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I’m not a lawyer but I play one on TV

I own a small digital marketing agency where I specialize in websites for small businesses. Websites make up about 65% of my business. As a website guy I face a lot of competition from “FREE” – free website building services, free downloads, free themes, etc. Why would someone pay me to build them a website when they can get it for free?

  • For the same reason that I “could” do my own taxes but I feel more comfortable leaving it to my CPA.
  • I “could” change my own oil but I don’t have the tools and I do trust my mechanic.

At the end of the day the price might be free but the cost could be substantial especially if I do it wrong.

In a Facebook group that I belong to for a particular piece of software I saw this post:

Seeking advice: I am a lawyer building my own website. I am using WordPress and currently using “a theme” and “a page builder”. My site will have a home page, many services pages, blog, contact, and other features. Should I be using a different theme? Should I upgrade to page builder Pro? Where should I look for the best tutorial videos? Google has been a good source for tutorials.

While I totally understand the concept of DIY and saving money and trying something different to market one’s business, I saw this and asked “WTF?”. Here’s a lawyer posting inside a web developer’s technical group essentially asking for help to PUT ME OUT OF BUSINESS!

Here’s my reply:

I’m a website designer and I think I’m going to start offering legal services at the weekend. Any suggestions?

Strangely enough the original poster didn’t reply to my post!

I see this as an example of the erosion of the, admittedly blurry, line between professions that’s fostered by the likes of Squarespace & Wix who insist that their free/low cost approach is right for everyone (do you really think Keanu Reeves built his own website?). Building a website that is geared around the end result a client is looking for is not just a case of slapping together some pretty pictures. (Where do those pretty pictures even come from?) Rather it’s an iterative process that takes into account many factors including budget, end result, availability of content, amount of hand-holding required, etc.

What do you think? Was I wrong to call this person out? Should I have taken the moral high road and offered my help?

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