With the emergence of cloud based accounting, accountants are now faced with the task to find creative ways to stand out from others within their industry.
Since many of the data-entry functions can be handled with any given app, small business owners are looking for accountants to help them grow their business with a reduced focus on bookkeeping, tax compliance and regulations.
After working with companies such as the San Francisco 49ers, Audi and Neutrogena to help build their brand presence, I've realized that image is everything and have since used these branding strategies to build my consulting practice.
Why branding is so important
Lois Geller, Forbes contributor, writes, "A brand is a promise. Your brand has to plant itself in the hearts and minds (especially hearts) of prospects and customers. It has to be memorable."
Often times, accountants are seen as commodities. One is just as effective as the other as long as they have the "credentials" to file taxes and handle the books. But, with new accounting applications and social media, it will be those accountants that embrace developing a unique brand and strongly convey that they are a business partner to their client, that will rise to the top.
Examples of accountants with great brands
- Stacey, with signature hot pink hair, not only defies what accountants "should" look like but has also built a business that includes a huge media presence. She is the host of two shows, RadioFreeQB.com and very active on Twitter.
- As soon as you visit Blumer CPAs' website, you think that you've stumbled upon a creative agency's. Lo and behold, it's a CPA firm's site catering to digital marketing experts. Jason Blumer, founder of Blumer CPAs, also hosts a podcast called the The Businessology Show and blogs frequently.
- Jay Fife, founder of FusePhase, hired a content marketer to help build his practice's quirky online presence, to generate informative yet easy to understand blog content and create a really fun video to describe what they do for their clients.
Why you should give it away for free
Sharing free content and having an established media presence is key in any profession, but especially in the accounting world when it is vital to establish the "know, like, trust" factor that clients crave.
Cari Sommer, Forbes contributer, interviewed multi-million dollar business coach Marie Forleo about branding and discussed the importance of giving away lots of free content to build a rock solid brand.
3 ways to brand your accounting practice
Not sure where to start with your branding? Here are three tips to get you rolling.
- Get glamorous. Hire a photographer and have an awesome headshot taken. I recently caught up with David Leary from Quickbooks and chatted a little bit about branding for accountants. His #1 suggestion to accountants was to have fun with your photo and show a little personality. Btw, if you haven't seen his headshot, it is full of personality. Check him out on twitter @davidleary.
- Write a weekly newsletter. Email marketing is not dead. Capturing emails and sending regular tips is a sure way to develop trust and convert followers into clients.
- Offer to host webinars. Connect with your fave accounting applications and offer to host free accounting webinars to their users. It's a triple win- the application loves you, the users benefit from the content and you can build yourself as an expert.
Tell me a little bit about your practice. What are you doing to build your brand?
Danetha Doe is a cloud accounting expert. A business coach and former NFL Cheerleader, she has worked with companies such as Audi, the San Francisco 49ers and Neutrogena to help build their brand presence.
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