Meet A Member – AAM Minute, September 2018

CPA Firm Marketing|business development for accountants

Name: Ryan Krym

Title: Content Marketing Specialist

Years of Experience: Two

College Name & Degree(s): Northern Michigan University, B.F.A. Photography and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Digital Marketing Specialization

Firm Name: Redpath and Company

Firm City & State: St. Paul, Minnesota

Firm Size: 150+

Email Address: [email protected]

Professional Memberships: Association for Accounting Marketing

Community Involvement: Eagle Scout, soccer coach

Twitter Handle: @RedpathCPAs

LinkedIn Profile:


What types of demand and lead generation strategies does your firm employ?

We’ve used social PPC campaigns, SEO optimization, paid advertising with Minnesota Business magazine, Enterprise Minnesota, and Twin Cities Business magazine, event sponsorships, and we also host educational seminars. We track the results of most of our digital efforts with Google Analytics.

What is the structure of your marketing department?CPA Firm Marketing

We have the marketing director and me. Though ideally, everyone helps market the firm.

What have you learned the hard way?

The best-tasting watermelons have golden-yellow coloration where they’ve been resting on the ground longer—giving them ample time to ripen. I learned that only this year after Googling it. I’ve been eating the best watermelon of my life this summer, and on some level, regret all the bland ones I’ve had over time. Takeaway: Stay curious. You can and should learn something every day.

What is a “must know” for new accounting marketers?

It’s important that there is support for marketing initiatives from the top-down. Without that initial support, you’ll spend a lot of time and energy on internal lobbying and education. Be prepared to keep answering a lot of questions—they’ll keep coming up until they feel comfortable with your marketing strategy and direction. Many leaders in the professional services industry characteristically confuse marketing with business development and vice-versa.

It’s important to educate on the differences and help leadership understand that these two functions play in the same sandbox but build different sandcastles. Ensuring that the firm understands marketing comes before getting the outside world to understand your firm.

What are your special skills or what is something people may not know about you?

I love making stuff. Beyond the things I do as a marketer, I am an avid cook, photographer, can make a car faster or handle better, and I can weld, tie knots, and have made some music. It’s fun to create. I also worked in education in South Korea for nine years.

What is the biggest benefit you receive from your AAM membership or what effect has AAM had on your career?

Collisions between different thinkers are great for individuals and organizations as there is always more knowledge beyond the walls of an organization than within them. Events AAM holds locally as well as larger ones (like AAM Summit Portland) provide the chance to meet people who can help you to see a problem differently or share what they know from their own experiences.

Share one marketing tip.

It’s really easy to track where external site traffic comes from for free. With any and all links, you can use the Google UTM Generator in conjunction with Google Analytics and check out sources and mediums that perform well or poorly and adjust as needed.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing accounting marketers today?

Professional services are still behind the curve with marketing; leveraging it, understanding it, and getting technical people to think in terms of differentiation can be a challenge. If you can communicate something you can do better, different, faster, or more efficiently, take that truth and imbue it into your messaging. Too many firms say the same thing and just can’t differentiate.

What would you be doing if you had not become a marketer?

If I enjoyed math more I’d definitely be a mechanical engineer. My parents worked at an engineering university, and I’ve always loved machines and the idea of working within the constraints of physics and the requirements of the customer in terms of what the materials can cost and how they must function. I’ve also enjoyed all the business English classes I’ve held over time with engineers.

What is the biggest project you are working on right now?

We finished our subscriber center where people can sign up for specific types of content from the firm and have a regular stream of in-house content, so the next big project at the firm is probably to craft more clarified guidelines for how things read and look across our content and user experience.

If you had an unlimited budget, what is one thing you would implement immediately?

I’ve used Hubspot Sales and Marketing in the past, and it was great to work in that environment. You can do it piecemeal, but it’s just more seamless with Hubspot — the connection between inbound marketing, what happens in CRM, what you can share with your sales team, and other things like the ability to automate aspects of marketing make it a robust solution.

What books have you read recently that you feel would be beneficial to other AAM members?

Check out “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads” (5th edition). It’s a book about advertising, but if you haven’t yet read it, I guarantee you’ll get something out of it as a marketer too.


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