Part One: Accountancy Marketing Polarity
You are committed to building a client base you love working with – and pay you a premium. You’ve even put together your ideal client persona.
For the first time you feel you can pick your perfect client out of a crowd by what they say and how they act.
Then the phone rings. It’s a local business owner looking for a new accountant and he wants to meet you. The longer you talk, your excitement turns to concern. Sure, he wants a new accountant. But it’s clear the only opinion he values is his own. You’re told that if the price is right, the jobs yours.
Do you make the appointment and take the work, or not? Your heart says no. But your head tells you to hold on: he might not be that bad.
Steer clear of Temptation
There’s lots of talk about attracting your ideal clients, the diamonds you want to build your practice on. Yet little on dodging the doughnuts that cost you money and sap your energy.
The speaker, author and philanthropist Steve Pipe describes these people as BWMs: Bitchers, Whingers and Moaners. I’ve gone for Gits – Definition: ‘An unpleasant or contemptible person.’ You probably have your own word for them!
The beauty is, present a clear picture of the clients you don’t want to work with, and you become more attractive to those you do.
Your tribe is united by your shared dislikes
You usually identify with people by what you share in common with them. On a superficial level it might be a sports team you both support or a TV programme you both rave about. Shane Lukas, MD of AVN, makes the point that deeper friendships only develop through shared values and beliefs.
But these values and beliefs are expressed as often by what we stand against, as what we stand for: what repels us, as well as what we love. Maybe it’s not as edifying, but it is true. How often have you bonded with a friend over a good moan?
Attract your diamond clients by describing the doughnuts
Sean D’Souza, the author of the Brain Audit (highly recommended) runs a paid membership site: 5000BC. The group aims to help small business owners ‘get reliable answers to complex marketing problems.’
Sean wanted to build a community that reflected the warmth and tone you’ll find across all his content. It was important that the community was a safe environment, free from the harassment and cliques you see on many forums – just look at Accountingweb!
How could he sum this up in just a few words to attract his ideal clients. How about this for a strapline:
‘Be helpful, Be kind, or Begone’
It draws his perfect members in, by warning the potentially bad ones off and acts as a guide to members’ behaviour. To show you how well it works here’s a testimonial from the 5000BC website.
In Part Two of this blog, next week, I’ll explain, and show you, the power of an ‘About You’ page on your website.
You’ll see examples and we’ll get down to the nitty gritty of how, calling out your doughnuts, transforms your attraction from lukewarm to many to red hot to the precious few.