3 Amazing Tips to Build An Accounting Firm Brand That Stands Out

Karen Reyburn, Founder of the Profitable Firm, sees so many firms frustrated by how few leads come in the door. Karen has to explain that they must first understand the importance of a unique accounting firm brand before worrying about leads. Most accountants get this completely backward, and that's why we wanted to get Karen on the show ASAP. In this episode of the Growing Your Firm podcast from Jetpack Workflow software, David Cristello and Karen Reyburn discuss:
  • The #1 thing accounting firms put off that they desperately shouldn't
  • The blurred line between business and personal online accounts
  • 3 Ultimate Tips to Build An Accounting Firm Brand That Stands Out

Getting the Right Kind of Leads:

Karen Reyburn, Founder of Profitable Firm, works with firms all over the world on their marketing. Her agency is most unique too. She chooses to ONLY work with accounting firms. That's right... She's found by niching down, she's able to help accounting firms grow. Her main focus when working with them is on their digital marketing. And this allows her to really dig into what brings in new clients in this space. For most accounting firms, Karen says, they only stress about ROI when it comes to marketing. That's their first step as they want to dive in quick because they heard it could be profitable. Well, Karen says there is no magic bullet for finding new leads online. Plus, approaching with an "ROI" focused mindset is not good. Firms need to first step back and look at the foundational stuff -- 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. Only after these pieces will you find more leads and the right kind of leads. Karen sees too many firms only looking at tactics as a shortcut: "Well, if I do this one strategy on Twitter, I'll net X amount of clients." This isn't so cut and dry anymore as customers have caught on. The first thing to start building a world-class brand...address the mindset.

The #1 Thing Accounting Firms Put Off That They Desperately Shouldn't:

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? The Branding Conversation. For most firms, their brand is "We get the job done fast. We are friendly and professional.." etc. The funny thing is...as a business, shouldn't you already get the job done fast and be friendly and professional?!? It's comical when you think about it. Why get a slap on the back for something you should already be providing? Here's the secret...it's not about your services. Most folks already have an idea of what an accountant does. Don't tell them what you do...they know. Tell what they don't know. In fact, it's what they're searching for and dying to find. What's that? Your personality! Your characteristics that make you different! "Is David or Tom going to care about my business?" These are more advanced tactics to follow, but it's to highlight that your brand goes way beyond simple logos and websites.
DAVID'S TIP: The product is not just what you deliver. It is the "start to finish" interaction with your business. Every detail, email, blog post is tied to your brand and should express it.
Recently, Karen's seen a sharp 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 aboard too.

The Blurred Line Between Business & Personal Online Accounts

As Karen works much online with clients, a common question cropping up is "Should I separate my personal online activities with my business?" When you think about it, we are still at the beginning stages of social media sites like Facebook where you post your life online. At first, gurus recommended separating your personal profile with your business. But, today, Karen says this blurred line has all but vanished. People online now DO NOT CARE if you're mixing business with personal. They want to know "WHO ARE YOU?" Gone are the days you are able to pull wool over the eyes of readers. If you work in your basement but try and hide behind a fancy website and make out like you're in this grandiose office...website browsers can smell that a mile away. Karen tried separating at first, but now she'll except business contact friend requests to her personal Facebook page and vice versa for more business-like sites (Linkedin). We only want to do business with "genuine, trusted, consistent" people. Our personal lives online tell others who we really are. These all feed into our overall brand we're trying to build.

3 Amazing Tips To Build An Accounting Firm Brand That Stands Out:

The first thing you should do to start building an effecting accounting firm brand... Work on your "About Us" page. Now, this sounds like a waste of time when you could be doing tax returns. But, what if I told you the most popular page on your site (after the homepage) is your "About" page. It's true.
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. I admit, we need to work on our about page at the time of this recording. It's really a wake-up call.
Another concept to build 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 the answers. Thus, learn from others. See what's working for other firms and emulate it (not copy). As a second part to this point, you shouldn't be shy about letting others "steal" from you. Let me explain... In today's world, content marketing warms up new leads. The best way to be successful with content marketing ---- go where your ideal customer is and give away your best information. This sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but hear me out. When you give away your best training (say it's the 'best tax tips for this year'), some folks will take the info and go do it themselves. The smart ones will hire you to do it. Karen does this regularly. She gives away her best marketing tips for accounting firms. Then, as a result, some will come on to work with her. Lastly, and this has been harped on before at Jetpack...get a niche! Yes, it is important to distinguish yourself from the competition. This is getting harder at times and especially as accountants as accountants are a dime a dozen. There is 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. At Jetpack Workflow, we only work with accounting firms. Occasionally, we get other professions, but all our marketing corners the accounting firm market. You need to do the same. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN UNCOVERING YOUR FIRM'S BRAND, SEND KAREN A TWEET! @KarenLReyburn Related Articles:
  1. What Everyone Should Know About Building Multiple Accounting Companies At The Same Time
  2. The Million Dollar Opportunity Missing From Your Accounting Firm
  3. How To Create The Perfect Accounting Firm

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