*EDIT: UPDATED APRIL 2020 with new recommendations!
You know PF works only and exclusively with accountants. So when your clients rave about what PF has done for you, they’re often disappointed to discover PF won’t work with them, because they’re not accountants.
So who do you send them to? How do you make sure your clients get the very best marketing support – website, branding, content marketing, social media…? Who do you send them to if you can’t send them to PF?
We get this question all the time – and we’re greatly honoured by your clients’ appreciation of the good work we’ve done for your firm.
This email came to us from a firm who has gone through a complete brand change, and had a custom website built:
“I’ve had clients raving about my brand, website, logo everything. I can see how the perception has changed overnight and it seems like there is a renewed sense of pride in doing business with me because of it. Its very exciting to see.
“A client of mine wanted to do what I did and asked for my marketing firm. She was very disappointed to find you only work with accountants. Do you refer to anyone who works with more than just accountants?”
Whilst we’d love to be able to help everyone, we know we can’t. In order to serve you in the best way possible, we have to stay focused on you and your industry.
And we also know how seriously you take the recommendations you give. You’re not going to send them to just anyone – and you know from experience how difficult it is to find a marketing agency you trust. An agency having the right approach to content marketing – the long term approach, the focus on humanity and integrity, the generous sharing of free stuff so you can buy when you’re ready.
They’re hard to find. PF has been in existence since 2012, and we’ve spent all the years from then until now being consistent with our brand, our messaging, our content, and our pillars.
Fortunately for you, we’ve also met some amazing people and companies along the way who do things the way we do.
And we’ve compiled a list so when your clients ask you if PF can help them, you don’t have to just say ‘no’. You can say “No, but here’s someone who can”, and have all the confidence of a solid recommendation.
To help ease your mind when making these recommendations: these companies are run by people we know personally. People we’ve not just met, but have spent hours and days with. People we’ve shared speaking stages with. We’ve read their books. We’ve had beers with them (or gin or whisky or water or orange juice or whatever). We’ve read their content and shared it. Talked to their clients and customers. Sometimes, we’ve been their customers so we’ve experienced it from that side and we know how they work. We like them as people and we respect them as business owners.
This list has not been created lightly. We get no commission, no referral, nothing but the knowledge that these are good people who will serve your clients well.
The way we would.
(The list is in order of the PF Marketing Map, which is our tried and proven process for getting the very best marketing results for accountancy firms.)
We’re still investigating a trusted person or company to provide marketing training, but in the meantime we encourage you to share these books (and the associated marketing principles within them) with your clients:
They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
This book is all about doing marketing by creating content (blogs, video, pages, resources) answering your customers’ questions. Even just reading the book will help your clients realise how much content they can be creating.
Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller
Life and business are all about story: and every story in the world follows the Story Brand framework. A character (your customer) has a problem, meets a guide (you), who gives them a plan that ends in success or failure. Again, reading this book and using the associated online resources will be incredibly powerful for your clients (as well as for you!).
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
This doesn’t seem like a marketing book…because it isn’t. It’s more about engaging emotionally, and rising with courage to things that are hard. For many people, running and marketing their business is a process full of fear: so the principles of Rising Strong will help them to address what’s really behind it.
Our Head of Branding is Col Gray, who has 20+ years experience in design and branding. His expertise is second to none, and we are honoured that for branding work for accountants, it always goes through PF. Col works as part of the PF team.
However, for businesses that are not accountants, you are welcome to send them directly to Col, and he’ll be happy to help them in his own inimitable style!
Note: Please don’t send other accountants to Col directly. Well, you could try it, but he’ll just send them right back round to PF. This is because the very best support and help for accountants is the “whole picture” marketing support provided by PF, crafted exclusively for accountants based on what works best for them.
Finding a website agency who are helpful, supportive, non-salesy and non-pushy, who do good work with confidence….well that’s one of the hardest things ever. Fortunately we’ve found them: Jammy Digital.
We know them through CMA and they’re good people. Like PF, they deliver a vast amount of helpful free resources so your client can learn about how websites work, and how it can work for them.
We haven’t yet found an agency that does outsourced marketing the way we do it (but for small businesses). With a clear marketing map and a dedicated client marketing manager for the business, and an entire integrated team that does custom, unique content and acts as an extension of the business.
However, one of our future plans is to take the PF business model and apply it to other industries – dentists or lawyers or IT companies or digital agencies or whatever. If you’d like to talk to us about being involved in a project like this, drop us a line.
When it comes to social, it’s critical to make sure your client understands what’s involved in the whole marketing picture. Not simply posting things on social, or doing Facebook ads. But being clear on who their target customers are (and aren’t), what their problems and issues are, and creating content that helps.
The best agency for this is Skyline Social. Like Pixels Ink, don’t bother going directly to them if you’re an accountant looking for social: they’ll just send you right back round to PF, for the same reasons as Pixels Ink will, for branding. If you’re an accountancy firm, you need the whole marketing picture in a way that will deliver the marketing results you want: not just a small part you have to manage and lead yourself, alongside a bunch of others.
In the past year or so we’ve seen this become one of the areas of most interest for the accountancy firms we’re working with. There’s huge potential, and not a little confusion as to “how it works”.
We take very seriously our recommendation regarding going to someone for SEO, because at the heart of SEO is good content. As the head of our website team says, “What are you SEO’ing, anyway?” If you aren’t clear on your target audience, what they’re looking for, and how you solve their issues, you may need to take a step or two back.
Either way, dijify are your people. They know websites, they know SEO, and they know the power of content marketing. (They were the ones who pointed out to us that we and our clients who have been consistent with content marketing can get the best results from SEO, the fastest: because they’ve got the foundations right.)
Again, this is the agency we work alongside for our accountant clients. So you can have the confidence of the highest level of SEO expertise (combined with the knowledge and experience of the PF team) when you talk to us about your SEO work.
There you have it: the marketing map, recreated for small businesses. Let us know how your clients get on! (And if you need any of these services for your own firm and haven’t talked to us about it yet, you know where we are.)