Within the next few months you’ll begin seeing changes at The Profitable Firm – chief of which will be our new brand and sub-brands, and a new website.
I am ridiculously excited about this. It’s a process that has been a long time coming, and many factors have gone into the making of it.
Branding is something we’ve started to do a lot more of here. Accountants are waking up to the fact that mediocre design and branding is unacceptable to your buyer. As a result, it’s losing you business.
I’m thrilled to see accountants investing in branding identities, new logos, new website builds, and other foundational marketing elements.
Going through the process has taught us so much as a creative agency about how it feels to rebrand, to build a website, to address our own marketing in a serious way: and that’s exciting. We’re thrilled to have a more personal understanding of how our clients feel – so we are better equipped to help accountants with your branding and marketing.
Part of that process is recognising with a rebrand, it’s a good idea to share the why behind it. Why did you decide to change things? Is the company name going to change, too? Why that particular logo or colour or font? What if some people don’t like it?
So here are some of those whys. We look forward to sharing more with you soon!
The business has changed since it was set up 5 years ago.
When I set up The Profitable Firm, I simply wanted to help accountants with their marketing. I knew I was going to work exclusively with accountants, and believed in the power of a niche. (This is one of the reasons I’m so keen for accountants, too, to look at the possibility of a niche.)
We began by doing all the things. We had a services page with at least 16 different types of services that we could provide, and we wanted to offer more. SEO, analytics, lead generation, strategy, email marketing, webinars – we could do it all.
Over time we came to discover that although you can try to provide all the services, you are much better enabled to help your clients when you focus on doing a few of those very, very well. And over the years we naturally settled into the creative agency groove.
It’s a perfect fit for me personally – I’m a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and have worked as an auditor and in accountancy firms, but I’m also a creative myself, in the areas of photography and sketchnoting and writing. (I remember someone seeing my sketchnoting at a conference and saying with surprise, “You know, you’re actually an artist!”)
It was also a fit for our clients. Whilst they were keen to do webinars and analytics and social media, many accountancy firms didn’t (and still don’t) have a good solid brand or logo, an up to date website, well-designed marketing materials, an email system.
We took a few steps back and focused on the foundational marketing elements, and discovered they helped accountants get where they needed to go with marketing faster and better.
So we needed a brand that reflected the creative agency focus.
We didn’t consider the brand at the beginning.
Like many companies at the startup stage, it took us a grand sum of about four minutes to pick a business name and get someone to mock up the logo. We got someone we knew to put it together in about ten minutes, and figured we could change it later. (It’s later.)
But we didn’t know, then, who we were as a business. I didn’t know I would eventually go on to own the company myself rather than have multiple business partners. We didn’t have clarity on our pillars, like we have now. I didn’t see the creative agency thing coming.
Let me encourage you with this: whilst the branding identity process is absolutely critical, and a must for your firm eventually, it is not something to be rushed.
If you have to choose, it’s far better to build a profitable business, helping clients and creating good systems and hiring the right people, even if your brand isn’t perfect.
But when you get to the point that your brand is holding you back, or it’s not showcasing who you truly are, then it’s time to revisit.
Our clients’ brands and websites are more impressive than ours.
We built our current website at least three years ago: which makes it out of date now. (Websites, as Andy Lark observed, “have the shelf life of a banana. If you leave them too long, they start to stink.”)
I’ve been entrenched in this new rebrand for months, so now when I look at our existing site, I groan a bit. “Ughhh, when will our new one be up??” But we’ve got to get it right, so we can bear with our existing one a little longer.
Oddly enough I still get people telling me how much they like our existing site. I find myself wondering why – but this has reminded me of the power of good content. Our site may not be designed as well as I would like it to be, and isn’t as modern in layout as it could be, but the content is still solid, and relevant to our target audience.
This is a reminder to me – and to you accountants – that you can get by with not-so-perfect design if your message is right. The message of our new website will be much more focused and targeted, with some of the learnings we’ve had about the type of accountants we are best to work with, but the content, the blogs, the webinars, the expertise will be the same.
We want to show you what is possible in your accountancy firm.
It helps immensely if you can see what is possible when it comes to branding. We get a lot of enquiries for new website builds after accountants have seen My Accountancy Place, Whittaker, and Maverick (our most recent Customer Journey websites and rebranding exercises).
And we’ve been doing the content marketing thing ourselves to help accountants see how it can work for you. I’ve been writing Marketing Tips every Friday since the day I set up The Profitable Firm. We publish guides and PDFs, run webinars, record video, stay active on social media, design good stuff, write good stuff.
So when it comes to a brand and website, we’re doing the same. See what can be done so it stirs up new ideas for your accountancy firm.
Of course, you may not love it to the point that you wish you could copy it yourself, and that’s okay. More than okay, because our brand is not yours. But one of the pages, or a piece of content, or something that you see over the next few months may cause you to think, “I like that idea – what if we could…?”
The “what if we…?” question is powerful. It’s creative. It results in great new ideas.
Think about what’s possible for yourself.