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ACL18 Speaker Sessions: Karen Reyburn

Can you tell us who are and what your job is at The Profitable Firm?
I’m Karen Reyburn, the owner and managing director of The Profitable Firm. We’re a creative agency working exclusively and only with accountants, so I get to talk to accountants every day about marketing - answering their questions about it, listening to their challenges, working through how they can truly stand out.

What is your seminar about at the show?
It’s about ROI in marketing. This is the biggest question we get asked by accountants who are either starting on their marketing journey, or wanting to get more into marketing and don’t know how. What marketing methods work? How long do you keep at a certain type of marketing before you decide it doesn’t work? Who does marketing? How much do you spend? All of this comes back to ROI, and we’ve learned so much over the years working exclusively with accountants about what works, what doesn’t, and how to measure it.

What new skills/knowledge can people expect to walk away from your talk with?
They’ll know what they need to be measuring (and for how long) so their marketing gets results.

How do you see accountancy marketing practices changing in the next few years?
Well, what I wish is that I would see them changing drastically - taking risks, being open to disruption, being the very best kind of businesses who simply happen to deliver accounting services. Realistically, I see them changing very little - and that’s a lot of missed opportunities. 

Do you think that accountants and practice are embracing the full potential of social media?
I think accountants aren’t sure how to use social media, and struggle with the “personal/business” balance of the two. It’s still seen as something primarily personal (for sharing food and family pictures), or for sales messages (we are accountants and this is what we do), whereas the truth is that it’s a way to communicate live, and to connect with people and build relationships. I’d love to see accountants doing more of this.

What is the biggest mistake that you see accountants make, and how can they fix this?
Giving up too soon. Accountants tend to try one marketing thing and expect that one thing to deliver results, and if it doesn’t within a few months or a year, they give up and try something else. Trying marketing randomly like this never delivers the incredible results accountants are looking for, and worst of all it can discourage them about marketing in general. The truth is that ALL marketing efforts integrate and work together (you can’t separate them out and determine ROI individually), and you need to keep going longer than you think.

To fix this, they need to

1) understand how ROI works 
2) create new content on a weekly basis
3) involve the entire team in marketing,
4) keep going for at least three years.