With the rise of mobile being the hub of all transactions, people are more “connected” than ever before.
People run their banking from their smartphone, pay for travel with their smartphone, communicate through social media with their smartphone. The era of banking facilities only accessible during the working week (and only half days on a Wednesday) is a long distant memory that many of us can only yearn for.
However, technology advancement and behavioural changes mean that we can never go back to the slower paced way of life. We are all plugged in, in one form or another, and this has major consequences and opportunities for accounting firms.
On the plus side, it means that accounting firms can now stay “in touch” easily with clients and their community. On the downside, it means that you are part of the 24/7 world and can no longer switch off.
This means that marketing campaigns you run have no stop date, they are just running. It means that people can contact you via Twitter, Facebook, your Website, Instagram and any other platform that your business is on, and at any time of day.
Digital technology advances means that customer feedback is being published online about your firm 24/7, and customer experience and customer satisfaction is broadcast whether you like it or not.
It is not enough to choose to “switch off” from these platforms either. Whether you are online or not, you will still be spoken about.
The 24/7 connected era is neither something that should be seen as doom and gloom, nor sniffed at. If you embrace the opportunities that being a switched-on accountant can bring, you will find that you stand out from traditional firms, and appeal to the younger entrepreneurial minds that are creating amazing businesses and wealth.
Another opportunity that arises from the 24/7 switched on era is that you can analyse and measure how well your marketing is performing, and stop or start campaigns with ease. Google Analytics can be downloaded to your phone, and within seconds you can see how your social media for the day has performed. You can test and measure in real time.
The days of costly adverts in the Yellow Pages are gone, and you can reach people all over the world online through Tweeting, Facebook and LinkedIn. Control has been given to accounting firms, where conversations can be started, and relationships built in a very connected 24/7 world.
Understanding this highly “connected” era will serve your firm well. Whether you are wanting to embrace technology like My Firms App that gives you that essential presence on client’s smartphones, or project management tools like Asana, you will do well to embrace the change.
The number of firms who understand how to maximise these opportunities is still small. I can count with ease the number of firms who are investing time and effort into Digital Marketing. These firms are early adopters of technology. Whilst the technology has been around for many years, it is only now that Partners within accounting firms are feeling the need to embrace it.
I have started calling these early adopters Maverick Accountants.
They are happy to embrace new ideas and think outside the box. The early adopters are running webinars from their office to audiences far and wide. They are spreading their message and standing out in a very commoditised marketplace.
These Maverick Accountants are niching and specialising different aspects of their firm. They understand that dedicated lead pages with marketing campaigns can build their audience and get known in different Industry’s as a recommended supplier. These Maverick Accountants are building personal brands, business brands and product brands. They are riding the waves of change.
To survive you need to adapt into a connected 27/4 firm. Like animals and plants are adapting to climate change, with some ecosystems dying and others thriving, accounting firms face the same challenges and the same opportunities. Your ability to adapt will determine your survival and your ability to thrive.
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