Many of you will know marketing – or anything – well enough to know that it is never as simple as “all you have to do is…”! But there are a few items that are that simple, and I thought I’d share those today.
All you have to do is ask.
There are a variety of things I am constantly encouraging you to do when it comes to marketing your accountancy firm. Such as, hiring a student, or an intern. Setting up your social media pages. Starting email marketing. But too often, these things become huge projects in and of themselves, and get set aside, and nothing ever happens. Well, start by asking:
- Ask a student if they’d be willing to help you out with some simple marketing.
- Ask people you know if they can direct you to any particular kinds of businesses (hotel owners, or medical practices, or whatever your focus is).
- Ask a strategic partner if they’d be willing to work with you on a joint project.
- Ask an expert if they would be a guest speaker – at a live event, or a webinar. Or contribute a guest blog post.
It never ceases to amaze me how often I am tempted to avoid a particular question (or asking it of a particular person) because I think I know the answer already. And even more amazing is what happens when I ask anyway, and the answer is surprisingly yes! I’ve had guest speakers agree, and bloggers blog, and partners work together, and team members take on work that was overloading me, when they just didn’t realise I needed it. Even people we consider “too famous” or “too important” are simply people, and are often more willing than we’d ever imagine. So, what question are you holding back on because you think you know the answer already? Try asking!
All you have to do is try.
There are some marketing options that we think will never work. “Social media is a waste of time,” I hear many accountants say. (If I had 10p for every time I’ve heard it, or something along those lines, I might have a nice little pile.) “A new website is far too expensive.” Or, “I don’t have time for recording videos regularly.” But I had an experience recently that reminded me of the power of simply trying something – not just once, but a few times. I had been recommended by a business partner to look at People per Hour – a site that allows you to hire freelancers to assist with marketing tasks. Blog posts, logo design, website pages, social media, PR…the list goes on. And one day I thought that for the very small price involved I could certainly just try it out, and get some blogging done. So we tried it. I committed the princely sum of £13 for four blog posts – knowing that if the writing was not to my satisfaction I would pay nothing. I must confess that what I received was some of the worst writing I had ever seen in my life. The articles genuinely made no sense, and I think were probably computer generated. So, I gave my feedback, paid nothing, and decided I had been right not to trust it. But a few weeks later, I thought about it again. After all, that was simply one writer – there were thousands of others. I chose another writer, checked references a little more carefully, and went for it again. And this time we got excellent work, quickly done, by someone who cared to do well. Now we are using PPH for a variety of different needs.
All you have to do is give up.
If you’re asking questions and trying, there will come a point at which everything comes together beautifully – but there can also come a point at which nothing is coming together, no matter how hard you try. The best thing to do then is to simply give up. If you’re overworked, or your phone calls aren’t being returned, or nothing is coming together, just let it go for a little while. Those who are keen will, eventually, come back to you; work you thought would never be finished may suddenly come together; or you may have a good day or gain a new client and the motivation you needed comes roaring back.
So if you’re struggling when it comes to marketing your accounting practice, my recommendation today is to ask, try, and give up. You may be very pleased.