it yourself.
So the small business owner or local entrepreneur will often decide to travel outside of our expertise and create our own marketing, social media, logos, tri-folds, websites, and so forth. The result is that the web is filled with bad marketing, ineffective social media, poor logos, boring websites, etc. The problem here is that these external marketing pieces are perhaps the most important factors of a successful business plan.
The entrepreneur must instead weigh the value of the task at hand and make the conscious decision to NOT do it by themselves in exchange for the peace of mind that comes with hiring a professional who will:
Implement their own expertise
Capture your voice
Finish on time
Etc. So while you may be spending more than you want (at the time), you will also have marketing assets that look professional and are (at least they should be) designed to convert viewers into sales.
Here’s the reality: If your building a permanent asset like a website, a video, or a landing page or if the asset represents your business in any kind of meaningful way- hire someone to do it.
Be honest- do you know the 8 points of an effective landing page? Do you know how to blog for new business? Do you know what it means to have a “closed-loop” marketing plan?
You probably don’t. So before you start designing your own website creating your own videos because “no one can do it better than you” or because you “can’t afford it,” try to imagine a website designer saying
“No one can crack my back better than me”
“I can’t afford to hire a mechanic”
It sounds ridiculous and in the end, will cost the website designer even more money and probably even cause some damage.
Your marketing is the same way. There are ways to do it right and millions more ways to do it wrong. This belief that you can “do it yourself” is a lie that you have to stop telling yourself.
You can’t. You’re not a professional marketer.
Are you mad that I said it? Don’t be. In the end, you’ll be grateful that I told you the truth instead of capitulating to your ego. You are good at what you’re good at. Focus on those things and hire out the rest. Avoid Craigslist, interns, cousins, brothers, friends, nephews, etc. who “design sites” or “make videos” or “write blogs.” You’re a professional and you need to look professional by working with someone professional.
We’ve put together a 45-minute training on marketing for small and local business. You can download it to your phone or watch it on-demand. This webinar will help you become more competent in knowing how to master your own marketing and how to h ire someone competent.