Why marketing for accountants is like buying a tightrope

marketing for accountants is just like tightrope

You wouldn’t think that marketing for accountants is anything like buying a tightrope but you would be wrong on so many levels!

Think about buying a tightrope – what are you looking for?

Would you buy from an established supplier or a chap you met down the pub?

Fairly obvious one I hope. I’d want to buy from an established supplier who had a good name.

Would you go for the cheapest option or would you want more protection?

You’ll never get me on to any form of tightrope but if you did then I’d buy the best I could get.

Would you prefer it if the tightrope turned up one day through the post, or would you like someone to walk you through the process of setting it up and any peculiarities of that model?

If there is anything different about the model of rope I had just bought then I’d want someone to tell me about it.

What happens if it goes wrong?

Good things or bad things?

Now transpose the tightrope to accountancy.

Would you want to use a chap you’d just met down the pub? I’d hope not (I’m aware people often do) but generally when they look for accountants they want someone they can trust.

Do clients value the cheapest option more? Nope. And this is I think where a lot of accountants make a mistake. There are too many cheapo bookkeeping firms out there to compete. But you can compete on quality.

Would your prospective clients prefer you to talk them through things or do they just want a no-frills service?

I guarantee you that they like the option of being able to talk to you about their accounts and future options. They may say they don’t but…

Do good or bad things happen if you are useless?

BAD BAD things happen if you buy a tightrope from a company that is useless.

Want a completely free guide to marketing for accountants? Click the image for more details…

free guide to content marketing for accountants

So what has this got to do with marketing for accountants?

Your marketing needs to point to all the good things that accountants can do and why it’s a bad idea to buy the finance equivalent of a tightrope from a man down the pub.

What people are looking for is someone they trust, who has their welfare at heart and who will be available to talk with them about any issues that are coming up.

If you can satisfy these needs in your marketing then you are away.

This is how I help accountants with their marketing

I can help you organise your marketing plan, I can write the content and I can manage the whole process.

It’s entirely a matter for you how much of my services you want to buy and what aspects you want me to look at.

The best thing is to get in touch and let’s have a chat to see if I can help

How digital marketing can help accountants

Freelance financial services copywriter

Digital marketing is the perfect marketing method for accountants.

When you are marketing services, especially one as important as accountancy, it is important to establish trust in the client’s mind. They need to have confidence that you have the competency they are looking for.

Digital marketing works best when you are offering something of value and offering something of value, in turn, builds the trust that you need.

What are the aims of digital marketing for accountants?

In truth there are really two big issues for accountancy practices that want to consolidate and then grow their business.

The first is retaining the clients they already have and the second is acquiring new clients.

Smart use of digital marketing can form the cornerstone of both acquisition and retention strategies and won’t cost a fortune.

How digital marketing can help acquire clients for accountants

We know having a great accountant can make a massive difference to clients and the benefit, in my opinion is even more pronounced in the early days of a business.

The problem is that convincing people of the value can be hard, especially when money is tight.

This is where marketing comes in, because whatever stage a company is at in its life cycle, producing valuable and convincing content puts you in the box seats when it comes to signing up a new client.

The starting point is in developing a good website. Note that I said a ‘good’ website.

Frankly, from my point of view, most accountancy websites are pretty awful and to be ahead of the game all you need to do is to have a website that does just what it needs to.

It doesn’t need to have loads of animations and funky designs but it does need to have clear navigation, to look as good on a mobile as on a PC and it needs to have GREAT content because that’s what people are looking for.

This is the centre point of digital marketing, producing useful content that answers the questions that people ask.

Good blog articles, video explainers, podcasts and case studies are really good way to convert lurkers into new clients because they engender that confidence that people need to entrust their business to you.

If you have money to spend on marketing then why not produce a white paper or eBook and promote it to your target market? At the very least it will increase your mailing list but it will also bring in clients that will pay back the investment many times over.

Retaining clients with content

There’s a saying that there’s nothing new in the world and it’s certainly true in terms of marketing.

What has changed though is the method of delivery.

I’ve got to say that any accountancy practice that doesn’t distribute a budget update for its clients or doesn’t have a resources area on its website where they can get information doesn’t deserve to have clients at all.

Newsletters take a bit of time to put together but are an excellent way of producing a feeling of community which leads to increased retention.

A simple client directory listing area where you showcase what people do so that other clients can buy from them is a very cheap method of adding value to your offer that people really like.

A quarterly podcast doesn’t cost a lot but again shows people that you care about them and that they are getting value for their fees.

Want a free guide to content marketing written especially for accountants? Click the image for more information

get your free accountants guide to digital marketing here

How much will it cost?

This really depends on what you do and who does it.

If you don’t want to get involved but you want a decent marketing campaign then you are probably looking in the region of £1,000 upwards per month.

If however you are able to produce content yourself or if you just want to add fresh content to your site every week then you are probably looking at £50 per week.

The point is that you can scale your marketing effort to your budget and by putting in a little effort you can produce big results.

How I can help

I’m an expert professional services writer.

I can help you with SEO, blogs, eBooks, White papers and digital marketing designed to gain, retain and delight your clients.

Mail me and we’ll have a chat about how I can help.

Why accountants hate marketing

why accountants hate marketing

Why on earth do accountants hate marketing?

As someone who has crossed over from the profession to marketing I think I have the answer.

I can see it now.

I’m sat in my office and am being told in no uncertain terms that I must do more marketing.

The guy on the phone is really giving it the hard sell and the more he pushes, the less likely I am to buy even though I know he’s right and even though I am pretty sure he can help me.


Well it’s a good question and the answer is, in my opinion down to two things; Psychology and training.

Let’s deal with training first

We’re trained not to be ‘salesy’

You see, a lot of the techniques of marketing are anathema to accountants.

We’re trained to always be able to back up our numbers, resist hyperbole, keep to the facts.

Marketers are trained to ‘sell the sizzle not the steak’ and avoid confusing people with too much detail.

So you can see the problem. We come at the task from two totally opposite directions.

For accountants, marketing techniques go against everything they have been taught and when that happens people push back.

The psychology is all wrong

We have an aversion to salespeople and in our view marketers are salespeople.

I’m talking generally of course. Not all accountants hate salespeople and not every accountant hates every salesperson.

But can you see what I just did?

I had to qualify my statement. That’s an accountancy trait that psychologically we can’t step away from.

You see we’re detail people. Yes, some of it is taught but some of it is also inbred.

If someone does some advertising on our behalf and it is full of unqualified, big picture, unsustainable statements then we start to get really uncomfortable.

Try as we might we can’t bridge the gap and I am pretty sure that most marketers don’t even realise a gap exists.

So what can we do?

For accountants who know they need to do some marketing there is this chasm that they need to get over and the good news is that in my opinion there is a solution.

It’s called content marketing.

You see content marketing is all about giving the potential client something of value for free and the good news is that it can be detailed and will be accurate.

Even better than that, the hard sell doesn’t work when using content marketing.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is simply producing something that your target market will value.

It could be as simple as a budget update or an explanation of inheritance tax or maybe a video about how to sign up for online tax accounts.

No selling, no pushyness, no trauma.

You can produce eBooks, Podcasts, Infographics, Videos – in fact, anything that your audience will value in a format that makes it easy for them to access.

Content marketing for accountants works particularly well as the profession can be a little opaque at times and it’s an area that people are desperate to find a good, authoritative source of useful information.

It gets over the training issue because we are simply doing what we have been taught to do – present accurate information, concisely and without added flannel.

It gets over the psychological issue because we’re not ‘being marketers’. We’re simply providing information and value to people who may later choose to become customers.

So how does content marketing work?

Simple. If you provide accurate and useful information you build up a bank of trust with the customer.

They come to see you as someone who is knowledgable and professional and that goes a long way when they are looking for help.

If you produce useful content then you have a ready audience who trust you and when you want to introduce a new service or let them know about tax changes that are coming up then they are listening.

When your audience realises it needs help where does it turn?

You can find out more about content marketing for accountants on my other posts – start here

Or download my free comprehensive guide to content marketing specifically for accountants here

Now the advert

If you’d like help without marketing strategy and in particular the production of relevant, useful content then why not give me a shout?

Click the button below

Get your new Accountants Guide to Content Marketing – for free!

free guide to content marketing for accountants

I’m really pleased to have finished my brand new Accountants Guide to Content Marketing.

Written just for accountancy practices it details how content marketing can help to revive a tired marketing strategy and put them streets ahead of the competition.

Think of this guide as a real-life ‘mini training course’ that will give you an insight into tips and techniques you can use to really grow your practice.

The great news is that the vast majority of your competitors don’t know or don’t care about these methods to attract, retain and delight their customers so you’ll have a golden opportunity to develop a competitive advantage.

In the Accountants Guide to Content Marketing I cover;

  • What content marketing actually is
  • How it can help your practice
  • The numbers – is it worth it?
  • The cycle of despair
  • The ten biggest mistakes people make with their content

And that’s not all – the guide has a step by step section detailing exactly how you should set up your next content marketing campaign.

Because its totally free of charge, if you only get one tip from the guide and and that tip only brings in one client you’ll already be ahead.

And here’s the thing – if you do all the things in the Accountants Guide to Content Marketing and you don’t sign up a single client then I’ll give you back the price you paid for the guide.

Click below, sign up and you’ll get my guide in your inbox absolutely free!

The Accountants Guide to Content Marketing will give you ideas that you can put into practice right away. It will show you what content marketing is, why it works and how you can use it to your advantage.

Most of the techniques in the guide will cost you little or no money and you’ll be amazed at the difference they make.

The Accountants Guide to Content Marketing is completely free and will revolutionise your marketing approach, it will make you more attractive and it will show you how to attract and retain clients*.

Go on download the guide now, you know you want to!

*one of these isn’t true

Choosing your focus – Accountants need to target their marketing

Yellow tomato - content advice for accountants

One of the biggest mistakes accountants make when looking at marketing is not deciding who their target market is.

Often, when I ask people who they are targeting through a post they will tell me ‘everyone’.

The problem is that you end up with an unfocused and confusing message and when people are confused then they don’t call you.

Being an expert is a winner

I want you to imagine that you have a boiler in your office and it has gone ‘phut’!

You realise you need a plumber so you hit Google.

You find page 1, plumbers.

The problem is they all look the same.

Suppose there was a plumber near you

That’s a bit more interesting.

Suppose there was a plumber that called themselves ‘The office plumber’

More interesting?

Suppose there was a plumber that worked specifically for people like you – ‘The accountants’ plumber’.

This is, of course, a ridiculous example because I can’t imagine there is enough work out there for a plumber that just works with local accountants but it makes the point.

If you have a choice of two plumbers, one that works with everyone and one that works specifically and exclusively with people just like you who do you choose?

Focus is a winner

So having a clear focus for your marketing is a real winner for accountants.

Now I’m not saying that you change your practice totally just to do a bit of marketing but what I am saying is that you choose a section of society that you would most like to work with and then you design your content marketing specifically for them.

For example, let’s say you love inheritance tax planning.

You’d have a section on your website that is designed specifically to showcase this area of your talents (or ‘landing page’).

Then you write lots of content focusing on IT Planning.

And when you publicise and advertise this you direct people TO YOUR INHERITANCE TAX PAGE.

This page signposts to the content you have produced on the subject.

So to the people who have clicked on links or responded to emails the first thing they see on your site is that you are an inheritance tax planning expert.

Rinse and repeat

This is a simple formula and it works but most accountants don’t really want a practice that just does one thing.

The benefit of this approach is that it is a system.

This means it can be used again for different audiences.

So you may end up with several landing pages, each dedicated to different aspects of your business but each highly targeted to your market.

In this way you can use the learning and experience you have gained by doing 1 market and use this to target an entirely different market.

Need more information?

You can find more information about how content marketing can help accountancy practices to thrive by checking out my dedicated page here

Need more help?

I specialise in helping accountants with their content marketing

Drop me a line and we can have a chat about what you need and whether I can help

How an eBook can add clients to your accountancy practice

I write words for accountants

Would you like more clients?

Stupid question huh?

One of the best ways to gain new clients is to write and distribute an eBook.

You may have signed up for one of these in the past with various suppliers.

And these display the main feature of content marketing – giving valuable stuff away for free.

Give it away for free? You must be mad.

I know, crazy right?

But bear with me because this really works.

Think about how you feel about someone that gives you something for free.

You feel good about them.

And if it is something valuable that solves a problem then that’s even better.

By giving a prospective client something you begin the process of engendering trust and you need trust to be able to sell.

Solve a problem for a client and you have a friend
Solve a problem for a client and you have a friend

What kind of eBook should you give away?

Well that is entirely a matter for you but there are all sorts of clever ideas that work really well.

The trick is to give something that is useful but slightly to the side of what you do.

So, for example, I once wrote a series of articles for a client on GDPR.

Remember that!

It was a horrible time that was confusing for everyone concerned so my clients had some blog posts that explained the situation in broad-brush terms.

We then produced a giveaway which was an eBook with a template to allow the client to carry out their own GDPR survey.

They gave it to all of their client base but also offered it on sign up to everyone.

It worked really well because it did three things;

  • It showed their current clients that they really did care
  • It put them back in the forefront of their client’s mind
  • It got their current clients thinking about extra services
  • It produced an email list of prospective future clients

OK four things.

How to write an eBook

This sounds pretty stupid but there really is a process you need to go through to write the book.

It’s not just a case of sitting down one day for half an hour and blatting out some words.

The first thing you need to think of is who are your ideal clients?

You can even write a little pen picture of them if it helps.

Most importantly you need to think about what their problems are.

Because this leads you to the most important thing – you need to write what they want to read about and not what you want to tell them.

it sounds simple but in fact you’d be surprised at the blog posts I see from my clients who have written up something exceptionally interesting on FRS102.

Interesting to me because I’m an accountant.

No use whatsoever to someone who just wants to work out how to do a budget.

So you know what your clients’ problem is, now you need to write up the book.

It doesn’t need to be massive, generally,2,500-5000 words are ample.

Get it nicely designed.

Call it a ‘white paper’ if you like.

Get it proofread for spolling mistooks* and then work out how you are going to deliver it.

And if you have a PR person then get them to ping out some press releases to the local and trade press. This does wonders.

No such thing as a free lunch

People today understand that you don’t get anything for free nowadays.

The most popular way to deliver an eBook is to have a simple email sign up process and then either send out or allow download of a Pdf.

Because it’s the email address that is your gold.

Once you have the email address then you can email a few days later and simply ask if they liked the book.

But that’s sneaky and they will hate me


I remember once I was working as an FD of a fast-growing company and was checking out software systems.

A consultant offered an eBook on how to choose your next system and I signed up for it.

I did so in the full knowledge that they would contact me and I was hoping they would because the book raised some interesting points.

It made them subject matter experts in my mind**.

So very often prospective clients will fill in their email addresses in the hope that you will make contact with them. It kind of takes the pressure off them speaking to you for the first time.

Some won’t but frankly, they aren’t a loss anyway because you never had them as a client in the first place.

You may need to send out a reminder mail a few days later because people do forget or get distracted.

Have a word with your IT guy because they can introduce you to something like MailChimp or even clickfunnel if you feel the need.

So that’s it

Writing an eBook or White Paper is an amazingly effective way to give value to your clients and get potential clients talking to you.

It works amazingly well for accountants because it gives you a chance to position yourself as a subject matter expert and to introduce new services to clients who may not even have known that you offered it.

Have a go, and if you get stuck then give me a shout.

The advertisement

I admit that not everyone loves writing as much as me so if you’d like someone to take the pain away then why not drop me a line?

*This is my most common joke so if you’ve seen it before apologies. And if you haven’t apologies because it’s a rubbish joke.

**And guess what?

They never contacted me.

What kind of content marketing works for accountants?

Yellow tomato writing great content for accountants

I produce content for all sorts of small businesses but one area where this works really well is that of professional services generally, and specifically for accountants’ firms.

If you are an accountant or bookkeeper you may be wondering if it’s worth investing in producing content for your marketing.

My clients all say that having high-quality content drives more hits to their websites and produces many more sign-ups to newsletters and direct enquiries about specific services.

So in this post, I’d like to look at some of the sorts of content that works really well for accountancy firms.

Blogs about current issues

One of the best methods of gaining direct enquiries is to have something of value about a current topical issue that will affect your clients or potential clients.

A good example would be IR35.

As seems to be the new way that HMRC work, their publicity of this issue has been woeful and smart practices have produced blogs, newsletters, social posts and whitepapers in an effort to keep their clients informed and to drive enquiries from new leads.

A well written, informative post is more likely to gain traction with your target market.

I think we are all aware that accountancy topics are never going to be world-beaters but what we are looking for here isn’t a quantity response but more a quality response.

White papers and eBooks

These are an excellent way of gaining sign-ups and indeed you may even have signed up for something like this yourself in the past.

Yes, they take more work to put together but I’ve found that the more effort you put into something then the more response you get.

This is something of real value that people want to access and can really bring you a source of great quality leads.

After all the people that bother to give you their email addresses are quite clearly serious about the topic and are searching for information.

If you can help them in their search then they are going to be much more interested in a pre-sales approach.

In other words a ‘warm’ lead

Useful templates

This is an interesting one because it seems like you are giving people a method of doing your job.

However, what I have found is that a well-designed template can actually get people to contact you for more help.

When GDPR was on the horizon I wrote a series of articles for a client on the subject, but also we did a free download assessment template.

This allowed the company to go through their data and work out where they needed to do some work.

It also gave the client an email address.

We sent out an email thanking the person for their interest and letting them know that my client was available to help should they need it.

What they found was that their clients downloaded the form, did the work and then realised that they needed outside resource to help them complete the project.

Guess who they called?

Original research

This is an old one but it’s no less useful in the internet age and perhaps easier to do.

The great thing about producing original research is that busy sub-editors love to do publicity for you.

So for example, let’s imagine you love working with buy-to-let landlords and you produce a piece of research that said landlords were looking generally to buy more property.

I can pretty much guarantee that you would have little problems getting this into the trade press and certainly the local press.

The benefit?

Firstly you set yourself up as the subject matter expert for landlords but also you’ll find that you get a massive boost in hits to your website, this, in turn, will push you up the Google search rankings.

Imagine also the thoughts of your current clients when they find out that their accountant has produced some content that they see in the local paper business pages.


These are a great way of reminding your clients that you exist once a month or quarter.

Let’s be honest, many clients don’t really think about you much in their day to day business lives.

in fact what happens is that there is a specific issue such as their CT reminder popping through the door that gets them to contact you.

Content for accountants doesn’t need to be fancy though.

But writing a regular, interesting and useful newsletter keeps you at the forefront of their minds and allows you to introduce other services subtly into the conversation.

New clients, charity events, local business news, all things of general interest are good for your newsletter.

Case studies

This is probably the one type of content that I would say is an absolute essential for an accountant’s website.

They are so powerful that having a relevant and well-written case study almost makes a sale certain.

Admittedly, you will need maybe half a dozen to make it credible but they are probably the second most clicked on pages on my clients’ sites.


If you are around the same age as me then you probably can’t understand the obsession with video but I promise you this is an exceptionally powerful form of content.

You have to have a certain sort of personality to be calm and insightful on video, so if this isn’t for you then don’t worry.

It’s pretty easy to get an animated video made and a professional voiceover for your words.

It doesn’t need to be long either (in fact it is better if it is short), just one point per video made simply and clearly.

Again, Google loves video and you’ll often see a video that answers a specific question right at the top of the search rankings.

Check out Doodly or Videoscribe for great whiteboard animation tools at reasonable prices.

In fact, also watch the example explainer video on the Doodly site to see what you could do.

Getting great content for your Accountants or Bookkeeping practice

These are the best types of content marketing for accountants and bookkeepers in my experience.

Having something that shows your experience and training adds credibility to your site and drives engagement from your clients.

It warms up potential leads and can get people thinking about your firm as the through leader in a specific area.

I know it’s difficult to find the time to write blogs etc and I’d like to take that problem away.

I write professional content for professional companies and if you’d like to have a chat about your particular situation then why not drop me a line?