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Shiny Object Syndrome

Nate Hagerty
Posted by Nate Hagerty on May 7, 2021 10:17:17 AM

Most marketing consultants may find it difficult to prescribe a specific online marketing solution for you and to determine a market approach strategy without digging into the particulars of your firm. Unfortunately, this preparatory work may increase the cost of the engagement out of your range. Through working with numerous accounting and advisory service practices, we have identified some tried and true principles that can help you to diagnose what might be ailing in your existing online marketing … and give you the tools for finally getting the results that you need to grow your practice.


When your tax or accounting firm online marketing isn’t getting results, it usually boils down to one of these five possible factors:


We’ve dealt with the first two in part one and part two of this five-part series. In this article, we look at the shiny objects.

Accounting industry practitioners, by necessity (and often inclination), are steeped in the tax code and FASB regulations — and the legal code, and now SBA loan requirements … well, you get the point.

Unfortunately, the online marketing landscape is changing almost as often as the tax code. And when CPA’s or tax professionals delve into the marketing world, it’s easy to fall prey to sales sharks and non-industry focused marketing “gurus” who promise the moon but whose follow-through lands someplace closer to Iowa (and nothing against Iowa, but it sure isn’t the moon).

And because of the nature of how quickly marketing techniques change, the necessity to stay up to date has never been more critical.

And so, when CPA’s or tax professionals begin to implement new marketing ideas, it is often with the mentality that THIS IDEA will be the one that (finally) brings in the flood of new clients that they have been banking on. It is a kind of magical thinking that too many business owners bring to their marketing. They expect that the “next great tactic” is going to be what brings their tax or accounting firm to the level that they’ve always dreamed for it.

But then the next great tactic rolls into their point of view, or their inbox. Now THIS is going to be the one that saves the day!

Can you relate?

Marketing tasks are never as “easy” as they are made out to be. Just to set up one “simple” online landing page you need:

  • A copywriter
  • A web developer
  • A graphic design
  • Hosting providers
  • A CRM solution
  • An email broadcasting platform (with automated follow-up)
  • A page-building solution
  • Delivery of whatever is being promised on landing page (“lead magnet”)

And more. Most of all, this takes TIME. It all seems so simple — until you dive into it (perhaps just like preparing a tax return for the first time).

Which is why so many marketing strategies put into place by independent tax and accounting professionals look more like a half-built bridge. And, as a result, why so much existing marketing isn’t as effective as it needs to be.

Marketing an accounting firm properly requires orchestrating a variety of elements together (website conversion, social presence, email marketing, phone strategy, sales, SEO, etc.) — and doing so seamlessly. It is NOT as “easy” as some so-called guru’s would lead you to believe.

Implementation is everything. Grabbing hold of a shiny object and running with it is not.

Here are the questions you should ask before thinking about a new marketing campaign: 

  • Is this campaign based on the foundation for all marketing – relationship building?
  • Do you have the skills (or access to people with the skills) needed to execute with excellence?
  • Do you have the bandwidth to manage the project?
  • Can you deliver what is being promised through the campaign?

These questions are NOT designed to discourage you from marketing. They are designed to encourage you to think analytically about the next great marketing tactic so that you focus your energy on those campaigns that will help you grow your practice.

Click here to read part 1, "Understanding the Foundation for Your Online Marketing"

Click here to read part 2 - "When Marketing Isn't the Problem"

Topics: Practice Growth


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