“I was a bit stuck on what to write about, to be honest. I had this preconception or block that accountancy is boring. I need to write about how to claim tax, and I couldn’t get excited about it.”
This is what Michelle Gregory from Gregory Accounting said to me the other day when we were talking about her progress with content marketing, and the change in mindset that began to happen for her.
It’s a common fear of accountants to feel that what you do is boring, so therefore what you write about will be boring, and therefore you can’t summon up the motivation to write a blog post on Making Tax Digital or “Do you need a limited company or sole proprietorship” or “How to account for business and personal expenses”.
Plus, you realise other accountants have already written posts on this (boring) content, so you don’t want to say what they’re saying and have it disappear into the void of the internet – almost as useless as buying in generic content.
Michelle felt that too. She knew content marketing was powerful for her firm, but she didn’t know where to begin, since accountancy was boring.
“I always had this block, thinking accountancy is boring,” Michelle said. “That’s why I joined PF’s Accelerator course. As I went through it , I got more confident in what I’m blogging about, and got comfortable bringing my own personal voice to it.”
Here’s how Michelle began to address the “accountancy content is boring” concern, and how you can too:
1. Ask yourself WHY you think it’s boring to your reader
The answer is going to help youmake changes that will help it be less boring. Is it because they won’t understand it? Make it understandable. Do they not need to know all that level of detail? Cut out the detail and get to the point.
2. Think of a story you can include to prove the concept or topic.
When you have a story to tell (whether you can include the person’s name or company name, or not), it makes it real and personal. No one else has your story.
3. Say the answer to the question (or read the blog post you’ve written) out loud, before posting it.
You may quickly discover that you’ve written it in ‘professional speak’, which basically means ‘boring’. Make it sound like you the human being, not you-the-official-accounting-blog-writer.
4. Remove tax tables, lists of numbers, and way too much detail
That’s part of what makes accountancy content boring to your reader. I’m presuming your reader is a business owner who hasn’t got the time to figure out why the percentage is 43.54% in 2015-16 and 46.74% in 2016-17… yep, it’s boring. You’ve lost them because they want you to get to the point. Plus, if they really want to know all those numbers, they’ll ask you the accountant which ones apply to their business.
5. Write the blog post to a particular person you have in your mind
In a team training I ran this week we were talking about emailing clients about an upcoming event. I said “Give me the name of a client”, and someone said “Um, Bill”. When I asked, “Is that an actual, real human being you’re thinking of?” she said, “I’m sure it’s one of our clients”. I asked for a specific person and she said “Okay….Bob”. When I asked what Bob did, she collapsed in laughter and said “He’s a builder!!!” We had great fun with that one, and it made it much easier to figure out what we needed to say to Bob (the Builder), rather than Bill-The-Generic-Client. (Looks like truth is indeed stranger than fiction.)
“I started the Accelerator thinking accountancy content was really boring. But you told us, hey, it’s not boring: it’s really cool, and people need it!And your niche makes that content even more interesting. That helped me take things the next step further,” said Michelle.
You’re welcome to join the Accelerator too (and remember there are cool bonus stuffs when you do so before 17 August). We look forward to helping you turn your content from boring to fascinating!