DIY Marketing 101: You call in favors from your mom (proofreader extraordinaire), neighbor (used MacPaint in the ‘80s), and daughter’s boyfriend (owns a dope camera).
Some businesses are understandably wary of paying for marketing services. Who should they hire? How much should they budget? How can they know they’re getting a solid deal and quality work?
Unable to identify the whats, whys, and wherefores, many small business owners go the DIY marketing route, taking on the equivalent of another full-time job.
Doing your own marketing work is no joke. To get by, the business owner may call in favors from their mom (proofreader extraordinaire), neighbor (used MacPaint in the ‘80s), daughter’s boyfriend (owns a dope camera), and spouse’s cousin Jimmy (self-proclaimed WordPress expert). The office manager practically lives on Facebook, so he’s in charge of social media.
Props to these self-starters, who have initiative in spades. (If I did my own accounting, I would never invoice anyone, which would leave me struggling to get by and living with my former roommates in my twenty-something apartment on the corner of Drug Dealer and Vine.)
They often start by building a website based on their own preferences instead of the wants and needs of their audience.
The home page includes a half-dozen glamour shots of the owner in a ball gown. (Unless the business sells gowns, those photos probably don’t belong on the website.) Or it includes an image of the owner standing in a raging river wearing a MILF (“Man, I Love Fishing”) hat and holding up the world’s largest freshwater carp. (Unless the business sells fishing gear, that photo doesn’t belong on the website. Bonus tip: it also doesn’t belong on the owner’s dating site.)
The target audience is female party planners, and the dark, grainy site is filled with images of men and long lists of technology specs.
Or the target audience is enterprise tech firms, and odd stock images, photos of staff pets, and minimal content are scattered throughout a site that Jimmy built.
To try to be seen and heard, some business owners put in a herculean effort equivalent to pushing a boulder up a hill. Other businesses ignore marketing altogether. Site design? Who cares. Blog? Passé. SEO? Pointless. Social media pages? A waste of time.
The real problem: after years of in-house effort, DIY businesses have a 600-person mailing list, 272 LinkedIn followers, a blurry logo, a new website that looks like it was built in 2008, poorly written site content, and no SEO.
Many business owners, veritable trailblazers in their fields of expertise, phone it in when it comes to marketing. They don’t know what they don’t know. The lucky ones make do with referrals, which is a limiting proposition but nonetheless all kinds of awesome. The unlucky ones fret about static growth and hope tomorrow’s a better day.
Let’s look at the situation from another angle. What do these DIY marketing efforts cost these businesses? Maybe nothing. Or maybe around a thousand bucks a year. Either way, the business barely spent a thing. And it shows.
The DIY Marketing Fix
You’re entrepreneurial. You started your own business or are part of the core team working to grow a business. You’re too smart and ambitious to accept anything but the truth: a professional website, clear brand messaging, high-value blog, thought leadership content, social media pages followed by an engaged target audience, and organic SEO are the table stakes. No two ways about it.
Businesses that want to grow should be allocating 7-15% of their net profits to marketing. Depending on their revenue goals and in-house capabilities, they also probably require outside marketing support. But first they need to address reasonable reservations about the skills, efforts, and ethics of the agencies and freelancers they might hire.
Fast Wins + Zero Fluff = Game Changer
I’m pulling back the marketing veil to empower small businesses to survive and thrive — no marketing agencies required. I’m going to show you step by step how to protect yourself and your pocketbook — and actually get the high-value marketing work you need.
Get the free Top 5 Small Business Marketing Fiascos – and How to Fix Them e-book here.
Or get periodic marketing tips and tricks to empower you to eliminate random acts of marketing, improve your marketing aim, and fire on all cylinders. No smoke, mirrors, BS, or fluff. All fast-win informational goodness that you can put into action straightaway. Sign up to get on the list.