Imagine being stuck in a well, and yelling for help. Just as you are losing hope – and your voice – two heads appear over the edge far above.
The first head is of an average Joe, and he immediately starts talking: “I can help you. At Average Joe, we can help people to climb trees, cross bridges, ride horses, gather in-season berries… Oh, and we can also braid your hair while sitting and singing next to the campfire – but only if you take us up on one of the other offers. So yeah, I can definitely help you get out of this well.”
That’s when the other bloke speaks up, and through your haze, you notice that he looks somewhat like Kelly from Chicago Fire – complete with ropes, carabiners, a harness, a headlight, and a first aid kit ready (and well-formed arms, of course). “Hi, I’m John. Helping people who are stuck in wells to get out is what I breathe each day.”
Who are you going to choose to help you get out?
The person who can do all the things – AND braid your hair – or the one that specialises in well-accidents?
It’s the same with accountants and bookkeepers. When you specialise in a specific area, people will choose you over a generalist, even if the generalist has more experience and better qualifications. And if your visual branding confirms your specialisation (ropes, etc. in our analogy), it becomes a no-brainer that you’re the answer to their predicament.
How Do You Differentiate Your Accounting Firm from Others?
There are a lot of ways to differentiate your firm. It doesn’t need to be just based on a specific service or industry; it can also be based on your processes, culture, personality, business size, and geography, for instance.
And, if you really want to have a strong brand that attracts the right crowd, you can’t stop by only choosing your differentiators. You also have to define your brand personality, and then get to know your ideal clients so well that it makes them feel like you have a looking glass into their heads (in a non-creepy way), and then adjust your services in a way that perfectly fits around their challenges and what they need to solve those problems.
So, have you done all that yet? If so, I salute you! You’re one of the very few accountants who actually got this far. If you’re like most accountants, you probably know you should be doing branding, but it’s so darn difficult!
Find out Where Your Branding Gaps Are
Fear not! I’ve developed a branding quiz to help you figure out where your gaps are and what you need to do to define and create a solid brand. Once you completed the quiz, you’ll get a score (don’t worry, filling out the questionnaire is not as difficult as sitting for your qualifying exam all over again!), and you’ll also receive a step-by-step downloadable guide that will help you to fill the gaps that you still need to fill.
Even if you believe that you have your brand all figured out, I recommend that you still complete the quiz. It is possible that you’ve missed something that you didn’t know you should be doing (just like your clients not knowing when their ‘independent contractors’ are actually employees).
I’d like to leave you with this: You will not see an immediate ROI on branding. Instead, it is a long-term investment. It is a beacon for like-minded clients. The longer you wait before you get a handle on your branding, the longer it will take you to fill out your calendar with the people you absolutely love to work with.
It has never been this crucial to get clarity on your brand personality and differentiate yourself from other accounting firms to really stand out and attract the right clients – those that you absolutely love to work with and who are willing to pay top dollars for your services. This quiz will help you to identify where your gaps are and what you need to tweak, or redo completely, to define and create a solid brand.