Like me, you’re probably fascinated by marketing – and maybe you’ve been toying around with the idea of doing a little marketing yourself. Well, thanks to the dominance of digital marketing channels, it’s become easier than ever for people – like you – to “do it themselves.” It might be hard to beat the price tag of DIY marketing, but it comes with one condition: you’ll need to put forth your valuable time, endlessly.
On the plus side, doing your own marketing offers some valuable lessons in terms of what works and what doesn’t work for marketing your business. And if you so happen to choose to work with an agency down the line, you’ll have the knowledge and experience to protect you from any onslaughts of horse manure.
But having said that, Do-It-Yourself marketing isn’t as easy as you might think.
Before you don your marketing cap and crack those knuckles, there’s a couple of things I think you should know. I kind of look out for you like that. So let’s dive in, and guide you through the common roadblocks that stand in the way of DIY Marketing greatness.
- 1 3 Big Time External Roadblocks Make DIY Marketing Tricky
- 2 2 Major Internal Roadblocks
- 3 Wrap it Up!
3 Big Time External Roadblocks Make DIY Marketing Tricky
1. Too Vague How-Tos VS. Too Technical How-Tos
The Internet is brimming with How-Tos. Come to think of it, almost any knowledge you might want to obtain is only a few mere clicks away at any given time. You might be thinking to yourself, “I’ll just Google ‘D-I-Y Marketing Ideas.” But hang on – nothing is ever that easy. What pops up in your search results, in my opinion, is a whole lot of jibber jabber and hogwash. If you have Googled it, you might notice that all the websites seem to be saying the exact same things.
- Creating great content!
- Creating instructional video!
- Posting valuable information on your social media!
- Keep updating yourself on marketing trends – like SnapChat! (If you don’t have Snapchat, I’ll give you a 90 second break to download it.)
Sorry though, what exactly IS great content? The results have spoken, and in their vaguest terms, they collectively seem to be muttering, “If you create a great marketing campaign, your company will succeed.” You probably already knew that.
Don’t get me wrong, there is tons of valuable information online but a lot of it gets lost in translation because the content is far too technical. But if you do happen to come across an idea that you think will work for your business, then it’s time to start thinking about how you can apply that strategy to your marketing efforts.
2. Successful Case Studies are All You, Baby!
There is no better source to research a new marketing strategy than successful case studies that illustrate real results. It’s a stellar way to learn about marketing strategies and the impacts they can make for businesses just like yours. If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’d recommend ours right here. There may never be any steadfast guarantees in the wild world of marketing, but case studies are a good place to start.
The thing to look out for when cruising case studies, is the rogue variables that can sway a the final results. For example, some companies have enough brand clout and pedigreed reputations that they’re capable of succeeding even if the marketing efforts are a total flop. I’m still eating Subway sandwiches, case in point. Other things that can swing the vote, are outdated case studies with strategies that have been exhausted over the last few years. They lost that new car smell, as it were, just like in dropbox’s case study. And lastly, some businesses just kill it – and no one outwardly talks about how or why. They keep it secret, they keep it safe whether intentional or not.
My point is, you’ll never be 100% sure of what strategy or route to take for a successful marketing campaign. Something unexpected is sure to pop up during your campaign – and in some cases, the unexpected pop ups are what MAKE your campaign successful in the first place. When it comes to the end, “We got lucky” isn’t going to make it on a case study – so track your successes carefully.
3. You Gotta Do What is Right – When Its Right – While Its Changing
Ok, so deciding on which marketing strategies you’d like to execute sounds pretty simple. Heck, it might even sound a little fun.
It’s not that simple.
You’ve got to pick the strategy that fits your business just right. There are hundreds of marketing channels and strategies to choose from, and while you’re busy weighing your options – the next marketing trend is swinging around the bend. So, you have to stay in the know and tune in to the marketing trend chatter just as you would with the latest happenings in your industry. The truth is, there is no such thing as the “perfect strategy”, one which will cure all of your marketing pains. When you’re picking the strategy for your business, you have to get creative and customize your strategy to your business and your ultimate goals.
Once you’ve got your hands dirty, and you start collecting your experience, you’ll have a knack for knowing what works and what just ain’t going to fly. It’s going to take time, a whole lot of spending time. That brings me to my next common roadblock….
2 Major Internal Roadblocks
1. You’re Super Busy
Since I do marketing every day, I’m pretty sure I’ll give you a lousy underestimate of just how long your DIY Marketing will take you. The biggest barrier to taking on marketing yourself is – of course – time. And here’s the reason:
Marketing eats up your time for planning, managing, executing, checking, delegating, communicating, analyzing and adjusting.
You already have so many things on your plates other than marketing such as meeting your clients, educating your team or sending 43 faxes to your Aunt Mildred.
How much spare time do you actually have each week – if any?
The key to making your marketing successful is being persistent and continuously improving and adjusting – and that sucks up a lot of time. That’s just how its meant to be, and you want to be busy – so don’t worry too much. Fun fact? Most marketing agencies face exactly this problem. Even agencies, marketing agencies, can’t market themselves since they simply DO NOT HAVE THE TIME. I barely have time to write this blog!
All I’m saying is, if a marketing agency made up of marketers can’t find the time to market themselves through MARKETING – it will probably be even tougher and more time consuming for someone who isn’t as familiar with marketing.
Side Note: I hear this all the time, “Don’t hire a marketing agency that doesn’t have great branding or marketing for their own business” It might come off like the agency has bogus marketing skills and is unable to promote itself – which is worrisome when you’re looking to hire someone for – well – branding and marketing. But I know of some great marketing agencies who do no marketing for themselves – they’re awesome, they just don’t have time.
2. You’ve been called a Super Professional – and You Know Too Much
I’m a believer in the old adage, “Knowledge is power!” What’s not to love about being sharp as a tack? Having a curious mind and being an expert in your industry will help to improve your marketing campaigns and your growth. But sometimes, what you already know and have cemented in your mind as truth, will not connect with your audience for some confounded reason. Sometimes, being too professional, too deep in your expertise and too attached to what you “know” doesn’t make for resonating impacts with your customer.
You’ve got to stay open minded and explore different angles to approach your customer in the way that is authentic to you, but is in their language. You have to be willing to toss away every truth you know and look at it freshly through the eyes of the people you’re trying to reach. Once you pick up their lingo, Kemosabe, you’re golden.
Wrap it Up!
All the roadblocks are on the table, and I’m happy to report that all of them can be solved by spending time and never ceasing to learn. The more time you spend, the more you learn – so that’s a bonus. Starting DIY Marketing is great, but its not always easy and marketing strategies don’t always work out the way you intend for them to.
Just like I mentioned in my last blog, it takes time to master the tools, to know what works best for you and when and to realize the potential of new marketing methods. Marketing is not about coming up with great ideas alone – it’s about how to make things happen. As Tammy says, “Its a marathon not a sprint.”
If you’re already a marketer – YES! AWESOME! SWEET! Your job is to spend your time on marketing campaigns. If you’re a CEO or you have no clue about marketing, I always recommend that you hire an educated senior level marketing professional to man the ship of your marketing campaigns. That or find a trustworthy marketing agency to work with. Here’s a list of things I believe all marketers who hire an agency should know.
Your marketing efforts can influence your business in big and unexpected ways – good and bad – don’t let a bad marketing strategy eat up your precious time that could have been doled out on what you do best. If you liked this article, please check out “The 3 Worst Mistakes That Devastated My Marketing Projects” so you won’t make the same mistakes I did.
If you want to learn more about specific key elements of an effective marketing plan, read our 50+ page booklet on How to Write A Strategic Marketing Plan That Yields ROI – complete with explanations