Paul Barnes and the team at My Accountancy Place are truly disruptive accountants.
This is not a word we use lightly: in the digital age it’s thrown around so much that anyone with a slightly interesting app considers themselves disruptive. But the MAP team are, and their journey with us has gone from some blog post content to a fully integrated website and CRM system with video and automated onboarding and so much more. And the reason their journey has been so successful is the mindset with which they approach their marketing.
Here’s how the journey went:
- Content first: Paul came to us as a new firm, a one-man band, wanting to get his accountancy firm right from the start. He knew that content marketing was key: so he asked for help in writing custom blog content for his website.
- Website changes: As we started working together to write custom content for Paul, the natural next step was to redesign and rewrite content on the rest of the website – not only the blogs. The blog page itself got an overhaul, and the home page, and pretty soon we realised it was time for an entirely new website.
- Branding identity: A few years in, Paul realised that the firm had gone from “Paul Barnes” to “My Accountancy Place”. He liked the logo, colours, and general style that they had going on at MAP, but they were beginning to work with agencies of at least £1m turnover, and they wanted to step it up a level. He had a client who had helped design the original logo, so he engaged them to do the branding work, and PF for the new website build.
- Customer journey website build: Now that MAP had a solid brand, style, and identity, as well as a clearer process for drawing in new leads, it was time to integrate all of that into a custom-built WordPress template. Having the confirmed branding identity, a niche audience, and great content already existing made the whole process so much easier. Paul considered at least four other design agencies before going with PF – and it wasn’t easy for him to say no to these other great creative agencies. Ultimately the decision came down to PF’s expertise in the accounting industry, and a real understanding of who MAP were (from previous work on content and the old site).
- Video & integrations: Next up was enhancing the great new website with custom video, integrating Infusionsoft forms, creating a new proposal, onboarding, and delivery system, and more. It’s all onwards and upwards with MAP!
The Marketing Mindset
It can be tempting to see how far MAP have come, and feel a little discouraged at how much lies before you. Here’s what Paul did well – and still does well, to this day:
- Finding marketing ideas from non-accountants: MAP now work exclusively with digital creative agencies in Manchester, so creativity and new ideas are a daily thing for them. But they’re always looking for great ideas from great business owners – breweries, photographers, physical therapists, whoever. They want to do great business marketing – a business that happens to be an accountancy firm.
- A willingness to learn (sometimes by failing): One trait that has been the same from day one is that if Paul notices a brilliant new marketing approach, he looks at it with enthusiasm and energy. His attitude is always one of “hey, this could work really well!” (instead of pointing out everything that could go wrong). Sometimes it works great, and other times not so much. He’s always looking for what to learn, even if the great idea didn’t quite work out as expected.
- Trust in the experts: We’re still honoured to this day when Paul asks for advice or shows us something new he’s working on. He’s learned so much on his marketing journey, but he’s always willing to ask questions, and listen carefully to what the experts have to say.
- Has his own opinion: Listening to the experts does not mean you simply ask them what to do, and do it. Paul asks for advice – from multiple different angles – considers it all, and makes his own decision. From time to time he would decide something that was a little different from what we suggested – and that’s okay.
- Works personally on his own marketing: The day the new MAP website launched, Paul was already coming up with changes to the content, new ideas for pages and video and blog posts and case studies. Paul has an admin login to his own WordPress site and uses it regularly, writes some blog posts himself, bought video equipment and uses it to record his own videos, and creates campaigns in Infusionsoft. He still gets help from many other sources, but he’s personally involved and always learning, and that makes a big difference.
What Paul says about it
One of our prospects fell in love with the MAP site and asked to hear from Paul about how the website-build process went. Their marketing manager dropped him an email and Paul copied us in on his reply. Here it is, verbatim:
“Jill, the whole process was an impressive experience.
What stands out about the profitable firm vs other agencies (we’ve worked with many) is their communication throughout the whole project.
They always keep you informed of progress, regularly check in to make sure you are happy with what they are producing and are never precious about ripping up their work and making Chechnya at your request.
They also need far less input from you than general agencies.
Their expertise of the accounting industry really shows and Karen knows what it takes to make an accountants website generate and convert leads. Ultimately, we’re absolutely delighted with the results. The team have clearly listened to our strategy and built a site to fit the brief.”
Karen interviewed Paul as part of the AccountingWeb PracticeLive event: listen to Paul’s advice to other accountancy firm owners:
The marketing mindset of My Accountancy Place | Paul Barnes and Karen Reyburn from The Profitable Firm on Vimeo.
Oh, and the prospect who asked for Paul’s feedback was Whittaker – who ended up getting their new customer journey website built, too. You can read their story here