The Profitable Firm's Karen Reyburn kicked off Xerocon 2016's Uni Day by asking accountants to understand what drives and demotivates their dream client.
In "The Content Marketer" session, Reyburn tasked attendees with formulating their ideal client persona. "Come up with what they care about, what they don't care about, what kind of family they have - this will inform what content you make and share," says Reyburn. "What matters to them?"
Reyburn presented the following matrix for marketing to your envisioned dream client:
- What motivates this person?
- What frustrates the life out of them?
- What do they need help with?
- What are the problems in their business?
- How do they make decisions?
- How do they communicate?
Accountants should use these questions as a touchstone, said Reyburn. "Everything you do should be pivoted toward your ideal client, constantly asking, ‘What is success to them?'," she explained. "Some just want to build a nice small business, others want to rule the world.
The big issue with how accountants market themselves is the dependence on generic content. "The best content comes from your own head or from the heads of the people that deal with the clients," said Reyburn. "You know their problems, their frustrations. Generic content doesn't work. Your very educated client is bored to tears and can tell immediately."
In the long run, said Reyburn, the goal is to form a complete brand identity for your firm. Although, she acknowledged its difficult for a busy practitioner to find time to think branding. "Attaining a brand identity is expensive, it's time consuming and it won't bring immediate results - but it's vital," says Reyburn. "It's the consistency of your message. It means everything you do reflects who you are, combining your persona and your visual design."
With a successful brand identity, explains Reyburn, your marketing integrates to the point where you won't be able to identify why a client came to you, "Whether they liked your logo, downloaded your white paper, read your content. It becomes a cohesive whole".
"The brand identity is your practice's personality. Your brand is tied in your buyer's mind with your expertise."
The start point for synthesising your practice's personality is to think about your own personality. Reyburn broadly categorises accountants as either:
- Freedom fighter (They work to attain time and freedom)
- Empire builder (They want to rule the world)
- Craftsman (Just wants to do the accounts)