Why spending more money on marketing might not work for your accountancy firm

marketing spend

A fascinating development in the accounting world is discovering accountants who are more than ready to spend money – serious money, big money even – on their marketing….and yet these accountants could still be setting themselves up for a big fall.

How could that be? Isn’t the biggest hurdle for accountants to overcome that of being ready to big-scale invest in their marketing?


I would argue that the biggest hurdle accountants are facing today is one they never thought they’d have to: that of changing your mindset entirely, and approaching marketing with a personal, interested, involved attitude.  

This week on AccountingWeb’s Practice Excellence Live, I was joined by Paul Barnes of My Accountancy Place and James Ashford, Business Strategist.

If you missed the session, check it out here.

It’s been fascinating to me how many accountants love Paul’s website. His marketing and branding. His videos and the incredible system he and James built together. (More on that in the video)

But dare I say, what you love about Paul’s website and marketing and brand and videos is not those things in and of themselves: it’s the mindset behind them. The enthusiasm and passion that Paul has to build a truly disruptive firm (and I don’t use that word lightly).

There are accountants I’ve spoken to who are ready with finger poised over the payment link, willing to spend thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands so they can get the results Paul, and some others, have gotten.

But without the mindset, you can spend millions and not see even a small portion of the potential results available.  

This mindset is both incredibly easy, and incredibly hard, to cultivate.

Here’s why it’s easy:

  • It doesn’t cost a dime. This is a mental shift, not a financial one.
  • You can start today. Instantly. Now, whilst reading this marketing tip. There’s no delay.
  • You have literally thousands of examples around the world of people who approach their marketing in this way. You’re far from alone.
  • You’re already a business owner, so you’re halfway there. (This is much, much harder for employees and team members, because the business is not theirs.)

And here’s why it’s incredibly hard:

  • It requires accepting that there’s more to change, and more to do. Many accountants I talk to are weary of this already.
  • You’ve got to lead your entire team, and keep their spirits up even when yours fail.
  • There will be some hard times ahead. Days when you don’t think this will work, and others seem to be succeeding with little to no effort.
  • It works best when you are incredibly responsive to change (and even love it). Daily change will be your constant companion from this point onwards.
  • You need to blur the line between business and personal – perhaps even wipe it out entirely. This is an aspect of the true marketing mindset that will get results like you’ve never seen: and it’s very hard for accountants to do.

So how do you do it?

First, you learn about what works. You can join our Content Marketer or Social Marketer or Content Coach programmes, and get educated about the processes that absolutely work.

Second, you connect yourself with other business owners.  Not merely accountants. All the above programmes are exclusively for accountants, and there’s a lot of good in that. But you need to start thinking like the young hungry business owner – perhaps even the freelancer – if you’re going to see the powerful kind of results you want.

We’ve got a joint Content Marketer + Content Marketing Academy membership which gives you access to both. It’s the best of both worlds.

Third, you keep going. Press on, do not give up, and ask for help when you need it. Once you set foot on this road, it will absolutely deliver results.

And only when you have all three of those do you spend the money.

That’s when the results come. Because….

  • You’re not only on social media, you’re engaging personally with prospects (for larger firms, your team are doing this too).
  • Your website reflects who your firm actually is, not merely a fresh modern wash on the old you.
  • The content your firm is generating comes directly from your own head (and that of your team).
  • When you have ideas, they get actioned straight away. You don’t have to watch other accountants doing what you thought of three years ago.
  • You’re taking ideas from what your clients and prospects are struggling with (or excited by) and integrating them into your marketing: so you’re appealing to more prospects who are the right kind of people.
  • You are enthusiastic and passionate, and people respond very well to that.

Paul shares his results very openly in the Practice Excellence Live session: but it’s not about getting results like Paul’s. It’s about getting results like yours. And that ROI is better than anything you’ve ever seen.