DIY marketing: top five tips for remaining objective

5 DIY marketing tips

Hindsight’s a wonderful thing!

I spent a month planning the launch of my freelance business back in May ‘06. First a Press Release to the local press and other media. A concurrent tightly targeted email campaign to Brighton’s creative community of web, direct marketing, branding and advertising agencies, publishers, web designers and web developers. All supported by an integrated direct mail campaign to the same lovingly hand-built database.

All well planned and carefully considered… or so I believed.

It’s always a good idea to take an enormous step back, emotionally, professionally and intellectually, from your work when DIY marketing. Thus avoiding the ever-present danger of disappearing up your own arse and losing the proverbial plot!

My launch campaign worked beautifully: a good, solid article in The Evening Argus business section, a friendly, keen 12% response to my email campaign and about the same again for the follow-up direct mail piece. The problem was, I’d inadvertently branded and written my campaign so I looked and sounded exactly like a freelance copywriting employment agency. Which was embarrassing considering I was selling myself as a freelance copywriting resource with a direct marketing background.

I quickly created a second campaign to rectify the damage. Happily it worked and my slightly puzzled prospect database soon caught on. In retrospect it was a crazy oversight. But at the time I was so wrapped up in my own stuff that I lost all objectivity. Lesson learned: it isn’t always easy to step back from your own DIY marketing and smell the coffee.

Now I don’t leave anything to chance. Because I’m perpetually on vulnerable ground I keep a few common sense weapons handy. Keep it real. Here are five ways to remain objective about your DIY marketing:

1. question your own intellectual and professional judgement at regular intervals and leave your ego at home

2. numbers don’t lie. Keep a close eye on your webstats. Make a spreadsheet and log visitors, behaviour, time spent on site etc every week. Track your online presence’s visibility. Track and analyse sales. Watch for and act upon trends

3. show your marketing campaigns to people whose objectivity you trust and check they understand your messages and language

4. remain flexible and be prepared to change the focus of your marketing in line with shifting demand and changing trends. Revisit your Marketing Plan every month. Analyse campaigns so you know the relative success / ROI for each

5. be honest with yourself: base your strategy on empirical evidence and common sense not passion and gut feelings