Marketing for Accountants

Thanks to rampant globalization, a growing economy and a complete tax environment, accounting services are in high demand. Regardless of the size and type of business, marketing has emerged to be the “go-to” way to win prospects and nurture every small and large company. Marketing for accountants is as crucial for your firm if not more as it is for most experts out there. What can you do to retain clients and win new ones? Make sure your firm is at the top of its game while taking new industry trends and ideas for business development into account.

Carving out a niche, developing a good referral program, establishing an online presence through effective social media marketing and creating a diligent marketing strategy are useful tactics that may help you win clients for your accounting business. Your accounting firm can easily be a robust, high growth business. State of the art marketing solutions for accountants understands the significance of developing your position as an industry expert, establishing a strong online presence while ensuring that you consistently assess your efforts against your investment.

What is accounting marketing?

We are witnessing the evolution of accounting marketing from a relationship-driven, geographically limited discipline to a skill and expertise based multifaceted strategy that leverages the latest technology and techniques to target specific customers. This approach is very impactful when it comes to a firm’s visibility, reputation, service offerings, new client acquisition, client retention, recruiting and pricing.

Marketing is however not the same as sales. The latter is the process offering a specific set of tailored services to address a specific prospect’s needs and convincing them to make the purchase while marketing is the process of generating awareness for the services offered by the firm and encouraging qualified prospects to reach out in case they wish to be furnished with more relevant information.

Devising your Marketing Strategy

First, you need to know who you are talking to, following which you can feed that precious insight into your carefully drawn marketing strategy. Take your time and invest judiciously when it comes to defining marketing goals and the methods you’ll use to accomplish them. Whether you are just getting started or you have spent a formidable budget on marketing each year, ensure you have a properly researched and well-documented marketing strategy before you to keep you grounded and motivated.

A formal marketing plan for your accounting business is the best way to organize your efforts and ensure they are channelized into something productive. A plan should briefly touch upon- business targets, vision, and mission, overarching goals, your unique selling points (USPs), a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.

How will a marketing channel help your firm?

It’s time for you to incorporate some inbound marketing tactics. It’s important to understand what kind of information your clients are seeking and how you can best deliver it, in a cost-effective, time-saving manner. There are a number of marketing tactics at your disposal- referral programs, social media, email marketing, content marketing and thought leadership. Determining the right tactic depends on your company’s audience, budget, resources, etc.

Finally, do not undermine the significance of compelling content, website design and development, online marketing graphic design, and video production. Come up with innovative and convenient ways to introduce your firm and everything it stands for.  Combine interviews, client testimonials and introduce key members of your team. Your customers need to believe in you and your service before they make a purchase. Make that happen with a stellar marketing strategy.

Marketing for accountants needs to be simplified and strategized. Building an accounting company is not an easy task. There are plenty of wrong ways to market a CPA firm. Making your first steps in marketing can be challenging and overwhelming but this is the only way to ensure recurring client relationships. Throughout all marketing activities, however, use analytics to guide you towards better decisions and the best results.

‘The Link Is In The First Comment’ – Arrrrhhhh

So I have a theory about ‘links in the comments’ – I don’t believe that Linkedin directly reduces the reach because of a link in the post, even though it is apparent that the reach is reduced. My theory is that the reduced reach is the collateral impact of people clicking on the link rather than clicking on a reaction. When those people come back to LinkedIn after reading your article, they often don’t see the original post or they are ‘done’ and so move on. So by adding the links in the comments, all we’re doing is shuffling the interactions between ‘reactions’ and ‘clicks’. The problem we face is that Linkedin does not want to credit driving traffic off-platform. So external link clicks are not earning positive interaction credits that expand the reach. So because people tend to either click or react, with only the later increasing reach, we’ve tricked ourselves into falsely blaming the existence of a link to the existence of a link, to the reduced reach, when it is the leaking of the positive engagement signals through clicks.

The perfect time to build a business for Freelancers – with James Fuller from Hnry

In Nuclear Physics, the minimum amount of physical material needed to create a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is known as critical mass. The idea is that in a complex system, moving the honour threshold can suddenly unleash powerful self-sustaining change. In my experience, this is the same thing with Startup companies.

Enter a market too early, no matter how strong the Founding team, and you can be stuck waiting for days, months, years for a time that never comes and too late and you’re fighting an uphill battle against incumbents with the greatest scale.

In Startups, market timing is everything. In this podcast, I’m chatting with James Fuller, the founder of Hnry and I think James has timed his market entry perfectly. Hnry is a bookkeeping and accounting service solution that appeals to solopreneurs, the freelancers, the consultants who are working for themselves, I see this market rapidly expanding at the moment and I can see the tax system and the obligation that’s being put on these people increasing all the time.

Way back in 2016, whilst working as independent contractors, we realised that far too much of our time was spent reconciling transactions, using online calculator apps and making manual payments. We weren’t ‘running a small business’ – so why were we being treated as though we were? We had an accountant and accounting software, but that still required us to have to do a load of work ourselves! We decided to create a service that brought everything into one place, making self-employment as simple as having a permanent or salary job somewhere.

During 2017 we designed the Hnry service, working with tax experts from Big 4 accountancy firms (nice suits), legal experts from the top law firms (even nicer suits), and technology experts from some of New Zealand’s funkiest startups (nice beards/Star Wars t-shirts). We collaborated with government agencies to refine our service, and soon became an accredited tax agent of IRD and ACC. We ran trials with a handful of customers, adapting our service and learning what they needed. Towards the end of 2017, we were accepted into KiwiBank FinTech Accelerator, an amazing 3-month programme designed to help refine and scale NZ technology startups.

In early 2018, we finished our trial period, and released Hnry to the New Zealand market. We started scaling very rapidly, bringing on customers at a fast pace. To help us support this scale, we raised funding through investment from the Banking and Financial Services industry, as well as from Angel Investors and private individuals. This allowed us to bring on a great team of experts, to help support our rapidly expanding customer base.

Follow their journey on Twitter and Facebook.

Business Development Training for Professional Services

Business development can be summarized as the activities, initiatives, and ideas aimed towards making a business flourish. When it comes to business organizations, you are familiar with titles like “manager of business development” or “business development executive”. But, with the right kind of business training, you can easily become the business leader you aspire to be. You can run your micro, small or medium-sized businesses more profitably while increasing operating efficiency. 

If you maximize your outcomes from business development training, you will be equipped with the tools and skills needed to find strategic solutions while optimizing profit. With effective development training, you can unlock your leadership potential in no time. 

You need to sign up for a business development program so that you can –

● Plan a business strategy efficiently

● Gain a competitive advantage as a future leader

● Study operations management

● Put various marketing techniques into practice

● Make effective and prompt financial management decisions by measuring performance

 

What is business development and how does it help your business?

Business development encompasses everything from sales and business partnerships to strategic initiatives, business expansion, marketing, and market development. But contrary to popular belief, they are not the sole function of business development. It is also aimed towards increasing revenues, heightening profitability by investing in strategic partnerships, overall growth in a mutually beneficial ecosystem by making strategic business decisions. If a business has a product that is significantly successful in one region, effective business development skills aim at assessing further expansion potential. 

Across departments

Business development is not focused on any one aspect but extends across multiple domains and departments including vendor management, sales, project management, networking, partnerships/negotiations and time and cost-saving efforts. These diverse domains are aligned to and driven by common goals and vision. 

Reduction of costs

A trained business developer will also be expected to look after various business development objectives like a new sales channel development, development of a new business line, new partnerships in existing markets, new product development and also any kind of merger/acquisition decisions. For instance, a merger can be accomplished in a cost-effective manner by integrating the common functions of finance, housekeeping, and legal departments. Business development also aims at reducing operating costs. For instance, if a business is operating from multiple different offices within the same city, it can be relocated to a larger central facility. 

 

Simplifying tasks and saving time by taking prompt decisions 

One of the most difficult challenges in business is choosing the right course of action that is not only good for your wallet but also one that resonates with the company’s vision and values. Through innovative new initiatives and ideas, businesses often require enhancing overall business prospects and streamlining the functioning of different business units. To ensure this, business development also involves high-level prompt decision making which weighs all odds, considers every alternative and takes into account a realistic assessment of the potential changes and their impact. Such decisions aim at strategic business changes for value addition to the business. 

Headstrong business developers remain thoroughly informed about things like the current state of the business in terms of SWOT analysis, competitor developments, the currents state of the overall industry and growth projections, unexplored market opportunities, the customer profile, etc. 

Business development training from a pre-eminent company will help your team to easily succeed and bring in their very own client base while cross-selling and up-selling the full set of your firm’s capabilities. From business developers to client-facing professionals, there is a rising need for everyone in the firm to thrive in a culture of business development. If you are keen on improving your professional service sales and uncovering your greatest opportunities for sales growth, it’s never too late to look for stellar business development training programs and consulting services. 

Don’t Click This

Really?

You had to click that link?

Even after you clearly read that it said “don’t click this link”

So you clicked the link, did you do it because you were tempted or because you were curious? Is there a way we can use this in our marketing?

Brands, of course, are masters of temptation. If marketing is defined as, “the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers,” then implicit in this practice is accentuating the positive aspects of what’s being sold. This technique is used not only in hawking goods but is also found in nature. Animals have been tricking each other by accentuating desirable traits for millennia. The process is called “super-normal stimuli” and it is a key to enticing action by creating the stress of desire.

Marketers tasked with increasing consumption of their company’s products have a difficult job; they are often charged with manufacturing desire. To do that, they need to find the customer’s problem, their pain, in order to alleviate it. Without a biological basis spurring our desire, there would be no sales. So marketers must at least accentuate, if not induce, a level of discomfort to make us crave their wares.

The products and services that provide immediate relief are those we come to depend upon most.

I suspect however that you really clicked the lin out of curiosity and not the temptation to, not do, as I requested.

George Loewenstein explains that curiosity arises when attention becomes focused on a gap in one’s knowledge. These information gaps produce a feeling of deprivation, which is an aversive psychological state (we don’t like feeling deprived!). We’re motivated to resolve this state by obtaining the missing information.

So you see, once you become aware of a link you became aware that there might be something on the other side of that link that you didn’t know about, and so you clicked.

This is the same way ‘clickbait’ titles are written, you let someone know that they don’t know something, and therefore you generate a better click-through rate because people have to ‘fill the gap’ in their knowledge.

So go on, armed with the theory of gap analysis, go and write a title that will tempt someone into clicking on one of your social media posts and reap the psychological marketing rewards.

 

on a final note, don’t click this link as it just links to the end of the internet

Building a product for yourself, with one eye on the market – with Lachlan Palmer of Kashy

If you’re going to build a startup, and you want it to be successful, you need to solve a problem. And if you’re solving a problem, you’re solving it for a person, and what better person to solve a problem for than yourself. So many great Startups start by solving problems for the founder and this is exactly what Lachlan Palmer is doing with Kashy

Lachlan saw a problem in the mechanic market, servicing cars and he went about fixing that problem for himself, and now he’s rolling it out to his mechanic friends.

Kashy was founded in March 2018 by Lachlan Palmer, as a fresh take on an old concept where apprentice mechanics would often do work for family and friends as a way to make ends meet.

After dropping out of school, Lachlan followed his love and passion for cars into a job as an apprentice mechanic earning a mere $300 a week. With few family and friends having a car or needing work done he didn’t have the same access to extra jobs as his fellow mechanics. This was when the first idea of Kashy came to fruition.

After working in the industry for 4.5 years and becoming a fully qualified mechanic Lachlan became disillusioned by the way the current system works. In his experience, he found the current operation of the industry to be a rip off for both the customers and mechanics alike  – with vehicle owners paying exorbitant prices for services, while the mechanics were paid as little as a tenth of what the dealers charge per hour.

Since then he has put his effort into building Kashy, a business that shines a light on the current industry issues and fixes them by creating an ethical and fair trade for all.

Kashy coupon code: FRACTAL

How to Position your Startup

So we’ve all seen positioning map in a standard Startup pitch, you know the ones where every company is to the top right-hand corner of the map. So a positioning map is a diagram drawn to illustrate the customers perception of the business offering based on price or quality of some other benefits, and how the perception compares against the competitors. In today’s episode, I’m going to dive into my ideas around positioning maps, and how you can use them with your Startup.