We’ve all surely heard some variation of the expression, “The Cobbler’s children have no shoes”. Well, I admit, I’m guilty. I can market everyone else’s business without a problem, I actually enjoy it, but I fail when it comes to my own.
Well, after an embarrassingly long delay, I finally put the necessary time into completing the redesign of my own website and have to tell you what a relief it is to be done. Truth be told, the experience was agonizing. I hated writing my own content, breaking down what I do in a way that answered the questions I get asked most, yet I knew my horribly amateur old website (thrown together with no professional help years ago) was hurting my image, probably discouraging prospective clients from working with me in some cases. I knew it had to be done ASAP, and yet it took over a year to complete, because I kept putting it aside.
On the other hand, it was a great reminder to me, of why I do what I do. As a marketing professional I find that the majority of business owners are too close to the subject to affectively market their own service or product. It often takes a fresh set of eyes to see it objectively. To quote another well-known expression, we “can’t see the forest through the trees”. They too let subpar marketing languish too long, tying to go it alone, or perhaps procrastinating to the point that they do nothing at all.
We business owners know what we want to tell everyone, but often that’s not the thing that people need or want to know. We also fail to understand how those outside our industry perceive it. The things we find most basic may not be basic to them at all. Our opinion of our trade may not match that of the general public.
Someone on the outside sees our business from the perspective of the average person, the good, the bad and the ugly. We are too close to it, too biased, to see it as others do and we know too much about the industry to realize how little others understand it.
This is what I do every day and yet I struggled with my own. For those who don’t work in marketing, I know it is even more of a challenge. It’s ok to seek professional outside help in any trade. The results are much better and take a fraction of the time to complete. Please, learn from my experience. You don’t cut your own hair, why try to do your own marketing?