DIY vs DFY: How to Choose
If you market your business online, you need copy and content. You need a clear website and sales pages. Then there are the free downloads to grow your email list. You need emails at least weekly to be sure your audience keeps you top of mind. Depending on the strategy you choose, you may also be posting to a blog every week or to social media every day.
It’s enough to be a full-time job.
The thing is—it’s not your job. As a business owner or even a solopreneur, you need to figure out a way to produce all this content without spending thousands of dollars a month or squandering away all your nights and weekends.
The two obvious ways to solve the content problem are to do it yourself (DIY) or have it done for you (DFY). Actually, there are also options in the gray area between DIY and DFY. Let’s break down the pros and cons of each and then look at that gray area—because it might be where the magic will happen for you.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Writing all of the copy and content to market your business online is a massive undertaking. It could potentially involve writing all these things:
- Website pages (home, about, services, etc.)
- Weekly blogs or YouTube videos
- Daily social media posts and stories
- Lead-generating PDFs
- Automated email sequences
- Weekly email broadcasts
- Sales pages for products and services
Pros of DIY
The biggest benefit of DIY is that the content comes directly from you. You can’t get any more authentic than that. You know your message better than anybody else ever will. When you share from the heart, your followers and audience will love it.
DIY also saves you money. It’s the best option for you’re trying to keep overhead costs at bay. Words are free, so it only requires you to put in the hours to write them. Do that now so that your business will grow over time.
Cons of DIY
The biggest bummer about DIY is time. The task list of content to create is unrealistic for many small business owners who are already overtaxed. You might stay up late or wake up early to squeeze in those last-minute emails or social media posts.
When time runs out or you’re completely burned out, the writing takes a back burner. It doesn’t get done. The email opt-in remains nothing more than a foggy idea. The sales page never gets written. DIY often turns into not done at all.
Who Should DIY
DIY is a great option for you if:
- You have time
- You like writing and creating content
- You’re a reasonably good writer
- You have some marketing savvy
- You like to be 100% in control of your message
Done For You (DFY)
Outsourcing your copy and content is something I am intimately familiar with because of working as a freelance writer for the last seven years. One important thing to know about DFY writing is that you will probably still have some level of involvement. You might still do any of these things:
- Participate in strategy sessions to guide the messaging
- Provide topic ideas for ongoing content
- Offer stories or testimonials to make your content more personal
- Review content before it goes live
Pros of DFY
The biggest benefit of hiring somebody to write your copy and content is that it will save you an enormous amount of time. It also ensures that the projects will get done. You can be sure to consistently post a blog every week or a social post every day—if you are paying somebody to make that happen.
Also, consider the quality. If you hire a good writer, chances are that the copy and content they create will be more effective than something you write yourself. This is relevant for blogs that should be reliable and referenced. It’s especially relevant for sales-related copy that needs to be convincing and compelling. Just be sure to hire a writer that has the skillset you need—whether it’s writing catchy posts for Instagram or automating an email sequence that will make you sales in your sleep.
Cons of DFY
The real downside of DFY writing services is the cost. If you’re going to hire somebody with experience and who will get the results you want, you could be paying thousands of dollars a month.
Who Should Hire DFY
DFY is a great option for you if:
- You have money to invest
- Your products or services sell at a price that you would make a return on your investment
- You need to be consistent with your content to build your online authority
- You want a specific result from your copy and content that requires a specialized skill (like writing sales copy)
- You don’t have the time or the interest to write the content yourself
The Area In Between (DWY)
You might be on the fence, feeling like neither DIY nor DFY sound like great options for you. The reality is that neither is ideal for most small business owners. DIY takes too much time and DFY costs too much money.
The gray area between DIY and DFY is what I call done-with-you (DWY). It strikes a balance so that you can be extremely efficient with your time and follow strategies that get results. Plus, it’s affordable to just about anyone. Here are some things to look for in a good DWY system for copy and content:
- The facilitator has experience. Make sure that you choose a DWY program that is led by somebody who has written copy and content in the trenches. If they aren’t doing the work themselves, how can they show you how?
- You learn a system. Systems give you a clear structure and step-by-step plans to follow. They are what allow you to become insanely efficient with your time and effective with what you produce. If you don’t want to waste time recreating the wheel, get a system to follow.
- The focus is on taking action. Implementing a DWY system for copy and content should not require days of listening to audio or video trainings. Sure, you might need some guidance from tutorials and trainings, but these should be brief in order to optimize your time.
- Templates, templates, templates. I cannot emphasize this enough. How many times have you taken a course or a training and never acted on it? Templates get you over that hurdle. Templates prompt you to fill in the blanks and pump out content that will generate results.
The beauty of DWY is that you get all of the experience and expertise of a professional writer packaged up for you to use. You get templates that have proven successful for you to plug-and-play. You get a system that helps you show up online in less than half the time it would take you if you DIY. And you don’t have to pay anybody else to do it for you.
About Sarah at ND Pen
Hey, I'm Sarah Cook, ND. If you've wasted time and money on marketers who don't understand your medicine, we need to talk. I'm a medical copywriter and StoryBrand Certified Guide. I help health and wellness practitioners use words to build insanely successful businesses. Check out all the ways we can work together!