Conversations. You have them every single day. With clients, with family, with friends, with your team, with yourself (yep, those thoughts in your head count!)
We’ve been working on and paying attention to the language we use in conversations: how to ask better and more curious questions, how to really listen to what our clients are telling us they need (or at least, what they think they need).
With the start of a new Accelerator group this month, and our Lab community growing, I’ve had some great conversations. Great questions which encourage further, deep thinking and lead to more, better conversations. Some started with questions like, “How do I help my team live out our values every day? How do I know what my ideal client’s issues are when I only have 10 clients? How do I post a blog post and what do I do with it after?”
And others just flowed naturally from a “hey, I’ve read that book and here’s my learnings from it!”
I’ve enjoyed valuable conversations with the team about the weekly and monthly resources we share from PF, and how we can even better show our creativity and talent.
This month’s roundup shares more about the new Accelerator group, the new PF website and you can watch the recording of our webinar with ICAEW. All of these projects and communities have been built and are growing because of great conversations.
If you’d like to reach out and share a great conversation you’ve had this month, we’d love to hear about it!
10 years of PF!
A business anniversary is a good time to think back, and think forward. When I think about how far PF has come in ten years, these themes stand out:
- The right way is the long way: Things I did at the beginning, and slowly involved the team in, day after day, month after month, year after year, have blossomed in ways I never imagined (even though I believed in the long game from the start). Things like weekly blog posts answering our clients’ questions, quarterly client coaching groups, and posting consistently on social provide that “one degree” improvement which one day makes it look like you’re an overnight success.
- People above all: When I started, I thought great systems would make us efficient and profitable. But systems are only as good as the people who deliver them: and the best people to adapt and eventually create the best systems are those who live them day by day. When you care for your people, they care about doing the work well.
- Live the values: Having a good business culture is a combination of points 1 and 2: care for your people, and your clients, and do it consistently every day for years. Values aren’t words on a page: they’re conversations in Slack, and video messages sent to a team member, and gifts for clients who are having a tough time, and flexibility with a process when a situation doesn’t seem to fit. Identifying our values and then building small ways of noticing them, adjusting them, calling out when they’re not lived and praising when they are lived…this affects your success more than anything else.
- Compare to yourself, not to others: The imposter syndrome is strong at every stage of the business. Even ten years on it’s tempting to say “that agency is bigger than ours”, or “that owner has published six books already”. And yet the company which has strengthened us the most is our own; and the person who has stretched me the most is myself. Compare yourself to yourself, and improve on what you’ve already achieved.
There are thousands of other learnings I and the team have gathered over the years. I’ve been asked “what advice would you give yourself ten years ago, if you could?”, and honestly I’m not sure. Me saying what I’ve learned is one thing; me learning it (the hard way and the excited way) is entirely another.
We’ve moved from me, on my Macbook laptop, in a second bedroom of a flat, to 15 team members across the world, with thousands of accountants we’ve served and are serving. I’ve written a book. We’ve created assets and a PF Way. In many ways I never imagined all this, and yet it’s the accumulation of the small consistent steps day after day, year after year.
Just get started. Just keep going. And stay creative along the way.
Always start with your audience
The first two sessions of every Accelerator coaching group are Audience and Issues.
This doesn’t mean you have to have your audience clearly defined and certain in your head before joining. Every group has a great mix accountants who are at different stages with their audience. You’re likely be feeling one of the below (or be in between two!):
- You’re pretty certain about who your audience is but they are still some clients you’re not sure fit with your firm and your team
- You have some ideas about your audience and need to spend more time figuring out who you are talking to (but aren’t sure where to start with this)
- You have no idea who your audience is and you’re taking on whatever clients come through the door (and then having difficult situations down the line when you discover they aren’t an ideal client for you)
Every accountant feeling any of the above belongs in Accelerator.
The current group of Accelerator members are at all different stages with their audience. One has been serving the same niche for years and has recognised as their firm, their team and their systems have changed, so has the audience their best placed to serve.
Another accountant has recognised the qualities in the type of person she wants to work with (rather than a specific industry niche) and needs support with focusing her marketing on them.
No matter how far you are into figuring our your audience, you need the support and coaching to make sure you’re speaking to the right people for your firm. You want to be having the right conversations with the best clients for you.
Sessions one and two of the current group have already run, and if you’re keen to be part of this group, you can join now and we’ll send you the recordings. (Here’s the link to join).
See you there!
Sneak peek of the new PF site!
We’ve been talking about our new website for a while now and so we’re excited to share that our new site will officially be launching in March! HOORAY!
It’s been fun, challenging, exciting, insightful and rewarding building our new site. It’s helped us lean into our #collaboration value with great conversations, input and thoughts and wonderings from the whole PF team. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s to come!
One of our passions at PF is building websites for accountants and bookkeepers which truly show who they are, who they serve and how they can help their ideal audience.
Building our own website has really helped us to better understand the emotions our clients feel and the journey they go on when they’re websites are being designed and built. We’ve had so many learnings from the process and will use them to make our client’s websites even stronger.
We can’t wait for LAUNCH DAY and to have a site which better shows who we are and how we help accountants and bookkeepers to attract better clients, not simply more leads.
Watch this space!
Webinar recording: Better clients, not more leads
We were to thrilled to have Georgi, owner of Starfish Accounting, join us for our ‘Better clients, not more leads’ webinar with ICAEW this month.
You’ll listen to us dig into how better marketing is about getting the right leads (and sending everyone else away) and how to look for those patterns and ‘flags’ with clients who haven’t worked out (so you can focus on WHY they didn’t).
Georgi shared her content marketing story and the results for her team, which include:
- Topline increase of 40% in the first year of working with PF and then 30% in the second
- Moving from 10% of her clients to be ones she likes or loves, to now having 40% of her clients she loves and 40% she really likes
- Getting her team involved in Starfish’s content marketing at whichever level suits their role and their marketing priorities
If you’d like to explore how PF might be able to help you with attracting better clients and not just more leads, fill in our diagnostic and tell us a little about you and your firm.
Keep up the great work!