Effective marketing extends far beyond sending out fliers or creating the occasional ad. You need to build a community of fans who love your work
We already know what you’re thinking…
You’re an accountant. What on earth does Lady Gaga have to teach you about operating your business?
It certainly seems like a strange concept – but only at first. The more you think about it, the clearer it becomes that celebrities are businesses unto themselves. Their product may be far different than yours, but the principles of getting it out there and selling it are still the same.
And in the case of marketing, there’s a lot that you can learn from celebrities.
Take Lada Gaga as an example. A megastar in the pop world, Gaga has done an amazing job of marketing herself to her fans. And her particular talent lies in creating a community around herself, which is something that you should aim to emulate.
A Sense of Belonging – Why Do People Love Lady Gaga?
What is a community?
In the business sense, it’s a group of people who all share the same values and ideals as your company. These are the people who love what you do and will advocate for it to others.
And that’s exactly what Lady Gaga has proven so effective in creating.
She affectionately dubs her fans her “Little Monsters,” with some going so far as to call Gaga their “Mother Monster.”
Gaga’s fans buy into her message and what she represents. That means they connect to, and engage with, the brand that she’s created around herself.
And perhaps most importantly, there’s a sense of belonging in Lady Gaga’s community of fans. It’s not a far stretch to say that they have an “us against the world” mentality. They’ll certainly go to bat for her whenever they feel that she needs them. Gaga’s fans feel a kinship both with Gaga herself and their fellow fans.
This isn’t anything new in the world of music. For years, artists have given their communities names through which they can identify themselves. Gaga has her “Little Monsters,” and a band like Slipknot has their “Maggots.”
Those are two completely different communities. However, the concept behind them remains the same. These are groups of people united by a common mentality and common goals.
In the context of your business, you should aim to build your own community of followers. In your case, these will be people who value your services and mesh with the culture you’re creating.
We’re going to share some tips on how to do that in a moment. But first, it’s important that you recognise why your accounting firm should have marketing in the first place.
Why Does Marketing Matter in Your Accounting Firm?
Many people have a misconception about marketing. They believe that it’s solely about attracting more clients to your firm.
However, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Effective marketing means that you attract the right types of clients to your firm. These are the clients who absolutely love what you do and who are a joy to work with.
Your firm needs marketing to help you to build a community of people that you want to work with.
We’ve seen firms embrace marketing and add 40% to their year-on-year turnover. And the key isn’t that they attracted more people, though they certainly did. The key is that they attracted the right people. Ultimately, that’s what building a strong community is all about.
And now that you know the “why,” it’s time to focus on the “what.” What can you learn from a celebrity like Lady Gaga about marketing your accounting firm?
Lesson #1 – Target the Like-Minded
Coming back to this idea about finding the right types of clients, you have to realise something very important about your firm.
It’s not for everyone.
You cannot be all things to all people. There are plenty of prospects out there who won’t work well with you. They’ll either want services that you don’t specialise in, or they won’t gel with the culture you’ve created.
…And that’s okay!
You don’t want to work with these people, just like they don’t really want to work with you.
Instead, you want to work with the like-minded. These are the people who understand what you’re trying to achieve and want to be on board as you do it. They’re the people who have problems you can solve. And they believe that you’re the right person to help them.
In celebrity parlance, you don’t need to worry about the “haters.”
There are many people out there who don’t agree with Lady Gaga’s message or don’t enjoy her music. But to her, those people don’t matter. She’s achieved such a huge level of success because she focuses on the people who love her.
You need to do the same with your marketing. Target those you know will agree with your way of doing things. And don’t worry about the people who won’t.
Lesson #2 – Always Lead With Your Values
Without wishing to politicise this article, it’s clear that Lady Gaga wears her values on her sleeve. She’s not afraid to throw her considerable influence behind the causes that she believes in. And she’s certainly not one to hide her values from other people.
That’s a useful lesson for your firm that harkens back to the idea of not trying to appeal to everyone.
Your values are one of the primary factors that drive people to connect with you and engage with your firm. If you try to hide your values, you’re shutting out a portion of your audience in an attempt to placate others.
That’s how you end up with clients that you don’t want.
Be transparent about your firm and what it represents. The people who connect with your values will always trump those who work with you on a transactional basis.
Lesson #3 – Give Your Community a Name
“Little Monsters” may not be an appropriate name for a community of accounting clients. But the idea behind giving your community a name is a sound one.
For example, you may run a Facebook Group where you offer advice to your community. Moreover, the people in that community may help each other out as well. These guys could be your “Masterminds” or your “Brain Trust.”
A name creates a sense of belonging. It’s a label that your most supportive clients will happily take on, because they’re engaged with your firm. You could even create tiers within your client group based on the services you offer.
Lesson #4 – Create a Collective Experience
You can’t have a community if you’re not an active participant in that community.
Take the Facebook Group example we shared above. Do you think anybody would stay in that group if they never heard from you?
Of course not!
They’ll see the group as little more than an excuse to gather people together. They’ll see that they’re not going to get any value from it, which means they’ll abandon it in short order.
Creating a collective experience means going out of your way to engage with your community. It means answering the questions they have and sharing valuable content with them. The goal is to be the uniting force that bands the people in your community together.
Encourage the belief that you’re all in this together, and that you want to help each other achieve great things. And finally, make sure that every member of the community feels like they’re treated as an equal.
Lesson #5 – Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Clients
We all know the purpose of the red carpet in the celebrity world. It’s where the stars of the show go to get their photos taken and receive recognition from their adoring public.
The temptation in marketing is to make yourself the star of the show. You want to talk about yourself and what you can do, which is only natural.
But to build a community, you need to make the members of your community feel like stars.
Lady Gaga does this regularly. For example, she’ll call fans on stage to sing songs with her, giving them a moment in the limelight.
Your equivalent to that is sharing the wins your clients achieve. If somebody manages to grow their business or cut their expenses, put them in the limelight. Make them feel like the stars of the show, because they’ve achieved something remarkable.
Celebrating these achievements will give your community another reason to bond together. Plus, you’re constantly demonstrating what can happen if people work with your firm.
Bring Your People Together
You’re operating a business, which means that you’re cultivating a brand. Even in a profession like accounting, which some may see as a little dry, a community is a valuable resource.
Look to people like Lady Gaga for guidance on how to create your community. Aim to build a group of raving fans who love what you do and agree with your values.
Remember that effective marketing is as much about finding the right people as it is about generating more leads.
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