How Accountants Can Accelerate Growth and Profit by Becoming a Visible Expert

Accountants have a reputation for being introverts, but new research from the Hinge Research Institute makes the case for stepping into the spotlight.

Published in the new book The Visible ExpertsM, the results of a 1.5-year research study on 130 well-known industry thought leaders and 1,028 buyers of professional services show how increasing personal name recognition offers major benefits to accounting and finance firms, helping them stand out in the marketplace and accelerate growth and profit.

Accounting firms with visible experts on staff benefit in the following ways:

  • Stronger Brands: 62% of visible experts substantially expand their firm’s brand.
  • Expanded Growth: 66% of visible experts are business development powerhouses for their firms.
  • Higher Billing Rates: Buyers expect to pay 5 times higher than average for an expert with the lowest level of visibility, and 13 times higher than average for an expert with the highest level of visibility.
  • Increased Lead Generation: Firms with visible experts experience increased lead generation. The new leads are also more knowledgeable and easier to close.

How do they do it?

  • Content production
    Visible experts share their ideas widely through blog posts, articles, whitepapers, videos and books. This practice serves multiple purposes, educating and providing potential clients with helpful information, while also building credibility and name recognition.
  • Speaking engagements
    Visible experts also share their ideas through keynotes, webinars, podcasts and interviews. Speaking engagements are especially powerful ways to generate leads and expand visibility, as the large audience in attendance is already interested in your subject matter.
  • Networking activities and relationship building
    Visible experts actively seek out partnerships that are beneficial to both parties. These might include hosting a dual webinar, contributing an article to someone else’s blog, or attending a networking event after work.
  • Search engine marketing
    Visible experts leverage all of their written and video content by using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. This simply means that when they write and publish, they incorporate practices that will help their content be found by search engines—allowing more people to find them.
  • Focusing on target markets
    Many accountants feel that to expand their business, they should try to have their fingers in as many pots as possible—to provide as many services, in as many industry verticals, as they can. The research shows that the exact opposite is true. Not only is it easier to be an expert in one or two things rather than many, but it is also much easier to differentiate yourself in the marketplace when you are focused on a target industry or audience.

Time to Rise

Becoming a visible expert is not a walk in the park—in fact, it’s more like climbing a mountain. Hinge’s study revealed that passion and dedication are critical, but the research also showed that any professional with the commitment to stick to the plan can make it to the top. The tactics are exactly the same for anyone who has real expertise to share.

And for accountants, that means that the door to success is wide open—as long as you’re willing to walk through it.

Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., is MP at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services.