As 2023 comes to a close, you’ll want to start thinking about where you need to focus your marketing effort and investment for 2024. You may be feeling a little uncertain, or slightly overwhelmed but also excited about the possibilities! There’s a lot of emerging marketing trends and it can be hard to decide if they’re right for you, your brand and your firm’s marketing.
Well, have no fear. We’ve boiled it down to 6 marketing trends accountants need to know ahead of 2024!
Trend 1: More thought leadership
Trend 2: Shift towards micro influencers
Trend 3: Developing your personal brand alongside your firm
Trend 4: Short-form video: be quick, imperfect and regular
Trend 5: The LinkedIn landscape is changing
Trend 6: There’s new hype around newsletters!
Trend 1. More thought leadership
Sharing content that shows off your knowledge and experience as a leader builds trust faster with prospects and clients. When you share content on topics that directly address your ideal client’s issues or something they care about, it helps you stand out from other accountants. It will also confirm to your ideal audience that you’re the one for them.
James Lizars from Thrive is a great example. He regularly posts content on his LinkedIn and website with thoughts on the climate crisis and suggested actions businesses can take to help. He also speaks about it at events. Through this work, he’s reaching like-minded accountants, ideal prospects and clients who share his values and also want to make a difference.
Steps to help get you started with thought leadership
- Pick a topic you find yourself getting excited or frustrated about and just get going!
- Make sure it’s something you really believe in – there’s no point otherwise; it will lack authenticity (and authenticity sells)
- Give yourself permission to speak freely, authentically and without “professional perfection”
Trend 2. Shift towards micro influencers
Influencer marketing has been around for a long time and the shift we’re seeing now is towards “micro-influencers.” These are influencers with a smaller follower count but a more engaged following, and often a more niche audience. This trend brings a shift in focus from getting in front of as many people as possible, to getting in front of more of the BEST people for you.
So, how might influencer marketing impact you as an accountant? Well, it’s an opportunity to show off your best influencers: your clients. By sharing your clients’ stories and experiences, you’re helping prospects like them feel heard, seen and understood by your firm. You want potential ideal clients to come across your content and say, “Hey, that’s just like me. Maybe this accountant can help me with the same challenges I have”. This is truly the most powerful way to show the value your firm can bring.
Here’s a great example from Fearless Financials showing how they showcase positive feedback from their clients on their social media platforms.
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Here’s another example from DNA Accountants sharing the story of how they helped transform their client’s small business to give them freedom and their weekends back.
Here are some actionable steps to include client testimonials in your marketing.
- Have regular check-ins with your clients and ask them honestly about how their experience has been with your firm
- Get permission to share their story and words in your marketing
- Start sharing their stories! This is the marketing gold dust that will help you get more of the clients you love to work with
Trend 3. Developing your personal brand alongside your firm
Show who you are and what makes you different. If you’re an owner of an accounting firm, you’re already a person of influence with a personal brand. Being intentional about how you show up online is crucial. It’s not just about gaining followers, it’s about creating authentic connections and building trust.
Alexander Malmström is an accountant who is very intentional about his personal brand. He recognises the connection between how he shows up and the trust he’s able to build with clients. What’s more, it creates alignment with his firm’s brand, reinforcing its message. Alex has done a lot of foundational work with PF to ensure his personal brand has the right messaging.
(Please note this example has been translated from Swedish to English)
Steps to develop your personal brand
(This will also help with thought leadership and other trends)
1. Ask yourself some big questions. Do a personal brand audit:
- How do you feel you’re currently being perceived? If you’re struggling with this one, ask your team for feedback!
- How do you want to be perceived by prospects, clients and other people in the industry?
- What are your key areas of influence? (Do you speak at events? Post a lot on social media?)
2. Clarify who you authentically are and how you want to represent yourself
3. Decide where you actively want to build your presence (socials, events, podcasts etc.) and go for it! (note you will want to pay attention to where your ideal clients and prospects are consuming content)
Trend 4. Short-form video: be quick, imperfect and regular
People are consuming more video content than ever before. 73% of consumers prefer to watch short-form videos to get the information they need. The value for accountants is short-form video supports you in explaining and breaking down complex concepts into bite-sized, understandable chunks.
Karen Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Accountancy, regularly posts short-form videos on her Instagram. She works primarily with small business owners in her local community in the Highlands of Scotland. Having a personal touch with short-form video sets her apart from other accountants in her area.
These videos give insight into her (somewhat brilliant) personality and her expertise. People get to know her through these snippets and start to connect trust with Karen just by looking at her Instagram. Her regular, approachable and fun online presence means she is memorable.
She’s made Kennedy Accountancy a natural choice for local businesses when they’re looking for an accountant.
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Steps to help you create short-form videos consistently
1. Keep a bank of questions or issues your clients regularly have
- Put this in a Google doc or a notes app so it’s easy to find
- Prioritise the question or issue by numbering them to help decide where to start
2. Think of how you can answer their issue most simply and concisely, for example: 3 ways you can get people to pay you on time
3. Post one of these videos at least once a week on your platform of choice. Try to make it a specific day of the week so your viewers start to expect the pattern going forward (it will also hold you accountable!)
Trend 5. The LinkedIn landscape is changing
In 2023, LinkedIn started to become more personal, authentic and thought provoking. Posts of this kind got the most engagement.
It’s less “formal business speak” and more about people (which is so refreshing to see)! The posts on there are now often stories: the highs and lows of being a business owner, an experience you had at an event or unpacking a client meeting. The content is much more human. As a result, personal profiles are getting more engagement. It’s also why thought-leadership and personal brand is so important too. Hopping on this trend will help you make more genuine connections with your prospects, clients and accountants in the industry.
Sharon Baker from Kinder Digital Accountants is great at making genuine connections on LinkedIn. She shares stories, highlights her team, shares her opinion and talks about events in her local community. This is the type of content that resonates and creates more engagement because she’s authentically sharing who she is and what matters to her.
Steps to help you improve your presence on LinkedIn
1. Work on your personal brand by following the steps above to improve your personal profile. People will always connect with a more personal approach
2. Post consistently twice a week and include at least one short-form video every other week. Start planning out your content and create a schedule for posting ahead of time. Here’s an example of a plan you can follow for a month (it helps to keep consistency on the days you post):
3. Switch it up between regular posts and videos for texture and variation and a more natural, “off the cuff” presence
Trend 6. There’s new hype around newsletters!
There’s a significant rise predicted in service-based businesses starting newsletters in 2024. A good newsletter builds rapport with prospects and your existing client base. It allows you to share updates within your firm, upcoming dates to be aware of and helpful tips to help them improve their business.
The trick is creating an engaging newsletter that genuinely makes readers excited to hear from you. Our Head of Content Camilla loves receiving a newsletter that’s written for writers who love to run. For anybody who knows Camilla, you’d understand the appeal here! (For anyone who likes the sound of it, here’s that newsletter)
Now, whatever your accounting focus, you can write a newsletter that speaks to your ideal audience in a way that makes them feel like you understand them, their struggles and what makes them tick.
Steps to create an engaging newsletter
- Pick a niche and then niche down some more
- Decide what kind of newsletter you want to create (general industry news, creative think pieces, showcasing your expertise on a specific topic)
- Choose a newsletter name
- Choose a sending schedule and keep it consistent
- Choose a content format for the audience
- Choose and set up your newsletter platform (a sign-up and thank you page for example)
- Set up your automations i.e welcome email
- Plan how you’ll promote your newsletter on socials and your website
Have fun, be imperfect and just experiment with these trends
Like with all things marketing, it takes some experimenting to see what works for you.
If you want some more guidance with your marketing plan, or to tackle some of these trends head on, fill out our discovery diagnostic today. We can’t wait to get stuck into 2024!