What does being a Trusted Business Advisor really mean?

Recently a discussion topic was posted on the AICPA Trusted Business Advisor Solution LinkedIn group about what it means to be a trusted business advisor and how to best keep an open communication stream with clients.

When thinking about marketing strategies for trusted business advisors, one of the LinkedIn group members said, “It’s all about positioning yourself as not only your client’s trusted financial advisor, but also as their trusted business advisor.” He went on to say that advisors need to focus on general management issues, not just tax and accounting matters, and to visit with clients at least once quarterly to ensure you are kept abreast of what’s happening in their business.

Another member concurred that one of the most valuable techniques a trusted business advisor can employ is the “human touch” method of checking in regularly, outside of the service cycle.  She wrote, “Nothing says I’m thinking about you and I care about your success more than an outbound e-mail or phone call out of cycle.”

“Avoid being on the wrong side of the price/value curve,” commented another member. “Now more than ever, we need to communicate value.”

Some of the marketing strategies several people mentioned included:

  • Webinars to communicate legislative/regulatory changes and how those changes may impact your clients’ business;
  • Client newsletters and white papers on broader, general management topics demonstrating your command of not only the profession, but of the business world overall;
  • Speaking engagements aimed at value-added services and issues clients face  in the current economic climate; and
  • Hiring marketing, communication, and/or public relation staff to assist the firm in establishing its position as a trusted business advisor.

You might consider joining the AICPA Trusted Business Advisor Solutions LinkedIn group to learn more about best practices in the profession, to share advice, to ask questions, and to become a member of a 1,000+-person group of professionals like you.

Additionally, “Becoming a Trusted Business Advisor: How to Add Value, Improve Client Loyalty, and Increase Profits” was recently released. Find out how to uncover critical client needs in ten minutes or less; how to help your clients prioritize their wish lists; and how to help them quantify the value of addressing each of the issues that keep them awake at night!

Further, CPA2Biz is also here to help you build your Trusted Business Advisor brand and relationship with your clients by offering several marketing programs to help keep your firm’s trusted business advisor status prominently in the marketplace, including:

  • CPA Client Bulletin is a monthly newsletter designed by the AICPA as a marketing and communications tool for your practice. Choose to send as an email newsletter, print newsletter or as a pdf file you can post to your site. Your firm stays top of mind, and your clients and prospects will appreciate the tax, business, and financial planning ideas. Build your reputation as a trusted business advisor with CPA Client Bulletin.
  • Google AdWords provide you with expert Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and consulting services to help you target local, regional, or national clients in a cost-effective way with your own customized online Google advertising campaigns.
  •  Ready-to-use and customizable emails, flyers, and web site content and PowerPoint slides that you can download and share to help explain the benefits of cloud-based accounting services directly to your clients.

If you have trusted business advisor tips and marketing techniques, please share your thoughts and comments here.