Debunked: Can you really rely on referrals to sustain or grow your practice?

By |2022-05-17T08:49:57+01:00May 17th, 2022|Accountants, Lead generation, Referrals, Sole practitioners|

Most established accountants running their own firms claim to get most of their new clients via referrals. I see at least three potential flaws with this perception. Firstly, it’s rarely based on empirical evidence. Often it is simply an easy answer to the question: 'Where do most of your new clients come

The marketing distractions accountants should avoid

By |2022-04-19T10:49:01+01:00April 19th, 2022|Accountants, Blogging, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Social Media, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Twitter|

Before setting out those marketing distractions that I believe accountants should avoid I need to offer some context. Over 20 years ago, the start of the century(!) was when I began presenting talks to accountants about practice related matters. I quickly learned to avoid any mention of the M-word as, back then,

Improving the first impression of your online and website profiles

By |2022-03-22T15:02:37+00:00March 22nd, 2022|Accountants, Appearance, Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Sole practitioners, Websites|

I have never ‘swiped’ someone’s profile picture, as online dating didn’t exist when I met my wife in the 1980s. The whole concept of swiping is quite alien to me. I was curious though, so a while back, I asked a single friend to show me how the ‘swipe left’ and ‘swipe

Don’t make this marketing mistake especially if you are reliant on referrals

By |2022-04-19T10:52:04+01:00March 1st, 2022|Accountants, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Referrals, Social Media, Sole practitioners|

I am frequently surprised when apparently successful accountants tell me that they know they should start being active on social media. And that they want to beef up their marketing activity. Both such aspirations typically reflect a belief in the mystical power of generic marketing and the hype surrounding social media activity.

What do you REALLY need to sell as an accountant?

By |2022-02-22T11:27:29+00:00February 22nd, 2022|Accountants, Appearance, Business messaging and branding, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Mentoring, Pricing, Reputation, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT|

What do you really need to sell 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 2018 blog post, You are NOT selling your time.

The 5 key issues to consider re your competition

By |2021-12-12T17:59:59+00:00December 14th, 2021|Accountants, Business advice, Lead generation, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners, Strategy|

In this blog post I explain five key issues in the context of your competition as an accountant. I have discussed them many times with clients during mentoring sessions. Often I find an accountant's perception as to who is their competition is blinkered and limited. They are often shocked to realise they

How you can stop being scared of losing prospective new clients

By |2021-11-22T12:15:52+00:00November 23rd, 2021|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners, Websites|

Many accountants appear to approach the idea of finding new clients with conflicted emotions. If you do this you are probably making life harder for yourself than it needs to be. On the one hand your website and marketing activities try to promote you and your firm as able to act for

6 ways you can stop making the same mistakes on social media as everyone else

By |2021-11-15T15:03:17+00:00November 16th, 2021|Accountants, Blogging, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Sole practitioners, Twitter|

Regular readers will know that I am both very active on social media and highly ranked for my online influence (such as it is!) Equally you will also know that I do not routinely encourage accountants to use social media for promotional and marketing purposes. And I challenge the apparent evidence and

3 key lessons for accountants from….a children’s party entertainer!

By |2021-10-25T17:07:48+01:00October 26th, 2021|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Pricing, Sole practitioners|

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 3 key lessons that now, many years later, still inform my thinking and advice to

How to feel more self confident with clients and prospects

By |2022-02-20T17:44:05+00:00September 21st, 2021|Accountants, Dependability and trust, Marketing and promotion, Mentoring, 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

What can you do if you want to attract a better type of client?

By |2021-09-10T18:48:26+01:00September 7th, 2021|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Referrals, Reputation, Sole practitioners|

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 I was mentoring expressed this quite

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 |2021-08-24T09:21:12+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

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