Nov 7th 2009
When I speak with partners at firms across the country, one of the greatest challenges they face is the inability to build a robust marketing culture. Most accountants that I know are excellent at the delivery of technical and business advice to their clients. That's what they love to do, that's what they have been trained to do, and most are very good at it. But, they work with a 'silo' mentality - each focused on the specific needs of the clients they serve. There is not much time left over for investing the effort into building a community within the firm, connecting everyone to each other and leveraging the group dynamics and energy to get to even greater heights. Those firms that communicate well, that have a sense of camaraderie throughout, that take pride in the firm's name, most often (not coincidently) market more effectively. The "branding process" starts inside the firm - not in your external campaign. The excitement and enthusiasm for growing the firm's reputation has to come from your own hearts first. After you embrace the message, then it is transmitted through all you do to your clients, centers of influence and other business colleagues. The passion starts at home and spreads across the community as a result. So when thinking about your best marketing strategies, temporarily put aside the concept that everything is about the message you send to your targeted audience and start thinking instead about creating excitement from within. Get people involved on committees, hold regular staff meetings, listen to the next generation's ideas, open the lines of communication and share the dynamic things the firm is doing. Remember, they don't know if you don't tell them. (That sucessful seminar you held last week can be even more powerful if you share the details internally too.) Make everyone feel a part of the firm's success - because, the truth is, without them there can't really be any long term, sustainable success!