Are you great at organizing and collecting the business data, and summing up the numbers? Are you even greater at transforming this information into actionable insights that you can share with your accounting clients?
If so, it may be time to begin specializing in an area and/or industry, so that you can narrow your focus and serve your ideal clients even more deeply by knowing and solving their biggest challenges.
I know this because I am an accountant, too, and we spend thousands of hours building our knowledge and mastering our trade so we can serve our clients with value and excellence. I have spent more than 20 years as an accountant, and made this exact transition, and it’s been one of the best choices I’ve ever made.
Now, here’s the bigger question: Do your ideal clients know this about you? You can answer honestly––no one is listening other than you.
I know that in my first few years in business, my answer was definitely NO, mostly because I wasn’t sure how to start to build my digital footprint. This kept me from finding clients (or clients finding me), getting referrals, and increasing my marketing presence. But as things became clearer on what my best offers were and who I was best qualified to serve and impact, the choices became clearer and those opportunities started coming my way.
In this article, I’ll cover three marketing techniques that have worked for me throughout my entrepreneurial journey, and how they can each be implemented separately or all at once. More importantly, regardless of what stage you are in (early stage or a seasoned business), these techniques can evolve over the course of your branding and marketing journey.
So, let’s get to it!
Technique #1: Know thyself to better identify thy client
The concept of “knowing thyself” has been shared by countless business educators and motivational speakers to inspire entrepreneurs to dig deeper into themselves, so that they can design a business that serves their dreams and goals.
Once we know what we are most excited about, why this is important, and who we want to impact on this mission, we can draft a “purpose statement,” also referred to as a “mission statement.” This purpose statement not only shares our best offerings and the value we bring, but also becomes the foundation of our business goals, growth plans, and future business strategies. Therefore, it’s an essential step on your business journey.
Here are the key steps to begin building out your statement:
- Brainstorm your core values. These are the beliefs and behaviors that will align with your ideal clients, as well as the most important values you want your clients to know about you.
- Break down your purpose areas. These areas include what you do, who you do it for, and why this outcome/impact is important for you and the ideal client you serve.
- Write this all down and practice your purpose. This step is where you bring your dreams, best offers, and WHY this is important all into one place, as you write it down and begin sharing it with the world. The more you practice this purpose, the more confident and articulate you will become at sharing this intentional message with your ideal clients.
Now it’s time to add this intentional branding message to your digital blueprint. All of this inner work to craft the words and conversations you’ll have with your ideal clients should not just sit on a shelf somewhere. That means this language needs to land on one of your websites, social media profiles, and/or anywhere you are building a digital presence.
Do you want a cool resource to begin crafting your purpose? Check out this beautifully illustrated playbook on the QuickBooks® blog to find more tips and techniques.
Technique #2: Know thy client to better speak to your ideal client
Now that you have done the deeper work to know thyself, it will become even clearer to you what you want to say and how you want to find your ideal clients. The beauty of technique #1 is that you have taken an intentional step to build your brand story and begin crafting the language and conversations you want to have with your clients. Technique #2 is all about having those conversations with your ideal clients, which is your intentional marketing journey.
To strengthen your marketing journey, you want to be able to assess your ideal clients and actively listen to WHAT they need, and then articulate the following:
- Your Who: Building your ideal client avatar.
- Your What: What do you offer them, and for how much (your best offers)?
- Your Where: Where are your ideal clients, and where will you market to them?
- Your When: When will you market, and have you added dates to your content calendar?
- Your How: What is your game plan to make this all happen?
Just as we mentioned above, this marketing plan should not just sit in a notebook or on a content creation calendar somewhere. Your how (the “game plan”), should include:
- The action you are taking per digital platform.
- The actual websites and social media platforms you have chosen to be present on.
- The language (written copy) that will be used.
- The dates that these digital conversations will be held.
For example, you will be posting three Instagram stories per week, with the actual copy and images ready to be dropped with each post. Not only do you want to take action on your content calendar, but also make sure you check the performance on these posts, so that you can monitor the growth of your digital presence and where best to spend your marketing time.
Technique #3: Be bold, be true, be YOU
Building your digital presence should not only be fun, inspiring, and unique, but also an enlightening discovery process for thyself and thy clients. Do not be so hard on yourself the first year, but keep yourself accountable to get started, create a game plan, and then check your performance so you continue doing what works best for you and the ideal clients you want to serve.
One of the first techniques I brought into my branding and marketing journey early on was GOING ALL IN on sharing my #mompreneur life. This has made a significant impact on my digital presence.
I am a mom of three, who has served small businesses for over two decades. I’ve shared with them my real-life moments, balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship. I’ve spoken about how this balance has enabled me to connect more closely with working families and women entrepreneurs. Allowing myself to be vulnerable and share the essence of who I am has directly impacted the relationships I have built with my ideal clients, community, and the collaborative partners.
And, as a bonus, I have been given some lifetime marketing memories that I will forever hold dear to my heart. Check out a few of these Intuit®-sponsored moments on this powerful small business resource page that has been created for their small business and accounting community.
Moving forward and making your own digital marketing footprint
Ok, my friends, now it’s your turn! I challenge you to take on one, or perhaps all three, of these techniques and have fun with your digital presence discovery. Take action, create an action plan, and check in periodically to make sure it aligns with your Who, What, and Why.
Time is of the essence, so don’t wait, as your ideal clients are waiting for you!