Guess what? You don’t get to choose whether or not you have a brand; you either have a weak brand or you have a strong brand.
That’s just one of the powerful ideas that Matt Wilkinson and Maggie Antone share in this episode of The Accountant’s Flight Plan Podcast. Listen in (or watch) to learn from Maggie, a seasoned branding expert who’s worked with big brands such as Coca Cola, BP, McDonald’s, and World Vision, to name a few. She and Matt created Troika to focus just on branding for accounting firms.
Branding is not something most accountants spend much time thinking about, but if you want to build a firm full of top-notch clients, branding will help you get there much faster.
How does branding actually apply to an accounting firm? For example, here at Poe Group Advisors with our Accounting Practice Academy™ members we measure our referrals and the revenue associated with those clients. Most accounting firm owners tell us that their best clients come through referral. With that in mind, here’s a key question we ask in APA:
“What is the lifetime value of just ONE good referral – one who will last for 15 years?”
Take a look at a past client and do the math. What if you could get more referrals like that? Then consider how your brand will impact a potential client before you ever have a conversation with him or her. If you get a high-quality referral, what is the first thing that prospect is likely to do? They Google you! And if your website (and the brand) isn’t representative of the exceptional service you’re capable of offering then do you still get the call?
Note: If you can, I highly recommend clicking through to the YouTube version of this podcast because Matt and Maggie share their screen and walk us through a great example of a well-branded website.
Here is the audio/podcast player:
Some important parts to highlight:
2:00 – How did you transition from marketing into starting this branding company?
8:30 – Why do such large companies invest so much in branding?
10:00 – At what point does an accounting firm need to invest in branding?
15:00 – Do you think a lot of accounting firm branding looks similar because they are copying each other or is there another reason for the similarity?
21:00 – Screen sharing examples of unique branding.
30:00 – If you were an accounting firm owner, and you need a logo – why would you go to an agency and go through the expense?
35:00 – The value of referrals and how branding brings them in.
36:00 – The process of developing a great brand.
40:00 – How strategic marketing decision will influence the strategic moves you make in the bigger picture of your business.
41:00 – Screen sharing examples of BizInk’s Rebranding process.
53:00 – Book recommendations: Matt – Macbeth, The Tempest, Winter’s Tale. Maggie – The Alchemist, Man’s Search for Meaning. Wild.
57:00 – Find out more about Troika
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started or if you would like connect with Matt and Maggie.
About Maggie Antone: Maggie has been working with leading advertising agencies and has brand strategy and communication expertise working across a range of businesses; AMI Insurance, TelstraClear, BP, Coca Cola, Pernod Ricard, McDonald’s, KFC, World Vision, ExxonMobil, Les Mills International, Auckland Council Group. She pursues intelligent creative solutions to help her clients tackle ambitious business challenges and deliver results.
About Matt Wilkinson: In 2013, Matt founded BizInk, which now helps hundreds of accounting firms worldwide with websites and digital marketing. Known in accounting circles as a pragmatic thinker on marketing, he’s spoken at industry conferences worldwide including Xerocon and MYOB Connect.
About Brannon Poe Brannon is the founder of Poe Group Advisors and has been facilitating successful accounting practice transitions throughout the US and Canada since 2003. He is also the creator of Accounting Practice Academy™. Brannon is the author of the Accounting Practice Insights Blog and hosts the Accountant’s Flight Plan” podcast with other top thought-leaders in the accounting profession. Brannon is an E&Y alumnus. He has worked with some of the most successful and seasoned CPAs in the industry and has been privy to the behind-the-scenes methods that these clients have used to build highly profitable practices along with capable and independent teams. Brannon has authored multiple books, including “Accountant’s Flight Plan – Best Practices for Today’s Firms” (published by both the AICPA and CPA Canada) and “On Your Own: How to Start Your Own CPA Firm,” Second Edition (published by the AICPA). Brannon is passionate about entrepreneurship and is the president of EO Charleston (Entrepreneur’s Organization).