Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Eric Majchrzak is the Chief Marketing Officer for BeachFleischman CPAs, one of Arizona’s largest locally-owned CPA firms and a Top 200 largest accounting firm in the U.S.
I have been a huge fan of Eric’s for several years and appreciate all of the sharing he does to help me, and others, understand and stay on top of current trends in marketing CPA firms.
In a recent interview on Accounting Today TV, Senior Editor Danielle Lee asked Eric about the biggest challenges and the biggest opportunities accounting firm marketers are facing.
One definite challenge is the fact that accounting firms are selling something that people do not want – tax returns and financial statements. Who has ever heard a client say, “I just love getting audited!” or “What a thrill to get my taxes done!”.
Eric explains it as the challenge of marketing commodity services and the role of the marketer involves helping the firm identify and offer specialty services like sustainability, Green and specialty taxes.
Another challenge for marketers is dealing with the multiple “masters” inside professional service firms. They must learn to deal with varying personalities and multiple decision-makers.
When it comes to opportunities, CPA firm marketers must become more proactive rather reactive. Help the CPAs with strategic planning, brand platform and pricing options, just to name a few.
Over 50% of people in the US have a smart phone and marketers must find a way to be relevant with content that is short but sweet when dealing with the complex issues that CPAs can solve for clients.
Take a few minutes to watch and listen to the full interview.
Marketing is too important to be left just to the marketing department.
Philip Almond, marketing director, Diageo
Monday, August 12th, 2013
As you might remember, in 2012 I was so pleased to announce the formation of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance. I hope you will visit our website and check out our blog that was launched earlier this year.
There is a new blog each week authored by one of our skilled consultant members. Check out this week’s blog post by Geni Whitehouse titled, Three Reasons “Soft” Skills Are Hard To Master.
Geni, who is one of our newest members, has been a huge resource as the Consultants’ Alliance has ventured into the world of blogging. Plus, she has now helped us launch the CPA Consultants’ Alliance Newsletter.
Be sure to access our first issue here. You can subscribe to the monthly newsletter by visiting the website. While you are there, check-out the bios of all our members. Following our blog and subscribing to our newsletter provides you with some amazing thoughts, ideas and news about current trends from some very well-connected CPA profession consultants.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
Monday, July 29th, 2013
Once again, I want to stress the importance of your CPA firm website.
I am still finding some less-than-attractive ones out there for accounting firms. Last week, I found one that was impressive, especially the career pages.
It is interesting how you can learn so many valuable things via social media. I found Watkins Meegan by tweeting. I was attending an Ohio Women’s Initiative Committee meeting and tweeted that fact. I had a reply to my tweet from Watkins Meegan, a CPA firm headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland saying, “We have a women’s initiative!”
So, I checked out their career page and was very impressed. I thought I would share it with all of you today so you can see an example of how to position your firm to compete for top talent. It is becoming more and more important with each passing day. Follow the link to the example and then click on the arrows and take their Campus Recruiting Tour.
I hope that one of the strategic initiatives you identified at your retreat this summer is making your firm a magnet for talent.
While a website helps, it takes a lot more than JUST a website. How’s your culture? How’s your brand? What does your team members REALLY say about the firm? How’s your recruiting program; does it need an update?
Don’t place your firm in the role of playing catch-up. Get busy, fall recruiting season is almost here!
Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.
Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
When it comes to social media, accountants in public practice have been somewhat slow to embrace it and use it effectively.
However, I have observed that one tool they have embraced is LinkedIn. I can find almost every CPA or CPA firm team member I search for on LinkedIn.
When it comes to using it effectively, that’s another story. Barry MacQuarrie of KAF CPAs, provides training for their firm clients and for other CPA firms. Check-out his brochure here.
Wayne Breitbarth is also a LinkedIn trainer and writes an interesting blog with lots of tips and tricks for getting the most out of LinkedIn. Breitbarth does an annual survey of LinkedIn users and has provided this very interesting infographic.
Keep in mind, the profession of public accounting is a people business. Continually enhance your connections with people and use as many tools as possible to do so.
Via: PowerFormula for Linkedin Success
A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
During my many years in the business world, I have benefited from schmoozing.
Sometimes the word gets a bad reputation, but it really is a good thing. Here’s the definition:
To converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.
My thing is I love people and I am truly interested in them and what they are doing, what they want to do and how they are going to do it.
In the current world of social media, I’ve heard so many negative comments along these lines… “We don’t talk to each other anymore.” “We use email as an excuse not to talk on the phone.” – - and so on.
I connected and schmoozed for years, in person and on the phone. However, I have NEVER been more connected with so many people than I am today using Twitter, blogs, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, webinars, go-to-meetings and the list goes on and on.
I hope all of you working in the CPA profession – no matter how many years of experience you have – are taking advantage of the numerous and wonderful connections you can make with social media.
Afraid to tweet? Just set-up an account. You don’t have to make a single tweet. Just follow others for a while and read what they have to say. If you are not going to ever read the tweets of people you select to follow then don’t bother to set-up an account. You have to commit and take action. I always say you have to Do Things if you want to reap the rewards.
- Set-up a Twitter Account
- To start, just select a few people to follow – 5 to 10.
- Every morning – call it your Morning Schmooze – Go to your account and read what was posted the previous day. It should only take a couple minutes.
- As your interest develops, expand the list of people you follow.
- Don’t be afraid to “unfollow” someone. Follow those who tweet things that are actually helpful to you.
- Eventually, try tweeting something yourself.
As CPAs, you have so much information and knowledge that business people will want to read about. When you are comfortable, begin promoting your tweets to your clients.
My twitter handle is: @cpamanagement Look at the top of this page, on the right, you can access my Twitter account there.
If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Recently, I have been talking with Kat Jennings and Tracey Glenn of TaxConnections. I am always trying to help CPAs and CPA firms become more visible and more successful. This could be a resource that will aid you in promoting your tax knowledge. Here’s some information about TaxConnections.
What is TaxConnections? – TaxConnections is an interactive Worldwide Directory of Tax Professionals that connects consumers with tax professionals and tax services around the world.
What kind of tax professionals can be found on Tax Connections? – TaxConnections promotes tax professionals from corporations, law firms, public accounting firms, tax service firms, tax associations, government, independents and academia in more than 57 countries around the world. It is the very first social media site for tax professionals worldwide.
How does TaxConnections benefit consumers? – In one click, consumers can find tax professionals and tax services worldwide. Consumers can also ask tax questions and receive answers. It is all free.
How does Tax Connections benefit tax professionals? – Tax professionals who establish a media presence always have a competitive advantage. We improve tax professionals visibility nationally and internationally.
You can find lots of good tax information on their Facebook page. If you check-out the blog page, you’ll find me there, too.
The old saying, “the world is shrinking” sure applies to your tax practice these days. I like their worldwide focus.
The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
A while back Seth Godin did a blog post titled, “On Behalf of Yes.”
It struck a cord with me on how many times, inside public accounting firms, partners, managers and even team members lean towards thinking, “No, we can’t.”
While it comes to understanding complex tax laws and changing to comply with those demands and performing audit services with the utmost perfection, CPAs think – “Yes we can, this is our profession and we love this stuff.”
Yet when it comes to taking care of their own business, keeping pace with the times and what is going on in the management world, CPAs think, “No way, I like things just the way they are. It’s worked well for us all these years.”
What have the most successful firms embraced? They have embraced a YES attitude.
- Nearly 30 years ago, most CPAs did not believe an administrative person could plan CPE, select the right people to hire, lead the marketing efforts and help bring the newest technology into the firm. Then they discovered the power of hiring a firm administrator.
- We cannot advertise. It’s not professional and we don’t know how. Yes, we did.
- I remember one of my first “No, we can’t” situations. We can’t possibly do away with our legal size files and move to letter size. Yes, we did.
- No, we cannot let someone work a flexible schedule. Yes, we did.
- No, we simply cannot put a computer on everyone’s desk. Yes, we did.
- No, we cannot go paperless. Yes, we did.
- No, we cannot allow our people access to the internet. Yes, we did.
- No, we cannot get into all of this social media stuff. Yes, we did.
You might not even be aware you are displaying a “No” attitude and demeanor. Become aware! Stop thinking and saying “No” and identifying all the reasons why something cannot be done.
Think of the kid’s show Bob the Builder. His motto: Can we fix it? Yes, we can!
You can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will.
Stephen King, on writing
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
We have been hearing it from the AICPA, state societies, consultants, writers, etc. for many years now. Baby Boomers are hitting age 65 at the rate of 8,000 per day – beginning in 2011 and continuing for 18 years.
Are you in this group? Are you 60 or older? If so, I bet retiring (or not) is on your mind from time to time.
Alan Weiss, consultant, speaker and author of Million Dollar Consulting (and many other books) described his feelings about turning 67 on his blog recently. I think you might enjoy reading how he looks at it. Here are some highlights but be sure to read the entire blog post.
“I have always tried to live life to the fullest. You may ask what alternative we have, but daily I see people throwing their lives away in part and by pieces, which to me is the equivalent of simply taking more time to end it. I don’t believe we’re here to stick our toes in the water. I believe we’re here to make waves.”
“I do know that so long as I’m on top of my game, I’ll keep doing what pleases me. When that’s no longer the case, then I’ll leave that particular stage. Sandy Koufax knew how to do that. Frank Sinatra did not.”
The question for you, as a Baby Boomer CPA, is are you staying on top of your game?
Whether you want to admit it or not, your “game” has changed significantly in the last few years and continues to change at a rapid rate. Are you active with social media? Do you communicate via text with your most important clients? Are you attracting younger business owners and CEOs as clients? Is your firm retaining bright, passionate, flexible people? Or, do you have partners stuck in the “I’m doing it the way I’ve always done it” world?
Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Roman Kepczyk, Director of Consulting at Xcentric, has an interesting article on the Xcentric blog site – 10 Marketing Technologies That Can Help Your Firm.
Not only has technology improved the way firms produce their client work, it also helps firms improve their image.
Here’s 10 marketing technologies that every firm owner should be aware of. Read a description of each one by following the link, above.
- Packaged websites.
- Niche pages.
- Industry analytics.
- Written expertise.
- Video expertise.
- Social media strategy.
- Recruiting page on website.
- Lobby marketing.
- High-tech gadget exposure.
- PM list management.
Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
When I am looking for someone, individually, the first place I go is LinkedIn. After all there are about 100 million users. If I am looking for a particular CPA firm, I Google it. That’s how I know so much about CPA firm websites. Some are great and some are horrible.
The same goes for LinkedIn – some people have great profiles and some are horrible. First of all, if you don’t have a picture, people will think you must be creepy (or extremely ugly) or both. What usually happens is that most users create an account, add a couple of connections and then ignore their site. Research substantiates the fact that most users rarely or never USE the site.
Here’s an example of valuable dialogue on LinkedIn. It was started by Dan Hood of Accounting Today – Does Every Firm Need A Marketing Director. Read through it to get some valuable insight into this topic.
When I am visiting CPA websites, I often follow their link to the firm’s LinkedIn page. Usually it is just some profile information about the firm. It’s like they are just holding the LinkedIn spot for future development. Here’s a link to Freed Maxick CPAs LinkedIn page. Notice how current and active it is.
So, perhaps you don’t know enough about how to use LinkedIn or how to set up meaningful profiles. Get someone to train the entire firm.
I was talking with my good friend, Barry MacQuarrie, last week. Barry provides training to his firm’s clients and to other CPA firms on the in’s & out’s of LinkedIn. Here’s a link to Barry’s brochure.
You might consider hiring Barry to conduct a training session for your entire team or to host a seminar for your clients – what a valuable offering. I bet your competition isn’t doing it.
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.