Have you ever heard of Gary Vaynerchuk?
He’s an entrepreneur, 4-time New York Times best-selling author and one of the top ‘thought-leaders’ in online marketing today.
I was reading through some of his content last week and he said something that really resonated with me. He said:
“Every business out there, whether they know it or not, is a media company in addition to the business or product they specialise in…”
And it really got me thinking.
If this is the case, then what does it mean for accountancy practices?
Does it mean that you should be a media company first, and an accountancy practice second?
Here’s what I think you can take from it…
Thinking like a media company ultimately comes down to two things:
And here’s how you can do both to enhance the reputation of your accountancy practice and grow your client base.
The cost of being ‘relevant’ in today’s digital age is content.
The more content you produce, the more relevant you’ll be in the minds of your prospective clients. And the great thing is that content can be created and consumed at such scale now across multiple platforms in multiple formats.
But the mistake most accountancy practices make when trying to produce content, is that they get hung up on writing technical articles about tax, VAT and other industry related topics.
And while this is important, truthfully, it doesn’t matter all that much what you post…
Your content could be a tweet about an England football game on tv and this ‘culturally relevant’ piece of content might connect with a fanatic England football fan, who also happens to be pissed off with his current accountant, to find out more about your practice.
The first key you need to remember is that the content just has to bring value to the end consumer.
It has to make them laugh, make them think, make them question why, educate them. It just has to do something.
Because if it doesn’t i.e. you aren’t producing content, then you will be slowly drowned out by the growing number of accountancy practices who are producing and distributing content on a regular basis.
And the second key that you need to remember is consistency.
There’s no point in doing this half-hearted. It will only work if you do it frequently and consistently. That doesn’t mean you have to write one article a day right now. Start with something that is manageable e.g. 1 a week or even 1 every 2 weeks, it doesn’t matter, as long as it happens consistently.
Creating content is one thing, distributing it is another.
Everybody can create something interesting, but if nobody sees it, then it soon becomes irrelevant.
In today’s digital age the cost of entry for distributing content is so low – and often it’s free. It’s no longer the case that you have to pay big money for television and radio ads…
You can post your content for free on social media, and on content management platforms like WordPress and Medium.
In order to get the distribution element right you must first find the places where your target market hang out, and promote your content there.
Here are 2 short videos I recorded showing you how to find places to publish your content for whatever niche you want to target (these were specifically looking for paid promotion opportunities in different niches):
In Dan Norris’s book, ‘Content Machine’, he says that for people starting out in content marketing they should follow the 70/30 rule.
And the 70/30 rule says that when you don’t have a big enough audience for posts to gain traction on their own, focus 70% of your efforts on off-site content.
This could mean:
- Guest posting
- Content partnerships
- Interviews with other podcasts/people
- More actively promoting your content
- Paying to promote content on other websites
The remaining 30% effort is spent on on-site content.
Similar to the point above under content, one of the keys to success with distribution is consistency.
Posting once on a site will very rarely get results. You need to post there consistently over and over again.
So what should you do?
You might be thinking “we don’t need to do content marketing, our business grows steadily from word of mouth referrals”.
Great, good for you. But if that’s the case, then think just how much more your business could grow and your reputation could be enhanced if you were to start content marketing.
Coming back to the question of should you be a media company first and an accountancy practice second? I think not.
Delivering superior customer service and quality of work to your clients should come first, without a doubt.
But becoming a ‘media company’ (i.e. having a content marketing strategy) at the same time is something that will only help to further and enhance your reputation and your business.