Prosper Agency
June 24, 2020

Branding tips for Accountants | How to make your practice stand out from the competition

Differentiate your firm and attract new talent with our branding tips for accountants. We look at ways to differentiate your practice through branding, website design and effective content marketing.

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Branding
O

ur research shows that accountants' branding and websites tend to be quite similar. From the colour palettes used in their brand identities to the way their websites look and feel, our research highlights a lack of differentiation in the way accountants present themselves online. If you're considering rebranding your accountancy practice in order to modernise your firm in the eyes of your prospects or to position your firm away from that of your competition, these pointers can help your practice stand-out.



Naming

An emotive or evocative name can inspire confidence in your clients, garner attention and attract a new customer demographic and a new breed of talent to your workforce. Your company name is the first thing a prospective client should remember about your business and therefore should be short, memorable and interesting. Get these things right and you're taking the first steps to stand out from your competition.

Naming tips: 

  • Keep it short and memorable
  • Consider an emotive or evocative name
  • Interesting names lead to interesting brand identities

Logo and brand identity

There's little excuse for your logo and brand identity to be using the same colour pallets and serif typefaces that most accountants still use. When done right your brand identity (along with your name) should prompt an emotional response with your audience. Does your branding position your accountancy practice correctly in the eyes of your potential clients (and against that of your competition?)

Brand identity tips: 

  • Remember your logo is the identifier element of your brand identity, it is not the brand identity as a whole
  • Work with a specialist branding agency to help you achieve true brand differentiation
  • Your brand identity should be developed to have an emotional resonance with your audience, it is not designed to cater to the 'likes' and 'dislikes' of your directors and partners

Positioning statement

Our research into accountants branding showed that there are a small handful of phrases used over and over again on accountants websites. These phrases tend to inform the viewer that this firm of accountants works with businesses large and small. They do little to articulate a true positioning for the firm and therefore do little to inform the prospect of why they should choose that firm over another. If you're using terminology in your positioning statements such as ' pro-active', or 'a wide range of services' you're inviting your viewer to look at your competition for a less vague explanation of exactly what is they do for customers like them.

Positioning statement tips: 

  • Avoid cliche phrases like 'pro-active' or 'accountants that go the extra mile'
  • Try and be a bit more specific about who you help beyond the claim of 'businesses large and small'
  • Don't be afraid to use more attention-grabbing language to capture the hearts and minds of your audience.

If you're using terminology in your positioning statements such as ' pro-active', or 'a wide range of services' you're inviting your viewer to look at your competition for a less vague explanation of exactly what is they do for customers like them.

Website

You've heard the cliches about websites... they're all true... Your website really is is the hub of your marketing efforts, your shop window, your chance to make that all-important first impression... Make it count. At the very least your website should be secure (i.e. it should have https:// at the beginning) and it should work on mobile devices. If your website doesn't tick both of these boxes at the very least your audience will look elsewhere. On accountants websites, we frequently see crowded, poorly designed homepages, with far too much information on the screen. This is confusing for the site visitor, as they will not know which bit of information to absorb first. Download our Website Guide for accountants for more info on this topic.

Website tips: 

  • Your website should be secure and responsive
  • Don't overcrowd your homepage with information, consider what your core message is and make sure that this message 'comes through' to the reader
  • Typography, a hierarchy of information and design play a vital role in website design. Make sure your website layout is clean, intuitive and simple to navigate
Don't overcrowd your website homepage with information, consider what your core message is and make sure that this message 'comes through' to the reader

Prosper branding for accountants, Zyla Accountants London
Website design and branding for London accountancy firm Zyla Accountants

Content creation

Very few accountants invest in ongoing content creation (such as blog articles, or infographics) but by developing and publishing content specifically targeted to your audience you will go a long way to differentiate your practice and you will be considered an expert in your field. Content such as blog articles not only give real substance and quality to your social media efforts, it also drives people back to your website and helps your rank in Search Engine Results Pages for your chosen niche (if you choose to niche).

Content creation tips: 

  • Try to publish content consistently (for example try to publish a new blog article once a fortnight).
  • Develop content that will appeal directly to your audience. What do they want to know about, and what can you write that they will find helpful and interesting?
  • Make sure your blog articles on your website link through to other articles on your website. Link to other blog posts, case studies and services you provide.

Social media marketing 

Social media marketing should be used to develop brand awareness, bolster your credibility as experts, and distribute your thought leadership. Any content you create, such as blog articles for your website, should be distributed via your social channels to drive traffic to your website. You can also use social media to show the 'human' side of your company, helping your firm portray itself in the manner you'd wish to be perceived, e.g approachable, on-the-ball, knowledgeable and helpful. Download our Social Media Guide for Accountants for more info on this topic.

Social media marketing tips

  • Be helpful, be knowledgeable, be interesting. Always post an image (or better still a video) with your posts to make them more appealing to the casual scrolling viewer... think 'thumb-stopping content'.
  • Post consistently, consider what social media channels your audience use, and post to these channels.
  • Don't forget your Google My Business profile and gather some reviews. Do not underestimate the power of online recommendations and reviews.

Employer branding

Attracting younger talent is a challenge for all professional service firm, and especially for accountants. Think about why a young person would want to work at your firm. How does your company come across to someone in their late teens or early twenties who is looking for a career in accounting? Are you modern and fresh? Does your brand identity and even the content you produce resonate with them? Do you have a 'Work with us' page and does it make a compelling case? Do you talk about the benefits and progression a young worker can expect through a fulfilling career?

Employer branding tips

  • Take an honest look at your brand identity. Would a young potential employee notice your firm?
  • Meet the Team pages, and 'Work with Us' pages are a great way to show the personality and people behind your company. Consider using fun photography, quotations from staff members, and fun facts to show your audience the smiling friendly people that make up your company.
  • Talk about the benefits new employees can expect beyond 'salary' and 'holidays'. What are the softer factors that make your firm a great place to work? How you support and encourage new starters in their career in and their own interests? Are you family orientated and flexible for staff with young children?

Prosper is the branding, design and marketing agency for accountants. For regular blog content and helpful articles and ebooks written especially for accountants, subscribe to our marketing newsletter here...

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