Accountants are often telling me, “I don’t have time for content marketing”.
Or for social media, or for editing your website, or some other element of marketing.
(Actually, time isn’t the problem. Confusion is. (Read the whole post here.))
The recent major snowfall in the UK has meant extra time that many of us didn’t plan for. Yes, most accountants adjusted quickly and (thanks to cloud accounting and online everything) simply worked from home and encouraged their team members to do the same.
But no matter how much you can do virtually, a snow day (or three or four) will result in a few changes. In person meetings pushed back. Phone calls rearranged. People need to take care of kids or cars or boilers or whatever, so the non-urgent stuff gets moved.
You end up with a little extra of that one thing you’ve been telling me you don’t have enough of:
So here are 6 ways you can use your snow day well – and enhance your marketing as a result:
1. Write a blog post
Pick one of those topics that you wrote down ages ago – a question that a client asked you, a current hot topic, an issue that your prospective clients face. (If you don’t have a list, read “They Ask You Answer”.)
It usually takes people somewhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours to write a blog post.
My suggestion is, don’t over-edit. Simply write it. Start at the beginning, and write until you’re done talking about that topic, and then stop.
If it’s a 300 word blog post, great. If it’s 3000 words, great. The length is not the important thing here: it’s the message. Get your message written and it will be a good post.
Here’s an example of a post written by one of our Masterclass members who took “They Ask You Answer” to heart, and wrote a very honest and real answer to the question, “What does it mean that I’m a sole trader accountant?”
2. Record a video and show your human side
This is your chance to get comfortable with video – perhaps even from a personal side.
With the snow day, you could be building a snowman….and finding out how difficult it is, like Gavin Bell.
Or sharing photos of your office area and car park, like Farnell Clarke.
A time like a snowstorm is a perfect opportunity to remind everyone connected with you that you are human, and dealing with human things like not being able to find bread at the shop, or your boiler being broken.
So many accountants often worry this will somehow make them look “unprofessional”. Actually, a worse danger is present: that you will indeed look professional…but only that. Not actually human or interesting.
One of our clients shared a tweet about a bus fire outside their office and realised that was getting more engagement than any of their posts about tax or accounting. Kind of sad, in a way….but it’s reality and it’s life.
3. Pick a social media account and get to know it really well
There are so many social media options and it feels overwhelming. You can’t learn them all at once, so use your extra snow-day time to pick something – like Facebook or Instagram – and get to know it better.
Skim through it every hour or two. Read articles. Share things. Record a live video. Add people. Figure out Stories. Change your cover image. Edit your bio.
Sometimes a snow day gives you extra time, but takes away a little of the motivation. Nothing feels really urgent.
Perfect – that’s what most of the world feels like when they’re on social, anyway. They’re bored. Use your boredom to your advantage!
4. Go through your emails and make a list of client questions to use for content
This is another task that fits well within the category of “I’m a little bored, nothing is critically urgent, but I feel like I could be/need to be working”.
Creating a list of client questions, issues, and concerns is one of the single best uses of your spare time – even if that’s only 5 or 10 spare minutes.
The reason you need this list is that when you (later) decide to create some content – whether it’s a blog post or video or landing page or something else – you’ll want it to be based on the questions your clients are actually asking you.
And one of the best places to find these questions is within the Sent Emails folder of your inbox.
For example, my sent items in the past day include questions like…
- Do you believe the Accelerator programme would be good for the current stage of my firm and me, or not yet? My bandwidth is limited this time of year but I also don’t want to be too far behind once the website launches.
- What is SSL and does my accounting firm website need one? What kind of SSL certificate would you set up?
- I was thinking about what you said regarding a client delivery system that another accounting firm was working on. I’m currently trialling out Karbon again with a view to moving on from Senta. It would be good to throw this little extra bit in the mix. Do you have any more info or could you hook me up with him to find out more?
As you can see, these are excellent questions and they go on the list of content we will be creating (including a webinar on GDPR, so stay tuned for that one!).
What questions can you come up with?
5. Get a quote – or accept it – for an area of marketing you’ve been meaning to deal with
February seems to be the month when everyone starts getting serious about marketing (again). Or at least talking about it.
Well, it’s now March. Is there a project you’ve been meaning to get going with in 2018? It could be a refresh to your website, a review of your logo and brand, outsourcing social media, getting content written….
Maybe you even have a proposal from PF or someone else sitting there in your inbox, and you fully intend to accept it, but you haven’t yet.
Or maybe you’re not sure if you want to accept it, but you have questions. Or you want to be sure you’re ready to commit to that monthly fee. Or you would like to see some examples of work that agency has done for others.
Now is the perfect time to either accept and get moving, or at least continue the conversation so you’re not further held back.
By the time the snow clears, you’ll be ahead of the game. Or you’ll have the information you need to get your decision made.
6. Educate yourself about content marketing
The number one thing that tells us an accountancy firm is going to have more success in their marketing than others is the level of enthusiasm they have for learning about marketing.
The more you learn, the better your marketing will be.
The more you share with your team, the more reach your marketing will have.
And the more you all work together on making sure that your marketing is directed entirely at your clients – their needs, their questions, their issues – the better your results will be.
A great place to start is our free Marketing Masterclass. We cover these four areas:
- Return on investment
- Getting buy in from your team
- Getting marketing done
- Hiring a marketing person
Two sessions have already run, but once you register you can sit comfortably by the fire with a hot chocolate (or something stronger) watching the last few session recordings on your ipad.
Oh – and of course, all of these apply whenever you have a little time to spare. Snow, or no snow.
Let us know how you go!