Kyle Dodwell is a young CPA with a masters degree in accounting from Truman State University. He recently created and published a humorous video blog, or vlog, at the direction of his bosses at Brown Smith Wallace (BSW) CPAs in St. Louis. The vlog is intended to draw visitors to the BSW web site, where it is hoped they can be converted into clients.
I talked with Kyle for about a half hour, and found him to be a likable and interesting young CPA. And he has humor, unlike his video persona. In the following video, Kyle plays the stereotypical CPA as a dull, bored accountant in a never-changing world. If you watch it when you’re in a good mood, you’ll find it funny.
Right now, Kyle is immersed in busy season. If time spent on some task isn’t billable, then it doesn’t matter. Consequently, there won’t be a new video blog post until after busy season. Kyle is ready, though, for when he receives the eventual go-ahead.
Kyle enjoyed the experience. He wrote the script, filmed it, edited it, and then spent much more time re-editing it. Seven to eight hours in total.
Kyle doesn’t use social media in his job. I asked him if he reads any of the popular accounting blogs, but he says no. He only receives a daily news e-mail from the AICPA.
He adds, “The attention the video received was a surprise to me.”
The attention doesn’t surprise me. Accountants are starved for work-related humor. Moreover, professional social media usage is struggling to get off the ground. If this is played correctly, Dodwell could soon be attracting several thousands of viewers to his vlogs, instead of the few hundred for his first effort.
I also talked with Michael Bowlan, director of marketing for BSW. Bowlan has long wanted the firm to do more with social media, and has been pushing the idea of a firm blog for a couple of years. Bowlan says he came up with idea for this particular external vlog after noticing some of Dodwell’s work.
He originally did a series of recruiting videos (by employees). He submitted three, and they were very funny. Not what we were expecting. Then at the holiday party, the idea was for Kyle to do a video as a lead in to the managing partner’s comments. And eveyrone was rolling on the floor. Then the idea was to create a new video to attract people to view the content on the firm’s web site.
Bowlan also said,
… the relevant partners and I select the topic and frame the message points for Kyle; however, he has such a unique talent that we let him craft his approach and just review his video for accuracy.
Then I asked Bowlan if there are plans for more.
He has a day job to do. The thought right now is for him to do more on a monthly basis. They might not all be tax topics. To engage people, to get people to do our name.
I hope BSW lets Kyle Dodwell create additional videos on a more frequent and regular basis.
My reaction to all of this? Dodson has done a good job with this assignment. I encourage the firm’s principals to ponder the value to be gained from investing in social media and blogging.
Debit and credit – - David Albrecht