Share Your Story
Listen to this episode here: Share Your Story
Welcome to our blog for TALKING NUMBERS with Paul Jansz. In this article, we share our conversation with Aly Garrett, the Founder and Principal at All In Advisory, a group of chartered accountants, business advisors and transactional experts.
The Concept of Brand
Aly says, your brand is your identity – it’s what you stand for and who you are. When her practice started in October 2018, they were very conscious about what they wanted to portray externally and how they wanted to live internally. When they developed their brand, they really wanted it to be around empowerment, communication, being open and friendly, and relational. They made sure that every single thing that they do is aligned with the brand, the identity.
Aly worked at Deloitte, where she learned an enormous amount about brand and marketing. Her marketing director at the time said, “What makes you stand out from the accountant next to you when you all deliver the same product and service is something that you stand for?” Aly says this is one thing that always resonated with her.
Aly shares that in the early stages, you first need to identify your vision and mission and then start building a marketing plan out around that. Then you should be conscious of the plan and communicate it internally and externally. It’s very helpful to find a key message, find a laneway and stick to it, the consistent message.
The Power of Marketing
Aly says social media is a powerful tool if you want to bring the right people on board. She thinks people who are really engaged on socials tend to be very forward-thinking, and those are the people you want to work with. But there are a lot of parts of this puzzle that people need to pull together.
Aly shares that they haven’t spent money on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google AdWords. What works well for them are the videos on the website, particularly the client testimonial page. Aly says when a client sells your services, it’s incredibly powerful.
Aly and her team spent money on video. Their target clients are in tourism, cloud-based, progressive, and they are medium-sized. They developed and picked all of those clients that fit in that genre and invited them to do a client testimonial on video. Normally, they ask them three simple questions, then develop the testimonial from that. Their click rate and the share rate are massive.
Aly shares that they only spent three weeks developing their website. They confirmed their starting point, had great headshots and a few videos, and developed a simple yet clear website. She also suggests that you don’t need to cross all socials; pick some socials channels and develop a social calendar. Based on the social calendar, then you can start plan all your content.
Aly mentions that now technology can help to build a website at a very low cost and many tools like Wix and Mailchimp are very cheap and effective.
Share Your Story
Aly has been in the profession for about 25 years. On International Women’s Day, the Commission had just announced the Top 50 Women in Accounting award. Aly felt incredibly emotive about her own experiences. So, she decided to make a video that shares her career stories, where she had difficulties being a woman and progressing and moving forward. She believes there’s incredible power behind everybody sharing their own stories and being brave enough to do so, and all these stories can inspire and help other people.
The video had thousands of views, and Aly had many people engaging with her through private messages and phone calls saying, ‘thank you so much for sharing the story’. What Aly took from that was each of us has a story, and if we’re bold enough to share, that’s going to help all of us.
Aly shares they use a two-pronged strategy for their brand. They focus on using long term, the organic method that doesn’t necessarily see a return immediately, but they also run campaigns on the right channels. They count the number of leads, the number of views, and shares to measure how they performed. A $500 video has returned nearly $50,000 in fees for the team, so they repeat the video’s model. For Aly, it’s all about being curious, doing some experiments then find out the method.
Aly says that LinkedIn for them is more around networking, connections, and professional space. They share educational content, also present when they win a reward to build credibility. For Instagram and Facebook, they share consistent messages, branding collaterals, all types of content video, Q&A and blogs. Twitter is the community connections. There are groups of accountants, and they are fairly active on Twitter, so they discuss professional issues from an accounting tax perspective.
Aly says they also considered Tic Toc, but it doesn’t fit. However, if that target market changes, the team might change accordingly.
Aly emphasises the storytelling strategy. She says if you want to engage people, you have to deliver a story, mot pieces of content.
A Piece of Advice
Aly warns that there is danger in stepping in and out of socials, websites or other communication and marketing channels. Make sure you keep the consistency; that means you have to prioritise it, and it will be a really important part of your journey. If you build a system and process behind it and have the right people to support you, either externally or internally, you can build that consistency. And that consistency is truly the superhero piece.