Tuesday, 17 January 2017

When you read this, you will understand why

How do you choose a service? I know, it can be tough. Recently, I needed a new accountant for my company. So I decided to look for one. Just as you might do, I opened up a browser, typed "accountant" and my suburb into Google, and hit enter...

I expected the answer to be fairly easy, as my office is in a suburban business district rather than a capital city. There's at least 15 accountants within a few minutes of my office! Some are fairly big firms of accountants by the look of it. Given that I am pretty well-versed in all aspects of my business, including the accounts, I was not after a Wall Street level of service; rather someone who could review the accounts, manage the tax affairs, and provide advice on growth opportunities and such. In short, not a huge thing, but very important. So how did I choose?

Well, first up, I only had time to look at the ones with websites. I wanted to scan their services and see if they basically did what I needed, and if they looked like they might "fit" my company's needs. I hear you saying, "Well, what's new?". What I found on that first pass was enlightening from the perspective of small business marketing.

I knew that ultimately I would need to call the accountant, have a discussion, and likely follow that with a meeting where we poured over my company's books, plans, business strategies etc. I would talk, they would talk, I would then assess their suitability. But I wanted to at least get an idea about them first, and unfortunately I did not have any word-of-mouth recommendations. So the website was the first factor. And guess what?

Of the few that had working websites with more than simple contact details (and some didn't have websites at all) very few were easy to navigate, and even fewer had well written and useful information. In some ways, this made my job easy. In a matter of minutes, I had a short list. 15 plus accountancy practices down to three in a few minutes based on Google and the quality of their website and web copy. I made the calls.

Finally, I got chatting with two actual real live accountants (in different firms) who might actually be handling my books. Great discussions. Lively banter. Good advice (and free, at this stage). A very interesting thing resulted from this.

The accountant I ultimately chose, with whom I had a great chat and fantastic follow-up meeting, espoused a philosophy towards SME accounting and business planning that was both a) in-tune with my company and desires and b) exactly as described in the accountant's web copy. In other words, their web copy was a true reflection of their practice, and highly effective as a sales tool at the same time. Bravo on both counts!

What does this mean to you? Well, it's an example of the power of great copywriting (and clever web site design). I don't need to work on my accountant's website, it's already pretty good. But boy-oh-boy, there is a lot of work to be done out there. Truth be told, most businesses don't do copy well, especially when you consider that the majority of businesses are small to medium sized. If you run a business and your marketing copy is lacklustre, well I am telling you, it is costing you sales. It's 2017. The web is old news now. You need those sales! How long are you going to wait before you get on top of your copywriting needs?

It's not just web copy, it's all your marketing collateral. Good copywriting is your sales foundation. Drop us a line at Articul8 if you need assistance with your copywriting needs. We're here for you.

*PS. Hat-tip to my fabulous new accountant, AWC - Accountants Who Communicate. The name says it all really.

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