Content Creator: Should YOU DIY or BUY

When it comes to creating content, you simply MUST. 

When it comes to posting consistently, you simply…MUST.

The question is: can you create this content yourself or should you hire a *cough* “professional” to do it for you?

I joke about the title of a self-proclaimed “Social Media Content Creator” (SMCC) only because it’s so loosely defined–there’s no real standard. Think about photographers: some shoot professional models for Vogue Magazine while others advertise headshots for $50 a session on Craigslist (no, not my list). Both the high fashion hotshot and the Craigslist artiste can call themselves a “photographer,” but the caliber of their creations is going to vary.  

So how do you pick what’s best for you? There are three key points to consider as you make your decision: TIME, SKILLZ, and MONEY. 

1. TIME: Do you have it?

Like any DIY project, you’re either doing it to save money or for the experience–sometimes both. It’s important to consider the cost-benefit though. Will doing it yourself actually save you money or end up costing you more in the long run? The simple truth is that creating content will likely take up more time–way more time–than you expect. 

Think about the last post you added to your personal feed–maybe a photo on Instagram. You likely took several pictures (and maybe even a few more) before selecting the most flattering filter. From there, you had to come up with the perfect, quippy caption, check and recheck your spelling, and add just the right hashtags. It probably took ten minutes or more. 

Now imagine you were working on a post for your business. 

If your goal is to publish polished, catchy, quality content (and that should be your goal), chances are it will take you two to three times as long to create it. Couple that with the fact that creative block is REAL and you can bet you’ll be spending a LOT of time on this venture. As a business owner, you know that time IS money, so carefully consider whether or not DIYing it is really worth it. 

If you have a business that runs itself or a partner to help shoulder the load, try creating content yourself.

But if you’re on your own? Consider TIME a strike against DIY content creation. 

2. SKILL: Don’t got it? No problem. 

If you have the time, but not the skill, go ahead and DIY it anyway! Your skills will get better over time and the only way to hone them is to learn through experience. The fact is, no one else is going to show the same love and passion as you do for your business. 

Besides, social media is a peculiar creature. Posts that are less polished actually get more likes and are more successful as ads than professional content. Why? Because they look organic. As customers scroll, when they come across an ultra-refined, carefully curated image, it screams “ADVERTISEMENT ALERT!” But when that same customer comes across an image with a little less..panache…it reads like a friend’s post instead of an ad. This doesn’t mean you should post the blurry picture you took of your dog after one too many Moscow Mules…it just means you shouldn’t worry too much if your skills are…lacking. 

Authenticity is much more important than perfection. Whether you’ve got posting skillz or not is ultimately irrelevant. No strikes here!

3. MONEY: *gulp*

Money is always a tough consideration to face. SMCC rates range anywhere from $30 to 

$450 a month–it all depends on what you want or, more accurately, what you can afford.

To put it simply, if you have the money to hire someone, hire someone. Don’t be a 

cheap ass! If you have $150 to spend a month, you should, without a doubt, BUY. If your 

budget is under $100, I would suggest investigating what old Ben Franklin can get you. 

Why BUY if you can? You’re a business owner. Your energy and focus are best spent on 

your business, not on pictures, headlines, and hashtags. This is not to say that you can’t 

help take photos to send to your SMCC or offer a hashtag suggestion once in a while. It 

also doesn’t mean your prohibited from posting. You’re likely going to pay your content 

creator a set amount to upload an agreed upon number of posts–maybe one a day. But 

let’s say you have an event. You should absolutely take it upon yourself to post before, 

during, and after the event. Frequency is key. Just be sure to let your SMCC know 

beforehand. 

And if you don’t have the money? That’s simple. DIY. All the way. 

BONUS TIP: No time? No money? No problem. 

If you don’t have the time or the money you actually do have options: 

Consider a current employee–depending on your business, you may have someone already working for you who would LOVE the opportunity to tackle content creation. Ask around to see who is interested and then give them the chance to try it out. If they do well, reward them with a new job title that showcases their developing skills in marketing or content creation.

Seek out a marketing intern  from a college or university–there are tons of hungry and talented marketing majors in need of real experience to add to their resumes. I’m a firm believer that every company should use interns. Interns are one of the best ways to find potential rockstars worth hiring down the road. And the best part? They already fit into your culture and know your company.

Did you decide to try tackling your own content? Awesome! Have fun. Remember to mix it up so your posts don’t all look the same. Make sure your posts don’t all sound like you’re offering or selling something. The most important thing is to have fun, try to be entertaining, and offer customers (and potential customers!) enticing content. 

Don’t forget to follow and like other people’s content, too. Doing so will help you build your own following–and that’s essential. 

But what if you decided to hire someone? If you’ve landed on investing in a SMCC, keep a lookout for next week’s post where I’ll cover tips and tricks for finding the right SMCC for you.

12 comments

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