The little known truth about Marketers and referral marketing
It’s common for a Marketer to question their role in business development and referral marketing. While Partners and Managers have distinct and historically prominent roles in maintaining referral relationships, Marketers generally remain in the event planning and network coaching portion of the equation. However, Marketers have a unique opportunity to not only create a strong referral network of their own, but to bring in business and save the firm money in the process.
Any Marketer at any sized firm can leverage relationships with their Marketing counterpart at other professional service firms. Law firms, banks, insurance brokers and even other accounting firms make valuable resources for events, sponsorships, and referral connections — not to mention a Marketing ally to share information, talk shop with and indulge in the occasional “therapy” happy hour.
How to build the future of your firm
What’s the secret to a long-lasting, sustainable firm? In the accounting world, creating a clear, structured and deliberate path for growth is a key ingredient to having not only a thriving workforce, but an inherent succession plan. All too often Partners unilaterally manage their clients until retirement, leaving behind a scramble to train a replacement, or for smaller firms, finding a larger firm to acquire the pieces. But what if there was a seamless handoff between positions? A thoughtful process for passing the torch to the next level of management and an entire pool of industry leaders ready to lead.
Nurturing the future leaders of your firm requires commitment and hands-on effort. It needs to happen at every level and should leverage the help of multiple departments. Here are some ways your firm can build a culture for nurturing growth, sustainability and success.
Learning and Development
Whether or not your firm has a department dedicated to Learning and Development, it’s important to give your employees a clear career path and plan for development. They should have concise expectations for their role, know exactly what is needed to move to the next level, and have access to resources along the way. Things like continued learning opportunities, material for CPA exams, and access to mentors will provide support and encouragement as they grow.
We are living in a world of content overload. At any given moment you are flooded with an abundance of pieces relating to just about any topic known to man. As a marketer, you only have a mere few seconds for the reader to decide if they’re going to read your piece or move on to the next.
So, how do you create content that people want to view? It starts with understanding the way your audience thinks and then sleeting the right content for not only your story, but theirs. Your “story” is your soul, it’s what makes your firm different. Great content intertwines your story with that of your audience, forging a connection between you and the reader through the power of content. Once you have a topic that you know your readers will relate to, the story planning begins.
Tips for creating and presenting your budget
If your firm is blessed with an ever-flowing supply of cash, then maybe you don’t need to worry too much about your marketing budget. For the other 90%, it’s essentially a continuous game of tug of war between idealism and reality. When it comes to the approval process, it takes more than a quick spiel and a handout to win over your Partners and finance team. A comprehensive strategy and thorough detailing of costs and returns is vital to gaining support and securing funds for you and your team.
According to general rule of thumb, the marketing budget will comprise 3-5% of the company’s overall revenue. But the fact of the matter is that many of us are functioning off a lot less than that, and for many, much less. So how do you confront your Partners when you need more money for that banner campaign, or you really need to hire a full-time Coordinator? Here are some tips that may help you approach your budget with a little more confidence and strategy.
“Hope” might seem like a strange word to describe the things that I have seen. Ten years ago I would have most likely agreed that the horrific images of AIDS victims and swollen bellied children portrayed in commercials do not exactly scream optimism. When I decided to visit Africa, I imagined myself playing with the children, teaching English, perhaps even making some great contribution that would somehow alleviate their devastation and lift them out of poverty. I was sixteen years old, naïve, uncertain, and curious about the mysterious “Tarzan” replica that schoolbooks embedded in my head. Torn between images derived from nature scenes of The Lion King and the tribal wars of Hotel Rwanda, my obscure patchwork idea of Africa intensified my need to understand and witness the reality for myself.
Littered streets and abandoned businesses were more or less what I had expected to see when our group touched ground at the airport in Harare, Zimbabwe. Wide-eyed and eager to lend our helping hands we gathered our belongings and boarded our comfortable air-conditioned van. As we drove further away from the paved city streets and deeper into the ravaged country side, my imagined Lion King scenario quickly disintegrated as thousands of high-density homes engulfed every inch of the landscape. The shocking reality of economic collapse and agricultural diminishment quickly materialized as we continued to drive past the scantily planted fields and empty markets.