This is an updated version of the podcast originally published on November 30, 2017.



  • Getting the Right Kind of Leads
  • The #1 Thing Accounting Firms Put Off That They Desperately Shouldn’t
  • The Blurred Line Between Business & Personal Online Accounts
  • 3 Amazing Tips to Build an Accounting Firm Brand that Stands Out

Connect with Karen

Meet Karen Reyburn

Karen Reyburn, the founder of Profitable Firm, sees so many firms frustrated by how leads come in the door. She takes it upon herself to explain that they must first understand the importance of a unique accounting firm brand before worrying about leads. Unfortunately, most accountants get this backward and that’s why we asked Karen on the show.

In this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast, the founder and CEO of Jetpack Workflow, David Cristello, sits down with Karen to discuss the key to getting the right leads, one thing accounting firms put off that they shouldn’t, the blurred line between business and personal online accounts, and three tips to building an accounting firm brand that stands out.

Getting the Right Kind of Leads

Karen works with accounting firms all over the world on their marketing, and she does it in a unique way. She ONLY works with accounting firms. By niching down, she’s able to help accounting firms grow. 

Her main focus when working with them is to improve their digital marketing, which allows her to really dig into what brings in new clients to this space. 

For most accounting firms, Karen says, they only stress about ROI when it comes to marketing, mostly because they heard it could be profitable. However, there is no magic bullet for finding new leads online.

Firms need to step back and look at the foundational stuff first: 

  • Website
  • Brand
  • Social media
  • Etc. 

When these factors line up, great leads will come. In this “new age”, it’s not enough to simply post your ad in the church bulletin. You need the right creative pieces to keep them engaged and prepped to purchase. Once these pieces are in place, you will find more, quality leads. 

Karen sees too many firms looking for shortcuts. They’ll say things like “well if I do this one strategy on Twitter, I’ll net X amount of clients.” It just doesn’t work like that anymore, firms need to find a new mindset, one that starts with building a world-class brand. 

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You must understand the power of a brand and how it affects the way customers interact with your business. That’s why the #1 thing accounting firms put off is the branding conversation. For most firms, their brand is “we get the job done fast”, “we are friendly and professional”, etc. But those are common sense taglines. As a business should you already be quick, friendly, and professional?

Here’s the secret…it’s not about your services. Most people already know what an accountant does, so there’s no need to tell them what you do. Try telling them what they don’t know. In fact, that’s what they are searching for. Show them your personality and the characteristics that make you different. It’s an advanced tactic to follow, but it’s to show that your brand goes way beyond simple logos and websites. 

David’s tips: The product is not just what you deliver. It is the “start to finish” interaction with your business. Every detail, email, or blog post is tied to your brand and should express it.

Recently, Karen has seen an uptick in accountants setting up meetings at her office to learn this stuff. Meaning the idea of a “brand as a necessity” is starting to go mainstream. Others are getting it. It’s time for you to jump on board too. 

The Blurred Line Between Business and Personal Online Accounts

A common question Karen hears is “should I separate my personal online activities from my business?” 

Karen says the blurred line that was relevant a few years ago has all but vanished. People no longer care if you are mixing business with personal. They want to know who you are, and sharing both helps them get their answer. 

This tactic helps build genuine, trusted, consistent relationships, which is what clients are after. It helps build an ideal brand.

3 Amazing Tips to Build an Accounting Firm Brand that Stands Out

1. Karen says the first thing you should do to build an effective accounting firm brand is work on your “About Us” page. It may sound like a waste of time, but what if I told you the most popular page on your site (outside of your home page) is your “About” page? 

David’s tip: The important part of your “About” page is to be human. That’s what new leads are looking for, someone who is human and matches their ideals. More and more, people want to know how YOU are different.

2. Another tip to building a great accounting firm brand, don’t be shy about stealing. Brands are creative. Real creatives ‘borrow’ from other creatives. Firms with the best results from Karen’s consultations all have this mindset shift. They want to act like a business owner, not an accountant. 

The first step is knowing you don’t have all of the answers, then you can learn from others. You can see what is working for them and then emulate it, not copy. 

As a second part to this point, you shouldn’t be shy about letting others “steal” from you. Go to where your ideal client is and give away information. It sounds counterintuitive but when you give away your best information, some people will take it and do it themselves, but the smart ones will hire you to do it

3. Get a niche. It’s important to distinguish yourself from the competition, and it’s getting harder and harder for accounting firms to do this. There’s high competition in finance. The easiest, fastest way to capture market share is to carve out a niche. Then provide training to that core group.
To learn more from Karen about uncovering your firm’s brand, listen to the full podcast above and/or send Karen a Tweet @KarenLReyburn!

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