The reason the ‘slow burn’ marketing works… in the long run

The reason the ‘slow burn’ in marketing works is that people need to be ready to start doing business with you the moment they are ready.

Marketing Tips: Slow Burn Marketing For Accountants

As we talked about in a previous marketing tip, accountants get the best results by building themselves as a ‘visible expert’: showing your target market and your prospects that you know what you’re talking about, that you are trustworthy, and they will not find themselves disappointed if they work with you.

But that takes time. It is rare to build that trust over a period of days, rather than months. It is possible – speaking engagements are one of the most powerful ways you can prove expertise, and build a personal relationship, extremely quickly. But even then, a speaking engagement that is not backed up by your website, social media, and other supporting online marketing elements might still take time.

And as most of you know, particularly in relation to accountancy services, when someone needs what you offer, they can often suddenly need it. Urgently. Tomorrow – or even yesterday, is preferable. Those are the people who go to your website and find the phone number, and ring you. Or send you a DM on Twitter or scrounge around LinkedIn until they find you because they need help, and they need it now.

I will illustrate.

A few weeks ago I was visiting my family in the States. My parents and I were sitting around the kitchen table discussing their upcoming house purchase. We discussed banks, and real estate agents, and funding aspects, and gift tax, and all the elements that go along with selling one house and buying another. It is complicated by the fact that they are selling their house to the woman from whom they are buying one (with me so far??), and buying the new house together with my sister and her husband.

You can see why my first advice was, ‘You need an accountant.’

(I am not even going to go into the reasons why my parents, in their 70’s, with multiple properties and complex transactions of this kind, still do their taxes themselves.)

Fortunately, they listened to me. ‘Our daughter owns a marketing business working with accountants, and she is a Certified Public Accountant – maybe she has something there.’ (Whew!)

My first suggestion, of course, was that they find themselves a Xero accountant. Most of the Xero accountants I know are experts in their field, modern, and tend to be on social media and reply quickly. I started looking up Xero accountants in Phoenix, and my mum went into the office and came out with a list of accountants that had been recommended to them by their estate agent …five years ago.

She still had the email. Printed out, saved, in case she ever needed it. Five years. Now, she wasn’t on the mailing list for any of these accountants, I am sure. (My dad probably thinks I have destroyed all security by writing this blog post.) But what if she had been? What if for five long years she had, just every once in a while, gotten an update email from Accountant Number 2 on the list? What if it had tips about gift tax or house buying? Would she not have been much more likely to ring that one before any of the others?

Of course. And that is why the slow burn marketing, the building of expertise, the constantly staying in touch (but not so much as to be Creepy Stalker Dude), will help you get business quickly – when your prospects are ready.

My parents handed me that list, and do you know what I did with it? I went to each one of those accountancy firm websites, on my iphone, and within about two minutes had eliminated three, shortlisted two, and recommended one.

Job done.

So think about that story as you are building your own marketing. What is it that you want prospects to come to you for? What specific, relevant, helpful advice can you give them which will come in handy two, three, or even five years in the future? How can you stay in touch?

Because when they’re ready, the need is urgent. My parents were on the phone to the accountants on that list that morning. My dad would have been ringing them at 6.30am if he could, but he had to wait a few hours, and that felt long.

By then, the time for building relationship and proving expertise is long gone. Don’t miss it!