Thoughts & Ideas

Do It Yourself: Taking Money Away From Professionals Or An Education In Value?

Recently I have seen a rise in the number of small businesses resorting to the “Do It Yourself” philosophy in order to save money on marketing expenses.

I think that social media is one of the primary fuel-sources of the “Do It Yourself” mentality as people begin to embrace the immediacy of social tools and the message of “you can too, if you do this…” The use of social networks by an increasing number of designers, developers, photographers and filmmakers seeking to differentiate themselves from others has in a lot of ways has led to not only a de-mystification of the creative process, but also the commoditization of creativity.

Other fuel-sources of the “Do It Yourself” philosophy are decreasing costs of professional equipment and software, websites that make creating, viewing, selling and sharing your work accessible to all (regardless of talent level), and an embracement of an amateur aesthetic (thanks to the millions of videos we all watch on YouTube).

The “Do It Yourself” philosophy is here to stay, but I have to ask, are these small businesses that are doing it themselves taking money away from professionals (photographers, videographers, designers, developers, etc.) that have devoted many years and thousands of dollars on defining and refining their art and craft?

Or are they receiving an education in why there is value in paying a professional for their best work?

I think there is merit for both doing it yourself and paying a professional for their services. I don’t necessarily have a problem with people that “Do It Themselves.” But a healthy perspective on why you choose to “do it yourself” is important. One friend and business owner likes to learn about what goes into something, so he starts by doing it himself and then will gladly pay a professional to continue the job for him. It is an education.

Other viewpoints regarding professional services range from “why pay that much for a picture?” to “I can do that better for cheaper” and one of my personal favorites, “it takes that long? I can do it faster myself.” These viewpoints lead to issues of commoditization and not necessarily the advancement of creative professional services.

What are your thoughts on the “Do It Yourself” philosophy?

Is it taking money away from professionals?

Or an education in the value of the expertise of people devoted to their art and craft?