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What Is DIY vs DWY vs DFY?

Hey there! What’s below started as an email to my subscribers — but it started getting a bit too long and detailed for that format. Hence, this What Is DIY vs DWY vs DFY? blog post.

It’s a fairly fast read. Hope it’s helpful! Cheers, friend. 🥰

OK, so: DIY vs DWY vs DFY

What are they? How do they differ? What’re some use cases for each? Where can you get help?

DIY = Do It Yourself

You probs already knew that. Basically, you (or your team) are doing everything yourself in-house.

As a scrappy titan of industry, you likely DIY many of your biz functions. (Or did when you were just starting out.) Yup, DIY is popular beyond home repairs and crafting!

Perhaps because of this, there’s a whole marketplace of products and services designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs to DIY in a more efficient and effective manner.

DIY Examples

  • You write your own blog posts. You handle every aspect: research, writing, editing, posting, etc.
  • You file your own taxes without the assistance of an accountant.

When to DIY

  • You’re broke/bootlegging it.
  • You like full control over everything.
  • You’re not yet fully committed to your venture.
  • You’re a trailblazer and there aren’t yet resources to help you with your needs.

Examples of Helpful DIY Resources

  • Trainings — Teach or demonstrate skills and methods (e.g., learn how to do bookkeeping)
  • Templates — Offer forms and frameworks for you to follow (e.g., a creative briefing template)
  • Checklists — Provide steps to do or things to remember (e.g., a packing list for a photo shoot)
  • Ebooks — Give information in a concise form (e.g., a guide with tips for managing your email)

DWY = Done With You

This is when you (or your team) work collaboratively with someone else to get sh*t done.

DWY is one way to create a hybrid approach to running your biz. It can enable you to get professional help at a more affordable price point. It can also speed up and simplify your skills development process.

Having a business “copilot” is common, too. Maybe you’ve noticed the abundance of programs and services designed to give you a helping hand? If you’re looking for a biz bud or three, you’ll find ’em.

DWY Examples

  • With the guidance and support of a copywriting coach, you write your own blog posts. Your coach reviews and offers corrections and feedback on your draft so you can polish it before publishing.
  • You prepare your tax return using an online software platform that provides access to live chat help from licensed professionals.

When to DWY

  • You like to DIY but need a little extra guidance, encouragement, or accountability.
  • You’re very capable but a particular task is outside your current wheelhouse.
  • You prefer to personalize or streamline out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Learning from/with an expert makes sense.

Examples of Helpful DWY Resources

  • Coaching programs — Mentoring or guide you so that you can accomplish specific tasks and/or broader goals (e.g., memberships and masterminds)
  • VIP days — Provide private coaching or services to help your biz with a given project (e.g., a social media audit)
  • Communities — Offer support, networking, collaboration, etc. (e.g., private online group for small business owners and entrepreneurs)

DFY = Done For You

Just like it sounds, you’re offloading work to someone else. You’re hiring others — external to your biz — to do some heavy lifting.

This is a common occurrence in the biz world — and it’s not necessarily a luxury reserved for big companies. Many small and medium businesses leverage the knowledge, experience, and work of third parties.

That’s why, without too much searching, you’ll see a full complement of DFY service providers. They’re out there — for every industry and any kind of job you need done!

DFY Examples

  • You hire a professional content creator to manage your blog and write posts. You’ve outsourced the whole kit and caboodle. You may or may not weigh in before the post is published.
  • You hire a CPA to do your taxes.

When to DFY

  • You’re ready to scale but aren’t ready to hire full-time employees.
  • You have dynamic or cyclical staffing needs.
  • You want a specialist handling particular tasks.
  • There are certain activities that you can’t, won’t, or don’t want to do yourself.

Examples of Helpful DFY Resources

  • Freelance or agency services — Leverage independent contractors to do work for you (e.g., hire a marcom consultant)
  • Swipe copy — Shortcut the creative process with ready-to-go, already-written content (e.g., email newsletters*)
  • PLRs — Supply you with pre-made resources that you can use as-is or customize (e.g., clipart packs or stock photos)

Not One Size Fits All

DIY, DWY, and DFY exist on a spectrum. And businesses’ use of DIY/DWY/DFY is on a continuum, too.

I’d say that most businesses take advantage of a mix of DIY, DWY, and DFY products and services in an effort to optimize their time, money, energy, and expertise for the best possible outcomes given their unique constraints.

Basically, you have to find the right balances to suit various aspects of you and your biz — like your time, budget, control freakishness, skills, to-do list, goals, etc. Expect your needs — and what your equilibrium state looks like — to shift over time, too, as all businesses progress through different lifecycle stages.

By, With, or For You?

What’s your stance on DIY, DWY, and DFY? Do you have a blended DIY/DWY/DFY approach to tackling your biz activities and needs? How can you be more strategic with your use of DIY/DWY/DFY offerings?

Whatever your position is on DIY, DWY, and DFY, know that I’ve got your back. I’ve got resources to help you with all three approaches.


What is DIY?

DIY stands for “Do It Yourself” and means that you handle every aspect of the given task or function that you’re DIYing. This is you driving everything — total control.

What is DWY?

DWY stands for “Done With You” and means that you’re working collaboratively with someone else (outside of your company) to accomplish a given task or function. This is middle-of-the-road — you retain a lot of control and responsibility but have help or guidance.

What is DFY?

DFY stands for “Done For You” and means that you’ve hired someone else (outside of your company) to perform a given task or function on your behalf. This is pretty hands-off.

Which option should I choose: DIY, DWY, or DFY?

There’s no single right answer. Your needs will probably change over time so the approach you take will likely shift to accommodate. Most businesses — of all sizes and in all industries — use a mix of DIY, DWY, and DFY strategies. There are tons of products and services available to help your biz, no matter which route it takes.

Where can I get help with my DIY, DWY, and DFY needs?

You’ll find a lot of options.

Research for solutions that meet the particular needs of your business (e.g., geographic, niche, type of activity you need assistance with, price, etc.) Narrow down your choices to a select few. Reach out to those that are on your shortlist for more information or do a second (deeper) sweep of their offerings. Pick the one that ticks the most boxes for you.

Of course, I’m gonna throw my hat into the ring! If you’re looking for bespoke marketing communications help, I offer DWY and DFY services. If you’re more on the DIY tract, I’ve got templates, trainings, and other tools for you, too. New resources and content are added for you all the time — so check my website often.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, indicated with an asterisk (*) when possible. If you click on an affiliate link and subsequently make purchase on the linked-to site, I may be compensated (at no extra cost to you!). This helps support my one-person, woman-owned small biz! — so, thanks!

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