A topical debate is the transparency of the Internet in relation to resources. How much is too much and where is the balance of information? As a business owner in the online marketing field, I see tons of articles, blogs, tips and advice in relation to my field (I mean TONS). Others in their respective trades are sure to see the same thing. So the big (Million Euro/Dollar) question is: Why should I pay for something that I can get online for free? Facts and Fiction The Internet is open to all and publicly available. All can contribute and all can read. You can never be sure on the web that what you are reading is a fact or correct. The only real way is trial and error. Paying for the skills of a professional will ease this issue, as they have learnt first hand the facts of their trade. I say this ‘tongue in cheek’ as I have tripped up many a pro-drawing attention to fictional advice. But on the whole, a professional will be equipped with the right knowledge and save time on the part of the business. Experience Experience is essential to obtain the maximum outcome. While we can learn something by reading to a point, we should never discount the experience that those in the trade will bring. It’s the diffenece between mediocre performance and top class. Who wants mediocre when they can have top class ? Experience is extremely powerful as those without it will have limited knowledge of the area they are learning and the possible options. A company may well hear about Twitter and research how to set up an account and tweet, feeling that they need to join the numbers on the platform. However, when enlisting the support and guidance of a professional, may be deterred from using Twitter because it is not the best solution for the company. The specialist, in this instance, will recommend platforms geared towards the company’s goals. While Twitter is extremely popular, it isn’t the ONLY option for companies. My mantra is: A job worth doing, is worth doing well! Technical Expertise Working on the web is technical. Not all of it granted, but most of the stuff worth doing requires some technical exposure. A professional will either be able to do this themselves, or point you in the direction of those who can. They will easily be able to identify the skills required. Efficiency This, I should really move to the top! Our time is important. The longer it takes to carry out a task, the less efficient and effective that task becomes. If you are unfamiliar with a subject, it is bound to take time, research and practice. A professional is efficient because they have already carried out the research needed, they’ve practiced so much they could probably carry it out while sleeping (But they won’t – bad for the reputation). They can assess on the spot and using their technical expertise and experience; can carry out the task as quickly as possible. Accountability An interesting one to end with. Whoever is accountable, plays a vital role in any business. An unfamiliar task can be stressful, especially if the company is depending on you. A professional is happy to be accountable (or should be). As they are already familiar with the task, they will understand all the pitfalls and negatives, which they then account for. If something does go wrong or the result is unfavourable, the professional can fix it easy enough. Has anyone been tasked with something that is unfamiliar? Did you learn to carry it out yourself or enlist a pro? What were the outcomes?