I got asked this recently – how do I market my boring business? Do you know what the lady does? She’s an accountant.
She said ‘I can’t take photos of pretty things to put on instagram, my business isn’t exciting, nobody really wants to use an accountant, how do I market myself?’
My answer was ‘firstly, people might not want to use you but they have to use an accountant, so why not you?
Secondly you’re not boring either as a person or a business, we just need to find your people.’
When you’re in a service business, whether you’re a solicitor or accountant, tax advisor or will writer, it might not feel like you have anything exciting to offer.
The truth is, EXCITING isn’t the right word. When we need accountants or solicitors or will writers we’re not looking for excitement, we’re looking for expert help and a safe pair of hands.
We have lots of fears and worries around these types of services – the main ones being ‘what if I get it wrong’ and ‘how much is this going to cost me’ because often professional services are seen as expensive necessities.
Also, we’re a bit scared of people who know about law and taxes because it can feel like a secret language and we think we’re going to be hit with an eye-watering bill without knowing what it’s for.
SO if you are in this type of business you need to address those fears and worries because if you do, your people will come to you.
In the accountant’s case it was about transparency, in other words ‘no nasty shocks!’ That was her main message. In other words making her services and prices really clear and explaining what was included, what was extra, what was a ‘nice to have’ and what was mandatory.
It was about having different packages so people knew what it was going to cost them and about payment plans if they want them.
It was about decoding the secret language so non-accountants understand it.
She needs to talk about the GOOD STUFF too, how she helps businesses to save money and make money (she had some great examples of both to turn into case studies).
She needs to talk about the things that are confusing and worrying small business owners around accounting and dispel lots of myths and confusion.
She needs to become the trusted, down-to-earth, go-to person who explains things in simple terms to people who are worried and she needs to write some blogs so she turns up in Google searches as a small-business accounting expert.
And remember I said she’s not a boring person?
She needs to PACK her business full of her PERSONALITY. Even though she’s a safe pair of hands and an expert doesn’t mean she’s had her personality removed!
Just because yours is a serious business doesn’t mean you have to shut down your personality. And actually by being yourself you will automatically repel people who are not a good fit (which is a GOOD thing because not all customers are good customers).
If you want a pink sparkly accounting website to attract amazing women business owners, do it! If you want to be the goth accountant, or the rockabilly accountant DO IT! You will attract your people, there are lots of them and they will love the fact you’re a kindred spirit.
So, I don’t know any boring businesses. Every business has its place in the world – it’s up to you to show how you help and why they should choose you. You’re amazing!
Love, Claire xx
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Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.