If you’re a business owner, you know that cutting operational costs is a major factor in improving your bottom line.
One of the largest costs of running a business in today’s economy is online marketing. If you are like many business owners, you are paying thousands and thousands of dollars every month to web designers and online marketers. Or perhaps you realize that you need an online presence, but are reluctant to throw thousands of dollars away on Internet marketing.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative! You can go it alone. Every year, business owners save millions of dollars by doing their own marketing and website work, rather than paying professionals “top dollar” to do it.
Here is a list of the benefits of doing your online marketing alone.
Going it alone lets you to learn a variety of skills
One of the biggest benefits of doing your own online marketing from scratch is that you will learn a vast new skill set.
You will learn how to buy a domain name and set up hosting.
Then, you will need to install a security certificate on your website. Depending on your hosting, this will require you to upload security keys to the backend of your website, or add DNS entries to prove that you have control over the domain.
You will also learn how to troubleshoot error codes and other issues, by researching them on web forums, or Googling them.
Pictured above: A bad day
Once your website is finally set up, you will have to learn how to design it. This may entail writing code, or using WordPress plugins, like Thrive Themes. You will want to make sure that your site is well-designed and looks attractive so that customers want to buy your services.
If you want to use your website to collect leads, you will need to set up a CRM system to collect their contact information.
Once you have the website in place, you will need to learn to drive traffic to it. Some people think that “if you build it, they will come,” but this is not true.
You have several options when it comes to driving traffic to your site. You can run ads, or you can do search engine optimization (SEO). There are pros and cons to both of these options, and you will have the opportunity to learn the difference between them.
If you choose SEO, you will need to learn how Google ranks sites, and how to select keywords, and use them in meta titles and descriptions. You will have to decide what SEO tools to use to identify which keywords will work best for you.
If you choose ads, you will need to know how to target an audience, and get your offer in front of them. You should also learn how to write copy and design graphics that appeal to your audience, so that they will want to buy your product.
2) Going it alone is full of surprises
When you go it alone, you are always discovering something new. This is exciting! One of the most exciting things that can happen to you is having your Facebook Ads account shut off because you violated one of their terms of service. If this happens to you, it is so exciting that you might not sleep for several days!
You will also be surprised at how many hidden costs there are. Some of the tools that you will need to do SEO and competitor research cost $50 or $100 each month.
Another fun surprise you might have is how easy it is to break your website, by “just making a few changes.” Fortunately, that is another opportunity to learn more.
3) Going it alone saves you a lot of money
When you’re a business owner, you have one resource that is limited: money!
Fortunately, you have other resources that are infinite, such as time, and energy. By pouring those limitless resources into your website and marketing, you can save thousands of dollars for your business.
As a business owner who has more than enough time to get everything done, it is foolish to throw away thousands of dollars to pay someone else to do what you can do on your own.
OK. Let’s be serious for a minute.
“Going it alone” and “saving money” may sound really appealing, and I realize that that’s how Grandpa used to do things. But we live in an increasingly specialized world.
Years ago, if Grandpa needed to sharpen his goat, or whatever (I don’t know anything about farming), he didn’t hire some fancy whippersnapper to do it. He did it himself. Because, let’s face it, sharpening an goat didn’t take a whole lot of skill, and time wasn’t worth nearly as much as money back then.
The Goat Grinders would be a great name for a band.
But times have changed.
Money is a renewable resource. Time is not. And one of the best things to use your money on is buying back your time.
Let’s look at an example.
Suppose that you wanted to “save money” by building your own website. A five page website from Troyer Websites (just to pick an example off the top of my head) is $997.
Now, let’s imagine that as a business owner, your time is worth $25 an hour. (It’s probably worth a whole lot more.) That means that your “time budget” for building a website is around 40 hours.
You’ve got to learn how to build it, and get it up and running within 40 hours or you are going in the hole. I can virtually guarantee you that you are not going to make it, unless you already possess many of the background skills.
Online marketing companies exist for the same reason that tire shops, grocery stores, construction companies, roofers, and thousands of other professional occupations exists. It’s a far better use of your limited resources to pay someone who knows what they are doing than to try to do it yourself.
In closing, there are three great reasons to do your own online marketing.
- You truly enjoy learning the skills and doing the work
- You have plenty of free time, or your time isn’t worth very much
- You want to build a secondary skill set
If one or more of the above items apply to you, then you are an excellent candidate for doing your own online marketing. But, if you are like most business owners, you should focus on doing what you do best in serving your customers, and get an online marketing agency to do what it does best by serving you.