The Dangers of DIY Projects & When To Hire Help

DIY projects can be great, but they can also cause real damage to your business. Learn how to make the right decisions by understanding the pros and cons of DIY projects and how they might impact on your ability to convert people into customers, clients and/or fans.

Does it matter? What really is the difference, other than cost, and what do you need to think about to avoid running into problems and hurting your business?

That’s what we’re going to explore!

New businesses owners struggle to prioritise effectively because they aren’t aware of all the risks and dangers they should plan for. This is especially true when it comes to making decisions that affect what they spend their own time on.

This can lead to many problems that are actually pretty easy to avoid, that’s what I want to help you with this post.

What we’re going to look at specifically is assigning the wrong person too much responsibility for something they aren’t really able to do well. That “person” could be you or it could be someone you hired, it could be both of you.

“DIY” jobs tend to be seen in a negative light (outside the DIY world) because they usually lead to bigger problems further down the line. Like the shelf that falls down, resulting in a priceless heirloom being smashed to pieces.
This post is going to help you understand:

  1. What can go wrong when you DIY
  2. Which areas of your business need be prioritised
  3. When to DIY (for specific project types)
  4. How DIY projects can impact your business

This isn’t about us trying to convince you to hire us, (of course I’d say that, right!), because there genuinely are times that you should DIY.

But I can’t ignore all of the times I’ve seen a business go down the DIY path and could only watch as it damaged their brand or company in ways they didn’t understand until there was nothing they could do about it.

So, let’s start at the beginning!

What do we mean by DIY?

When I say a “DIY Project” what I mean is someone who’s lacking in knowledge and experience, trying to complete a project on their own.

It’s a very different thing if you’re properly trained in something, and have experience, and you’re doing it for yourself.

So, I could launch a new business and build my own website, but that’s not really what we’re talking about, because I’ve got almost a decade of experience in these kind of projects and an up to date understanding of how to build a website.

Another option that loosely falls into this category is working with amateurs/students.

This could be friend’s daughter or son, who happens to be studying something like graphic design or web design. Unfortunately, many people don’t know that, especially at colleges, students aren’t taught how to do things properly in an up to date or even industry approved way. Often, this leads to really low quality work being carried out.

It could also be someone approaching the end of their career, with a really outdated knowledge that chose to split their focus between too many skill sets to be effective. They might be a part time photographer/graphic designer/videographer/children’s clown that also works 30 hours a week for another company that doesn’t utilise any of those skills in a professional capacity.

A DIY project can take many forms, but essentially, someone is carrying out a service that they aren’t fully committed to and will struggle to talk the talk.

What’s The Worst That Could Happen If You DIY?

It’s so easy to dismiss the parts of your business that don’t directly generate you an income in the early stages. Things like your logo, financial accounting, brand, website, marketing, personal development and a lot more all seem to take a back seat.

What’s sitting up front? Usually it’s the business owner putting their wants and need first or they are focusing everything on deliver the best experience ever – often focusing on things their customers don’t really want.

It’s this kind of thinking that lands businesses in hot water.

So what’s the worst that can happen? Your business fails. You waste thousands of pounds, thousands of hours and likely a lot of self respect and motivation.

Sounds a bit extreme, doesn’t it – I don’t disagree!

But unless you’re doing something completely new, that no one has ever thought of (this is less than about 5% of all businesses) then you’re going to have competition, and lots of it.

Being good at something isn’t impressive these days. A good service and products that do what they say they do is the bare minimum these days. People know their worth and won’t put up with as much as they used to!

With advances in technology, education and innovation, being good at something is getting easier and easier these days – you need to find other areas to excel in.

As a business owner, your biggest challenge is to stand out against an ever growing number of competitors, all claiming to be the best and increasingly investing in new and more creative ways to prove it.

What separates successful businesses from failing ones? Their ability to connect with and adapt to the needs of the people they serve and sell to.

Not convinced? Let’s Look At The Numbers

I think most business owners and entrepreneurs believe running a business is really difficult. Of course it is, however, I also think most people don’t realise just how many businesses fail every year, or how easy it might be for theirs to be next.

This is pretty important for a lot of people because human nature compels us to stop trying as hard. When people feel like there’s no threat (that it’s a given their business will either stagnate or grow, but not fail), it’s just one less thing to keep you motivated.

Let’s throw some figures out there, these first ones are straight from the Office of National Statistics.

In 2016, 327,775 businesses died. This is increase of 89,910 from the previous year. Between 2015 and 2019, an estimated 1.3 million businesses will have failed. Ouch.

Forbes expands on research that shows 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. They go on to list the major contributing factors:

Guess which factors topped their list?

  1. Not really in touch with customers through deep dialogue.
  2. No real differentiation in the market (read: lack of unique value propositions)
  3. Failure to communicate value propositions in clear, concise and compelling fashion

Hiscox, one of the UK’s leading business insurance providers, had their own take on matters. Here are their top three reasons:

  1. Lack of cash
  2. No plan
  3. Lack of clear value proposition

Notice how they all (except the lack of cash, which I’ll touch on in a moment) revolve around areas covered by branding and marketing?

From my own experience, I know these are the things first time business owners most often fail to consider properly, and, the areas they often think they don’t need to invest in or prioritise.

“Lack of cash” was an interesting inclusion, but I don’t agree that it should be up there. Cash problems aren’t a reason a businesses failing, they are a consequence of poor prioritisation and bad decision making.

That’s like a coroner’s report saying “She died due to a lack of oxygen” and failing to report the strangle marks all around her neck…

For example, let’s say I run an online shop that sells three really popular products and I decide to swap two of them for new products that don’t sell anywhere near as well. As a result my sales drop by 50%. My actions are the cause of your business edging closer to failure, not a lack of cash.

Back to the point.

Not engaging in meaningful dialogue with your customers is what leads to business failure.

A good dialogue starts with the very first interaction they have with your brand; your logo, your website, your introduction at a networking event, whatever it is, it’s the first impression that sets the tone and is what you need to perfect.

How Can Making the Wrong Decision Have Such a Big Impact?

Business owners choose the DIY path to save money, but also because they don’t prioritise the right areas of their business.

When your priorities are out of line with what your business or audience actually needs, you’re much more likely to make a string of bad decisions that collectively cause real damage to your business.

One of my favourite quotes is this:

You don’t know what you don’t know, because you don’t know!

What it means is that your ability to determine the best course of action is limited, because you lack the knowledge and experience to be able to prioritise effectively.

For example until you’ve actually been slapped around the face by the consequences of a mistake you didn’t realise you were making, you can’t prepare for it.

So, if you’re trying to grow a successful business, you need to think about how to get the right kinds of people interested in what you do.

And what’s usually responsible for generating interest in a business?

The same things are usually at the top of the DIY or “Don’t Bother” lists. Yes, we’re talking about your logo, branding, website, blog, marketing, web hosting, etc.

As we established earlier, most businesses fail because they don’t engage with their audience. That’s where your priorities need to be.

As a new business owner, sometimes you won’t be able to see when you’re causing harm to your company or team, and as we established before, you don’t know what you don’t know, because you don’t know!

So what do you need to know?

  • Not understanding your audience leads to prioritising the wrong areas of your business and bad decisions
  • Defining and researching your brand properly allows you to understand your audience
  • If your business lacks experience and/or expertise you won’t be able to plan for, avoid or deal with future problems

There is definitely a time and a place for DIY projects, but it’s usually seen as taking a short term, calculated risk, not a long term solution.

Not Understanding Your Audience

When you don’t understand what’s expected of you and your business, all you can do is guess when it comes to making a decision that will impact on the customer’s experience of your business.

Whilst making the decision to DIY a website, stationery, branding or marketing project is certainly included in this list, it doesn’t just stop there, it could be anything:

  • Using a mobile number instead of having a proper landline
  • The type of premises and its location you operate out of
  • The type of staff you hire and how you train them

The art of selling isn’t easy…

  • If people don’t have a good first impression, or see the value in what you do, they won’t be interested in learning more about your business or enquiring
  • If people are unhappy with the experience they received. At best doubts will start popping into their minds, at worst you won’t hear from them again

If you spend too much on things your audience don’t care about, you’re going to waste a lot of money and cause yourself mucho frustration! This can really hold a business back.

Research & Define Your Brand Properly

People are both visual and emotional. I’m not talking about bursting into floods of tears at the cinema, I’m talking about the psychology behind the typical decision making process. Sometimes people can’t even tell you why or how they arrived at a decision.

They didn’t just pick at random though. So, when you can’t trust your heart, and you can’t trust your brain, what’s the one thing you turn to?

Your gut.

How do you convince someone’s gut they should work with or buy from you instead of the other company?

You learn how to influence the minds and hearts of the people you want to sell to. You need to genuinely care about how to make their lives easier in whatever ways possible.

Don’t focus on the money, focus on helping. The rest will come.

A properly considered, researched and defined brand makes it easier to know when you can and can’t DIY instead of hiring a professional. Having a brand means having an in-depth understanding of:

  • Exactly what your business is and isn’t
  • What it does and why
  • Who it does it for and why
  • What your audience expects
  • Always considering the brand, customer and user experience
  • How and when your brand is going to evolve

When you understand all of this, life for you and your team gets easier because you’re not guessing any more. You know what your audience wants and you can make plans to improve your business offering and keep everyone happy.

It’s easy to think that you should be focusing on selling to everyone, but that’s just a big red flag that tells people (including your customers) you don’t actually know who you’re best suited to help. When you identify your audience, you can look forward to an audience who are:

  • Much easier to convert into a customer/client
  • A pleasure to deal with
  • Easier to keep happy
  • Don’t have any problems with your pricing
  • More forgiving when things go wrong (when, not if)
  • Will want to spread the word about how great you are
  • Will go out of their way to find new business opportunities for you

When you define your brand properly, and successfully, your life gets easier, your business grows more quickly and you reduce the risk of going under.

By not defining your brand and audience, you’re simply choosing to make it harder on your business to succeed by attracting people who are more difficult to keep happy.

Your Business Needs To Be Supported With Experience

Have you ever tried your hand at something and realised, very quickly, that you weren’t very good? Sport is a great example here because it’s all so fast.

Everything you do has near instant feedback. You won the point, lost the ball, fouled, served an ace – you know exactly what worked and what didn’t.

Business is a bit different. Matches tend to span years rather than hours and the game is about growing faster than your competitors so that you can mean more to your clients/customers than they are able to.

There’s very little instant feedback and it’ll take a lot longer to know whether you’re making good or bad decisions and what self inflicted consequences you might need to deal with later on.

This is where working with a professional makes sense. They can provide the guidance you need to make sure that everything is running smoothly. They act like a cornerman does in boxing, they can see where you’re going wrong and try to correct you with accurate guidance tailored just for you.

Just as importantly, they can help you cut costs, make things happen more quickly and generally be there to support you with options when you need them most.

Branding – When To DIY

Not everyone gets branding straight away. A common misconception is that branding is just another word for logo, or a logo with matching business cards and letterheads. As I’m sure you’ve realised by now, there is a lot more to branding than most realise.

We’ve talked about a lot of this already, but here’s a quick summary of the steps needed to create a strong brand:

  • Define the business and its core products/services
  • Define the purpose behind your business and how it can be unique
  • Define the audience and what’s important to them
  • Learn what platforms are best to engage with your audience
  • Explore how to create a meaningful dialogue with your audience
  • Put in place ways of generating continuous feedback to refine your decision making process

Now, as a new or first time business owner, it’s highly likely that you’ve never done any of this before. Sure, you can spend the next four weeks reading through articles on “how to create your own brand” but the reality is that if you haven’t done this before, you won’t be able to tell the difference between good advice and bad advice.

Great first impressions lead to enthusiastic enquiries and initial interest. Consistent brand messaging that focuses on what’s important to your audience and how you meet their needs leads to easier sales. A positive long term experience leads to a loyal customer/client base who will do anything they can to help you.

Every time you hand someone a branded marketing material, your expectation should be that it elevates their opinion of your company and/or answers questions that you know they have. That’s what branding is about. It’s never just about making things look pretty.

Here are some things to consider with a new branding project:

You can risk a DIY branding project if:

  • You have no intention of defining a proper brand audience
  • The purpose of your business is to maintain your lifestyle rather than promote a purpose or vision
  • The idea of your business doubling in size, or more, over the next year is a bit scary
  • No one else in your industry or sector has good branding (although you are missing out on a huge opportunity!)

Web Design & Development – When to DIY

Web projects can get very technical, very quickly. They are notorious for being delivered late, over budget and with less features than promised. It’s also not unheard of for entire projects to be scrapped and started again, at great cost, simply because of how many problems the client had to face.

This is a bigger section than the other because web projects tend to be more complicated beasts. I’m going to outline the key points for common situations that I’ve seen come up many times in the past, mostly from new clients who had just been through a horrible situation and needed help.

Using a free/cheap website builder tools like Wix, Shopify or Squarespace

They look great, don’t cost much, have lots of features and these companies tend to look modern and trustworthy.

The reality is that they are good for only the most simple and basic websites. They are often difficult or impossible to upgrade in the way you want, don’t work well on mobile or tablet devices and make it really hard (like it needs to be any harder?) to rank highly in search engines because they don’t give you full control over the site.

It’s safest to go down this path if:

  • You don’t mind that people can’t find your website without searching the company name (no one does this unless you have a strong brand)
  • You’re happy with a website that generates zero traffic and zero sales on its own
  • You don’t mind choosing from a small number of layouts and designs that can’t be customised or upgraded and are being used by thousands of other businesses.
  • You don’t need to impress your customers/clients
  • You don’t care about capturing feedback or having highly accurate and specific data on how and how many people are using your site

If you value your website, your online presence, the experience you want to give to potential customers, need to look established or your brand needs to promote luxury, this isn’t the right path for you.

Trying to build your own website when it’s not what you do for a living

This covers people who know their way around basic code but haven’t done it in a while, but also those who have been learning recently, but don’t operate in a professional capacity.

Website development is one of the fastest moving sectors out there. Even being a year or two out of date is going to put you well behind modern practitioners. If you don’t have many, or any, projects under your belt, it’s easy to think there’s not much to building a website.

I’m not saying you should never go down this path, but it’s only really a good idea if you’re wanting a basic website that you don’t have any high expectations for.

Have a think about some these points:

  • Are you up to speed with mobile and tablet development? Some sites consist of 75% or higher mobile traffic these days.
  • Are you aware of what can go wrong with modern websites built on a CMS platform? What future problems can you identify and effectively safeguard against?
  • Are you intending to use a “premium theme”, if so, do you know what limitations they have and why so many people vow to never use them again after their first experience?
  • Do you really have time to be launching/running a new business as well as building the website? If you can launch 3 months faster or grow your business by 15% or more in the same amount of time, does that bring in more than the cost of hiring a professional?
  • Are you as good at design as you are at development, or vice versa? Are you sure? Lots of people think they’re great at both – I haven’t met many that are.

It’s safest to go down this path if:

  • You’re perfectly happy with a basic website that doesn’t generate traffic, sales or leads.
  • You’re not trying to build in lots of advanced functionality (anything that isn’t basic text/image content)
  • You’re not trying to build a big website using lots of complex plug-ins (e.g. a directory connected to a forum, connected to a shop) – please don’t do it, you will regret this later on!
  • You hire a professional, that knows how to run web projects properly, at a reduced rate to help you with the bits you don’t have up to date experience in.

Hiring a student or amateur freelancer

A business owner looking to launch their first website with an amateur is a recipe for disaster. Unless you’re happy with something really basic, that may or may not be quite what you wanted, you could be in for a bumpy ride.

Web development projects, even simple ones, can become very complex when one side has unrealistic expectations and the other doesn’t know how to manage them properly.

You may be tempted to dismiss the amateurs opinions, because you know they don’t have much experience, but that may lead to a really negative working relationship that they don’t care to be a part of. It also leaves the project without a captain, it’s just two people hoping for the best.

If you’re easily impressed, it’s important that you don’t place complete faith and trust in an amateur freelancer as it can lead to them pretending to know more than they really do. Even if they aren’t that way inclined, they won’t know when to step in and ask project critical questions like:

  • Why might you need a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress? What, specifically do you want to be able to do with it?
  • Who will keep the site updated, both in terms of security patches and content that visitors see?
  • If you want to use lots of plug-ins, will they all work together, or will they break the site?
  • How much effort is needed to maintain a site with lots of plug-ins?
  • Have we clearly identified the specific visual style that you want, or should we just guess and hope for the best?

Amateurs are much less likely to use a contract. Contracts are so important, and not nearly as scary as many people think. They simply outline your agreement; what work they’re doing for you and how much you’re paying them. Without a contract, there is almost nothing you can do to get a fair outcome, unless you’re prepared to spend thousands in legal fees.

It’s safest to go down this path if:

  • You don’t have high expectations for your website
  • You don’t mind if things go a little wrong
  • All you want is a simple brochure site
  • You make sure you protect yourself with a contract

Hiring a professional web design agency

Working with a professional freelancer, team or agency gives your project an extra layer of security and massively reduces the chances of something going wrong.

You may have been absolutely fine going down one of the other paths, but what’s your project worth to you? How much risk are you prepared to take on? Can you deal with the consequences of your project ending in disaster and potentially having to start over?

It’s not just about risk reduction though, it’s also about establishing strong partnerships that can help you fast track the success your business can achieve.

Here are some of the main ways that working with a professional can benefit your project:

  • Proven track record – They have evidence of their ability to deliver successful projects on time, on budget and keeping clients happy.
  • More commitment – It’s easy for a lesser known individual to disappear and abandon your project, bigger companies are much less likely to knowing their hard earned reputation and brand will take a huge hit.
  • Custom builds – Professionals don’t rely on shortcuts, plug-ins, templates or themes to get the job done. Websites are built to last and be easy to upgrade and maintain.
  • Advice and guidance – Sometimes you don’t know what you want, or you’re not aware of all the solutions available. Professionals will help you find more effective, cheaper and better ways to support your long term objectives.
  • Hassle free – They know what can go wrong and will have put measures into place to ensure their client’s projects are as stress and problem free as possible.
  • Getting results – Saving money is great, but generating more than you would have paid is, ultimately, a much bigger win for you and your business. Professionals focus on generating leads and making sales, not just building websites.

Hiring a professional has many benefits, but what about the downsides? There’s only two things to consider.

Hiring a professional will cost more. There’s no way to get around that, unless you can offer them something else that they deem valuable enough.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur. Red Adair

Paying to clear up the mess someone has caused because they didn’t know what they were doing can be really expensive, sometimes more expensive than just hiring a pro in the first place.

The most common situation is where a system is built with more limitations than the client was expecting. The original developer won’t rebuild it from scratch and the client has to accept what they’ve got or start again with someone else.

The second thing is to make sure you can trust who you’re working with. There are a lot of sharks out there. They exist at all levels, from student to industry veteran, but obviously losing £300 to a student is much less painful than losing out on £5,000 to a “shady professional”.

Digital Marketing DIY vs Hiring a Professional

Marketing of any kind is a bit of a minefield. There are usually two main reasons to start marketing:

  1. Increase sales
  2. Increase brand awareness

Whether you should DIY depends on what you want to achieve.

Increasing brand awareness isn’t that difficult, it’s mainly about getting your logo and what you do in front of as many eyes as possible. You could argue that even if your marketing materials/activities don’t fully engage the audience, people are still becoming more and more aware of your business. So you still win.

Generating sales or leads requires a much deeper understanding of your audience, what they want, how you can best meet their needs, how to package that all up and how to deliver a great experience. Here, it does matter if you use the wrong language, or promote the wrong features and brand values.

You need to define, know and understand your audience before you can hope to start increasing sales or leads. Which makes it a much more difficult task that’s really best suited to people and teams with experience.

It also means you need to be extra cautious of companies lying to you about what they can realistically achieve.

Let’s go through the key areas of digital marketing, I’ll talk about what to look out for and when it’s best to DIY or hire a professional.

Social Media

Social media is about pushing people from your social channels onto your website in the hope that you can them convert them into paying customers. If you try to convert them on the social platform, you’re forcing yourself to compete with endless notifications, adverts and private messages that are likely to take their attention away from you and your content.

Ideally you need to work alongside a content schedule that outlines all the different things you can post about and how frequently you’ll be posting about them.

For example, every Tuesday you might want to share some key industry statistics, or you could share specifically themed photo or video content you’ve either sourced or produced.

On top of that, you’ll need to make sure you’re posting at the very least three times a week without using the same posts twice. That’s key.

Whilst this is important, it’s not a good use of a company owners time to focus on this and it really should be handed over to someone else, whether that’s internal or external.

As a company, you can also split the responsibilities evenly between yourselves and a professional social media manager, then you get the best of both worlds.

You can risk DIY social media if:

  • You can structure your own posting schedule easily
  • You understand the intricacies of each platform and how to avoid getting penalised by their ever changing rules
  • You don’t have any problems coming up with great, regular content
  • You’re confident that it will actually get done

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising includes anything where you’re paying money to be promoted somewhere online in the hopes of securing more traffic, usually to your website.

Most of the online advertising platforms revolve around the concept of defining an audience through a wide range of demographic markers such as age, gender, interests, income bracket, socio economic class and many others.

That is very much the whole point of paid advertising, much like branding, it’s knowing who you’re targeting and what to show them.

Many people gloss over ads, even on Google, despite their best efforts to make them look like regular listing results. So, you’ve got between 1 and 4 seconds to grab their attention, with a single sentence…

If you’ve never had success in this area before, it can be a bit like gambling. It’s very easy to waste a lot of money and get nothing out of it.

You can risk DIY paid advertising if:

  • You have a clearly (and professionally) defined audience
  • You aren’t using this as a last ditch attempt to try and grow your business
  • You’re investing an amount of money that your business won’t miss

Content Marketing

Creating high value content such as blog posts, infographics, video, podcasts, anything that can communicate useful, interesting, emotional or meaningful information, is one of the best ways to grow your brand and engage with your audience. It can do wonders for your SEO too.

The difficult part, especially if you’re new to this, is actually getting results. One of the most common scenarios I see is when a company puts out low quality content, but thinks they’re doing it right.

Before you start creating anything, you need to nail these questions:

  • What’s the best and easiest type of content for you/your team to produce?
  • What audience are you aiming for and what’s their preferred content type?
  • What problems exist within your audience and how can your content help?
  • How do you expect enough people find your content?
  • What action do you want people to take after they have read/digested your content?

If any one of those questions aren’t answered correctly there’s a good chance your going to see little to no return on the investment you made into content creation.

You need high value content that’s optimised for both search engines and users.

Don’t fall into the trap of creating content just for the sake of it. Content marketing needs to be done properly and you need to consider your situation before going ahead.

People often become disillusioned with content marketing because it takes so long to verify whether your strategy worked or not. It’s not the route to take for short wins, but it pays huge dividends in the long term if you do it right.

You can risk DIY content marketing if:

  • Your website is generating a good amount of traffic already
  • You’re using a different platform to promote your content
  • You know the risks of not using your site to push content
  • Your audience has low expectations or you have real experience in creating high value content
  • You have confirmed with your audience that yours and their expectations of “high value content” are the same

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is one of the most deceptively simple practices that exist in the world of digital marketing. Why? Because it covers so many different areas, all of which seem straightforward to someone who’s never tried to do it themselves.

It’s probably the one area I would say “DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF!” – unless you really know what you’re doing.

SEO is all about taking a piece of content and trying to make it rank first in Google and other search engines so that people can find it. That content can be anything, as long as you can link to it. It could be a web page, blog post, social media page, podcast series, anything.

In order to succeed here, you need to:

  • Understand what high value content you can create and share
  • Who’s going to want that content
  • Carry out proper SEO research to understand possible keyword opportunities
  • Know how to read SEO data without unintentionally misleading yourself
  • Know how to get results in search engines without being penalised
  • Know how to properly and consistently promote new content

There are so many tools available to help make SEO easier, but the problem is they simplify everything to the point that you can no longer get a real understanding of what’s what.

One of many traps people carrying out DIY SEO project fall into is thinking they’ve found a great keyword opportunity when they haven’t, and then investing a load of time and money into creating content around it.

Consider the following:

  • Why might people be searching with certain keywords/phrases? Just because it has a high search/traffic volume, it doesn’t mean that everyone searching the keyword is relevant to you
  • Make sure you learn the definitions of specific phrases because they don’t always mean what you think
  • Learn how certain tools collect and collate their data, certain metrics aren’t always powerful as they seem
  • Most data is taken from a smaller sample than real life, so you need to treat every number or statistic with a pinch of salt
  • Tools like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO are not completely accurate and should be used for guidance only

As you know, SEO is about getting to the top of the search engines. Those positions hold a lot of value and companies spend a lot of money trying to maintain their positions because of how much value they add to their business.

You can’t expect to pay a small one off cost to plan, refine and implement a successful campaign that could generate you tens of thousands of pounds in sales or new projects.

You can risk DIY SEO if:

  • You have low expectations e.g. boosting website traffic over the next 6 months by an extra 100 visits per month
  • You prepare yourself for the possibility of losing a lot of time and money

If you absolutely have to DIY, your best bet is to get advice from a professional and then carry on alone. It’s really all in the research and planning. Without that being done properly, you’re going to struggle to make anything happen.

In Conclusion

This is a long post and there’s a lot to remember, so I thought it might be helpful to summarise it all at the end.

Here are the key points to remember:

  1. Before you can decide whether to DIY or not, you need to understand your brand and what their expectations are before you make a decision that alienates them from your business.
  2. Most businesses fail because they don’t understand their real audience or even their own brand. Some things may look unimportant but if it’s one of the first experiences of your business, (e.g. your website), don’t underestimate its importance and go DIY for that reason alone.
  3. You don’t know what you don’t know because you don’t know! Until you’ve realised that you made a mistake, you won’t know that you’re currently making a mistake. It’s important to have someone by your side who has relevant experience.
  4. To grow a successful business, you need the right level of experience to help guide you away from the dangers you can’t yet see. If you or your team can’t provide it, don’t just wing it, you’re just putting your business at risk
  5. A DIY job is a tradeoff between cost versus effectiveness and long term risk – especially for web development or technical projects.
  6. The best time to DIY is when the expectation of results are low and don’t need to have a significant impact on the business.

Don’t forget that some agencies, like us, are always happy to discuss your project, free of charge, and give you some advice no matter how small your business is. Even if we don’t think we’d be a good professional match.

If you’d like to get some insights on your business or project, feel free to talk to us.

Good luck and I hope this post has helped you in some way. If it has, please feel free to email me or leave a comment below!

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