What if none of your clients wants anything more from you?

By |2021-05-04T13:30:36+01:00May 4th, 2021|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT|

Unlike some commentators, I entirely accept that many accountants have some clients who want nothing more than a basic compliance service.  And that you get very frustrated to be told by consultants that you should offer your clients "advisory services". After all,  you know your clients don't want, cannot afford and will

Bad advice for accountants that makes me cross

By |2021-04-06T09:31:47+01:00April 6th, 2021|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Mentoring, Social Media, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Twitter|

These days it typically takes a lot to get me cross. But one thing that really winds me up is the continuing wave of advice to accountants generally, telling them to do stuff that doesn't work for everyone and is especially inappropriate for most sole practitioners. This is quite different from the advice that

“How can I use social media to promote my accountancy business?”

By |2021-01-08T18:37:54+00:00December 8th, 2020|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Facebook, Lead generation, Linkedin, Social Media, Sole practitioners, Twitter|

There are two types of accountants who use social media and Linkedin.  Those who understand what works and those who have bought into the hype and hope that what they do will work. Chances are you are in that second category just like most of the accountants I know. Indeed, the vast

The worst mistake an accountant can make – and how to avoid it

By |2020-11-20T11:00:12+00:00November 17th, 2020|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners|

A journalist once surprised me with a question I wasn’t anticipating: “What is the worst mistake accountants can make when they are trying to ‘close’ a prospective client?” When I later reflected on my instinctive reply I was satisfied it contained good advice. Thinking about the issue subsequently I quickly constructed this

3 questions you must answer before seeking out new clients

By |2020-12-08T13:59:26+00:00October 20th, 2020|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Referrals, Sole practitioners|

l am regularly approached by accountants who want to know how they can get more clients. They want to know if social media is worthwhile, where to advertise, what marketing activities to pursue, what networking activities might be worthwhile, how to get more traffic to their website and much more - along

How effective is your reply to the question: What do you do?

By |2020-10-27T10:58:28+00:00September 8th, 2020|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Conversational impact, Networking, Sole practitioners|

No one has asked me what I do since lockdown started. I've been thinking about how I might reply next time. What about you? What do you do? I think there are 4 standard ways we can answer the question. I know which approach I prefer. What about you? 1 State your

How special and different are you from other accountants?

By |2020-09-07T18:07:29+01:00June 16th, 2020|Accountants, Appearance, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Referrals, Reputation, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Websites|

Back in the days when I was a professional speaker (BC -Before COVID-19) I often asked audiences of accountants to look around the room. And then to indicate whether they felt that they were in any way special and different from most of the other accountants in the room. Typically only a

Short term or long term marketing?

By |2020-09-07T18:07:55+01:00June 9th, 2020|Accountants, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Sole practitioners, Twitter|

What's more important to you? To spend time on promotional activities that don't seem to cost anything or to get cost-effective results from promoting your services to people who you know are looking for someone like you? Many accountants, bookkeepers and tax advisers spend time on various social media platforms, on Linkedin

If it’s not a lack of technical skills that is holding you back…..

By |2021-04-13T11:02:35+01:00October 8th, 2019|Accountants, Career development, Key Business skills, Sole practitioners|

Most accountants are justly proud of their technical skills. It is also common to find that some accountants undervalue the importance of ensuring that they have all the business skills they require to be profitable in the short-term and successful in the longer-term. What’s your position? Are you one of those accountants who

Nothing much will change for accountants in two years, but what about ten?

By |2019-08-28T09:29:10+01:00September 10th, 2019|Accountants, Future, Sole practitioners|

An increasing number of journalists and podcasters want to interview me about my views of the future for accountants. On reflection though I suspect I am sometimes a disappointing interviewee. This is not due to excess modesty as regards my conversational skills or my ability to explain and justify my predictions. On

Are you undermining your credibility by being too modest?

By |2019-08-20T11:11:24+01:00August 20th, 2019|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Dependability and trust, Referrals, Reputation, Sole practitioners|

Some accountants I know are proud of how efficiently they look after their own business affairs. Others though are embarrassed at their inefficiencies. And there are some who do not appear to give any thought as to how they are perceived. We all know the old adage that you never get a

How self confident are you, really?

By |2019-04-30T20:54:32+01:00April 30th, 2019|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Conversational impact, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Sole practitioners|

Do you consider yourself to be a confident person generally? What about in terms of your ability to attract and win over prospective clients? And to keep clients happy and willing to pay you the fees you deserve for the work you do? Whilst many accountants I work with have a fair degree of

Solving your recruitment and resourcing challenges

By |2021-01-08T18:35:28+00:00April 16th, 2019|Accountants, Future, Lead generation, Outsourcing, Productivity, Recruitment, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners, Strategy|

The biggest issue facing accountants in practice these days isn't the rise of robo-accountants, AI or cloud computing. The challenge that seems to hold many firms back is the same old chestnut it's always been. It's the difficulty in finding good people to join the firm. Almost every week I get approached by the

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+01:00October 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 the options when you need help with client work?

By |2021-01-08T18:30:43+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Accountants, Outsourcing, Productivity, Recruitment, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners|

When you need additional help with client work in your office, do you look beyond the idea of simply recruiting a new member of staff? Many of the smaller accountants I speak with are struggling to do everything themselves. And those who have regular help, want more but are reluctant to take on

What are you really ‘selling’ as an Accountant?

By |2018-09-16T16:44:37+01:00September 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 |2021-03-22T11:56:46+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

Key ways to improve profitability

By |2018-05-22T23:05:41+01:00April 17th, 2018|Accountants, Inner Circle, Pricing, Productivity, Sole practitioners|

At last week's meeting of The Inner Circle for Accountants our headline discussion topic was: "Improving the profitability of your practice" I offered an early observation that “If you don’t have profitable clients, you don’t have a profitable practice”. What I mean by this is that if your clients do not generate a profit for you,

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

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