Who gets to decide what are your top skills and expertise?

By |2019-01-08T15:12:22+00:00January 8th, 2019|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Experience and expertise, Key Business skills, Linkedin|

What are your top skills?  The key question though is not what YOU think they are, but what other people believe you are good at. What do your contacts and connections say when they reference and recommend you? And what do your clients say? A few years ago I had a surprise

Want to attract a different type of client?

By |2018-12-18T09:38:12+00:00December 18th, 2018|Accountants, Business advice, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Websites|

When I ask accountants what they would like to be different in their practice, one theme is more common than any others. They frequently express the desire to have better quality clients, to increase their average fees and to be doing more interesting work. One sole practitioner accountant expressed this quite succinctly.

Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction

By |2018-11-20T16:48:23+00:00November 20th, 2018|Accountants, Business advice, cloud accounting, Conversational impact, Experience and expertise, Future, Servicing clients, sole practitioners|

During my talks about the future for accountants I sometimes share a famous quote from Bill Gates.  Before repeating it here, let me just offer some context. There has long been a tendency to over-hype new ideas and initiatives. Some accountants jump on the bandwagon early which is great. I don’t do

Debunked: Building brand awareness for your accountancy practice

By |2018-10-11T09:49:19+00:00October 9th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, twitter|

Think about ten top accountancy brands. Or at least the ones you can remember. How many of those do you think your typical client would be able to name - or would even recognise? Once you move outside of the accountancy and finance professions, brand awareness drops off very fast. Even the

What are you really ‘selling’ as an Accountant?

By |2018-09-16T16:44:37+00:00September 18th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Starting out|

What are you selling as an accountant? This is a simple enough question, and knowing the right answer could make a profound difference to the success of your practice. Let’s start with what you’re NOT selling. As I explained in a recent blog post, You’re not selling your time. And you’re not

What’s the best way for an accountant to win new clients?

By |2019-01-15T09:16:02+00:00September 11th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Strategy|

Many of the accountants I speak with ask me the same question. How can they best attract new clients? I will rarely offer advice however until I have found out enough about the accountant, their firm, their services, their likes and dislikes and what they have tried previously. The simple reason is

Are you a specialist or a generalist accountant?

By |2018-07-23T15:56:13+00:00July 24th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Marketing and promotion, sole practitioners|

Most general practitioner accountants I talk with (and I talk with a lot of them) are, obviously, generalists rather than specialists. They started out as general practitioners and stay that way as their client base has always been quite disparate. Many of those who specialise do so only because they originally trained

If you cannot ‘close the sale’ you’ll struggle to win new clients

By |2018-07-12T07:59:06+00:00June 12th, 2018|Accountants, Following up, Key Business skills, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Starting out|

In an ideal world, you would simply tell people that you are an accountant and your ideal prospects would then find you and ask to become your clients. Life isn’t like that. Even when these people do find out about your practice you need to have a process which brings them onboard

What’s the first thing you need to find out from a new client?

By |2018-05-28T10:29:23+00:00May 29th, 2018|Accountants, Business advice, Business messaging and branding, Starting out|

When you are approached by a prospective new client it is tempting to simply give them what they say they want. Most often this will be a fee quote to help them with their annual compliance obligations. As this area of work becomes more commoditised so you need to distinguish yourself from other accountants.

The 3 reasons you cannot rely on referrals if you want to grow your practice

By |2018-05-22T23:06:08+00:00March 27th, 2018|Accountants, Marketing and promotion, Reputation, STANDING OUT|

Most established Accountants running their own firms claim to get most of their better new clients via referrals.  is this true or relevant to less established practices? Experienced accountants claim that no other activities and no marketing investment ever seems worth the effort. The following sentiment is typical of what I hear: "I get all

How to short-cut the Networking process

By |2018-05-22T23:06:51+00:00February 27th, 2018|Accountants, Networking, Reputation|

Networking is not for everyone. Whilst some accountants enjoy attending regular networking events, I regularly hear tales of woe from those who find it a frustrating waste of time.  There are also plenty of accountants who do not like the idea of chatting with strangers very appealing. You will rarely meet someone at a networking

Accountants CAN overcome a lack of inner confidence…..

By |2018-05-22T23:06:42+00:00February 20th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Conversational impact, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, sole practitioners|

All too often I encounter another accountant who is lacking in confidence. And this invariably holds them back from achieving the success they seek. Just last week an accountant emailed me back after receiving a message I'd sent out on a totally different topic. Included in her reply was the following: I know I lack

Lessons for accountants from….. a childrens’ party entertainer

By |2018-07-23T16:42:08+00:00January 16th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Pricing|

As a teenager, before I started studying to become an accountant, I was a children's party entertainer - and I continued doing this for about 25 years. When I look back I realise that I quickly learned 2 lessons that now, many years later, inform my thinking and advice to accountants. Specialisation I was

Debunked: The one thing you must do….

By |2017-12-12T10:31:22+00:00December 12th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, sole practitioners|

A popular approach to getting your attention (and often your money) is to instruct you that there is 'one thing' you must do. What do they say? Many journalists, consultants and sales people assert that there is just 'one thing' you must do to remain in practice, to generate new clients, to increase your fees or

How can accountants use Linkedin for marketing purposes?

By |2017-12-05T09:06:51+00:00December 5th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Social Media, sole practitioners|

This was the headline to a question I was asked recently. I have summarised the question below and expanded on my reply and advice as this may help other accountants too. Question How can accountants use LinkedIn for marketing purpose? I have a company page, I have a profile, I am in some groups but

Has your practice plateaued?

By |2017-11-28T08:45:55+00:00November 28th, 2017|Accountants, Future, Marketing and promotion, sole practitioners|

My conversations with sole practitioner accountants over the years suggest that many are happy enough once their business has plateaued. 'Happy enough' is hardly an enthusiastic summation of how things are going. It suggests a degree of reluctant acceptance. The underlying message perhaps is that things could be better but the accountant is used to

Cloud accounting – Do you lead your clients or let them lead you?

By |2017-11-22T11:38:12+00:00November 22nd, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, cloud accounting, Experience and expertise, Productivity, Servicing clients, sole practitioners, Starting out|

This is the first of what I anticipate will become a series of cloud accounting related blog posts. Back in 2009 I disagreed with those commentators who were warning accountants about an urgent need to embrace cloud accounting technology. The alternative, warned these merchants of doom, was that accountants who failed to embrace the cloud