There are as many jokes about accountants as there are about drummers.
But I won’t go there, because that’s not fair. Accountants get a bad rap for no discernible reason – just like estate agents, car salespeople and parking wardens.
All these people are just doing their job, earning a crust and, actually, providing a very useful service for society and the economy.
If you’re an accountant, you probably regularly make fun of yourself at dinner parties, or muse about how dull your occupation is. Only, you know, deep down, that it isn’t. You’re an accountant because you love numbers and enjoy the process of helping businesses finish their year ends on a high.
So, how do you take that deep-seated love of accountancy and make it sexy to passers-by?
More importantly, how can you be an interesting accountant on social media?
Some interesting accountancy facts
To give you some initial inspiration for awesome accountancy content, let’s look at a few facts you probably weren’t aware of.
- Mick Jagger worked as an accountant before taking to the stage. I’d guess wild horses probably wouldn’t take him back to that profession, though (I’m here all week).
- The co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight, was an accountant before he created the world’s most recognisable shoe brand. And he was a bloody good one at that (have a read of his book).
- Infamous Chicago crime lord Al Capone was brought down by accountants. No, really.
- Accountants count the ballots for the Oscars. And that’s probably a good thing, given recent errors.
- The word ‘bookkeeping’ is the only English word that contains three sets of back-to-back double letters. (I found that interesting).
In fact, the more you delve into accountancy, the more you realise it has a fascinating past and some equally fascinating people associated with it. That might be why the first recorded name in history was actually that of an accountant.
Which social networks should accountants be on?
Good question. With so many social networks now available, it’s tough picking the right one for your business, but even harder if you intend to use these platforms to build your personal brand.
LinkedIn is an obvious candidate, but you shouldn’t discount the others if you’re in accountancy. Instagram remains a brilliant place to document your daily work with engaging photos and videos, while Facebook enables you to connect both your social and work life (just be careful there).
The key thing is to not overwhelm yourself with too many networks. They take time to manage, and the key here is to establish yourself as an interesting commentator on the industry and business in general – you’ll struggle to do that across eight social networks.
Use LinkedIn as much as you can. But, spread your wings just wide enough to capture the audiences on one or two other social networks.
What makes an accountant sexy?
The answer to this is remarkably simple.
You’re interesting! Your job, role or level of responsibility doesn’t really matter.
In the digital economy, people buy from people. Hard-and-fast sales tactics are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and that means you have to be interesting, trustworthy and demonstrably knowledgeable if you’re to gain new clients.
Being sexy and interesting is actually rather complex, though. So, with that in mind, let’s break down the constituent elements of an awesome person and think about how that relates to activity on social media.
1. Genuine interest in others
We’ve all been in the presence of people who bore us to death. They ramble on incessantly about themselves and display zero emotional intelligence.
This happens a lot on social media.
As an accountant, you can avoid this by proactively engaging with other people’s posts. Building your personal brand on social media isn’t solely about posting stuff out relentlessly, it’s about jumping in on conversations and revealing that you care about what others have to say.
We add experience to our lives every single day. You don’t have to travel the world or climb Mount Everest to claim that you’re ‘experienced’. You just need to have lived.
The secret lies in your ability to tell a good story based on your experiences. That might be with a client (who would obviously have to remain nameless), or something that happened to you at a recent conference.
Whatever the story, if it’s engaging, irreverent, funny or a bit controversial (that’s ok too, within reason), use social media to tell it.
If there’s ever an era where tactfulness is much needed, it’s now.
Interesting people are tactful. They have their own point of view and opinion, but they know not to push it too hard or talk over people.
As an accountant, you might hit upon several sensitive topics during your social media conversations, and it’s important not to belittle people or discount others’ opinions.
The more tact you show, the more people will find you interesting and worth engaging with.
4. A sense of humour
You have to laugh, don’t you? Particularly when you work in an industry that’s all about numbers, spreadsheets and tax returns.
The latter is a case in point. If you have something funny to say about the VAT returns process – say it on social media. Who are you going to hurt? HMRC?
Providing you don’t defame someone, insult or show any form of prejudice, a bit of humour on your social media feed will go an awfully long way.
And yes even an accountant can pull it off.
5. Knowledge of the industry
Accountancy is interesting. And I say that as someone who always learns something fascinating following a meeting with his accountant.
Businesses can’t survive without accountancy. What’s more, if they try and do it themselves without the right knowledge and skills, the results can kill the organisation.
The knowledge you hold and keep adding to is timeless and like gold dust to businesses in this country. Let it out as often as you can on social media.
When we discover someone, who is clearly knowledgeable on a subject, they’re usually incredibly interesting – even if the subject in question isn’t something you’d spend time on yourself.
Accountancy isn’t black magic, but some people think it is. Why not use your knowledge to reveal hidden truths, tricks and facts about accountancy that people will probably share with their own followers?
I hope I’ve got you excited about rejuvenating your social media presence as an accountant. It too gets a bad rap for being a waste of time, but that’s far from the truth.
Social media is the best place to build your personal brand as an accountant. The more you work on what makes you interesting and show it to the world, the more people will be drawn to you and, ultimately, your business.
If you have any comments, or further suggestions to make accountants look sexy on social media, then please comment below.