Tips and tricks for building a brand that stands out
Make no mistake – a recognised and well-loved brand is arguably the most valuable asset your accounting or bookkeeping business can have.
A well-established brand forms the basis of every marketing decision you make. It’s what allows you to have a relationship with your customers and a reputation in your industry – beyond what your business does functionally. As founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos has famously said, “It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
That might sound a bit abstract – so here are some stats to prove it:
- 81% of consumers said that they need to be able to trust a brand to buy from it.
- 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.
- 64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand.
- Consistent presentation of a brand has been found to increase revenue by 33%.
In a world where customers can access hundreds of products and services with a few keywords and the click of a button, getting your brand right is now even more critical.
Here are a few tips on how to start developing a brand for your accounting or bookkeeping business
1. Establish your vision
The first step is to understand what you’re really selling by analysing exactly what makes your firm different to its competitors – and how this helps your clients.
Your brand is not about what you do, but rather why you do it. Think of it this way: all accountants and bookkeepers essentially have the same skillset – so why should a client choose to work with you over any other firm?
To get the brainwaves flowing, jot down your answers to these four questions:
- Why do you exist?
- What differentiates you?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why should people care?
2. Create a brand proposition that describes why your offer is better
The next step is to articulate your brand proposition in a single sentence – what you do better than other accountants and bookkeepers, and why your clients prefer you.
Language and tone are crucial – the words you choose and the way you say them will shape how prospective customers perceive you. Your brand proposition should make people feel something, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Follow this process:
- Write down what you want to say, then think of all the different ways you could communicate that same message.
- Test and refine. Pick a few options and test out your thinking with family, friends, and clients, then refine your one-sentence brand proposition.
- Consider keywords. Use Google’s free Adwords Key Planner to research how people search for accountants and bookkeepers – and consider those keywords when writing your brand proposition.
- Use it strategically. Once you’ve got your brand proposition, integrate it with everything your clients see – including your website, ads, and social media content.
4. Research your competitors
You should never copy another brand (trust us, it’s obvious), but you should understand them. Search for your competitors on Google, look at their websites, study their social media profiles and read their reviews to work out what they do well – and not so well.
It’s about finding that sweet spot to help you develop a brand that resonates with people.
5. Define your clients’ buyer persona
Creating a buyer persona is about pinpointing your ideal target audience (or audiences) and visualising a single person to represent a group.
More than just age, gender, and location, it’s about deep-diving into motivations, goals, fears, desires, and influences. When you understand who you’re talking to, it’s a lot easier to have meaningful conversations. Overall, your marketing will be more targeted, persuasive, and effective.
Here are a couple of tips:
- Identify your high-value clients – and consider what their key drivers are. Use these insights to inform your buyer persona.
- Create a ‘day in the life’ for each persona – this will prompt you to think about where and when they might engage with your business.
6. Build your brand assets
Now it’s time to bring your accounting or bookkeeping business to life with a logo, colours and fonts, images, website design, content, and advertising.
Keep your brand, audience, and value proposition top of mind if you’re starting from scratch. Otherwise, review your brand assets to ensure they align.
Generally, the best place to start is with your logo, then your other brand assets can be built around it. Colour matters – a signature colour can increase brand recognition by 80%.
Branding – the heart and soul of any business
Despite the complexities and opportunities that come with going digital, the fundamentals of marketing remain largely unchanged. It’s still all about connecting with people – and your brand is the heart and soul that makes those connections authentic. With a strong brand, people will find it hard to forget you. This will help increase leads and strengthen your relationship with existing clients.
Digital marketing requires a whole new set of skills – that’s why we put together our e-book, Digital Marketing: For Accountants and Bookkeepers. It’s designed to help you make the most of marketing opportunities in a way that makes sense for your business and your brand.