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The Swear Word for Accountants: Marketing.

January 27, 2014

We’ve all heard of marketing, but do we know exactly what it is and how to do it?  For accountants, some would like to erase the word from their memory bank.  Most accountants are not “marketers” and why would they be or learn how? That isn’t what they went to school for and most would like to stick to the “old-fashion” way of building their client base by referrals. 

After attending the Accounting Today Growth and Profitability Summit in Orlando, Florida a couple months ago, I came back to the Maine cold with a burning desire to help make our firm, PFBF CPAs, become one of “The Best.”  How do we get our firm to become a “rock band” and not a “garage band?”  How do we get the right people on the bus? How do we make PFBF CPAs, stand out from our competitors?

The answer: Marketing.

One would think after being in business for 30 years, most people in the state of Maine would know the name PFBF CPAs.  They might not get the letters in all the right order, but they know the company and what service we provide.  Wrong. It takes a lot more than providing timely financial services.  It takes a village of marketing efforts and teamwork.  This is crucial for any personal services firm. 

Today, the marketing world has blasted into online marketing, which consists of blogs, websites, web analytics, online videos, webinars, and much more.  In order to break away from our “confined” local market and dig into a national stage, we must market 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  How?  Online marketing is a good start.

“It’s Not All About You”

Communication: the key to a successful relationship.  Think about this for a second.  What kinds of things keep you interested in carrying on a conversation? Is it the person?  Is it the dialogue?  What stops you from pursuing the conversation might be a bigger question?  We often disengage with people when it’s “all about us.”

This remains true in a business/client relationship.  Gear your website, conversations, emails, etc. towards your audience.  Keep them interested.  Say “you,” instead of “we” or ‘I”, when speaking to them.  Learn about them.  Acquire what their needs and wants are.  This will keep them coming back for more.

Are you LinkedIn?  

Using social media is just one of many ways to show off your “goods.”  Do you keep in contact with friends and family though Facebook? Why not do the same with your client base?  Develop a company Facebook Page, join LinkedIn, and Twitter. I often describe LinkedIn as the Facebook for business.  Instead of discussing your personal life with your connections, share valuable business information, opinions, and thoughts with your followers.

Use social media to become a thought leader.  Join LinkedIn forums to ask questions and answer questions.  Write blogs and then take it a step further by getting them published in a business journal, or better yet Wall Street Journal; this will also increase your search optimization.


To Blog or Not to Blog? That is the question.

This is what you’re reading.  A blog.  An easy way to get your voice heard among an online crowd.  Why wouldn’t you want to build your business by capturing an audience’s attention with your thoughts, ideas, and opinions about various topics? It’s a no brainer.

Blog with a purpose.  Show creative expression and offer opinions on matters that mean the most to you. Your passion will show in your writing.

You will often find, every time you write something, you learn something.  For me, writing this blog is a personal benefit.  It is a way to refresh my thoughts and recite the things I have learned, while sharing it among my coworkers.

Now, the word “marketing” doesn’t seem so bad, does it? 

Posted By: Melissa Sawyer, Marketing Manager PFBF CPAs

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