In a packed accounting market, it pays to understand what makes your firm unique.
And to really get your firm’s core values and personality across to prospective clients you need to understand your own style – helping you to attract the right type of clients and giving them the incentive to jump on board.
So, what’s this all got to do with cake? Well, in our ongoing mission to create bespoke, unique content for our accountancy practice clients, we’ve come up with a brand personality question that really seems to hit the mark…
‘If your firm were a cake, what kind of cake would it be?’
It may sound like a silly, flippant question at first. But we’ve actually found that the answers we get – from traditional Dundee cake to fun-filled blueberry muffin – can be extremely revealing about the self-perception of a firm. And when you have a handle on your own style and unique selling point (USP) you’re in a powerful position to improve the focus and effectiveness of your content marketing.
Knowing your kind of cake
Take a moment to think about the question. What kind of cake do you think your firm would be?
Are you a Victoria sponge (traditional, slightly conservative but dependable) or are you a strawberry mille-feuille (complex, multi-layered and full of surprises)? To answer the question effectively, you need to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about how they perceive you.
Would they see you as solid, dependable and a safe pair of hands? Or would they value your off-the-wall ideas and quirky innovations?
We asked a new client the cake question recently and their answer was ‘We’d be a Victoria sponge, but with something different like damson jam as the filling’. And with that one analogy, we suddenly had a better handle on the personality of this firm.
They’re a historic firm, with over 100 years’ experience behind them – but they’re also becoming more modern, tech-savvy and less traditional. That’s why the damson jam was such a useful pointer – it helps them (and us) to get a better grip on what makes the firm tick.
Flexing your content recipe to match your style
If clients and prospects don’t understand your style, they can easily choose another accountant. So it’s vital that you, as a firm, understand your own personality and the brand perception that you’re broadcasting to the market.
And by fleshing out your personality and style, you can attract the right kinds of client, improve your sales and client attrition and take your growth to the next level. By defining what kind of ‘cake’ you are, you give a direction and feel for your marketing, your client interactions, and all your external-facing communications.
If you’re looking to find clients in the growing software and technology sectors, your style needs to be modern, cutting-edge and with a real focus on innovation. If you’re hoping to grow your market share in the farming world, your style needs to be solid, no-nonsense and plain-speaking, with a drive to get the job done.
The key is to flex and change your content marketing to reflect the firm’s style. And by doing this, prospective clients get to know who you are, what your values are and where you’re different to the competition.
Take your first steps
So, how do you get inside your potential small business clients’ heads and find a style for your firm that fits with their core needs and values?
One size will never fit all, but there are a few simple steps that can help you define your ‘inner cake’ and get you a handle on the right kinds of clients for your business.
- Know what kind of cake your firm is. Put some time into considering what kind of cake your firm would be – are you a classic lemon drizzle cake, or are you a fun chocolate Twinkie cake?
- Write down values. Sit down and write down the values that your firm stands for. What’s the underlying ideology behind your practice?
- Identify ideal client expectations. What do you look for in an ideal client? Write down the expectations you have of a client, the positive traits you’d look for and the values they’d hold.
- Think about your communication. Think about how you communicate, whether it’s in a face-to-face meeting, or in an email. Is it warm, friendly and open? Or is it professional, traditional and more formal? And does it need to change?
- Pick a style! Choose a style that’s true to your own personality – and stick to it so your clients’ get a consistent experience and know exactly who you are.
If you’re looking to get even more insights into your clients’ buying habits and selection criteria, we’ve got some good news. Profitable Firm head honcho and content marketing guru, Karen Reyburn, is presenting a free webinar on exactly this topic.
In association with the lovely guys at Xero, Karen will take you through ‘How Buyers Buy’ and the ways your firm can improve it’s branding, marketing and client-facing activity to boost sales and increase your customer base.