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How to market accounting software to creatives

Posted 9 years ago in Advisors by Xero
Posted by Xero

Beautifully designed accounting software and an industry dedicated to creating beautiful things – what could be a better fit? Creatives don’t want to be tied to their offices crunching numbers. Their work can take them everywhere and anywhere, so they live in the cloud through their Macs, and Xero suits them to a T.

So, how do you tap into the creative industry to grow your client base? It’s all about getting to know them and communicating the benefits of your services. And that’s marketing.

“But I’m an accountant, not a marketer”, you may say. Not a problem. We’ve developed a creative industry marketing playbook that takes you through the steps to successfully market your practice to the creative industry.

The playbook is broken down into six key ‘plays’:

Play 1: Know your target market.

Creatives are designers, photographers, artists, architects, people who use their creativity and talent in their day-to-day jobs. They may work in agencies, on their own, as contractors or freelancers, each with their own unique set of requirements from their accountants.

Play 2: Match the product with their needs.

When developing Xero accounting software, we started with the design, creating accounting software with a difference – it’s simple, beautiful and smart and creatives love how it looks and how easy it is to use.

Play 3: Your elevator pitch.

If you find yourself in front of a creative and have 30 seconds to sell your practice and Xero, you shouldn’t be talking about single ledgers and fixed asset depreciation. A creative wants to know how you and Xero are going to make their life easier so they can concentrate on their craft.

Play 4: Go to them; don’t wait for them to come to you.

Creatives tend to have a tight knit network with other creatives in their field and community.

Find out where creatives work and hangout, what they read, who influences them, what professional associations they belong to and get yourself in front of them.

Play 5: Make yourself heard.

Now that you know where to find creatives there are a wide variety of marketing tools to reach them like email, Facebook, display advertising, events and more.

Play 6: Always add value.

Xero’s expansive ecosystem has a variety of add-ons creatives find invaluable for creating quotes, managing jobs, time tracking and managing client relationships. Help them find the best one to suit their business.

You don’t have to be a marketer to successfully market to the creative industry. You know your business better than anyone and you also know Xero. The playbook gives you the lowdown on creatives and tools to use to reach them. Put it all together and you’ll be growing your creative base in no time.

This playbook is intended to be the first in a series dedicated to different industries. But we’d love your feedback below on the creative industry one, and what we could add to it.

Read the creative industry marketing playbook


Kerrin Russell
August 8, 2013 at 11.40 pm

Hi Sam,

Great thoughts on marketing to the creative industry.

In relation to “Play 1: Know your market,” I’ve found the approach to market differs depending on the size of the creative business. For example, larger agencies will have more financially minded decision makers that you need to present your product to than smaller agencies. Many of the points you’ve made seem particularly applicable to smaller agencies, which are primarily made up of creatives.

“Play 2: Match you product with their needs”
I agree this is very important. We’ve spent the last 10 years building our comprehensive studio/agency management software specifically for the creative industry, so they can spend less time administrating and more time creating.

And we’re happy to have TrafficLIVE integrated with a powerful accounting software, Xero.

The rest of the playbook contains some excellent practical advice.

By the way, the link to the Xero Business Community on page 12 doesn’t work.

Denis Breen
August 9, 2013 at 12.23 am

The piece I was most interested in was the elevator pitch and while I agree with “A creative wants to know how you and Xero are going to make their life easier so they can concentrate on their craft.” you might also want to include what Xero will say about their business to customers.

Not so long ago if you walked into a business and they were using iMac’s it left you with an impression they were cool, forward thinking and creative. Xero acts as a confirmation of those same attributes for businesses via online invoices / payments and logins enabling a review of statement history etc.

So I would suggest adding that Xero will confirm how creative they are in their customers eyes also.

Gillian Rossouw
August 9, 2013 at 11.34 am

Fantastic blog to assist and learn from the experts who make beautiful accounting. Xero lead the charge in accounting, creativity & marketing. My experience with website designers has taught me some valuable and expensive lessons to ensure “engagement, clarify, quantify exactly what the chosen designer can and able to deliver”, to ensure the project covers your pitch vs can and are they able to deliver and interpret this? One of the most important factors is how one’s current platform evolves with the latest technology and is the designer up to speed and do they have the expertise to continue to deliver with time.

Sam Feder
August 9, 2013 at 6.15 pm

Thanks for all your feedback.

@Kerrin Russell – the link on page 12 brings you to our Xero Community pages where you need to login to see the Partner Marketing section.

Alan Broome
August 10, 2013 at 8.36 am

Very timely post for us. We’re launching shortly and are planning on nicheing in the creative professions because of their perceived aversion to paperwork. As mentioned above Xero is a “cool” brand and we’re going to promote this. Along with my MacBook and my chunky glasses it’ll be a shoe-in!!

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