*For a copy of the slide of this presentation click here.

Hello everybody. I was talking a little bit yesterday and I have slight sore throat so I’ve got strepsils, so I have to apologize right now. And for those sitting at the front, I’ll try not to spit on you. Okay? I’m really sorry about that. So today I’m going to be covering how to attract your ideal clients that pay you what you’re worth. Because we all know that through referrals you can get as many clients as you want. The more people you talk to, the more clients you’re gonna get. But I’d like to help you today attract those high-value clients, if that’s what you like, or the clients with the right mindset, the ones that are going to get their tax returns in on time and make your life as easy as possible.

So the amazing thing about something like Accountex is it gives you the opportunity to run the kind of firm that you want to run. And the thing that I love about working with this profession is that it is now a level playing field. Smaller firms can compete with the larger firms, and there’s a reason for this. And it’s not because you now can be a technician like you could when you were in the larger firms, and it’s not because of the way that you approach actually putting your business together. It’s because you can be as visible and as vital as the larger firms to any small business out there. And this is so important when you think about approaching marketing and client generation because you are now competing with those larger firms, but you’re winning because it’s about relationships. So it’s a really exciting time for you guys if you’re ready to embrace it.

Times are changing and for the past 10 years you’ve heard we’re going okay digital. You’ve got to be in the Cloud, making touch digital. You’ve heard it all, but you’re all still trying to play catch-up. There’s only a small percentage of firms that are actually in the Cloud. But we have to understand the times are changing and we have to jump on the bandwagon and change with it. When you were thinking about marketing 10 years ago… So I’ve been doing marketing for 27 years, which shows my age and is a bit scary. But when I used to help people with marketing, when I used to work in the exhibition world, it was all about the person with the biggest budget wins.

But it’s not like that anymore. If you were competing against the larger firms years and years ago, you wouldn’t have won. You wouldn’t have reached the thousands of people out there that need your help because they had big budgets and they could afford to do the billboard advertising, they could afford to spend money on TV. You’ve only to got to look at QuickBooks and they are on TV every single day in the adverts, okay? But they might be reaching millions of people but there are ways that you can reach millions of people for free. And I’m gonna be giving you a strategy today that shows you how to do that without having to spend any money and a little bit of time. And if you haven’t got the time, you get one of your team to spend a little bit of time. Okay?

So years ago the only way you could get in front of your ideal client was if someone was driving, you’d be on a billboard, you’re be in a magazine, which would cost thousands, or you’d get in front of them on television. But now the best way to get in front of your ideal clients is in what all of you have in your hand right now. Okay? You’re going to have either in your back pocket, in your hand, or in your handbag, a phone. Who here has come today without a mobile phone? No one. Okay. And you have that mobile phone and you might use it as a telephone. I rarely expect you to use it as a telephone unless you’re talking to your children. But what will happen is you’ll be sat on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, and you’re consuming information. And if you’re in front of your ideal client and sharing about your business, then they’re not going to be consuming your information, they’re going to be consuming your competitor’s.

But it costs nothing to be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, to be messaging people costs you nothing apart from time. And please, don’t get me wrong, I understand that time is a very valuable commodity and something that you don’t have a huge amount of. But it is easy. Now if we look at what’s happening with social media, where you might be in your 45-64. I know there are younger people here. You’re spending an average of an hour-and-a-half a day on social media. Your ideal clients who are sat around 25 to 44 are actually spending over two hours a day on social media on their phones. You only need to have five minutes of their time and they could become a client.

How many of you are posting every single day on social media? Put up your hand. Every day on social media? You people who are posting every day will be getting the clients. So we need to shift our mindsets and make sure that we are in front of our ideal clients. What we have to focus on though is strategy. We don’t want to focus on, “Should I be on Facebook, should I be on LinkedIn, should I be…” We need to focus on a strategy to take people from getting interested in you and seeing you, all the way to becoming a client. So if it was as easy as posting on Facebook, you wouldn’t be here at Accountex today trying to learn about how to get clients because you’d know exactly what to do.

What I have seen a huge change in is it’s now an emergence of the vital few, not the functional many. So you have to be vital accountants and we have to show that you are vital accountants. So one of my clients, flinder, headed up by a gentleman called Alister Barlow and Luke Streeter.. And they approach running their practice as entrepreneurs versus the technical that you used to be. So we need to shift our mindset and then we can shift our actions. But if we don’t shift our mindset, we’re going to keep on doing what we’ve always done.

So what I’m going to share with you today is a little bit about how to shift your mindset and then I’m going to give you the strategy to go out there and once you shifted your mindset and get the clients. So your reality at the moment is that maybe this is what you’re doing. Maybe you’re doing a little bit of the compliance work and you’re looking after the book-keeping and the tax prep. And my dad is a tax technician and literally we had something like this in our house and when he did all of his work, he’d have it in the reams would go. He retired a couple of years ago because when the world went digital, he went, “[inaudible 00:06:32], I’m not doing that anymore.” And he said to me, “Amanda, can you go and help the accounting profession because you’ve got the bit that they’re going to miss in the next coming few years.” And what he did, and what many of you are doing, are… Now, I’m not saying you’re all striving for a million-pound firm. I’m just really bad at Maths so I went with something simple.

But if you wanted to make a million pounds a year, and you had your average fee at 1000 pounds a year which, if I ask many of you, you might just tell me that’s what it is, you would need 1000 clients to service. To service those 1000 clients, you’d need 20 to 40 staff and they’re really expensive. And you would have to have a complicated app staff. You’d have to have amazing systems in place and you would have to be so on the ball that you probably would be very gray and absolutely exhausted. So what we have is a monster of a business if we become or if we stay functional. What we want to do is become vital and this is actually Mark Telford who is also one of my clients. And what he did was define his niche and then he started communicating with is niche and put together advisory and consulting services around their problems.

So what we need to be looking at is how can we service our clients and help them with their problems. And when we talk about a niche market, I’m not talking about you only need to work with lawyers or you only need like I do, only work with accountants. I’m talking about mindset as well. So you can niche your practice on the kind of mindset or the turnover of your ideal client. And what happens when your vital and you run a business through vitality, being really valuable to your clients, if you could have 100 clients paying you 10000 pounds a year. Now what that does is high-value number of clients but then you only need a few staff. And if you’ve only got 100 clients and two to four staff, and outsource some of the compliance, you have a very profitable business. Very profitable.

And what happens is you don’t need so many apps because you’re working with the same kind of firms, same kind of businesses. You don’t need to have really complicated systems because you know exactly what you’re doing because you’ve only got to do it 100 times a year, versus 1000. You go skiing in tax season. Can anyone imagine that? Going skiing in tax season. One of my clients did that this year which was amazing, and you have what we call a freedom business. And a freedom business is to spend time with your kids, go on holiday, read a book, or do whatever you want. But you won’t lay awake at night worrying about those pain-in-the-butt clients that you have when you have 1000 of them.

Now that all sounds good in theory but there’s three things that’s stopping you. So what is it? The first one is insecurity. So you’ve got people like myself standing and they’re going, “You need to offer advisory,” and you’re like, “Oh my God, how do I do that? What do I do? I don’t even know what’s valuable about my services. How can I advice someone to grow a business?” Second problem that you’ve got is you’re a little bit scatter-brained. Sorry. Considering you’re so switched on with the numbers, you approach business growth a little bit scatter-brained. You don’t have that strategy in place. When it comes to the numbers, you’re on the money. But when it comes to growing the business, you’re a little bit kind of not sure what to do so you try everything.

One of my clients, Mel, she buys everything she can see. And the first thing I told her to do when I started working with her was, “Stop buying everything.” Because she sees a shiny-shiny and it’s like, “I want that and I want that.” But because you don’t have the focus, you don’t know what to focus on. And then the third thing is the scarcity mindset. So some of you have been in practice for many, many years. And you’ve built your business on referrals. Now one of the things that I say is that you are the sum of the five people you hand around with. And if you hang around… So if you have D clients. So you value your clients; A, B, C, D. If you have D-value clients, what will happen is they’re going to hang around with other D clients because their ideal friends and their family are going to be the same as them.

And you’re building a practice right now on people who are referring you same clients as the ones that get right on your nerves. So you’ve got to take a deep breath and go, “I can’t be scared anymore. And actually, I’m going to have to get rid of those Cs and Ds and start building a firm on the As and Bs.” Sorry, I got distracted just standing. You’re like this. You’re like, “Oh, no.” It is resonating. Yeah? Okay.

There’s a solution. I’m going to give you the solution. So the way that David set me up was, “I’m going to give you the solution to everything.” So I better start giving you solution to something. So what do we do? We change your destiny. So what I teach clients to do actually, is create a methodology and a framework. And what I’m going to give you today is an example of a methodology and a framework. And if you complete your business into a framework and talk around that, you start to share value rather than, “I’m going to do this little bit for you and this little bit for you.” And I call it a signature system. You can call it a methodology, you can call it a step-by-step of how you work with your clients.

But one of my clients actually put together part of the methodology hadn’t even designed it, hadn’t even written it out properly, took it to a meeting and sold a 10000-pound service with no compliance in it at all. They stayed with their accountant and bought advisory services. They didn’t know what they were going to offer but they’d just had it written down a little bit about methodology. You got to wing it until you start working with the few clients and then you start to see how you’re going to do it. So you got to have the guts to do it.

So once you’ve got together a methodology, you focus. Because it is easy to have people like me stand in front of a room and say, “You need to do Facebook, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and you got to do email marketing. And you got to pay for this and you got to pay for that.” And actually you don’t have to. All you got to do is understand who your ideal client is, find out where they hang out and get in front of them. You don’t even have to do content marketing if you don’t want to. You just got to get in front of the right people with the right message.

And then finally, you’ve got to work on your mindset. So there is a common theme throughout everything I’ve been talking about at this year’s Accountex. So I am very much about branding, marketing, and sales. But actually, I’m really sorry, none of it will work if your mindset isn’t in the right place. Okay? So we have to get rid of that, “I’m scared, I’m really nervous.” Get a strong mindset which actually comes when you have a strategy and you start to feel more confident, and then you can have success with branding, marketing, and sales.

We have to get these things in place before we talk about anything else. So the easiest way to stand out is to be seen as vital, not functional. So we don’t want to advertise the fact that you a compliance part to your business because everybody knows what an accountant does. Everyone knows what you do. What we want to do is start sharing the fact that you’re a vital asset to that business and you help them overcome problems.

So how do we do that? Well, we have to make sure that we are seen as valued. We have to value our clients and they have to value you. We have to be considered important or beneficial. Now if you just have a compliance service, you’re not important, you’re just another accountant. So all of the marketing that we do just has to portray and show you as something that’s valuable. You have to create an impact. So if I didn’t stand at the front of the room and have a strong message, I wouldn’t be creating an impact, I wouldn’t be resonating. So we just have to work on making sure that your message is getting in front of the right people and making an impact. And if we have a major effect on somebody’s life, they’re going to remember you and they’re going to refer you.

If you have a major effect on somebody’s life, then you’ve changed their business. You’ve changed their life and all of a sudden, you’re not the accountant, you’re their trusted advisor. Which leaves us on to becoming trusted. You need to be regarded as reliable. Now if you want clients that you have that are reliable to you, so they give you the tax information on time, if they actually come to telephone calls, if they answer your emails, you have to show up that way because actually the way that we act is a mirror reflection of who we attract into our lives, and that’s a little bit woo-woo, and I’m really sorry. But at the end of the day, you have to become the customer that you want to be. And if you are attracting people who don’t pay you on time, who are not actually working with you in the way that you want to work with, look at how you treat your suppliers and how you act, and is it a mirror reflection of you.

So just think about that a little bit. I’m not saying it is, but just think about it. We have to be agile. So I’ve been interviewed a few times at Accountex and people have said to me, “What is the biggest take-away that you want people to have?” One is mindset, two don’t get fixed into what we’re all telling you. Whatever we say, you got to make up your own mind and tomorrow the world and the life, and the situation could change, and if we have the ability to be agile, we’re going to be a business that survives. So whatever we tell you, it might be wrong tomorrow, however much I believe my own stuff, you have to make sure that actually it fits in with the way the world is working.

And we don’t want to talk about Brexit but one of my clients is actually French and she is so nervous because she’s got a business here in the UK and in France, and she’s working out how she needs to be agile. And nobody saw that coming. It’s taken a long time to work out, but nobody saw it coming when it was coming. So we have to be agile.

We have to be lucrative. So we’ve got a couple of opportunities. We can give our services away for free, we can offer all of that value and give it away for free like you have done for the past 30 years, and go, “I can’t charge for that because I’ve given it away for free,” or we can change our mindset and start to understand that if we produce a great deal of profit for our business and for ourselves, we can make a big dent in the world. The more money we make as a business, the more we can change other people’s lives and whilst you might want to help charities and you might want to go and help people who have not got as much as you, if you give stuff away before you have money, your impact is going to be less because you’re going to reach less people.

So this is where I’m talking about the mindset side of things, is we need to shift and go with there’s nothing wrong with making money. There’s nothing wrong in charging for your services because you can have a bigger impact on the world. And when you are valued, impactful, trusted, agile, and lucrative, you’re vital. And I know at the back you guys can’t necessarily see this particularly well, but vital is absolutely necessary essential. And I want to be essential to my clients and you want to be essential to your clients because that means that they stay with you for 15 years, and you don’t even have to sell to somebody else. And if you only need 100 clients at 10000 pounds a years, oh my gosh, then you don’t even have to worry about too much marketing. Okay. I don’t want to talk myself out of a job but who wants to sit and market all day? That’s not why you went into business, is it?

So think about you approach setting up your practice. So your job is not, “What marketing should I do,” it’s, “How can I actually focus on being vital to a client and to a prospect,” and then the rest kind of comes. So your job now, when you leave Accountex is to focus on becoming a vital accountant. Not a functional one, a vital one. So how do you become vital? I have the solution for that, and that is a little bit about marketing. Because we got to actually put out there that you need to be a vital accountant.

So we have to focus on three things that will help you become vital. I’m also very aware that a vital accountant delivers well. That’s where we work on the mindset and we put together the methodology. But when you start your business, and you’re a newbie and if you haven’t done any marketing before, you will probably have no sales, no leads, and be unknown. So what we need to do is start a little bit of branding, marketing, and sales so that you become visible to your ideal client. When you’re visible to your ideal client, you have a few leads coming and you have sporadic sales. So many of you might get three or four leads a month, you might make one or two sales a month. And that’s because you are visible. And that’s a good place to be. That’s where many of you are sat.

Some of you might be newbies but what we want to do is to get you up to industry leaders as quickly as possible. So we need to get you to be valued for your services which means that we now have inbound leads. And inbound leads are where you go, “Oh, I’ve got an email of inquiry. Oh, my phone’s rung.” That’s like, “Oh, I didn’t actually reach out to anyone. They’re starting to reach out to me.” And what happens is that’s because people see you as a valuable asset to their business. The problem is, is because you’re in shock and you’re like, “Oh my God, I’ve got leads,” you’re like friction selling. So you’re like, “Oh, I can’t charge them that amount.” “Oh, yes I can.” “No, I can’t because I might not get another lead tomorrow so I can’t charge that amount.”

And you have this kind of fight with yourself and with your client and one day you might charge loads of money, and the next day you won’t be feeling quite so confident because you don’t know where your next lead is coming from. So you charge less. And you’re laughing lots. This is getting to you, isn’t it? That’s good. It’s good that you sat on the front. What we want to do is get you to an industry leader. Now I’m not talking about the fact that you have to have a massive personal brand, I’m not talking about the fact that you need to be on video everyday. There are people out there that that comes naturally to. But the majority of you, you want to get the right clients without having to be pushed too much outside your comfort zone. Yes? That would be good? Yeah. Okay.

So we want effortless conversions where you believe in yourself, we want you to be oversubscribed so you actually say to people, “We can’t work with you this month. It has to be next month because I’m offering such a great service, and actually our first meeting takes two hours. And I can’t fit you in the diary for three weeks.” As opposed to, “Oh my gosh. Here, I’ve got five minutes here. Let’s have a conversation.” And finally what we need to do is have you as a vital brand. And we don’t have to be a brand like McDonalds, we just have to be a brand for our right clients in the right place. When you’re a newbie, what happens is you believe referrals will grow your business. But if you grow referrals on the wrong kind of clients, what happens is you suffer. Sales actually cures all ills. So every one said, “You need to have better systems, you need better staff, you need better this and better that.” If you can make more sales in your practice, you’ll have more money, you’ll be more confident, you can make mistakes quicker which means you can learn quicker, which means that you then know what staff to employ, what systems to put in place.

So whilst everyone says it’s 101 things that you need to do, sales actually enables you to cure any of your problems. Because if you’ve got money, you can fix anything. You can pay someone to get you out of any trouble that you are in. So you have to focus on sales. That’s the backbone to your business. Because also if you’re a newbie and you’re leaving your current job, and you want to start as your own accounting practice, how do you know what mistakes to make until you have enough clients so you can make mistakes? You’re not going to get out of it. I make so many mistakes, and i learn from those mistakes and get better and better. And we’ll never be as good as we need to be and the more clients that we have, and the quicker that we get those clients, the more mistakes we can make and actually get a better practice.

So, okay is not good enough. You’re going to get to here and go, “Well, I’ve got inbound leads and I make a few sales.” But okay is not good enough. You don’t really want to live that life. What you want to do is get out of the trap because good enough traps you and it gets you two holidays a year and it gets your kids to carry on just in private school but it doesn’t enable you to pay to change the world. And if we’re completely true, we all have had something happen in our lives that you wish that you could give money to or give time to. We’ve all lost somebody or we all have a child that isn’t very well and we would love to help them. And by keeping your business small, you’re unable to change the world. And that’s what vitality is all about. It’s about being essential to the world.

So I’m a little bit on my soap box here. I can feel it coming out. Alright. So which branding, marketing, and sales should you do to actually work your way up this pyramid that I put together? Is it search engine optimization? Is it Facebook advertising? Snapchat. If any of you have got children, should you be on Snapchat? Is that the latest marketing fad? Should you write a book? I’ve written a book. Has that been the key to my success? Well I’ll share that with you in a moment. What about LinkedIn, what about blogging, events, Instagram, email marketing, webinars, networking, there are loads, Twitter, videos. All of these; direct mails, Facebook. Who feels a little bit overwhelmed right now? I’ve put all those up. Who’s going, “This is why I don’t touch marketing and I’m going to stay with referrals”?

What we want to do is stop worrying about this because it’s overwhelming. So you’re coming along here and you’re saying, “I want to learn about marketing.” And if I sat here and told you about LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Twitter, you’d leave here and your head would go… and you’d go, “I’m not doing any of that. That’s horrendous.” So we are going to talk about simplifying and focusing on strategy, not tactics because all of those things I just showed you were tactics and your business won’t grow if you focus on the tactics.

So I have created something called the scalable six. And I’ve worked in the accounting profession for a few years but I have helped over 500 businesses launch and grow over the past 10 years. Like they are the ones I’ve worked personally with, apart from the ones I’ve made a bigger impact on. But they’re the ones that have paid me money and I’ve helped. And I have noticed a pattern. And there are set things that if you do well, will get you to become a vital account, will actually enable you to have the success that you’re looking for.

So they are market. You have to know who your ideal client is. Like I said, you can niche on mindset and turn over. I would much rather you niched on industry because it’s really easy. But you’re going to resist me on that. So you can niche on mindset and your ideal client. You need to get your message right. And you can’t get your message right if you’re just a compliance practice or that’s the message that you put out. We can do bookkeeping, we can do your tax returns. That’s not a message that’s going to cut through the noise, unfortunately.

One of the good things is that it’s a level playing field because you can now all do marketing. One of the bad things is now you can all do marketing and you’re all doing rubbish marketing and it’s making a lot of rubbish noise. So you’ve got to get your ideal market and your ideal message right. After that you’ve got to hang out where your ideal clients hang out. So you’ve got to be on the right media platforms. Then, you have to magnetize those ideal clients towards you. You have to multiply your opportunities which is all about sales. And then your favourite word, maximize your referrals.

So at multiply, you make a sale of your A-grade client, and then you say, now what friends have you got? Your other A-grade friends can you refer to me? If you have D-grade clients, stop asking for referrals. You’re building a practice of hell. So I call D-grade clients vampires. They suck the life out of you. They drain you of your energy and you feel like crap. A-grade clients are radiators. They radiate warmth and when you get an email from an A-grade client, you open it. When you get an email from a D-grade client, you don’t look at it for a week. You go, “I’m not opening that.” So you want to work with radiators, not vampires.

So the solution is to focus on strategy, not tactics. And I bet nearly every single one of you wake up in the morning and think about tactics, not strategy. To do that, this has to be at the center of all of your marketing. So you don’t wake up and go, “I’m going to post this on LinkedIn,” you wake up and go, “Where does LinkedIn fit in my strategy, and how can I leverage LinkedIn to show that I’m a vital accountant?”

So I’m going to talk you through these six now and show you which sections help you show up as vital. So the first thing that we have to do is identify your A-grade audience. And one of my favorite sayings is niche your marketing not your practice. So those of you who have been in practice for a few years, you’re probably like, “Oh, don’t talk to me about niching. What about all my clients that actually I’m serving at the moment and that they’re going to get really annoyed if I change my website to just about them?” So I’m saying that’s okay because we still have a generalist practice. We still serve those people that we can provide great solutions to. But what we do is we think about a strategy for your marketing, you work out who your A-grade client is, and then you go out and target those people. And you carry on accepting working with other industries, other people, as long as they’re A-grade. You don’t want to be taking on those that make you feel like a vampire.

So when you have an A-grade audience, and they find you online, they are going to see you as valuable because they will believe that you’re the accountant for them. So let’s just choose an industry for a moment. I’m going to go with lawyers because that’s front of mind and I don’t know why. But if you’re going to just target lawyers and a lawyer looked at your LinkedIn profile and it said, “We specialize in helping lawyers with accounting solutions,” that lawyer is going to think you’re already valuable because you specialize in them. If a lawyer stumbled across your accounting practice and you didn’t say you specialized in them, they would be thinking, “I wonder how cheap that accountant is, how cheap can I get it.” But we take away that pricing objection if we look like experts just for that niche. That’s why we niche our marketing. So we have to identify who our ideal audience is so that we can stop talking about price.

The second thing is all about message. So we have to be relevant to our reader or to the person who’s watching us online, and we have to resonate. Which means we have to connect to their head and their heart. So I have people who do not like me, and that is okay. Because I know that my big personality is not for everyone. But my big personality sometimes gets people in the heart, I’d say it works. And then they go, “Oh, does it then make sense?” And if I resonate with their heart and their head, all of a sudden, I’ve cut through that noise and I’m the only one they’re going to start listening to. And they become obsessed about what I say because I’ve engaged both head and heart. And what you need to do as accountants is start to see how you can engage that heart because it’s very easy to talk about, “I help you with this much profit, but how can we actually get those people to resonate with what our message is.”

So we need to focus on that. And when we get that right, what happens is they see us as valued, we can create an impact, and we start to be trusted because it’s not just a logical decision, it’s also an emotional decision. And if we’re emotionally attached to someone, we trust them. So we have to change the story so that we can change the way that we impact our ideal clients. Once we’ve worked out our message, and this is the strategy. You see, I haven’t talked about LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter or anything, have I? So once we’ve got that, that’s when we talk about, where are we hanging out. Now on the slide before I gave like hundreds of different ideas. Not hundreds, that’s an exaggeration. A few ideas. But there are only two places that your ideal client is going to hang out, Facebook or LinkedIn.

If you talk to anyone in the street, I would say pretty much, 100% of them will either be on Facebook or on LinkedIn. If they’ve got a mobile phone, that’s where you’re going to get them. So don’t worry too much about search engine optimization or telemarketing or direct mail. That’s where you need to focus to get those 100 clients. And remember, we’re only working on how do we get 100 clients. Not 1000. And if you want to get 100 clients over the next three years, that’s like two a month. We can all do two a month, can’t we, if we have a little bit of marketing in place. That would get three million pounds if you wanted it. I’m not saying you need a million-pound practice.

So how does that work? We will be seen as valued if we’re fishing where the fish are. So it’s no point in being on Snapchat because your ideal clients aren’t. There’s no point on being on Instagram if your ideal client is 55 or 60. My parents aren’t on Instagram. My mom is on Facebook though. And you could do Facebook advertising and it would get in front of my mom if you understood who she was. So we need to think about just because we might work with an older audience or a more traditional audience, they’re still on Facebook. However, if your ideal client is 20, they’re not on Facebook. They are on Instagram.

My son is 16, he’s like, “What’s Facebook?” In two years time, he’s going to be an ideal client for some of you guys. Because the entrepreneurs are all coming in and they’re all running their own business. And your ideal client in two years time are going to be the children of today. So we’ve got to watch what the children of today are doing. And we’re going to have to meet them there. Which means we got to get outside our comfort zone, change the way we do things, change our mindset, get a little bit more confidence, and get rid of those D clients so that you can get the good A clients that have those really nice businesses that you want to work with.

The next thing that we need to do is actually magnetize people towards us, so we need to create a community. And by that, we have to ask ourselves, “How can I start the customer journey with our ideal client and keep front of mind?” So we have to start a customer journey and then keep front of mind. Now you guys who were here at the beginning, you got beeped. I’ve started a customer journey with some of you here today. We have now engaged, some of you I’ve got your attention, others of you won’t look at me but that’s okay, that’s alright. But then, I have to keep front of mind. So once I’ve got the list of you, don’t be surprised if you get a LinkedIn request. Don’t be surprised if you get a message from me going, “It was lovely to see you at the event.” But I’m staying front of mind.

But it’s easier to nurture you guys who have spent an hour with me already that it is to start splashing out stuff and working on SEO and picking up the phone and telemarketing. So we need to magnetize people towards us to shorten that customer journey and build relationships. It’s okay. Then what we do… actually where does that work? Valued, impactful, and trusted. We need to create and impact, and hopefully, what I’m saying today is landing with some of you. Does it feel like actually, this is making sense? You might have come here and going, “Is she going to teach me how to do LinkedIn and Facebook?” No, I’m going to give you the strategy because you could do all of that on YouTube. If you YouTube, “How do I use LinkedIn,” you don’t have to pay anyone, you can actually work it out for yourself.

So the next thing that we have to do is multiply our opportunities. So how do we get in front of a bigger audience? If we can increase our audience reach and increase the number of people who see our message, that’s when we get more A-grade sales. So we have to think, do we want organic marketing which is things like content marketing where every week, you have to write two blocks, you got to record a video, you got to send out an email at least once a week, and you have to create loads and loads of content. Really cheap, lots of time. How about paid? So what you do, you create one advert and you spread it out to your ideal client through Facebook or LinkedIn advertising or even Google Pay per Click. Not so cheap, you got to pay for it. But it doesn’t take up any time.

So what are you, are you time poor and rich or are you cash poor and time rich? You have to make that decision, you got to make this decision. The alternative to reach lots of people and actually condense that timeline is work on partnerships. So one of the reasons why I love working with my firm’s app and practicing [inaudible 00:36:55] is because they get me in front of their audience in one big go. It’s only one hour, hasn’t cost me anything, but I have managed to reach this many people. One of the reasons why I love Accountex is because it’s a partnership. So who can you partner with to save time and money because that’s a really way to grow your practice.

When you get that right what happens is you’re valued, impactful, trusted, and now we start to make some money. The more money you make, the bigger impact you can make on the world and you can change the world. I’m not saying be rich and buy yourself a jet, if that’s what you want to do, but why don’t we make money and actually save the world, save the planet, save the water, save the sky, save whatever it is that we need to save. If you feel that that is something you want to do, then you have to focus on making sales and making yourself rich because then you can change the world.

Then once we’ve got those A-grade clients, we sack the Cs and Ds and you ask yourself, “Who are the A-grade clients that will give me A-grade referrals.” And then you can do less marketing because you’ve built a practice on the A-grade referrals. So what we want to do when we do that is we enable ourself to be lucrative, valued, impactful, and trusted.

So let’s look at what we’ve gone through. Ideal market. Who is your ideal market? What is the message you need to have in front of them so that you cut through the noise? There is a lot of noise out there. What is the media platform you need to hang around on? So I want one market, one message, and one media platform. That’s what I want you to focus on. I don’t want you to to 10 of these. I want you to do one. So your media platform, chose it. Is it Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram because that pretty much covers everybody in the world. Pick one of them.

Then how are we going to magnetize those people towards us? Are we going to stand in front of them, are we going to write content, or are we going to do direct outreach and send them a message on LinkedIn, or are we going to pay for it, what is it we’re going to do? Then how are we going to get them to become a client. So we need to focus on sales. So what’s that bit that’s going to get them to become a client. If you have a methodology and you’re valued, and people see you as a vital asset, this conversation about becoming a client isn’t about money, it’s about, “Please, can I work with you?” And one of my favorite things that I do in my business and I am so blessed that I get to do, I audition my clients.

So someone came out to me today and said, “Oh, how does someone join your program?” I audition you because I only want to work with people that A, seen as vital, but B, will do as they’re bloody told. Okay? Because if you do as you’re told you’ll get the results. But if you’re not going to do and you buy my program because you think it’s a magic pill, we’re not going to be great to work together. And for you, you need to audition your clients because if they ever say anything that makes you go, “Oh my God, they’re going to be a pain during tax season,” and, “Oh, I don’t like them,” and “Oh my God, I won’t ever want an email from them,” you’re just setting yourself up for a practice that is going to be hell. It’s going to be a noose round your neck. So start to audition your clients.

Then we maximize referrals. You start to take on those A-grade clients. You maximize A-grade referrals. Is this making sense? Is this landing with you? Good. If on top of all of that, or underneath it, or around it, whatever you want to do, I’ve gone through the scalable six. But if you just took away the fact that you have to be vital, this hour has been worth it for you. Okay. That’s the key thing. We have to make sure that you’re valued, considered important or beneficial. Right now, are you important to your clients or have they bought you on price? The second thing is impactful. So are you creating an impact on your client’s businesses? Some of you might have personal tax clients but the majority of you will work with businesses. And are you creating an impact on them? If you can create an impact on them you can then create an impact on the world.

Thirdly, are you trusted? Can I trust you? Are you reliable? Are you gonna show up if I need you? So if phone you and I say, “I’m really stressed about my business,” are you going to have a panic attack and go, “I can’t give you any advice. I just do compliance,” or are you going to be my trusted adviser, and I know you hate that word, and someone who can come up with another word and tell me it, I would be very happy. But at the moment you know what I mean about that. So are you my trusted adviser? Next are you agile because whatever I tell you today it will be wrong in a few years time. So you can’t get fixated on what Amanda said is right, you got to be able to go, “Actually, now what Amanda said was right,” or “What Bob says is right.” You have to be able to do something that you find really hard.

Because the majority of you have learnt to be an accountant and it has been tick-tick-tick. And the way you do accounts now isn’t the way you did accounts 20 years ago. Now you got little bit of help with technology but it is the same formulas. But the world is changing. You got to be more agile. People are taking your clients because they are more agile. And then finally this produce a great deal of profit so we can make a huge, huge impact on the world. Because you don’t want to actually live your life and turn back and go, “Yeah, I’m running an accounting practice.” You want to be able to say, “Actually I changed this person’s life. I changed this person’s life. I changed the world for the better.” And that is what being a vital accountant is all about.

So I would like to invite you. A couple of things. I’m running a LinkedIn master class which goes against everything I’ve just told you because I’m going to teach you at all. I’m running a LinkedIn master class. So on stand 276, if you want to complete the form that’s on your chair. And if you don’t have a form, we’ll get one to you. You will come to my stand. But you can actually either join me for a LinkedIn master class or if you’d like a free audio version of the pioneering practice which is my book that I wrote last year, if you’d like an audio version of it, just complete the form on your chair and hand it in at the stand, that would be amazing. Or you can give it to me here actually. But most importantly, what David is here for, is that if you would like to find out a little bit more about my firm’s app and if you want to run really fast and get the opportunity to have your app made up, then please go next door and find out about my firm’s app.

And the reason why the app is such a great tool is because it helps you build relationships with those ideal clients. So when we’re talking about how do you magnetize people towards you, the app is a really great way to do that. But I think for me, the biggest takeaway that I want you to have is that you have to focus on being vital. So valued, impactful, trusted, agile, and lucrative. And if you can leave today after being at Accountex and go out and feel really strong, that you’re now going to spend the next five years proving you’re a vital accountant, I’ve done my job, I’ve made an impact on the world, and you can then take that out to the rest of the world and make an impact on the world. Thank you very much for listening and I hope you enjoyed.