The most significant change I’m seeing accountants make is that of accepting that sales and marketing are something that they have to do themselves.
- The partners have to do it. Right down to writing blogs and sharing posts on social media.
- The team have to do it. Including recording video and getting their photograph taken and using a new social platform they’ve never used before.
- The marketing team have to do it. Getting training, going to conferences, stretching their skills so it’s not simply same old, same old.
- The admin, reception, IT people have to do it. Recognising that their role in the accounting business is just as important as anyone else’s, and being involved even in some small way.
Actually do marketing.
One of our Accelerator members said this to me after going through the course.
“We’re funny creatures, accountants,” he said. “Business is all about sales and marketing – I’ve heard that, and my coach would tell me that five times in a session. I’d say yea yea yea – then dive straight back into admin and operations.”
“We didn’t do marketing properly for the first two and half years of our business,” Ryan said. That’s why he decided to sign up for the Accelerator – he knew he needed to be doing marketing but wasn’t doing it himself.
“It wasn’t until I actually did it – the sales and marketing- that I saw the benefit”, he told me.
“People don’t understand marketing until they do it. This stuff is all applicable. If you’re an accountant and you’re the business owner, and you’re not spending half your day on this stuff – not just sending proposals, but over and above that, generating leads, writing content, being involved personally…if you’re not doing that stuff you’re going backwards.”
This can be a tough one for accountants especially. I was talking to a new Accelerator member – one who hasn’t yet gone through the course – and we were discussing social media. How it takes so much time. How it always seems to fall in priority level.
“Karen, I know you are in marketing, so you sort of have to do this stuff,” he said. “But I’ve got work to do!”
I shared with Paul that, shockingly, I’ve got work to do also. I have presentations to prepare for speaking engagements. Conversations with our developers about the new app we’re building. Team meetings. Mentoring sessions with the team. Marketing planning sessions with clients, financial reviews, emails, Slack messages, conversations with prospects… the details may be a little different, but the level of work any of us has to do is the same.
I fit in social media because it’s part of my job. This is the work I have to do. It’s the work you as an accountant has to do. It’s the work the owner of a coffee roastery, a tech business, a candle shop has to do. It’s work for someone who is in a charitable organisation or a business networking group.
Marketing is part of your job.
And until you actually do it yourself – until you put your hands to the keyboard and write that blog post, or press the button on your phone to record the video, or sit there for twenty minutes swearing at Instagram because you can’t figure out how to make it do what you know you saw someone else do …. until then, it’s all theory.
It’s conceptual. It’s an idea, and you’re still waiting for the quick win that will swoop in and bring you the very best clients.
Yet deep down you know that marketing works in exactly the same way as everything worth doing.
It’s a lot of work. There are mistakes. Trial and error, learning and growing, asking and being curious, patterns, tracking, analytics.
This cycle, on repeat, with consistency and purpose.
If you know that’s true and you keep meaning to try it yourself but have no idea where to begin, or you want to make sure you’re doing things in the right order with some direction, join us on 11 September in the Accelerator.
We’ll all be doing the marketing, ourselves, throughout the course. I’d love to have you with us!