One of your content marketing goals as an accountant is to generate 2-3 new pieces of content every week.
Multiple pieces of content.
This specific suggestion is found in the book “They Ask You Answer” which we are recommending to, well, everyone.
(By the way, the accountants in our free Marketing Masterclass are not only reading, but devouring this book. I’m losing count of those who said “I literally could not put it down!”)
When you think about generating that level of content, it can feel a little discouraging.
What if you’re creating nothing right now? What if all you can do is write one or two blogs a month? What if you have partners who charge out at £200/hour and you feel it’s a waste of time for them to be spending hours writing or recording video?
That ‘wasted time’ argument is the kicker.
“I could be earning money,” you’re thinking. (Or the partners are thinking it, and saying it to you as a marketing manager.) “I could be creating proposals and replying to emails and doing real marketing.”
The only reason you avoid doing something is because you don’t really believe in its value.
You’re not really sure content marketing works, so it doesn’t feel like a good use of your time to write a blog post. Or record a video. Or be on social media now and then throughout the day.
But the truth is, creating 2-3 new pieces of content each week actually is time earning money. Here’s why:
1. Every piece of content you write will save you minutes if not hours of time in the future.
When you follow the principles of “They Ask You Answer”, your content isn’t yet another boring tax post. It’s genuinely helpful information that your clients and buyers are asking about.
So the next time someone says, “Why do I need management accounts? Getting accounts once a year is fine”, you can send them a link to your article or website page or video that explains exactly why management accounts could turn around their business life.
The same applies to any other question you’re asked. No more writing emails that you could have sworn you answered six times before to six other clients.
2. Every piece of content you write will save your team many hours in the future, too
In our recent Masterclass on “getting buy in from your team”, Chris shared a story about a shed company that has now built a list of hundreds of articles that answer nearly every question a potential buyer would ever have when considering buying a shed.
It took a while at the beginning – to write the articles and then to make sure the team knew about them – but now they have a Google doc listing out all the articles answering questions a prospect or client might ask. So every single team member is saving minutes or hours or days of time by saying, “We’ve already answered that here – have a look, and let me know if that answers your question too. If not, I’m here to help.”
3. Your buyer will feel like they know you before they meet you – saving hours of time needed for prospect meetings
Your buyer is willing to do a lot of research before ever getting in touch with you.
“On average, 70 percent of the buying decision is made before a prospect talks to the company.” – Marcus Sheridan
They will read articles, watch videos, attend webinars, stalk you on social – for hours and days and weeks and months.
They may even do all of this without ever getting in touch. Without clicking like, or follow, or share. Without any ‘engagement’ whatsoever.
So by the time they ask for a meeting, they’re educated. They know how you do things, what you stand for, the process you follow in your firm, the type of businesses you work with (or don’t), and even a rough idea of your starting fees.
This means that in your initial prospect meeting, instead of going over all of those things and answering the same old questions for the hundredth time, you can skip all of that and get to the good stuff:
- What specific services do you need?
- How much will it cost you?
- When do you want to start?
You’ll find that instead of 2-3 hour prospect meetings (plus travel, plus prep time), you’ll shorten it to a half hour, or an hour, and they’ll sign the proposal faster too. (For those of our accountants who use GoProposal, if the prospect doesn’t decide instantly, they’re at least walking out the door with a proposal already in their inbox.)
Remember, 2-3 new pieces of content per week is the GOAL in the long term.
One day, you seek to be at that place.
For now, if all you can do is one piece of content per week, or even one per month, then that is a great start.
It’s the starting, and continuing and persevering, that is the key.
You get results faster by investing more time. You get results slower if you have less time (and less money too), and that is okay. We all want instant results, but those are the exception rather than the rule.
This conversation came up in our Marketing Masterclass Facebook group, and here are a few comments from our accountants who are learning about content marketing:
“I would push back that it is time spent earning money. It’s not the automatic transaction but it starts to build trust from your potential clients. You might not see the money right away but you might after several months of creating content, sharing your knowledge, showing your clients you care about them/their business and not just about making money.” – Jamie Engelhardt
“I’ve got into the habit of writing down questions that current/prospective clients ask me. It’s surprising how quickly a list builds up and I’m slowly working through these for my blogs. Plus, if you’re answering a question, sometimes just a 500 word blog will do, so they don’t take too long either.” – Claire Jones
“I agree that this is time well spent. Unless you’re knocking out 70 hours a week of chargeable work you have time. If you are then you have enough work for an employee to free up the time you need!”– Martin Wardle
Yes, it absolutely is going to take some time. And it will take a lot more time at the beginning, when you haven’t created any content yet or it’s all new to you. But the cumulative effect will be so powerful that I guarantee you will wish you started earlier.