Marketing 101: Like Me Better vs. Establishing Your Brand

At a recent meeting of professionals – law, real estate, accounting and others – a partner from a CPA firm remarked that the only real difference between CPAs is personality, that there is no real way to establish a brand or find a niche because all CPAs perform basically the same functions.  His marketing strategy was essentially, “Like me better.”

Of course, relationships are important, but “like me more” is hardly a marketing strategy to hang your hat on.  If you want to make real inroads toward marketing yourself as a professional, it’s essential to develop, package and market your points of differentiation – specialty, industry or other.

That doesn’t mean that you have to pigeonhole yourself, but it is vital to base your approach on something more concrete than likability. You can’t be a generalist and expect people to remember who you are. If you want to succeed and spend your marketing dollars as effectively as possible, the first step is to determine where you’re going to direct those dollars – and that can only be achieved if you take the time to establish a very clear brand.

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