There’s an app for that.
I’ve got a tool that does it for me.
It’ll be done in a few clicks.
We all love the idea of relying on software solutions and automated formulas to succeed digitally. Unfortunately, for solo entrepreneurs, technology serves a dual purpose, acting both as a fit-for-purpose tool and an advisor. Understandably so, when you are launching a venture with limited time and budget, it’s easy to fall in the trap of automated solutions. Yet, the tech-based DIY approach of small business owners isn’t always the most effective path to success.
The real question you want to ask is not which tool can plan your digital strategy on your behalf, but which expert can you trust with the job. Outsourcing may appear as a less cost-effective solution, but it is likely to drive more satisfying outcomes than any automated or smart tech tool. If you lack the skill set to tackle digital marketing and sales tasks, it’s important to remember that a tool that is easy to use doesn’t make you an expert. Just as anybody can use a hammer, only trained professionals can build a house. The same principle applies to your digital strategy. Here is what happens when you choose to do it yourself with an online tool.
Your website is not unique
WordPress, Wix and Squarespace are some of the most popular DIY web platforms that enable everyone to create a functioning and professional-looking site without preliminary skills. However, it’s fair to say that while building a website may only take a few minutes, the lasting impression could be ever shorter. Indeed, the fresh-out-of-the-box look suffers from the own limitation of its template. Your website ends up looking like any other site and becomes a forgettable experience in the digital world of possibilities. Creating a design that is unique, and that reflects your personality and brand is a conscious effort. Ideally, you want to reach out to a professional or develop your web building skills accordingly. Otherwise, your web presence could become unrecognizable from other sites and brands. More importantly, you may not be able to offer the functions and options you need or implement the tools that are meaningful to your business without affecting the design.
Your landing pages are not UX-optimised
Everybody understands the importance of landing pages to support online conversions. Your landing page serves as a conversion platform, targeting interesting leads and turning them into customers. Therefore, the landing page is a mini page that displays highly targeted content. Thankfully, a variety of online tools can let you create high-quality landing pages that are designed to grab users’ attention. However, a performing landing page requires dedicated skills, including specialist UI and UX knowledge to convert. Did you know that the majority of low-converting pages share issues that a trained UX designer would have avoided? Indeed, they are too cluttered and colorful, confusing readers. They also often fail to redirect visitors to the main site, which can affect the credibility of the landing page. These mistakes can be counterproductive and cost you a lot of profitable conversions.
You don’t have a sales strategy
What is an online sales strategy? A lot of solo entrepreneurs reach out to proven business formulas, such as sales funnels that map out the customers’ journey to making any kind of purchase. Sales funnels are hugely popular because, when they are correctly applied, they can do wonders for business growth. The automated selling strategy can virtually boost your profit on autopilot. Except that there’s one crucial condition if you’re going to deploy sales funnels: You need to have a solid understanding of digital marketing; otherwise you could be making costly and counterproductive sales funnel mistakes. From understanding how to integrate the funnel to your other digital marketing tools to directing traffic to the right places, digital marketing professionals bring their know-how to the sales formula. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a defined strategy, you can’t make the best use of this marketing tool.
You rely on machine recommendations blindly
Most small businesses rely on Google AdWords to create manageable online marketing campaigns. Google AdWords offers businesses of all sizes the opportunity to control their marketing spending and efforts. As a result, you can create a profitable ad campaign with a limited budget. Additionally, the smart tool also provides recommendations to help you improve your account. While this might sound like a fantastic opportunity for amateurs to build a high ROI campaign, there’s a catch. According to Google, there are as many as 60 different recommendations available to users, and many of them can contradict each other or fail to benefit your campaign. Understanding which recommendations to follow and which to ignore requires marketing knowledge. But if you don’t have sufficient experience, you may end up damaging your campaign by following automated suggestions. Ideally, you don’t want to automatically apply suggestions without being able to check them first. The option is often set on auto-apply in Google AdWords.
You can’t track everything
However, tracking is not as easy as it seems. Say you want to know how many of your visitors are making a purchase online. You will need to track the “thank you” page that appears after a complete transaction. Thankfully, it is something you can set directly within Google Analytics. But if the goal you want to monitor doesn’t create a new URL, you need to track events, such as clicks, for example. Event tracking requires a new JS code, which you may not be able to implement on the site.
You are missing out on advanced solutions
Google Analytics is a free tool that can do so much for digital marketers. As a result, it is a favorite. Unfortunately, amateurs are unlikely to make the most out of the tool. While you will still benefit from using Analytics, even at a superficial level, you will need additional skills to gain a significant advantage. Google Analytics API offers extensive flexibility in analyzing users’ behaviors and automating reports. However, the API interface is only accessible to trained programmers, which is where outsourcing your digital activities can make a big difference. Using an API in Analytics can offer additional insights about users – that you wouldn’t have received otherwise. It also highlights potential trends, letting you connect Analytics data with other tools.
You lose your brand through automated solutions
How much can you automate? The answer: Almost everything. However, automation is not always the right approach to digital marketing. Indeed, you can use automation to set up email campaigns or build marketing funnels. But did you know that you could also automate content creation? Automated content is not only a reality, but it’s been part of digital way-of-life for a long time. AI can perform simple tasks, such as acting as a chatbot or completing sentences. The tech also lets AI create entire blog articles. Yet, smart tools don’t replace people. The moment you trust a machine to write your blog, you lose what makes your brand unique.
Automated tools play a huge role in building a business and managing online activities for solo entrepreneurs. But it’s essential to draw a line. While tools become more advanced and intelligent, they don’t replace professional experience, personality, and strategic knowledge. There is nothing wrong with using the right tools for the jobs. But remember that technology doesn’t make you an expert!
Related content from StrategyDriven