The personal element has the greatest impact

The personal element has the greatest impact

The personal element has the greatest impact

“You need to have the machine, and you also need the human element.” 

My friend and fellow business owner Paul said that to me when we were meeting over breakfast. 

We were talking about the Accelerator course we deliver for accountants. I created it several years ago and it’s gone through a few iterations, but now it’s a tried and tested course that delivers incredible results for the accountants who go through it. 

So now we have landing pages and quotes and testimonial videos and FAQs and introductory videos and everything someone could possibly need to make a decision about whether to join the course or not.

But sometimes, people still contact us personally when they’re making their decision. 

They send DMs on one of the social platforms, or ask their question in person, or send an email. 

And I thought, “I must be doing something wrong if people still need to talk to me or one of the team. We must be missing something.”

And what Paul said was that (especially these days) you need a little humanity mixed in with the machine, or else it’s too automated. Too computerised, too systemised. 

He had been looking at the course for one of his team members, and he texted me a few questions. We discussed it, I pointed him to a few things that would help them decide, and they decided to sign up for the course. 

“I know all the information is there somewhere,” Paul said, “but I’m too busy to spend hours looking for it all. I just wanted to get to what I knew I needed. And I like being able to talk to a human about it.”

I did actually feel like it was one of those moments with the lights shining from above. Suddenly I put myself in the place of the potential buyer and realised I love the human side too. 

I love it when I go to order something online and they don’t have it in my size, but a human on live chat finds the nearest shop which does have it, and has that shop ring me to get the order taken care of. 

I love it when I reply to a mass email by someone I consider really important and well known, and that person, themselves, emails me back. 

I love it when I know I’m not being churned through a machine. 

This was my inspiration for deciding to sketch and send individual “welcomes” to every person who signs up to my Karen’s notes. 

It was Saturday night. I was posting on social about the sketch I’d done that week, and how I send out these notes every week, and here’s the link to sign up. I started to get a lot of people signing up right then and there.

I was sketching a few things on my ipad whilst watching the Mentalist, and I suddenly thought – wouldn’t it be a lovely thing to get a personalised welcome? Wouldn’t it be great practice for me, and help me to know the people signing up to my notes as humans, not just email addresses? 

So I started. Right then, Saturday night, sketching out welcomes to Ann and Jennifer and Jacob and Sharon and Robert and Claire. 

People who were either already known to me, or were  becoming better known when I looked up their website (using the domain of their email) and seeing what colours and brand and style they use. 

It’s one of those decisions I could have dithered on for a while. What if I get too many people signing up? What if the personalised sketchnotes end up taking over my LIFE??

Seriously. This is the level of thinking my brain does sometimes. As if 25 people signing up on a saturday night means that next week there will be 250 and the following week 25,000….

But I decided to do it because it’s personal. 

It connects me with a human, not just an email address.

I enjoy doing it, and it comes easily. 

The recipient enjoys it, and feels important (because they are). 

And no, it hasn’t taken over my life. As a matter of fact, it’s been a lovely little exercise to do once a week, and remind me that every single person who signs up to Karen’s Notes is a real human person. With their own name and their own company or job. Their own life, their own interests, their own personality. 

The machine is still important. I type out this note, I give it to the team and they create a blog post and an email and social posts with hashtags and do all the detail work. I couldn’t personally hand-write these Karen’s notes and send them to hundreds of people every week – it’s not physically possible. 

But it IS physically possible to sketch out a custom welcome for each one, so I do it.

What can YOU do to add a personal element to your machine work? What automated thing could be humanised just a little bit? 

Enjoy your custom sketchnote. (And if you signed up before I started doing this and never got one, drop me a reply. I’ll take care of it for you!)


I send these tips and sketchnotes out every Saturday! Sign up to get them here.


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Instant change can shock or surprise you. 

You don’t know what to do with it, so you can default to fear. Or confusion. Or reverting to the way you did things before. 

One of my coaching clients is working on changing his approach with the business owners he talks to.

“Up til now I’ve been very me and company centric,” he told me. “And it’s time for that to change.” 

It’s always been accounting, bookkeeping, numbers focused. Nothing about motivations or emotions. 

He read the Accountant Marketer and is now working through each of the sections with me so he can apply them to his firm. 

But even slight changes like asking new prospects, “So, what motivated you to start this business?” is an adjustment. 

But we make changes because we want some kind of change to happen. 

This firm owner wants to get more of the kind of clients he loves working with: and that means opening up with prospects. 

Asking deeper questions. Listening. 

This change will have an impact on the firm’s numbers. On their operations. On the conversations they have as a team. 

We talked about sending out emails to existing clients to offer a conversation about strategy and big picture and motivations, but after testing it with a few clients, he got no takers. 

They’re not used to this. It’s too big, too dramatic. 

So instead he will adjust gradually, in stages. 

In the next client meet, ask one small question. 

How were things in the business this week? Anything which is particularly tough for you right now? 

Something to start that level of conversation going. 

They may not answer it. They may not feel comfortable with that: and that’s okay. But the very tiny changes will be easier to accept than something dramatic. 

Instead of going 0 to 100, can you stage it? 


then 50-50…

then 80-20…

…and then when you’re ready, 100-0. 

#theaccountantmarketer #change #stages #justkeepgoing #onestepatatime #progress 

➡️This is from my “creative headspace” notes which go out every Friday. These remind you to change your perspective. Pause. Look around. Breathe. To be on the list, follow the link in bio.💪✨
100 consecutive days of video: DONE!!! 

I’ve stuck to my challenge. I haven’t missed a single day. And now I get to start the reflections. 

I’ve made a real effort not to over-reflect early: but to focus on getting the challenge done. Then I can look back and see what I’ve learned, how it’s impacted me and my business, and what I’ll take from it for future videos. 

Here are just a few of my initial learnings: 

1. Plan the video. The earlier in the day I shoot it or consider what it will be, the easier and smoother everything goes 

2. Capture little bits of video throughout the day (or days) to be used with a theme later. One second, ten second, one minute videos came in really handy when I did a compilation video - of walking, or water, or travels, or working. 

3. Being “on” every day - being present on social media and not missing a single day for 100 days - is bloody hard. I am really looking forward to being able to not open instagram if I don’t want to. And I’ll look forward to falling asleep at 11pm without the gasp of “did I do my video today???” 

4. I’m really grateful. For all I’ve learned and seen and heard and experienced and shared: and for how it will impact my future videos. 

Thank you for being with me on the journey. ❤️

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #justkeepgoing #doneanddusted #finish #challengecompleted #nailedit #video #progress #learnings #businessowner 

Day 100/100 Video Challenge
There’s something about water I find so soothing and invigorating at the same time. 

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #water #sea #isleofmull #refreshing

Day 99/100 Video Challenge