In my Ignite System, I often work with accounting pros on differentiation. We focus on services, branding and technique. Often, Ignitees call themselves “First Name Last Name Bookkeeping Services.” Other times, they have a brand, like “It Makes Cents” or “Bookkeeping by Barbara.” My first question to each of these accounting pros is “What is the story behind your company name?” Typical response, “Um, not sure. Should there be a story?” To which I reply, “ABSOLUTELY!” Let me start by telling my story. My company, 74 Degrees LLC and my DBA seventyfourmarketing.com both rely on “74.” When asked why, and often I am asked, I tell my story. It goes a little like this…
27 years ago I arrived in Santa Barbara with nothing more than a bicycle and a few grand in my pocket. I had no financial support from my family; only myself to rely on. So I worked, feverishly. I was a busboy, a waiter, a table side flambe captain and an IBM intern. I also went to school full time. I would hang at the beach when possible. The weather here is perfect.
Over the years, my internship at IBM turned into a career which later led to several businesses that I started and built from the third bedroom. Some where very successful. Some failed.
In 2010, I formed a partnership with two local individuals to host TEDxAmericanRiviera. To do this, we created 74 Degrees LLC. After three years, I took over the LLC to use in my business which I still use today for seventyfourmarketing.com, snappyhelp.com and my interest in schoolofbookkeeping.com.
So, what is 74 Degrees? The average temperature of my home town Santa Barbara, California. A place I’ve enjoyed for the majority of my life and where both of my sons were born and raised. It’s hard to unhappy when the temperature is 74 degrees all the time. It’s a challenging town to build a business in however. Rents and property values are extreme, which makes it difficult to hire and staff. Most of the jobs are in the service industry as it’s a tourist town. But as long as it remains 74 Degrees, which makes me feel alive and well, I can conquer all.
So, now that you know and understand my story…what’s yours? Is it in your brand? Your URL?
A client I’m currently working with is a huge fan of AC/DC and rock and roll. When he asked what I think his company should be called, I replied “Big Balls!” He went with BNB Bookkeeping.
Seth David runs Nerd Enterprises, Inc. Seth is a self proclaimed nerd in a very nerdy profession. Here, Seth has created a brand so strong that he may have helped the world realize that “nerds are the new sexy.”
Another colleague, Jay Kimelman is a high tech, uber cool CPA. Those are not words you often hear in the same sentence. Naturally, Jay is the Digital CPA.
Joanne Del Balso is to the point and doesn’t “mess” around with nonsense. Naturally, her company is called No Fuss Accounting.
I’m working with another client that specializes in legal bookkeeping services. Sadly, when we met her company name suggested nothing about this focus. We’re currently working on that.
In short, the ability to tell a story is aligned with the passion you have for your business. Whether it’s the street you lived on as a child, a nickname you endured as a child, a favorite rock and roll band, or anything else that says “THIS IS ME,” what matters most is you have a story. If you don’t have a story, what will you talk about with your next prospect?
We all have a story. Some may not want to share it and others may not want to hear it, but if you get the chance to tell it, people are likely going to remember you, your company and your passion. In this industry, the one with the most passion will get the client, when all other things are equal. Does your brand tell a story?
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