Before you invest your time and money in the “Learn how to market your business in your own time, at home, in your underwear and save lots of money at the same time” fad that’s sweeping the internet – you might want to consider – can DIY marketing lessons really deliver? 6 points to think about:

1. Owning the book, course or template that shares the secret of how to do something doesn’t in fact mean that you’ll get it done. If it were that simple, anyone who’s read a ‘

lessons from the Fortune 500

‘-esque book – should by rights now have one. Sad, but true – you actually have to do the work too and that takes time.

2. Reading the materials, making sense of what’s been written and then understanding how to applythose lessons to your business – with your unique issues/structure/market/product or service in the most appropriate way is much harder than it’s ever spruiked to be.

If you’re really honest with yourself, you probably know that a template or set of instructions just can’t impregnate you with the years of experience or understanding you’ll need to do the job in a way that’s going to provide with you and your business with maximum benefits.

3. One way communication doesn’t cut it. Think back to school – did the maths teach droning on instil in you how to actually do calculus? Certainly you can be taught the right format in which to do something (like write a press release for your business), but anyone who’s ever been to one of my day-long courses on writing for the media knows it’s much more difficult in application than it looks on the surface.

Why? Well, given lots of us learn kinesthetically (in other words by doing) which means that just reading information/instructions just won’t cut it. The best part of in-person training is that you do something, have it critiqued, re-do it, get more critique, then share with other people and learn from their ideas.

4. Think about why you’re good at what you do. Most likely it’s because you’ve had a decade or more of practice at it, and more often than not, you had a goodly dollop of talent for the required skill in the first place.

Unfortunately, these days, anyone can spruik expertise at anything. At a recent function someone introduced themselves as an internet marketing expert. Intrigued, I asked how he’d come to be an expert. Turned out he’d done an 8-week course with another ‘expert’. Before you part with your hard-earned money, check out how long they’ve been practicing their craft.

5. Is the thing you’re going to invest time, dollars and energy in learning the most appropriate next step for your business? Time and again clients tell me they’re doing activity x which they’d read they should do, but it didn’t work as well as they’d hoped. It’s not that activity x didn’t work, it’s that, for their business/market/goals they should have been doing activity y instead. Prefab courses/templates can’t cover all the angles that a good marketing consultant or trainer can.

 6. Given everything else you have to do in your business, do you really want to add consistently doing your marketing (planning, implementation, materials, PR, social media, blogging, etc) to the list too? Nah, didn’t think so.

Save yourself the money, the time and the frustration and either outsource your marketing activity or get some great face-to-face training with people who not only know their subject matter intimately and have decades of experience in the actual doing of it, but can also impart that knowledge in a way that works best for you.

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