If you’re interested in marketing your accountancy firm, you’ll already know that you ought to have a content calendar. But how do you find time to put one together? Well, if you can find 30 minutes, you’ve got time.
A content calendar sets out what you’ll be writing or talking about for the next six or twelve months.
It means you won’t end up scrabbling around for ideas. It ensures your content supports your business and marketing goals.
And it helps avoid the dreaded ‘content for content’s sake’ – meaningless posts or videos that nobody cares about.
A content calendar can be as simple or as complex as you want or need it to be. In this article, we’re going to strip it right back to the basics and provide some shortcuts to getting it done.
Step one: set up a template
First, create a document in your preferred application such as Word or Excel. Create a table with three columns headed:
Aiming for one or two ideas for each month, add dates to the first column – ‘October 2021’ and so on.
Step two: fill in the freebies
With your template set up, you’ve got a potentially intimidating blank page to fill. But don’t worry – there are a few no-brainers to get you started.
We know there’s likely to be a Budget or Statement from the Chancellor in November and March respectively. It makes sense to pencil this in with a TBC and see what’s in the speech that’s relevant to your target clients.
Most accountancy firms will also want an opportunity to remind clients about the self-assessment deadline in January. That typically goes into the October slot. I’d suggest focusing on the benefits of filing early rather than just nagging. If you offer a discount for early filing, for example, mention it here.
Finally, people often like to put something in December or January focusing on New Year’s resolutions and the year ahead. It could be about budgeting, planning, starting a business, exit strategies, business growth, or anything along those lines.
Step three: frequently asked questions
Next, focus on your clients – their pain points, worries and interests.
What’s the most common question you’re asked by clients? Write it down. That’s not only your headline, it’s probably close to what other people with the same problem are Googling, so a good chance to get found.
If it’s tied to a particular event or time of year, place it in the calendar accordingly. Otherwise, drop it into any free slot you like.
Still thinking about questions, what’s the daftest you’ve ever been asked? What’s the cheekiest thing someone has tried to claim as a business expense? What’s a question you wish people would ask?
Step four: evergreen content
Now focus on content it would be useful for you to have in the bank – the basics of accounting, tax and running a business.
For example, you might have a piece explaining the pros and cons of a limited company structure vs. sole trader status.
Another standard would be something explaining Making Tax Digital (MTD) and setting out key dates and deadlines.
A primer on the VAT regime, from registration thresholds to ratings for goods and services, could be another.
They might not be thrilling but they’re certainly useful, and hard working. Whether it’s sharing them with clients to support conversations or even using them to induct trainees, they’ll retain their value for years.
Step five: specialisms
If your firm specialises in working with one or more particular industries, you’ll want a few blog posts each year that shout those sectors out.
That will prove your expertise, knowledge and commitment, and underline that when you say you specialise in working with, say, construction companies, you really mean it.
Which topics are important to doctors, dentists, startups, building contractors, creative agencies, and so on? From CIS to IR35 to the charity SORP, there’s plenty to dig into.
With SEO in mind, make sure each headline mentions the sector and the topic, e.g. ‘IR35 for construction: the basics’.
Fill in the blanks
By now, you shouldn’t have many gaps to fill but, if you do, consider:
- opportunities you wished your clients knew about
- things you want to get off your chest
- myths and misconceptions about particular taxes.
Save the spares
If you’ve come up with more ideas than there are slots, save those ideas on another tab or in a different document. If you decide you want to increase the amount of content you’re producing, you can dip into this reserve. Or, alternatively, use them to give you a headstart on next year’s calendar.
Zoe Sweet is Commercial Director at PracticeWeb, a specialist digital marketing agency who work exclusively with ambitious accounting firms to help them differentiate themselves, connect with the right prospects, and achieve their business and marketing goals. website | LinkedIn | Twitter