I’ve always loved Halloween and dressing up. I’m a shy, anxious person, so the idea of temporarily “becoming” another person or character has its appeal. About four years ago, my husband and I started attending conventions like DragonCon (similar to Comic-Con, but local to the East Coast). At these cons, fans of different genres and fandoms will dress as characters they love — just for fun!
You see a good mix of costumes, from the simple “closet cosplays” to elaborate hand-made engineering marvels.
At first, we bought our costumes from online retailers because they were fairly inexpensive (comparatively speaking) and we didn’t know how to make our own. But after seeing the beautiful costumes that people were able to make and customize for themselves, we quickly decided to learn how to do some basic crafting. I got a sewing machine and started practicing. Jeremy looked up tutorials on making armor pieces and weaponry out of foam (like EVA foam or Worbla). It took a long time to teach ourselves, and we made plenty of mistakes along the way. However, to date, we’ve made well over 25 costume pieces, including a traditional Japanese kimono, hakama, and armor. I’ve also created several self-drafted patterns from which I’ve made costumes like these:
For us, the time and money (purchasing equipment, supplies, etc) was worth it in the end. But plenty of people still purchase ready-made costumes and look great, too! There’s no right or wrong. You have to decide what makes sense for you.
Now, what am I getting at?
There are pros and cons to both having someone else create something for you and creating it yourself. It’s true for costumes, and it’s true for websites. (See how I’m tying this all together?)
So, you know you need content. Do you outsource, or do you DIY?
Here are some things to consider:
Time and Money
When you outsource your website or blog content, you save yourself time to focus on other things while taking advantage of others with expertise that you may not have. Everyone thinks he or she can write. But to really convey ideas in a meaningful and useful way — that requires expertise, and it can be expensive — but worth it!
The alternative is taking the time and spending the resources internally to create your own website and blog content. While time consuming, it can be very rewarding to create something yourself (or hire an in-house team to do it). But it’s expensive to do so. And it will take more time than you think to train and manage a team. MUCH more time.
Brand and Expertise
When it comes to your brand and subject matter, there’s a lot to consider. Of course you can train freelancers in your brand and tone, and if multilingual content is a factor, you can find experts to write in multiple languages. This is often a great choice for busy business owners who need content right away.
But maybe within your current staff are hidden gems who already know your brand and are loyal to it. Should your in-house team be the experts and brand ambassadors? You might find hidden talents there, and investing the time and money in your own staff, and in turn, letting them invest themselves in your company and brand may be a great long-term business strategy. Employees will appreciate having authority and ownership.
If you have a blog, you should be updating it no less than once per week at the absolute minimum. Website content should be updated as frequently as information in your niche changes. For example, in the health industry, things change overnight. A new drug is approved, and you need to write about it and update your related content accordingly. Can you manage that alone? Or do you need help? Don’t underestimate the need to produce content frequently. Maybe you can manage that in-house, but perhaps you should consider looking to freelance experts to help lighten the burden.
In the end, to be seen as a knowledgeable expert, you must make the choice that best suits your business needs. If you decide outsourcing is the way to go, or if you need help getting started, we can help with that. Whether you need written content, photography, web design or graphic design, we’re here to help.
And if you’re dressing up this Halloween, store-bought costumes are just fine, but if you’re inclined to learn a new skill, may I suggest sewing?
What was your favorite Halloween costume you ever wore? Let me know in the comments!
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Laura Lee—Account Manager