Embrace The Boring

Many accountants I have spoken to have almost a sheepish attitude towards their own work and expertise.  “I know accountancy is boring,” they say, or, “How could we possibly make this aspect of accounting interesting?”

embrace+boringIt comes out when we’re discussing marketing, of course, because we’re all used to things being EXCITING! and REALLY CRITICAL FOR YOUR LIFE! and we should BUY NOW NOW NOW!

This kind of marketing is (fortunately) falling out of favour.  It feels pushy, and it is pushy.  The red font and the myriad of exclamation points gives us the impression that we are being sold to – and when it comes to professional services, the second we realise we’re being sold to, we back off.

This is great news for you accountants.  Most of you hate selling anyway, and the reason you get new business is not because you are a salesperson, but because you:

  • Know who you are
  • Know what you’re good at
  • Really want to help people in that area
  • Have a track record of helping people and businesses

This means that, regardless of whether you consider your work “boring” or not, the fact remains that you’re good at what you do, and many of your clients have had their lives and businesses and bank balances changed for the better as a result of working with you.

That is definitely not boring.

So, here are my tips as you embrace the boring:

Consider maximising on it.

People love truth in marketing, and anything that makes them laugh a little. Why not be The Boring Accountants?  Or publish a “Boring Tax Guide for Property Owners”?  Or tweet things like “Here’s an extremely boring tax tip that may save you £5,000.”

Focus on results.

Remember that even when the work is boring, the results are not.  One of the most powerful ways to showcase those results is by having client testimonial videos.  Now, before you panic about spending thousands of pounds on videography, remember that you can start with something as simple as a 1-minute quote shot on your new iphone 6.  (Shameless plug for the iphone 6, which I love, by the way.)

You can also feature the results on your website, in emails, in blog posts. Things like:

  • The amount of money that you saved a particular client, or a group of clients
  • How a client felt after working with you (relieved, refreshed, supported, invigorated)

Outsource the boring.

We’re huge fans of outsourcing here at the Profitable Firm.  What elements of the ‘boring’ work can you outsource to another firm, or bookkeeper, or organisation? Think of things like:

  • Bookkeeping work
  • Credit control (someone like Query Management)
  • Specialty tax advice
  • Tax returns

….By the way – randomly – if you know of a firm in the UK who does outsourced tax work, get in touch with me.

Focus on the expert advice only you can give.

Granted, there are parts of accounting and tax work that are genuinely boring.  And they’re even boring to you.  If that’s the case, definitely do not spend hours on them – after you’ve outsourced it or given it to a team member or hired someone to do that work for you, make sure that you’re focusing your time on what only you can do.

Usually, that’s expert advice.  Remember that when it comes to who and what you know, there is no one in the world exactly like you.  So stop doing the boring work, and focus on what is unique to you:

  • Give presentations
  • Run webinars or seminars
  • Attend networking events
  • Connect with people on LinkedIn
  • Write guest blog posts
  • Record videos of yourself providing expert advice
  • Connect with other accountants and business owners to discuss what they do well

Branch out from the boring.

The fact is, sometimes you get stuck in the boring because it’s all you know.  Branch out to an area that is new to you, not just the ‘boring’ tax ones!  Attend a conference.  Go to a free event. Sign up for a webinar.  Read a book. Register for an online course.  Watch a video series.

Consider something like:

  • Marketing
  • Creativity
  • Thought processes
  • Leadership
  • Presentation training
  • Mentoring
  • Communication styles

And have a great (not a boring) Friday!