TFYW#025 Accountants Don’t Make Content

Mar 3, 2023

This week I am getting into creating content.

Creating content allows a potential client to test drive your knowledge. You would never buy a car without a test drive, so it’s time to throw your niche the keys and let them take a rip.

 

Should I Create Content?

Yes, you should create content. Content is not just for the creatives and marketing types. You must remain connected to your market to improve your profit per client.

But you might be saying, “Hey Mark, I have a full roster of clients, and I am not looking for new clients” – I hear you loud and clear on that.

But, I know you are probably looking to change something in your firm; otherwise, you would not invest your time reading this newsletter.

At one point in my firm, the thought of firing a client was crazy talk.

Here is my perspective now:

Each client carries a specific value. That value equals the profit they generate for the firm, less the opportunity cost of keeping them as a client.

As your firm’s capacity decreases, the opportunity cost of each client increases.

I turned a handful of clients loose the year before selling my firm. They were occupying capacity, and their value to me was decreasing. My newer clients were bigger and more valuable.

If you don’t remember anything else from this week’s newsletter, remember this:

 

Sustainable firm growth is rooted less in client count than in client quality.

Content is your platform to stay relevant and attract quality clients as you grow and evolve.

 

How Valuable Is Accounting Content?

Accounting content that is digestible and applicable for small business owners is gold. There are very few accountants out there offering business tactics and content.

The demand is high for quality accounting content.

I am not talking about ‘why setting up an s-corp may not save you any tax’ content.

I am talking about content explaining the knock-on effect of when a small biz owner understands the gross margins of their three services and then adjusts their marketing focus and improves their business’s profitability.

To us, that is simple stuff. To a business owner, who has three employees, a Fine Arts degree, and a lease, it can be life-changing.

I am going to talk about ChatGPT for a sec, so if you’re tired of that stuff, scroll past the next picture.

I asked ChatGPT what the number one thing is that small business owners struggle with.

Keep in mind that ChatGPT is just combing the internet to find its answers – it’s not pulling these things out of thin air:

Question: The number one thing small business owners struggle with?

Answer: Managing finances effectively.

Small business clients struggle with understanding AND knowing how to adjust their numbers. Plain and simple.

While having their bookkeeping done well is a problem, it is not the problem that causes businesses to struggle.

While opting for an s-corp was probably not needed, it is not the problem that causes businesses to fail.

Content value sits on a spectrum. The value of your content goes up the more niched it is.

Your content will have no staying power if you don’t speak directly to someone. So go narrow and deep.

 

How Do I Create Content?

Sources

A quote that gets attributed to Pablo Picasso goes like this:

“Good Artists borrow, great artists steal”

I am not suggesting you rip off and steal other people’s content. Instead, use their ideas and apply them to your niche. It is quite rare that someone has created a brand new idea that was not already rearranged from another source.

Good stealing – reworking from multiple sources.

Bad stealing – copying from one source.

Here is a post of mine from LinkedIn a few weeks ago:

Here is the inspiration for my post:

The format was similar. He had eight ideas and focused on creative individuals.

I have six reasons and focused explicitly on accountants while weaving in my experiences. The post reached a fair amount of people and touched on some real barriers accountants face.

In addition to spending time reading and commenting on other people’s content, I subscribe to bunch of newsletters:

  • Justin Welsh – The Saturday Soloprenuer
  • Ray J Green – Tuesday Tactics
  • Matt Gray
  • Codie Sanchez – Contrarian Thinking
  • Katelyn Bourgoin – Why We Buy
  • Nick Huber – Sweaty Start-Up
  • Taylor Welch

These people not only spark content but help me think about business differently.

Formats

Leverage your own content.

I have sent out 25 issues of this newsletter. The newsletter has jumped up to almost 500 subscribers with an open rate of about 45-50%.

From creating one long-format piece of content, I readily have 5-10 short-form pieces I can use.

Long-format content takes time, but it is great content for a blog or newsletter, building SEO over time and pumping out other shorter form content.

Cadence

Figure out what works for you and your schedule. You’ll be discouraged if you compare yourselves to Influencers like Gary Vee, who post 10X a day on multiple platforms.

Find something that works. I post on LinkedIn every weekday and twitter a few times a week. I’ve just started back on Instagram and Youtube with short videos. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I like LinkedIn because it only requires writing, whereas other platforms require video and images.

Just start and try to build consistency. Your 2025 self will thank you. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Ideas

I read once that you should never start a post from scratch, so I created a notion list where I keep ideas that come up. I capture them in the moment and then return to them when I want to batch prepare my content.

When an idea hits, I write down the loose thought and try to record a one-liner that captures the essence of the idea. If it doesn’t come in 30 seconds, I move on.

While I prepared this newsletter, I had my notion page open and added five more ideas to the list. Creativity breeds creativity.

 

Side Benefits Of Creating Content

After writing almost 35,000 words per week for the last 6 months, I’ve discovered four great side benefits other than landing new clients:

1. You get to know your ideal client better. When you focus on writing for a niche and the problems they encounter, you will understand them better.

2. The more you create, the easier it becomes. That sounds counterintuitive, but fresh takes come to mind as I think about past posts and ideas. This will not happen with basic compliance content, as there are so few ways you can explain a one-dimensional rule.

3. You become a better advisor. As I have forced myself to write about themes and ideas, I can better articulate them with my clients. The more you explain something, the more clear it becomes. I have experience running and selling a firm, but getting it out of my head has taken time, and writing about it has helped significantly.

4. Conversations with prospects become easier. Conversations for podcasts and guest speaking become more natural as well. Quantity does lead to quality.

 

Your expertise is valuable. If you can communicate that value you will create a warm audience and become their expert.

Thank you for investing your time and energy with me.

Mark

P.S. Email Mark@FirmNexus.com with something that you want me to talk about. I’ll add it to the list. 

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