The Truth About Marketing and Design for Your Firm

I was working with a firm owner recently, and we were exploring where his clients were really coming from. He has been growing, but he didn’t really have a website and he wasn’t really marketing. How can you grow if you don’t have a website, a logo, or participate in marketing activities? Similar question: why do some firms fail to grow when they do have a solid website, a logo, and participate in marketing?

The answer is because marketing and design are only part of the equation. Few things in business-building are everything; marketing and design aren’t everything. It’s true that you cannot make an appeal to a target market or claim expertise until you have a website and a brand. But it isn’t everything. If marketing and design are one part of the equation of growth, then what is the other side of the equation? It’s humans perceiving your value proposition. Forgive the jargon – let me explain.

You can participate in the right marketing and branding and still fail to see the growth results you want as a firm owner because the humans you are targeting are either not hearing you, don’t want to hear you, are confused by your message, or don’t want what you think they should be buying from you (or the many other human issues you face in marketing). Your value proposition is the cleverly crafted message you are delivering to your market, and if humans don’t believe what you are saying in your value proposition then your marketing won’t work. Humans are very fickle people, and it’s important to understand that even accurate marketing and branding can’t persuade everyone to buy from you.

Trust is another huge component of marketing to fickle humans. If you can create the right marketing that produces trust, then humans are more likely to buy from you even if your marketing is subpar. I’ve been running a podcast to our target market for over 4 years, and leads say things like “I feel like I know you.” They feel like they know me (and trust me and our firm) because they have been listening to me talk about business-building for so long. But still, podcasting doesn’t bring in the masses. There are still humans we are not able to convince through our efforts of podcasting. Why? We don’t know.

Not knowing is truly a hard part about marketing. Solid, effective marketing with consultants who get it can bring you big wins. But you just can’t always know what part of your marketing is subpar, or which part is really speaking to your target market. And this affects your bottom line because marketing can get expensive, especially if you don’t know which part of your marketing is or isn’t working.

Not to completely trash marketing. Many firm owners fail to see results from their marketing because they are doing marketing wrong. Marketing now needs to be nurturing, instead of only blasting your blog post out over social media. We blast our blog posts out over social media too, but it isn’t (and never has been) the sole reason why we get leads. It isn’t everything. We nurture those leads over a process to eventually have humans trust us enough to buy from us. Nurturing requires requesting email addresses, providing solid information that helps your potential client and consistently speaks to those who have given you permission to market to them through email. This nurturing can take months to take hold (6 months to start) and you can change it in many ways to make it better. You can change the frequency, the intensity, the type of messaging, testing to see which message works best, using text or video or audio, or even paying to have your message blasted through Facebook. Whatever you do, if you plan to grow through marketing, make the investment to do it right or you could lose a lot of money ‘trying things out.’


  • Do marketing, even if it’s not exactly right
  • Make sure your value proposition (your message to your target market) is accurate before you pump it through your marketing machine
  • Consistency is key to nurturing
  • Nurturing takes time, but it’s worth it because it builds trust
  • Build a brand and a logo, but don’t expect miracles at first
  • Be careful with spending a lot of money on marketing until you have the cash, or until you fully know what you should be spending your cash on

Interested in how firms all around the country are building better businesses? Join us at Thriveal’s Monthly Intro Call to learn more about how a creative community like Thriveal can make you a better business owner that begins to make marketing work for you.

Jason is the Founder of Thriveal and the Chief Innovative Officer of his CPA firm, Blumer & Associates. He is the co-host of the Thrivecast and The Businessology Show and speaks and writes frequently for CPAs and creatives, his firm’s chosen niche. Jason loves to watch documentaries on just about anything. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and their three children.

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