The Dangers Of “Do It Yourself” Marketing
Most entrepreneurs are “do it yourself” types of people. They enjoy building things from scratch and will ultimately embrace the hardships that they need to overcome in order to be successful. Most business owners have this type of personality, which leads them to enjoy overcoming adversity and facing challenges head on. These types of people will generally look at the best methods of solving the problem in order to apply it to their business, usually taking factors into consideration like how much something will cost vs. what are the benefits to doing it. But there’s always a certain component of building things themselves that get worked into a business plan, and the overwhelming majority of business owners are very used to jumping into the mix in order to make the business function more appropriately. With regards to a lot of different things in business, this “do it yourself” mentality is a bonus that helps the business succeed. There are certain types of challenges that businesses face that may not be appropriate for this type of attitude to be applied to. Marketing is one of them.
When businesses attempt to do their own marketing, it is usually do the fact that the business owner or management looks at existing marketing for their competitors and believes that they can do the same thing themselves in order to save money. Nobody needs convinced that marketing is necessary to get the word out about your business, and make people who are potential customers know that you exist. The question that business owners wrestle with is if they can create the marketing themselves that will draw attention to their business in order to save the fees that would be paid to a marketing company or advertising agency. The business owner sees a billboard and thinks “I can just create a graphic like that myself and call the billboard company to place it for me,” or “I can write a radio commercial myself and call the radio station to have it played.” While there is truth to the fact that anyone can create graphics or text on their own, the real question is if you are good enough at this to create something that can compete with professional marketing. The “do it yourself” mentality is based upon the fact that anyone can buy the tools to do almost any job, and with a minimal amount of research can figure out the techniques that are used to complete that job. If you’re doing something like home improvement, you very well might look at that job and see that you can do it for far less money than it would cost to hire professional company to do the same thing. Once that job has been completed, there is a good chance that there are certain things about it that would be better if it had been professionally done this doesn’t matter because you are the only one that needs to be satisfied by it. If you decided that you were going to do this same thing for people that were paying you, they would demand a higher standard than you would ever place upon yourself and your own home. What you have to understand with regards to advertising and marketing is that the point of the ads is to get new customers. If there are no competing businesses within your area, then simply having an ad up there is going to do enough to get eyes to see you. If the industry has competitors to do the same thing that you do, you have to understand that your ads must be better than theirs in order to achieve the goal. If customers have multiple business is to choose from, they’re going to choose the one with the most professional presentation, or the one that gets the message across about why the customer should choose that business over another one. Simply having an ad out there does not achieve the goal of being better than the competition. So you have to ask yourself if you believe that you can actually make marketing materials and adds that are on the same level or higher as the ones that are being presented by your competition. Yes, you both will have billboards or ads in magazines or newspapers. You both might have commercials on television or social media profiles. Simply having the tool does not mean that you are better at using it than someone who makes a living using that tool. Once your ad has been created, it is now going to need to be placed in front of customers. This is going to cost money to do, and if you have created an ad or of marketing presentation that is not as strong as your competition, you’re actually wasting money. If you’re going to spend money to place an ad that is not professionally created, it might just be better to not place an ad at all. If your presentation is not as good as your competition, you have now spent money that will not achieve the goals that it was intended to have. It is very much like saying that anyone can fix a car with a little bit of knowledge and the right tools for the job. This might be true, but it doesn’t mean that you know how to create a car that can win a race against a professionally designed and built race car. Your marketing materials must perform this way, beating the competition in a race. This race is going to cost money for you to enter, so you need ask yourself if you think it is wise to spend that money while driving a car that you build in your garage. Marketing that you do yourself in order to save money will actually cost you in the long run because it will almost always fail.
Search engine optimization is one of the most interesting forms of marketing with regards to small businesses. By been presented in search results when customers are specifically looking for your products, you get access to a pool of potential customers that is far more motivated to buy then simply presenting your business to everyone and hoping to get the people who are interested in your products from that pool. Because of this fact, many people who own businesses are interested in search engine optimization as a method of gaining new customers from their local area. They do a little bit of research on how search engine optimization works, and hear that all it entails is writing articles about your product or your business and doing some basic changes to the titles and descriptions within the website. This is true, but once again what you have to realize is that rankings on search engines are a competition. All of the businesses that provide your services or products are competing for the top spots, and the one with the best presentation of the things that search engines are looking for is going to be placed on the first page. When “do it yourself” marketing types see that the tools necessary to do search engine optimization are available to anyone, many will attempt to do it themselves. They will usually become frustrated when they do not gain the first page rankings that they hope for. This is specifically because they are not as good at SEO as the people who are handling the competing web sites. You are not simply writing articles or doing small code changes, you’re doing these tasks with the experience of knowing what works and what doesn’t, as well as how to present this information in a way that search engines will favor. It is almost impossible for an amateur to compete with a professional in any industry. Most business owners will soon realize that everything that they have done to save money is actually a waste of time. Do yourself a favor, and if you want to actually build a bigger customer base, leave the marketing to the professionals.
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