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6 ways to start (or continue) to learn marketing into 2020

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This is a pre-emptive blog post. Right now most of you are head down in tax work, trying to fend off everything else that dares to get in your way. Stay strong. 

I know from experience once taxes are done and you’re back in the land of the living again – you’re going to want to hit the ground running with all of the stuff you’ve not been able to prioritise. 

It’s not uncommon to get to your New Year (February) and feel like you’re due a change of some sort. You now have time to think about what you set out to achieve in 2019, and reflect on whether you achieved it.If you’re stuck, frustrated, creatively blocked, or standing still in any area of your marketing, this is generally when you notice, and you want to do something about it. 

Here are some tips to get you moving. 

 

Assess where you are now 

Sound familiar? Of course it does, because it’s what you’re always telling your own clients. Accountants around the world are singing from the same song sheet. From the top!

“To know where you’re going, you have to know where you are”

If a client comes to you disappointed because they feel they should be making more profit, you’ll take a look at their numbers first and assess where they are, so you can uncover the gaps in their financial strategy. 

Think about your marketing in the same way. In order to know what you need to learn, and how you need progress, you need to take stock of where you are. 

So first, take five minutes, grab your beverage of choice, and reflect on 2019. 

  • Have you nailed your niche?
  • Are you 100% sure of your ideal client, and how to reach them?
  • Are you where you wanted to be with sales?
  • Is there an area of marketing you wanted to try, but you didn’t?
  • Are your current clients getting everything they could be from you?

Now watch this webinar to self diagnose your marketing gaps. The webinar is designed to help you understand the very best route to take to be a successful lead generating firm. I encourage you to be honest with yourself about your position. 

Even if you’ve been through much of the journey already, there’s always a next step to keep in sight. If you’re feeling stuck, there’s something new to learn. 

 

Continue to learn marketing

Whether you’re right at the very beginning, or you’ve been working away at marketing for years, putting time and effort into continued learning will have an impact on how successful your content marketing is.

At PF we want our clients to understand and love content marketing. Although we do outsourced marketing for our clients, it’s not a solo situation – it’s a partnership. Why? because no matter how good we are, no one knows your clients better than you do. 

As you continue to learn marketing, and you see what works, you’ll begin to love it. How could you not fall in love with winning your prospects and wowing your clients?

How to do that:

 

1. Take advantage of free stuff 

There is a big beautiful world of free stuff out there for you to consume. You can get an all access pass to all kinds of free marketing resources here, and follow more blogs like this for answers to the burning questions accountants ask us about getting marketing done.

Not sure how to get true return on investment in marketing? I recommend taking some to watch our free marketing masterclass. Anyone and everyone in your firm can sign up. Once you’ve have a deeper understanding of how to solve the four biggest challenges accountants face, you can share it with your team, so you all know how to progress. We invite you to know what we know, and learn what we learn, so that marketing doesn’t feel like it’s out of your reach. 

 

2. Join an online course

There are so many positives about joining an online course. You get direction from the experts. You share your experience with other people in the same position as you. You can take what you’ve learnt and teach your team. And most importantly, you don’t have to go anywhere! 

We have accountants running (and repeating!) the accelerator course to maintain marketing momentum and get focused direction for their firm to grow.

Disclaimer: We’re always learning too! Karen and I have just joined an online podcasting course (we’ll share what we’ve been learning soon!). We’re loving being on the other side of the classroom, absorbing everything we can to follow the same successful plan. 

 

3. Read more

Just an extra half an hour of your day learning from business and marketing thought leaders can give you a whole load of inspiration for changes you want to make in your firm. I mean, Karen stopped reading for a while last year because she was TOO inspired and needed time to put inspiration into action (yes, you can be over-inspired). 

Start with They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan – just do it. Here’s why

Re-read it, even. And then put the inspiration into action. 

 

4. Play with social media

Play in general. Remember when you were a kid and your first question was always ‘why?’. Be like a kid again. Why is everyone on it? Why is this going to help your audience get to know you? You’re not too old to learn how to insta-story. You’re not too ‘accountant’ to be on twitter. Forget all your preconceived ideas about what it means to be an accountant on social media and just play with it.

If you don’t have an account on any social platforms yet, set one up. See how it works. Find out if any of your clients are on social media and follow them. Share something a client posted recently and say something about it. If you’re already on social media – I challenge you to try something new. Post a video to your instagram. Try twitter for a day. Learn by doing. 

 

5. Be curious all the time

It’s easy to get locked in to the day to day running of your firm, and feel like you don’t have a box to think outside of. If I earned a penny every time an accountant has said “but I’m quite boring” to me, I’d need to come to you for tax advice. 

Have an open mind about what’s possible. Get excited about new ideas. Be curious:

 

  • With yourself and your team – Don’t know what your niche should be? Think about the kind of work that excites you. Think about the clients you really don’t want. Not sure what your company values are? Ask your staff what your firm means to them. 
  • With your clients – Not sure how to get to the real heart of what your customers want and need – listen to them. Really listen.
  • With your environment – Look at innovative companies for marketing inspiration, inside or outside of your industry. Last week, Jamie wrote a helpful tip on how to get new ideas for content. Good content marketing is about storytelling and you have these stories in you. Who better to tell a relatable story about owning a business to business owners… than a business owner like you.

Keep going

Just keep asking: Where am I right now, and what can I learn to move forward?

Ask and keep asking all the way through the year. 

The beauty of this blog is that you can pick this up again in six months time and all of the tips in here will be helpful for a new learning curve. 

When you learn something and it works, turn it into a system and keep going. If you’re feeling stuck, go back to the map for direction and start a new learning journey.