In summary: A Budget for success

This year’s Budget is certainly keeping us on our toes. It will take place between key dates in the Brexit calendar and either will point towards the end of austerity (according to the Prime Minister) or not quite (according to the Chancellor). As if that wasn’t enough excitement, it’s also taking place on a Monday, possibly several hours later than is traditional.

Whatever the outcome, the Budget leads to an annual flurry of activity, now moved from spring to autumn. Write-ups and analyses abound. It can seem like overload, with so much commentary flying about, because the truth is everybody only needs one summary.

The question is, how do you make sure it’s yours?

You can make this happen by asking yourself a few simple questions.

What do you want to achieve with the Budget?

It might seem obvious, but it’s important to define clearly what you want to do with this opportunity. If you don’t know what question you’re asking, the answer won’t be very helpful. So what’s most important for you?

Objectives might be:

  • Updating your clients with the new and forthcoming changes.
  • Encouraging your clients to get in touch with their questions.
  • Promoting your brand.
  • Marketing to prospective clients.

What do you want your clients to know?

What else but the news from the Budget? Your clients need the new rules, rates and thresholds, right? Or is there more to it?

You’re taking the trouble and the opportunity to tell them something about your business, and what you can offer them. Some, or all, of the following might be important for you:

You’re first – The Budget is an event. If you to strike while the iron’s hot and secure that all-powerful first impression over the competition, you’ve already achieved an important outcome.

You’re right – There is expertise in your services. Skills and experience you have worked hard to develop for the benefit of your clients. The right Budget summary should stand as testament to the professionalism and reliability of your firm.

You’re clear and available – Ever found yourself scrolling up and down a newspaper article in search of the figure, buried amongst all the commentary? Or had to wade through impenetrable, but technically accurate, explanations of obscure rules? A clearly structured, concisely written guide might just be the solution your clients need.

You’re out there – Your brand, your company profile, is your livelihood. You can offer the best service in the world, but if no one knows it exists… And those all-important referrals, that bring your new business in. Your personalised Budget Summary flies your flag, and might just end up in the hands of a potential client who asked a friend for some help. Your client passing it on could be the best outcome.

How will you do it?

We won’t pretend it’s simple producing a Budget Summary to deliver to you the morning after the Chancellor’s statement. It’s far from it. But we do it so you don’t have to.

The question you need to ask yourself is how will you share them with your clients?

Print – There’s still a place for print in client communications, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd. Receiving a physical copy of your Summary through the letterbox emphasises the importance of the event plus the value you place on making your sure your clients find out the crucial information from you.

Digital – It’s simple and quick to make sure your clients either receive a PDF copy by email directly or can find your summary effortlessly. You can share links on your social media platforms and keep your website current with an easy-to-find download or even a flipbook.

Don’t forget about the actual communication you send. What will your letter or email say? If you’ve answered the above questions you should already have a good idea.

The truth is, good marketing copy can be easy to write. If it’s not, ask yourself if your objectives are clear. Once they are, all you have to do is write it down for your customers.

You don’t need a complicated story, or an over-zealous pitch. People value honesty and a direct approach. If you want them to get in touch, or spread the word about your services, just ask them. Or tell them you want to keep them informed.

How do you know it worked?

This is the crucial issue for all communications activity, and it isn’t always easy to tell. The good news is that by going through the process above, you should be able to identify some key metrics.

Maybe you want to count incoming enquiries from your clients, or decide a way to check if they have discussed your services with other people.

More good news comes from the internet, because everything that happens there is tracked. Your website traffic and engagements across social media platforms give you data which can tell you how effective a campaign was. Successful marketing strategies should be reviewing this on an ongoing basis, of course, because it’s a powerful way of tracking results.

Of course, sharing the Budget announcements is only the beginning. Working through the implications of the outcomes for your clients is a whole new challenge.

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