Recently, one of my students – Cathy - left me this question in my Facebook group:
“I need to do more marketing but I don’t have the time. I’d love to outsource it but I don’t know how to hire someone because I don’t know all of what I need – it’s a catch-22! Plus, I don’t want a regular digital marketing agency, I would prefer my own offshore marketing employee. Any suggestions on how to get good people in that area, especially as I don’t know how to judge their work performance.”
My first response to this is to avoid the big mistake we tend to fall into when we hire people…
Michael Gerber talks about this in his book ‘The E-Myth Revisited’ – he calls it abdicating responsibility.
This is when there is a function in your business that you don’t want to get involved with because you are to busy or don’t enjoy the...
When I ask my students what their marketing strategy is, very often they tell they they haven’t got one.
I understand them really because when I started my accounting practice in 1996, I didn’t have a marketing strategy either.
Very often we don’t have a marketing strategy because it seems like something that is really complicated and time consuming. After all, loads of people these days are getting marketing degrees and qualifications.
But sometimes people overcomplicate marketing.
I like to keep it simple.
Really, to create a great marketing strategy, there are only 3 things you need to do.
1 - Ideal Client Profile
Who is your ideal client?
You need to know who that is - in writing.
Look at your best clients. What characteristics do they have? What sort of clients do you like working with. What size business? What kind of turnover? What industry? Where are they located? What are their personalities like?
You need to...
‘I struggle with selling! I don’t know what to say to new clients.’
The issue accounting professionals have with ‘selling’, is the wrong mindset. We think that to be good at selling, we need to have good selling techniques, we need to have good ‘closing’ techniques. But that’s not actually necessary.
A while back I read a book called ‘Spin Selling’ by Neil Rackham. If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend you add it to your reading list.
In this book, Neil conducted a huge study into the results from sales processes. One of the things he found, was having special closing techniques did not significantly change the outcome.
That reassured me a lot because I’m really not a fan of overly ‘sales-y’ closing techniques. I’m sure you feel the same.
So how do we sell?
One of my mentors Peter Thompson taught me something a few years ago. He said this…
If you haven’t used Trello before, it’s an amazing piece of software. I use it daily to organise my business, plan big projects, delegate and manage my staff workflow and many other things.
I pay for the upgraded version because I love it so much, but you can get a really good version totally free.
The idea of Trello is to create boards. On these boards you can create different lists, and within each list you can create individual cards. Below is a picture to explain what I mean…
You can attach all sorts of useful information to each card including links, images, descriptions, checklists, labels, deadlines - there are tons of features. You can move these cards along your boards to help organise your workflows and processes.
I use a board as my Weekly Planner. On this board, the first column is a list called ‘Ideas’. If I ever think of a great idea, something I can do to improve my business, I...
Pricing is one of the four ‘P’s of marketing.
Marketing is essential to the success of a business.
It’s also important to know that if you want to win more clients, you need to be seen as the expert in your field. You need to be seen as the best. You can create that reputation through marketing.
You can watch the video here.
Marketing has changed many times over the years. We are seeing huge shifts towards social media.
LinkedIn is a great platform for the accounting profession. Twitter as well. But Facebook is arguably one of the most powerful social media marketing tools.
I used to recommend LinkedIn as the number one marketing tool for accountants. But digital marketing is rapidly changing. Over the last four or five years Facebook has increasingly become the place to be.
In the future I imagine it will be something different again. But right now Facebook is the top platform.
As Facebook started to gain traction, everybody became obsessed with creating their...
How webinars can increase engagement – and conversion rates
Have you ever run a webinar? If you haven't, then it's time you did because they’re incredibly powerful. And, to help you get started, I’m going to share some key tips.
If you prefer to watch rather than read, you can watch my video here.
Live? Or pre-recorded?
The first big question to think about is whether you should run webinars live or pre-recorded.
Some great software exists that allows you to create webinars as videos and then run them on any schedule you like. Once a week, for example. People log in to watch the webinar, and it feels live. As a concept it has a lot of appeal. However, one problem I’ve found – and other people’s research bears this out – is that even though pre-recorded webinars may feel live, conversion rates are significantly lower.
Tip #1: Run them live
My first tip then is to run them live. That way, you can give whatever offer...
Find your niche to increase turnover and reduce stress
Today I want to share how you find your niche. But first, why is it so important?
Specialists earn more
You’ve probably heard many times that specialists make more money than generalists. And it’s absolutely true. Accounting professionals who specialise make more money. Whereas firms that take on anybody end up running themselves ragged, trying to deal with too many different clients and too many different services.
My tip is to make sure you're clear in your own mind about not only your niche, but the profile of your ideal client. And to help, I’m going to share the three main types of niche. (Just to make it easy, they all begin with S!)
Are there any sectors that you’re particularly interested in or already have clients in? It might be doctors or dentists, the legal profession or the IT industry. Think about the industry you’re most fascinated by and build on it.
Of all the...