Running a successful accounting or bookkeeping firm takes excellent communication — and, oftentimes, it takes many styles of communication. Consider this: do you talk to your grandpa the same way you talk to your friends? What about your 7-year-old nephew? We automatically adjust our manner of speaking for different audiences in our day-to-day lives, and it’s just as important to do so when it comes to marketing and communication with clients. 

A potential client who is looking to scale their business is going to be looking for particular things in an accountant or bookkeeper. On the other hand, someone who is trying to cut costs or define a succession plan will be drawn in by a very different pitch. Factors like age, demographic, business size, niche, and your own end goals will alter the way you talk to clients and potential clients AND the channels you communicate through. That being said, here are some tips for tailoring your communication style to different types of clients. 

Know Your Audience

The first step is understanding who you’re talking to. We’ve already talked about age, but what about industry? You may be able to use complex jargon with your colleagues, but that same language could confuse the owner of a paper company seeking advisory services. You will need to pay special attention to where your audience is, what they’re looking for, and what they DON’T want. 

Define Your Goals

What you say will always depend on what you want. Are you trying to advertise your new advisory services to older clients? Have you recently decided to target a niche group of business owners and are trying to reach them via Facebook? Are you informing clients of a price increase? Each of these situations will be approached differently because your end goals are different. 

Understand Channel Differences

Even if you don’t realize it, you’re probably already tailoring your marketing content for different channels. After all, a LinkedIn post can be longer than a Tweet can, meaning you have to be choosy with your words. Channels also have different target audiences. Your grandpa, for example, probably is not on Tik Tok — but he might be on Facebook! You will also need to keep in mind the industries your clients work in. A client with a young, trendy business will be using young, trendy apps. 

Look for Reactions

Sometimes, you’ve just got to be good at reading the room. People change, and communication styles have to adapt as well. Beyond that, it’s nearly impossible to get things right on the first try every time. When it comes to marketing, pay attention to metrics like clicks and follow-ups. When you realize something is working, keep doing that! You can also constantly adapt your communication with clients based on their reactions. If they seem to respond positively to you, you know you’re doing something right, if not, make the proper adjustments. 

Communicating clearly and effectively is hard enough. Adjusting your communication styles for different audiences, and still communicating to each audience well, may sound near-impossible at first blush. However, if you pay attention to your different audiences and try to understand different channels, adapting your communication can help you improve the way you run your firm.