Many CPA firm marketers find writing intimidating, but Dana Bottorff has some ideas on lowering the pressure, elevating your content, and creating authenticity to give your firm a distinctive voice in the marketplace.
It means writing with authenticity. In an Oct. 30 AAM High! webinar, Bottorff, founder of Anadon Marketing/Communications and a former journalist and accounting firm marketer, offered a how-to on writing personalized, effective content that is attuned to the needs of your firm’s clients.
Writing with authenticity involves using your own unique voice, which reflects your identity, expertise, and approach. It also conveys how people will feel when they work with your firm, Bottorff said during the webinar. “Building an emotional connection with your audience is a key part of nurturing relationships that turn into business.”
Finding your writer’s voice won’t happen overnight, but Bottorff shared a few ideas:
- Before you write, talk. Talk to yourself, co-workers, friends or even a client about the topic you intend to write about. Note that you’ll probably speak in short sentences. Record your conversation if it would be helpful. Do this a few times for practice.
- Write two paragraphs just as you would speak to them in a conversation with someone who doesn’t have your training. Avoid writing chronologically because people don’t think chronologically.
- Don’t regurgitate facts. Understand your firm clients’ needs and offer a solution. “Readers care about how they personally will be impacted by your topic. Period.”
- Write to one reader rather than a generic audience of all clients. Create a persona of a specific business owner and keep that person in mind while you write.
“Most readers will remember only three major points,” Bottorff added. Here’s an example of how to craft your content, using a new tax law as an example:
- Impact – What’s the biggest effect of the tax change? State it clearly. Who will feel it the most? Write two paragraphs on this.
- Explanation – Use the next two paragraphs to explain how and why the tax law has changed. Put the change into perspective here.
- Prescription – What can clients do to prepare for the impact? How can they mitigate the impact? Write three to five actionable bullet points. Help readers see the path forward, then wrap it all up with a call to action.
A helpful resource, she says, is Writing Without Bullshit – Boost Your Career By Saying What You Mean by business writer Josh Bernoff.
The AAM High webinar, “Unlock Your Firm’s Content Potential,” which also includes tips from Abbey Kanellakis and Christian Moises, has been recorded. It is available at no cost to AAM members. The cost is $79 for nonmembers.
About Christina Camara
Christina Camara is the managing editor of INSIDE Public Accounting, which publishes two award-winning publications: the IPA newsletter and the annual IPA National Benchmarking Report, along with in-depth reports focused on IT, HR, and firm administration.