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When Communicating with Your Clients, Less Is Often More

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Nov 19th 2014
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Every marketing article, every professional conference, every accounting firm consultant, seems to be hammering home the same message: clients have an insatiable demand for content. But have we reached a tipping point? Is there actually too much out there? Accountants need to learn how to give clients the right amount of information—more is not always better.

This appetite for knowledge is fueled by the wide range of social media platforms that are available for sharing important information. Whether updating the firm’s website with a newly published white paper, emailing new IRS regs, blogging, tweeting, uploading a video or sharing data through the firm’s LinkedIn page, there are endless opportunities for firms of all sizes to distribute content.

But there is such a thing as content overload! The pace of news is rapid and the deluge of data that is being shared in an effort to keep up is mind boggling. Yet, publishing relevant content remains one of the most effective ways of building a solid relationship with existing clients and potential new opportunities.

That's the question: achieving the balance between your firm’s desire to be a thought leader with the client’s urge to hit ‘delete’ when the e-newsletter arrives. While reading the book Brandscaping by Andrew M. Davis, I was struck by how timely his message is for all of the CPA firms across the country that want to distinguish themselves among their peers.

Davis suggests that you need to stop focusing on creating a large quantity of content (feeding all those demanding social media channels) and instead focus on creating content that can help you build long-term relationships with higher quality clients. Better content, not more content, is the solution to the dilemma. When you know exactly what your clients need—based on their business life cycle, their industry, their family issues, their culture or even their location—you can do a much better job of offering content that they really want.

Davis goes on to note that your firm’s content should educate your clients so that they can make smarter decisions leading to more successful, profitable outcomes. To accomplish this, as partners, you need to think about what is really necessary for your clients to know and then arm them with facts that are most pertinent to their situation. You may create original content or you may share an article that has obvious implications for a client, or a group of clients, but either way your firm should be the source of essential information.

Once you have established a reputation for being the portal for business owners who seek current, critical news, they will continue to return to your website, open your newsletters or read your blog. If you are consistent in your approach, and if the communications you send are of value to the highest level decision makers in your audience, the intelligence you supply should ultimately become a part of their daily or weekly routine. As such it will solidify your role in their world, making you almost indispensable and serving as a reminder that you are, after all, their trusted advisor.

About the author:
Sally Glick is CMO and principal of Sobel & Co. LLC. She was named Accounting Marketer of the Year for 2003 and was voted into the AAM Hall of Fame in 2007. She can be reached at [email protected].

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