WINNING STRATEGY: The modern accountant and advisor’s guide to growing a valuable and scalable firm

By Posted in - Public Blog on June 2nd, 2017 0 Comments

Masterclass marketing strategy for accountants

The webinar mentioned in this post has now occurred. Links have been amended to link to the webinar recording—which you can find here.

Are you struggling to make your firm stand out in the market?

Forget differentiation as a strategy. There is a far more effective way to get noticed.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Rather than being deluded about differentiation and “unique selling propositions”, a far more useful marketing concept is positioning.

Every business owner needs to understand the concept of positioning because it underpins the fundamentals of strategy. (We teach accountants and entrepreneurs how to apply positioning to their business strategy at our Masterclass events and in the Modern Marketing Academy.)

Positioning isn’t about saying you’re ‘better’ or ‘the best’. It’s about taking a unique position in the market that inherently makes you different—not by claiming you’re different, but simply by being different due to your market positioning.

If you want to stand out, do this instead.

Start thinking about a unique position in the market you can claim through a niche marketing strategy focusing on a combination of specific attributes. It might be a particular demographic, psychographic (how they think), industry, or occupation. We’ll go into more depth on this both at Masterclass and in the FREE ‘sneak peek’ webinar next Wednesday.

Nobody wants to hear that tired old spiel about how you’re the best, most trusted, highly experienced professional, or that you provide ‘better value’ or ‘better quality services’. Any firm can say that and none of them can prove it. In fact most of them dosay that—and then they wonder why they don’t stand out.

Steps to make your accounting firm stand out in the marketplace:
  1. Give up the deluded pursuit of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for your accounting firm. Instead, pursue a focus strategy to achieve clear positioning in the market.
  2. Get advice on how to define your focus strategy, buyer personas, desired positioning and clear marketing message based on that strategy.
  3. Base every decision, hire, business process and piece of marketing content on your defined strategy.
  4. Have the courage to remain true to your defined strategy. If you’re not saying ‘no’ to opportunities on a regular basis, you either have no strategy or lack the courage to stick to it.

How do we know this approach really works?

Because we have advised firms across Australia—and around the world—on how to achieve this for the past 8 years. The firm’s who stand out and become real ‘rockstars’ of the accounting profession have executed those steps.

But defining your focus strategy, buyer personas and crafting an effective value proposition is only a small part of your overall strategy—and it requires focus, thought, and often feedback coupled with refinement to get right.

When it comes to learning how to develop your strategy, getting the time to think and work ‘ON’ your business—with helpful feedback and guidance in a supportive environment—there’s no better place than Masterclass.

Get a taste of what you’ll learn at Masterclass in our free webinar for accountants and advisors.

Do you wonder how the award-winning ‘rockstar’ firms get so much attention?

Notice that the same handful of firms are featured on blogs and podcasts, get asked to write guest blog posts, and pick up major accounting industry awards?

That’s because there’s another benefit to specialisation. Specialisation not only allows you to better market and grow your firm by attracting ideal clients—it also offers an operational advantage. By focusing on a particular specialty, you become very, very, good at it. And being great at what you do will differentiate you from every other firm that is merely ‘good’.

One quick example…

Our Modern Marketing Academy’s first graduate (and serial Masterclass attendee)—Steph Hinds of Growthwise—has since doubled her firm’s revenue for five years running. And she attributes much of that growth to us helping her choose two clear market niches. It allowed her to develop extremely clear market positioning and cut-through “wow” messaging based on the specificity of that strategy.

It all starts and ends with strategy.

Growthwise is now dominating their chosen niches, and their growth continues unabated.

But their initial strategy wasn’t working for them—it was the same ‘strategy’ most accounting firms have—trying to be all things to all people.

I can still remember the image from their homepage when they first came to us—a doctor, mechanic, truck driver and white-collar professional all standing side by side. The implied message of that image? “We’ll take anyone”.

As a marketing strategist, that image screamed, “We have no strategy”.

Steph openly admits that was actually the case back then. She describes the clarity she gained from us helping her define her focus strategy as, “the difference between night and day,” and the catalyst for their business growth.

Do you want a structure for how to craft a winning marketing strategy for your firm?

Being a generalist yet insisting your accounting firm has something unique to offer is a guaranteed formula for being unremarkable. It kills your referral rate, and drastically limits the growth potential of your firm.

No-one is remembered for being a generalist. Think about the last legendary utility player in any football code.

Who was it again?

But if you specialise, then you’ll be the first firm people think of when a medical professional, or an innovative startup, or whoever you choose to target, is in need of an accountant or advisor.

If you’re worried that niching means missing out on potential clients and limiting rather than increasing your firm’s growth, you’ll want to hear why the opposite is actually true. Don’t miss this chance to get some of the strategic insights and clarity attendees can expect at the WINNING STRATEGY Masterclass for accountants and advisors.

Do you have clarity on how to create a cut-through strategy to grow your firm?

Often we think that buying something—a piece of equipment, tool or technology—is the missing link, the solution.

This is often referred to as the Bright Shiny Object Syndrome: Where that new thing—that bright, shiny object—has an allure that draws you to it and actually distracts you from more important and strategic matters.

In business, the modern-day equivalent of the Bright Shiny Object is “the app”: The next piece of cloud-based software that will be the missing piece of the puzzle for your business’ efficiency and success.

It never is.

You might get that warm and fuzzy feeling—that sense of enthusiasm that what you’re purchasing is the solution. That everything will start to improve now.

But the act of purchasing changes nothing. You must be the change agent.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, one of your highest order skills is change management: The ability to bring about change in yourself and others.

But where do you start? What actions do you need to take to bring about change in your business?

Those are recurring questions we get at PARADOX. That’s why we decided our ninth Masterclass should focus on developing your firm’s WINNING STRATEGY. A strategy that not just makes your marketing a breeze, but actually helps you create change in your business to streamline and enhance your operations and your services.

Ever wondered why 4 of the last 5 Accounting Xero Partners of the Year in Australia all attend PARADOX Masterclasses and seek marketing and strategy advice from PARADOX?

Great businesses don’t happen by accident.

Growthwise, Consolid8, Zerobooks, Change Accountants… Each firm put in a great deal of work to grow, develop their strategy, test and refine it, and improve to get to where they are today.

But what about you? Your firm? Are you ready for change?

Do you want to learn the foundations of a WINNING STRATEGY to ensure that you work smarter not harder?.

Are you open to learning a whole new perspective on how to strategically grow your accounting or advisory firm? Do you embrace innovation and contrarian thinking?

Then you cannot afford to miss our special Masterclass ‘sneak peek’ webinar, where you’ll get a taste of the strategic insights and practical steps you’ll find at Masterclass.

Now… imagine yourself one year from now…

You have a crystal clear strategy in place—you can not only answer those earlier questions, but you’re putting the strategies to standout and grow into practice. You have a sense of clarity, confidence, and momentum. You’d be—as PARADOX member Matt Sharwood of ADVISE Accountants & Advisors said to me recently—at a point where you can say, “we’re growing, and we’re not even trying”. (Here’s the video of our recent interview with Matt Sharwood)

Take a moment and reflect on that phrase:

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