For accounting professionals, creating and owning your brand isn’t as simple as designing a logo or creating the perfect business card. Rather, it requires adopting a four-legged mindset.
Sounds strange, but as attendees learned at Accountex keynote, ‘Owning Your Brand’, in order to effectively communicate your brand to clients, you need to “be the Basset Hound”.
The keynote was presented by Geni Whitehouse, a CPA so well-versed in communicating her personal brand it’s lead her to crown herself ‘Countess of Communication’.
Geni explained being the Basset Hound means sprinkling your unique paw print or stamp on everything you do, from marketing to networking to sales calls, will ensure you are remembered. She shared how to do so.
Creating a brand
Geni recommended starting by creating a positive version of your story. Take a look at your business and create a story where you’re the hero. By communicating this story from the heart, rather than the brain, you’ll be able to connect with people on a real level.
When meeting someone or making a connection, your main goal should be to keep them curious. Find a way to make them ask questions and leave them wanting more. Do so in a way that is true to yourself, if you have quirks or a unique sense of humour and you let that show, this will attract the right type of client and weeds out the potential clients who you won’t enjoy working with. You don’t want to work with people that don’t ‘get’ you.
An important part of being yourself involves avoiding mirroring the traits of others. Whatever you’ve got, use it. Geni said being successful doesn’t necessarily mean becoming an influencer, you can do great things from anywhere. By weaving your personality into even the most mundane things you do, your presence will be memorable.
Spread the word and build on your brand
Once you have your brand locked down, it’s time to spread the word. Whether that be through podcasts, videos, writing, speaking, tweeting, mailers or email that’s up to you. Geni says delivering exceptional services will further solidify the hard work you’ve put into creating your brand.
Going beyond the numbers will place you in good stead. Geni shared a few service mantras including “Insights not balances” and “Conversation not reconciliation”. Thoughtful advisory services are more important than the dollars and cents. She also advised avoiding intimidating clients with a long list of credentials, instead letting your work speak for itself.
By taking your unique personality and weaving it into everything you do, you can build and communicate a brand that will resonate with the right clients for you.