by Helen Wilkie
Marketing for Accountants: For Positioning, Promotion & Prestige, the Book Still Wins
There's never been a time that presented so many ways to consume information: websites, blogs, social media content, ebooks, online video, audio, slidecasts and more. Next week there might be others we haven't even thought of yet.
All kinds of professionals, including accountants, are rushing to get their content out to the world in an attempt to position themselves as thought leaders, or at least experts in their field. And that's a great idea.
But when it comes to standing out as an expert, there's still nothing to compare with the cachet of being an author. I mean the author of a real honest-to-goodness printed book. Ebooks are great, but they're so easy to create that the bar has been lowered almost to the ground by the avalanche of rubbish that can be downloaded to your computer with just one click.
Show people an ebook and a printed book with exactly the same content, and they'll instinctively give more value to the printed book. Personally, I've written six books. They are on business topics, and they'll never be household names, but I'm still amazed by how pleased people are to get a signed copy of any of them. More importantly, they've brought me more business and allowed me to raise my fees! (By the way, you can find my latest book, Make Your Words Count: a short painless guide to business writing for accountants it is available on Amazon)
There's another change our fast-paced world has brought about for book readers, and this is important for marketing purposes. People today are less interested in inch-thick tomes containing information on all aspects of a subject. They much prefer a slim volume that gives them just the information they want and nothing else.
For example, if I am a UK business owner considering opening a branch in France, and I want to know how my taxes will be affected — that's all I want to know. So if in conversation an accountant casually says, "Oh, yes, I wrote a book on that subject — would you like me to send you a copy?", do you think that might sway me to do business with that accountant? From my own experience, I know the answer is yes.
That's good news for you if you'd like to write a book but are daunted by the prospect of planning, writing and publishing a traditional book the traditional way. You don't need to research areas where you might not have all the knowledge you think an author should have — simply write about a narrow topic on which you are an expert because that's what you do every day in your business.
Still daunted by the prospect? Don't be. This hyper-communicative world has presented you with an alternative that will let you publish your tightly focused book without writing at all. And instead of taking two years or more to get your book into print and into your clients' hands, you can do it all in about a month — at a cost that's a fraction of what you'd expect.
If you'd like to know more about this revolutionary new publishing model, read about The 90-Minute Author and start thinking about how you can position yourself as an expert by becoming the author of your own book.
Helen Wilkie is a marketing copywriter and consultant who works with professional services firms. The 90-Minute Author is a service she created for clients who understand the value of authorship but don't have time to do it the old fashioned way. http://www.helenwilkie.com