Like most folk around the UK during Lockdown, we decided to do a bit of DIY.
Well, we were actually planning on redecorating the living and dining rooms pre-lockdown – and we made a start right before restrictions were put in place. Lockdown just made it harder and more expensive to get what we needed.
Because we didn’t plan ahead. That was our first rookie mistake.
Thinking we could decorate two rooms almost as well as a professional? That was our second, bigger mistake.
A mistake so many businesses make when it comes to copywriting and content marketing.
“It’s fine, it’ll look nice when it’s done”
Said the wife to me, when I questioned the wisdom of decorating two rooms at the same time, during a global pandemic, with a near one year old crawling, stumbling and toddling into everything he can get his hands on.
Naturally, I succumbed, and Operation Champagne Flute began (why can’t paint have normal names?)
I thought about getting a professional painter and decorator in. Someone suggested one to me. But, I’m a tight bastard. I didn’t want to spend money unnecessarily – just like any successful business.
Watch the pennies, do what you can yourself, right?
So we thought, we can do this ourselves. It’ll just take a bit of time, a bit of research, a bit of effort….
Research went out of the window
The time dragged on and on.
And the effort nearly killed me.
Why didn’t we get a professional!?
Straightforward planning rarely turns out that way
We put the effort into a good plan. We checked the order we should paint – top to bottom. We knew we had to focus on the preparation – sanding and cleaning walls etc.
And we scheduled specific days to do the work.
But we forgot to check we had everything we needed. Were the old paintbrushes gathering dust in the garage still usable? Did we have filler to fix those visible dents in the wall? Was there enough masking tape left over from the last DIY job?
Of course, the answer to all three was no.
We just didn’t have the right tools for the job.
And despite our planning, we couldn’t see the big picture. We didn’t recognise that it’d be quicker and more efficient to consider paint drying time, and re-masking areas, and splash potential and a whole host of other issues we ran into.
Because we’re not professionals. We’re bumbling DIYers.
We see the same misguided, mis-placed optimism with businesses.
- They think they can effectively plan out all their copywriting and content marketing needs.
- And they did English at school, so they can write pretty well
- They’ve done a bit of research online to see what they need regarding their marketing materials, and had some ideas themselves
- And they’ve thrown a plan together to create them.
But that straightforward plan rarely turns out that way.
- They don’t have the right tools for the job. They don’t know exactly what they’ll need or how to deploy them effectively
- They haven’t considered the strategy behind their plan. They haven’t thought about the most efficient way of creating those marketing materials.
- They don’t know if the research they’ve seen is relevant to their business… or if it’s even best practice. Everyone’s an expert online.
- And they haven’t seen the full picture. They haven’t thought about whether that content is the right piece at the right time, or if there are better options to engage their audience and accomplish their goals.
And when they get stuck in – like us with our painting – the results never live up to the expectations.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t left horrendous patches of mismatched paint across our living room. I haven’t accidentally knocked down essential walls or left unsightly streak lines down the dining room ceiling.
And it does look nice. But I know it’s not perfect. Far from it.
The wife knows it too. All our family know it. Even you know it, and you’ve never been to my house.
It’s DIY, done by amateurs.
And we’ll never be able to shake that perception.
One wall had a fireplace on it. We ripped that out and had it re-plastered by a professional. That wall looks great – seamless – best wall in the house.
I patched up a nail hole on the wall next to it. I was going to spend time filling in a few more dint and marks, but the wife said it’d be fine, we didn’t have time, the paint would hide it.
The paint did not hide it.
You can’t really notice it, but I know where those marks are. I see them every time I walk in the room. I think, I worry, other people will see them too.
That’s the same feeling you get as a business owner or marketing manager when you and your team create your own content, write your own blogs or build your own landing pages when you’re not an expert.
You worry it’s not up to scratch. You panic your audience will notice flaws. You stress that it’s not quite right – and blame any problems on that fact.
That perception – that first impression – is vital for your prospects. You don’t want to spend months concerned that it’s not quite right, that it lets your business down.
And so do the details
At a distance, a cursory glance when you’re not trying to spot any imperfections, the newly decorated walls look great.
Just like when you have the confidence to do your own copywriting. At first glance, it looks great.
But it’s the details that don’t live up to interrogation.
The marks and blemishes. The un-straight lines. The little flecks of paint that bleed over from one part to the next.
Just like with your content. The copy that doesn’t quite capture attention. The messages that ever so slightly miss the mark. The calls to action that just don’t quite encourage clicks.
Honestly, our rooms do look good. The wife has a great eye for colour/design, and the finished results are good.
But if you were to compare it side by side, with an identical room, done by a professional – it would of course fail in comparison.
And what if there were two houses for sale, identical apart from that paintwork? The professionally decorated home would win hands down.
So what if you have a prospect looking at two products – pretty much identical – reading one landing page done by a professional copywriting agency, and one written by yourself?
Is good, good enough?
It took us a long time, and a lot of stress, but we completed our lockdown DIY project.
We did the job, but was it worth it?
It’s passable. It’s acceptable. But is it good enough?
It does the job… but does it do it well enough?
I ask myself that every time I walk in the living room. And I can’t help but think I should have got a professional in.
Had I invested in an expert, I would have seen a greater return by now already. I’d have been completely satisfied, and wouldn’t be worrying about how it looks. I wouldn’t be thinking about when I need to do it again, to touch up what isn’t quite right.
I’d have greater satisfaction and greater enjoyment. I’d have saved on the money needed to redo and redo. I would have had better results all around.
So the question to you, when you’re thinking about freshening up your website, re-doing your content, or building out your content marketing plan…. Is good, good enough?
Do you want OK results? Or great results?
Do you want to go to all the hassle, the time, the stress, the effort of doing it yourself, for something that’s acceptable.
Or do you want to invest in an expert and get a finished product that’s superb?
That does exactly what it needs to, and more?
When you’re ready to make the smart decision… we’re right here.