My father was one of those people who could fix almost anything. Even though he was an executive by day, he was an electrician, plumber and car mechanic by night and on weekends. One of his “secrets” (that he was happy to share with anyone who would listen) was, “You have to have the right tools for the job.” His toolbox was a treasure trove of gadgets that fascinated me as a child.

However, my father also had another secret: If he didn’t know what he was doing, he would hire someone who did. My father understood that even the best tools were meaningless (or dangerous) in the hands of someone who didn’t know how to use them.

People today have many online tools available to them. They can build a free website, start a Facebook Page, open an Instagram or Snapchat account, take pictures with their phones and edit them with free photo editors. If they are doing all of this for fun – to show off to their old school chums and relatives, they can make themselves look very good indeed.

Businesses are Held to a Higher Standard

Because of all of the free tools available to everyone, it is tempting business owners to believe that they can use them to develop an online marketing program themselves. After all, if their 12-year-old niece can publish a website and use Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest, how hard could it be?

The Right Tools in the Right Hands

What many business owners fail to understand is that business websites and social media pages are held to a higher standard. When websites and social pages do not look and sound professional, potential customers will walk away – and may not come back.

A Good Facebook Page must be interesting and timely. Using tools to schedule posts and then missing news item or event that is important to your audience is a mistake, as is missing a question, complaint or comment from your Page’s fans. Adding “canned” content available from some vendors may be so generic that it will not elicit a response – and may not even make it to a customer’s News Feed.

Websites that do not follow Google’s rules may make it impossible for customers to find your website.

The bottom line: Getting it wrong will do irreparable damage to your business.

There are a staggering number of marketing tools and platforms available today. The trick is to find the right marketing outlets and then use them to their best advantage. For business owners, who are busy running their businesses, may not have the time or energy to research and learn the platforms, the rules and the best practices. In other words, the DIY approach is not the best option for most business owners.

It is important to find someone who understands how marketing is done – someone who understands how to use all of the tools in the marketing toolbox.