digital marketing

Why No Small Business Owner Should Be Doing Their Own Digital Marketing

We all do it.

We think we’re superheroes. We try to do way too much ourselves — even things that are well outside our given skillsets, even when we’re not quite sure what we’re doing. And then, predictably, we end up seriously disappointed by the results.

After all, there’s a reason most DIY projects fail: it’s almost always better to let a professional do the job. This is especially true when it comes to digital marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, most of us are capable of sending out a tweet or putting together a company newsletter… but do you actually know what you’re doing?

Are your online actions part of a bigger plan to develop leads and convert them into customers? And more importantly… is it really worth your time and energy?

Here are a few reasons why DIY marketing for your small business is a disaster waiting to happen…

It’s very easy to “whip up” a costly controversy.

Do you always think before you tweet? Do you consider all of the possible ramifications before clicking “publish” on your blog? Be honest.

All it takes is one stupid mistake to do irreparable harm to your brand.

The internet is filled with examples: U.S. Airways, American Apparel, and DiGiorno Pizza, just to name a few.

Perhaps one of the most egregious? This really bad attempt at a joke during a 2012 presidential debate by the home appliance company KitchenAid:

obama kitchenaid twitter

They didn’t just fail at marketing, but also at humor, grammar, and spelling.

The tweet was deleted and KitchenAid immediately apologized, but the damage had already been done. Now, whenever someone uses a search engine to connect with KitchenAid on Twitter, they’re met with thousands of stories about the debate tweet fail.

In less than 140 characters, KitchenAid and other big brands have flushed untold dollars worth of SEO marketing down the drain and left a self-inflicted digital scar that will continue to haunt them for years.

It’s very hard to stay focused.

One of the biggest hurdles of any digital marketing effort is simply keeping everything organized and optimized. If you’re trying to do your own marketing while also trying to run a small business, then good luck staying focused.

There are simply too many shiny things online to distract your attention away from the big picture. While some of these tips and tricks and apps may seem useful at first, they usually just end up wasting your time.

And in business, losing time means losing money.

attention span

The end result of most DIY marketing efforts.

One of quickest ways to fail at digital marketing is to pay attention to the wrong things. To avoid this, it’s important that all of your digital marketing efforts are grounded in proven strategies, organized by custom workflows, and driven by analytical data.

That’s the way it should be. Always. No exceptions.

One of quickest ways to fail at digital marketing is to pay attention to the wrong things. Click To Tweet

Even the “pros” get it wrong sometimes.

In 1990, Jim McCafferty decided to quit his day job as a magician to launch a marketing company.

Rather than creating an effective, long-term marketing strategy to promote his new business, McCafferty took the quick-fix route and opted for a gimmick that nearly killed him.

Apparently choosing to trust his magic skills over his marketing skills, McCafferty allowed himself to be put in a straightjacket and then enclosed in a welded-shut steel cage and hoisted by a crane to a height of 300 feet.

bad marketing

Not exactly the start of a successful marketing campaign.

And not surprisingly, that’s when things got really dangerous…

“But during the stunt, the cage malfunctioned before he could attach himself to a harness. Time ran out, and the cage plunged 60 feet before Jim clicked himself into the harness, just seconds before the cage smashed into the ground. He was taken to the hospital suffering from first-and second-degree rope burns.”

It’s OK to ask for digital marketing help.

Chances are you probably won’t end up (nearly) killing yourself if you decide to go it alone and do your own marketing. And you probably won’t end up making an enemy out of the President of the United States.

But that doesn’t mean you should expect to successfully handle your small business’s digital marketing needs if you don’t even know the basics… like how to create a conversion funnel or write a statement of value or perform keyword research.

Just like you shouldn’t expect to successfully perform open heart surgery if you’ve never been to med school.

[RELATED: Welcome To Three Dog Digital! Here’s Where To Start]

Find a professional as soon as possible.

If you want to see your business grow online, there’s one really good recipe for success: stop trying to do it yourself.

Instead, find a capable digital marketing firm that fits the objectives and values of your small business and let them take control while you kick back, relax and enjoy doing what you do best.

You can thank us for this free advice next time you find yourself NOT dangling from a crane 300 feet in the air.

Adam F. Naughton

Founder & CEO of Three Dog Digital. Lover of all things 90s, huge Panthers/Braves/Hornets fan, and invincible like Bruce Willis in the movie Invincible.