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3 Reasons Why DIY Marketing Doesn't Work for SMB

3 Reasons Why DIY Marketing Doesn't Work For SMBThe challenges of running a small business can be daunting to many. Those of us who decide to venture out on our own and become our own boss welcome these challenges with open arms.

You’re not scared of the unknown. You’re go-getters, trend-setters, and above all, entrepreneurs. You want to make a difference in the world with your products or services. You keep your local and global economies humming and that is worthy of applause!

If you consider yourself to be a small business owner or an entrepreneur, you’ve probably used to the old idiom, “if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.”

We know that one well and hear it time and time again. If we can do something ourselves to save a couple bucks, then we’ll probably do it. You’re full of confidence, initiative, and motivation, but when it comes to marketing, doing it yourself (and doing it well) can be next to impossible.

Here’s three reasons why do-it-yourself marketing doesn’t work for small businesses and entrepreneurs:

1. You can’t find the time

Anyone who runs their own business knows how hard it is to keep up with the day to day tasks. When you’re the only person running the business, you have the responsibilities of being the CEO, CMO, HR, Accounting, Support Representative, and Webmaster. It’s not just a 9 to 5 job. It takes many more hours.

These job responsibilities can wreak havoc on your personal life as well. When you spend all your time working it’s hard to find time for your friends and family. We all need that time to decompress and live healthy lives.

This means that if you’re going to do any marketing at all, it had better be easy, quick, and effective. Otherwise it’s a crapshoot and potentially a waste.

2. You can’t properly build your audience

If you own and operate a small business, then you have an audience. You need to continue building your audience to continue growing your business and generate more revenue and income. To do that, you have to spend time on marketing.

The best way to build your audience online is with targeted content for each stage of the buyer journey. That content began with blogs, email marketing, social media, now add video, podcasts, white papers, eBooks and case studies. This speaks to #1 in that it takes much-needed time. And with the resurgence of traditional advertising; direct mail, events, radio, out-of-home and sponsorships, it's getting more complicated.

So what do you do?

You have to work with someone else (usually a marketing professional or agency) or use some type of marketing tool or automation. (don't let the name 'automation' fool you...a human has to put the information into the automated platform, it doesn't just 'do it' for you.)

Effective audience building can mean the difference between a prosperous, growing business and one that fizzles out into oblivion. That leads me to my next point.

3. You can’t sustain it

How many small businesses do you see that are killing it and with only a handful of employees? There might be one or two you know out there. They’re probably older businesses with well-established, loyal customer bases.

Owning a business is great but you should always have your head in the clouds when it comes to your goals. You shouldn’t aim to stay small forever. You want to be scalable. When you grow your business, everyone benefits. You create jobs and make a difference in your community.

Doing marketing yourself can work for a short time, but you simply cannot keep it up by yourself and expect to grow your business, or even tread water for that matter.


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Need a bit more marketing education but don't know where to go? Schedule a complimentary digital strategy and marketing education with Vera.  Don't worry. It's only an hour and no sales pitch! 

Vera K. Fischer is the CEO of the brand marketing agency, 97 Degrees West, an integrated marketing expert, speaker and the host of System Execution Podcast.


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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.