You can have the finest marketing strategies in the world.
But without humanity, your marketing just becomes more noise that your prospective client has to sift through.
Here’s how (and why) your accountancy firm can deliver marketing that encourages interaction with the right kind of leads.
This is the beauty of modern marketing. You can actually use marketing that sounds like a real person – not the wording on a corporate brochure (which no one reads, anyway).
This is the kind of writing your prospects have been used to from accountants:
“With years of experience of helping people with their tax returns and book-keeping, our experts can help you whether you are an individual or a business, ensuring that you pay only the correct amount of tax in a timely manner.”
This is the kind of writing they’re beginning to get now:
“No sugar-coated nonsense. Understand the truth about your business with full visibility.” View website
The reason the latter option is more appealing is that:
- It reads like a real person is saying it (because a real person wrote it). This is from a website that we designed, and wrote the content for. But this phrase came directly from the accountants themselves, because they wanted it to sound like them – and it does.
- It’s short. Whatever you write these days, unless it’s a white paper or an ebook or a research document, keep it light on words and high on design and imagery. Get to the point and let them read it.
Naturally, you still need it to fit your personality – see item 3 on this list.
The world of social media in particular has opened up this requirement in marketing.
The days of sharing the testimonials that you like, and picking and choosing what will and won’t be provided to your prospects, are over.
What the buyers of accountancy firm services want is to be able to make the decision themselves. They look you up online not to get a contact number, but to determine whether you are trustworthy, what others say about you, what the buzz is (if any).
In one sense, you have to be transparent these days whether you like it or not.
But you can also choose to be transparent in your marketing by:
- Giving things away. The more you share with your clients and prospects, the more opportunity they have to see what it’s like to work with you.
- Providing as much information up front as possible. Explain how the process works, what happens first, what happens next, who’s involved, how much it may cost.
- Being honest about why it might not work out. We make a habit of always saying, “but only if it’s a fit for you”. Don’t be afraid of saying if this or that happens, we might not be the accountants you need.
- Telling the odd failure story as well as success stories. This fits in with being human. If something went wrong and you learned a valuable lesson from it, be willing to share it.
- Not trying to make yourself out to be bigger than you are. There’s no need to build a website all about “our firm” and “our offices” when it’s just you in the second bedroom of your home, or borrowing office premises from a client. Capitalise on the truth of who you are – small, large, with or without offices, working weekends or not. Be yourself.
Show your personality.
This brings it all together. Alongside showcasing things as they are, and being human, it’s critical to be yourself. This could be you personally, or you the accountancy firm.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself about showcasing your personality in your marketing:
- Is this how we actually are? Or just how we’re used to portraying ourselves? If your firm has been around for some time, it may be time for a new branding identity – and addressing that personality question as part of it.
- What aspects of my/our personality are not coming out in our marketing right now? I connected with a company who were referred to me, and on our Skype chat they were extremely personable. We had a laugh, things were fun and friendly, and everything was positive. But the emails I got following on from the call were stiff, corporate-style, boring. They sounded like every other business (and also no business). It diminished my enthusiasm for working with them because their personality didn’t match their marketing – even though the personality was great.
- What words do we want to use in our marketing? One of our clients sent us a list of words that he wanted to make sure were included in their marketing. Our team brainstormed a list of words that we felt reflected us at The Profitable Firm to use in the new website we’re building. Having a list of those words helps your humanity and personality to come out, as well.