My biggest surprise at the #njcpa16 convention in Atlantic City this week was the number of fellow members I met for the first time who recognized my name. I was already aware that about 500 of the 15,000 members of this professional organization visited my web site related to publications for accountants over the past six months. This data is recorded by web traffic logs coming from NJCPA.org where I published a bibliography in January and links to other specific individual articles. But I was unprepared for the number of comments like “I see your stuff on the forum” from so many members. A few followed that statement with a positive comment. Most did not. Nobody mentioned the articles I’ve written in NJ CPA magazine or the 2014 profile article in that publication. Based on this, from a brand marketing perspective, the only assumption I can make is ‘all publicity is good publicity’.
Overall, I would estimate half of the NJCPA roughly 50 to 100 members I met for the first time on this trip made some comment that they recognized my name from the NJCPA forum. In some cases I prompted the comment by saying something like “I’ve been most active in dealing with ACA issues for small businesses”. Yet I didn’t meet any of the association members with whom I’ve exchanged emails or offered a telephone consultation on a professional courtesy basis. So what does this mean? Is my marketing plan working? Not working? I don’t know. Marketing advisors offer complex and sometimes contradicting advice.
All I can say for sure is that I’ve received one business referral over the past year based on branding at the NJCPA forum but that was for general tax work not related to my primary area of practice. Since then, I’ve stopped writing articles specifically for professionals so that exposure has dropped off lately. I’ll stay tuned to observations of the impact of my branding work among NJ CPAs to see where it might lead from here.