So you’ve found a few marketing agencies that specialise in your industry. Great! They’ll know most of the jargon and be familiar with the apps you use. They’ll have had experience helping other accountants with similar problems in the past. But is that enough? You know you deserve a good marketing partner.
How do you know you’ll get the results you want and need?
Choosing a marketing partner may feel overwhelming. They might promise you the world during sales calls but how do you know the marketing they help you with will deliver results? And not only vague results, but those specific results you really want and need.
A good marketing partner is about so much more than just ROI and new leads.
Here are 5 things you can expect from a good marketing partner (click to jump to each one!):
- They will nurture your creativity
- They will ask the right questions and really listen to the answers
- They will hold you accountable, in a positive way
- They will show you how your involvement is critical to your success
- They will truly care
1. They will nurture your creativity.
Psychology Today explains creativity as that which “encompasses the ability to discover new and original ideas, connections, and solutions to problems.”
As human beings, we are all creative. We are curious by nature, we solve daily problems and we form connections.
Your marketing partner needs to show you that, as accountants, you are creative too. Being creative isn’t the problem. It’s how to tap into that creativity. Your marketing team needs to be able to organise your creative thoughts and ideas into an actionable, prioritised plan, so you know what to do and in what order.
They’ll also be able to ask the right questions to bring out your creative ideas and thoughts. In our Foundations planning session, we ask our clients to think of their wildest ideas for marketing, all the things they’ve dreamed or wondered about and we discuss those to see if they are right for their firm and if so, how we might make them possible.
A good marketing partner gets you excited about marketing and motivates you. They don’t make it feel like a chore, but something enjoyable which you GET to do and enjoy and see the benefits of.
2. They will ask the right questions and really listen to the answers.
A good marketing partner will have a certain amount of curiosity. Sessions with them will feel a bit like marketing therapy. They’ll ask the right questions and listen to your answers. They’ll build trust and create a safe space for you to share your thoughts and wonderings, helping you to feel heard and valued.
They’ll dig into where you are at with your marketing and your business, and where you would like to be and help you to create a plan of action to reach your goals. Our Foundations sessions are designed to help you do just that. You’ll learn and understand how all the elements of marketing apply specifically to your firm.
Hearing is the physical act of receiving sound and listening is the act of really paying attention to what you are hearing. A good marketing partner will do both. They’ll be able to respond thoughtfully, rather than presuming and sharing what they think they need to say. Asking the right questions help your marketing partner to dig into the core issue or challenge and find the problem behind the problem so they can offer the right solution.
3. They will hold you accountable, in a positive way.
Your journey with a marketing partner is a partnership. Sometimes ‘holding someone accountable’ can feel like a negative thing and that’s not the case here. A good marketing partner will do this in a positive, gracious way.
They won’t do everything for you but rather get you involved in the parts that need to come from you as the accountant and as the one ultimately responsible for your firm’s marketing.
A good marketer will involve you in the strategy, the key messages and the deliverables.
They won’t let you skip meetings and delay tasks. They will hold you accountable to the work and deadlines. But they won’t leave you to do this by yourself. They will show you how to plan and give you step by step instructions so you can follow that plan. They’ll help you to really take action and get things done.
4. They will show you how your involvement is critical to your success.
They will help you get more than just ROI.
Before measuring progress, define what progress looks like for you. What does your ROI look like? It’s different for everyone. Some people might want more leads, some might want more visibility, some might be looking to hire to grow their team. Here’s how you can measure your own progress.
Here are a few other things you can expect from a good marketing partner:
They will teach you along the way
They won’t just tell you things but are happy and willing to explain things to you along the way so you always understand the purpose behind the actions. They’ll never make you feel silly or like your questions aren’t valid or important.
We encourage all our clients to go through our 12 week marketing coaching group Accelerator at some point during their partnership with us (usually as the first step). It not only educates you in the core principles of marketing, but it also builds your confidence in marketing and reveals to you what areas of your marketing you most need to focus on first (i.e defining your audience, your brand, your website).
A good business relationship
You’ll build a great business relationship. It’s far more than just an exchange of services. You’ll have a similar culture and values and they will be your cheerleader for your business, not just your marketing.
They will help you share your stories
Many accountants believe they aren’t storytellers, but whenever we dig deep and ask the right questions of our clients, we hear the most incredible stories. Things like “this client has no more debt, this client is sleeping again at night, we saved this client’s business”. These stories need to be told. A good marketing partner will ask the right questions to get the detail they need. They will pull out the emotions, and pain points, so it’s not just a bunch of facts but rather a real life, human story that others can relate to.
5. They will truly care.
Your relationship with your marketing team is not only transactional. They will truly care… about your business, your clients, about you.
Being a good marketer is about far more than just being a nice person with a decent personality. They’ll be supportive of your efforts and ideas and tell you honestly when you aren’t making the best decision for your business or for you. Because they care about you as a human being.
They are honest and have integrity. They won’t just sell to you to make quick money, they will offer you the services they really believe you need. They’ll have your best interest at heart at all times.
You deserve to have the right people in your corner
You might be thinking, “well this is great but it’s quite a big ask!“ The truth is, there are marketing agencies out there that CAN offer you all these things. You deserve to find a partnership, one that will build you up and support you through the ups and the downs.