Make the most of social media networking

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Accountants explain how they stand out from the crowd.

Networking has always been an essential part of an accountant’s role. Nowadays however, many networking opportunities happen online through social media channels such as LinkedIn, Instagram Tiktok or X (formerly known as Twitter).

While some accountancy firms predominantly use social media to recruit either by posting hiring opportunities or asking for recommendations, others may use it more regularly to find new clients. Forums and special interest groups too can help both accountants and accountancy students feel connected and share knowledge and ideas. Online networking can increase sales, help business growth and promote personal knowledge and experience.

Social media networking is a world apart from in-person events – which still have their place – in terms of being more time efficient and much more global. Yet therein lies the problem: everyone is using social media for the same purpose. Standing out from a sea of profiles is getting harder. We spoke to accountants who regularly network via social media to find out how they differentiate their profile and personal brand.  

Treat your social media profile like a CV even if you’re not looking for work

Andy Murray MAAT AATQB, Finance Manager and Company Secretary, Galson Sciences

I really appreciated online networking when pandemic restrictions were in place. If things outside had lost the personal touch, you could still reach out to people and network in some shape or form online. I love how accessible and flexible it is – you can share knowledge, exchange ideas, reshare content and connect with people – all at the click of a button.

One way I ensure my profile stands out when building connections is by being clear and concise with the information I share – I make sure it’s easy to read and digest, and that my profile feels friendly and welcoming.

One of my pet hates is acronyms: I’ve been in the accountancy sector for ten years and there are still situations where I’m reading profiles and find myself thinking ‘what is that? What does that stand for?’ so when using acroynms, always explain what it is.

It’s also really important to include soft skills, too: communication, teamwork and presentation skills. Shout about your qualifications, even if they’re not directly related to accountancy, it’s all transferrable.

Even if you’re not looking for work, treat your social media profile like a CV – use it to sell yourself.

Verdict: Be clear and concise with information shared, avoid acroynms and treat your profile like your CV – use it to sell yourself.

I’m continuously changing my profile because I’m forever learning

Freelance practice accountant and bookkeeper Natalia Micu AATQB

I use networking to help me find new clients as well as knowledge share with other accounting professionals. I can keep updated with news and accounting laws and develop new skills. As an introvert, social networking improves my social wellbeing because it can be hard to interact in person sometimes.

The way I ensure I stand out is by continuously changing and adapting my profile on LinkedIn because my professional skills are continuously changing, too. I prefer to lead by example – it’s about showing people that no matter your age or experience, you always have something new to learn.

And when I post or share articles, I’m always open and straightforward in my ideas and options – it’s about being genuine and authentic.

As a mentor, I have pupils all over the world and it’s important that when connecting with them via LinkedIn, they can see I’m being authentic in what I post and share.

Verdict: My profile reflects my continuously changing skills and experience, and is authentically me.

People buy from people – so be authentic

Claire Bartlett, Director, Arden Bookkeeping

Networking helps me build brand awareness but importantly, helps me build a community of like-minded peers who understand the downs and celebrate the wins with you.

I mainly use LinkedIn for networking but I never do ‘cold connecting’ or direct messaging. It annoys me when people do this to me. Instead, I grow my network through my existing connectons: people they are connected to who interest me or whose views I agree with, or people I’ve met previously at events.

The key to successful networking is creating posts that come straight from the heart. People buy from people, so if you can showcase who you are, you morals and values, people will come to you if they align with their own values.

Through LinkedIn, I have made some great connections who I now consider friends, and I hope to continue doing so. Owning a business can be a lonely and difficult place to be so being able to find like-minded individuals to chat to and share experiences with is key for my sanity.

Verdict: People buy from people, so be authentic and create content that comes straight from the heart.

Would you like to contribute to future articles like this one? If so, please get in touch with Annie Makoff-Clark at [email protected]. Upcoming topics include helping clients with growth plans, leveraging professional membership and whether technology is improving workload.

Annie Makoff is a freelance journalist and editor.

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