Does your accounting firm have a branding strategy? If not, now is a great time to get started.
Branding is something that’s easily overlooked by accountants, but it’s a crucial part of marketing. You may assume that your reputation through word-of-mouth marketing is enough, but you’re not controlling the narrative. And what about prospects who find you by searching online?
If you’re not focused on the many components of accountant branding, you should be.
Why is Branding So Important?
Branding is important for every business in every industry, including your accounting firm. Because if you’re not in control of your professional image, who is?
Branding lets customers know who you are, what you stand for and how you conduct yourself before they even connect with you – and before they can draw up their own conclusions.
Accountant branding gives your firm an identity – a persona, if you will. It tells a story. It makes your firm more personable. And it’s so much more than just a logo.
Emotion isn’t a word you’d normally associate with accounting, but the reality is that your clients want to deal with a person and not a corporation. Branding humanizes your firm, making your services more approachable and accessible to prospects.
More than that, branding creates a blueprint for all of your marketing materials to ensure that your message, tone and identity is consistent across all channels. This ensures that no matter whether you’re posting on LinkedIn or sending out a Tweet, people will instantly recognize your firm.
Brand consistency is so important that it can actually increase revenue by 33%.
- Help weed out prospects that are not aligned with your vision or values.
- Ensure that all team members are on the same page about your firm and its direction.
- Help ensure that you hire the right team members who are also aligned with your brand’s vision.
As you can see, branding can do a lot for your firm. But what goes into the process? How do you actually build your brand?
The Most Important Components of Accountant Branding
Just as there are many components of your accounting services, there are many components of branding. They all work together to create an image and personality for your firm.
The most important components include:
Brand definition answers important questions, like:
- Who are you?
- Who do you serve? (i.e. your customer base)
- What do you provide?
Keep your definition simple and clean. Don’t overcomplicate things, but make sure that your definition is still solid. After all, it’s the foundation for your entire brand.
What does your firm stand for? What do you believe in? Defining your brand’s core values is important because people want to do business with like-minded individuals.
Examples of brand values can include:
Your values further define who you are as a brand and what clients can expect from your firm.
What is your message? How do you want to send your message? Your brand’s voice defines things like your tone, key messages, positioning, tagline and even how your marketing copy is written.
Defining your voice creates a personality for your brand. It also ensures that your messages are consistent and communicated in the same way across all platforms.
Your messaging should convey your brand’s personality, which will help your firm connect with clients on an emotional level. And when defining your voice, make sure that you consider how your clients communicate. What language do they use? Using a similar tone and style in your marketing materials will better help you connect with clients and feel more relevant.
Many accountants overlook the importance of positioning, but it’s one of the most important aspects of branding. It gives clients an impression about your firm and offerings.
Maybe you offer premium services, and your high price is reflective of your high quality service. Or perhaps you offer high quality services at a mid-level price, making your services a high-value option for clients.
Determining your market position is important. It should be clearly defined and communicated because it tells clients a lot about your brand and what clients can expect from your services.
Of course, branding also includes your visual identity, and this is what most people think of when they think of branding. It includes things like your:
- Graphical elements
Developing a strong visual identity is crucial. Not only do your visuals help define your personality, but they also affect client perception and make your firm memorable.
Hiring a professional graphic designer is recommended here. This will ensure that your logo, images, graphics and other components look and feel professional.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Chances are, you’re not the only accountant in town. But even if you have zero competition, you may still want to appeal to clients in nearby cities or even throughout the rest of the state.
Why should clients choose you? What makes your firm unique? What do you offer that the other guys don’t? This is your USP.
A USP can be a special benefit, exclusive service or unparalleled experience. Whatever your USP is, make sure that you define it clearly and communicate it to prospects.
Potential clients need to know what makes you special and why your firm is the best option for them.
How to Get Started with Branding
Now that you understand why branding is so important and what goes into it, you may be wondering how to get started.
A great place to start is by focusing on the components listed above. Clearly defining each of these points will help create a solid foundation for your brand. But I think the better question here is who can you get in touch with to start building your brand?
Building a brand is something that takes time and requires expertise. You’re an accountant. Your area of expertise is accounting. Our area of expertise is branding – and everything that goes with it. Your time is better spent on your clients and providing quality service.
We know what it takes to build a solid brand.