Entrepreneurs, by nature, are do-it-yourself people. Not a bad thing. While that trait may serve you in many areas there’s one where it actually works against you: Marketing. Here’s five reasons why.
1) You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.
While you might feel savvy after reading a couple marketing books or listening to a savvy marketing guru, it doesn’t compare to working with a qualified team or consultant with great experience and a great record. You simply don’t know what you don’t know, and if you do it yourself, what you don’t know will hurt you. Like having a tag-line that makes no sense, or sends a wrong message. Like pouring money into SEO or your website when the better focus is Content Marketing and improved organic search. Like not realizing you need video. Or having a self-produced video that’s so unprofessional it works against you. The list goes on.
2) A Business Owner Can’t Be Objective.
Passionate business owners tend to be absorbed by their business—an advantage when it comes to DIY marketing, right? Not really. Effective marketing starts with an unbiased perspective. To be successful at marketing, business blemishes must be seen clearly. As a business owner you just don’t have that objectivity. If you read Ken Segall’s book Insanely Simple, about his working with Apple, you’ll read how Steve Jobs was proven wrong time and time again by his more objective and talented outside team who created some of the most iconic and successful marketing ever done.
3) The Best Marketing Isn’t About A System or Formula.
As more small business owners attempt to save money by trying to do their own thing, more self-proclaimed marketing gurus are popping up on the Internet with their “Amazing Profit-Making Marketing” systems. They all sound amazing and they all claim amazing results. They even have amazing testimonials. But every business is different, and a cookie-cutter, systematic approach is not the most effective way to market a business or product. While an “Amazing Profit-Making Marketing System” sounds amazing, the ones making the most money from them are usually the ones getting you to spend money on them.
4) Great Marketing Requires Talent.
Great marketing is part science, part art. Yet, the creative part often gets lost or diminished in this ever-advancing tech world. Focused, creative talent is the ingredient that helps communicate your message and persuade your prospects to buy. It’s not easy to find, but if you do it’ll make a huge difference.
5) DIY Doesn’t Really Save Money.
Because you’re not spending money on outside resources you might think you’re saving tons of money with a DIY approach. Just remember this…it’s not just what you spend, it’s what you spend and get back on what you spend.
Great marketing will get you back more, and sometimes significantly more, than what you spend. So, how do you get great marketing? You find and hire great marketing people, like Steve Jobs did, like Nike’s Phil Knight did, and like every successful business owner does. And, they didn’t just do it when they were big successful companies with huge marketing budgets. They did it from the very beginning of their companies, only months after they incorporated.
You also have to factor in what your time is worth. It’s not cheap. If you kept track of every minute you spent trying to do it yourself and applied a dollar value to that, you’d be surprised at the expense. Also realize that every expensive minute you spend fumbling with something you don’t do great is taking away valuable time and talent from something you do do great. That’s another expense.
To sum up I’ll end with a simple quote from someone who’s interviewed hundreds of small business owners and knows what it takes to be successful:
“Business success is all about finding the right outside service providers and using them wisely. You can’t do it all yourself.” — Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends