Korean pop sensation Psy has been shattering YouTube records with his infectious “Gangnam Style” music video, which could offer some lessons for accountants whose outreach efforts often go overlooked.
Psy, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, managed to create the most-liked video of all time on YouTube recently. His video reportedly reached 100 million views within just 52 days after being posted on YouTube and is now over 350 million and counting. Part of the reason for the high number of clicks could be that Internet users wanted to learn the amusing “horse dance” choreography in which Psy pretends to be riding a horse and spinning a lasso, while wearing some sharp-looking suits. His motto “dress classy, dance cheesy” has gained devotees worldwide.
For accountants, dressing stylishly isn’t a requirement, although as Accounting Tomorrow blogger Emily Burns Perryman points out in her “Fashion & Finance” columns, it does help make a good impression on clients and colleagues alike. Pretending to dance like you’re riding a horse probably would not make that great an impression on many clients, though.
“Gangnam style” refers to an upper-class, privileged lifestyle in South Korea, which Psy pokes fun at in his video. “Gangnam” means “south of the river,” a relatively wealthy district of Seoul that has been compared to Beverly Hills. The video is set in a variety of locales around Seoul, ranging from a party bus to a sauna to a stable. Accountants also have to be ready to travel to far-flung locations to meet with clients and new prospects, including high-net-worth individuals and small businesses in different industries, such as the entertainment industry.
Psy is joined in the video by several other comedians and K-Pop singers who would be recognizable to Korean viewers. While the locations and performers are not so well-known in the U.S., the video has managed to become the first Korean pop song that has achieved wide-spread crossover success in the U.S. market.
Accounting firms similarly need to build on the talents of their leaders and staff, whether they’re well known or not, and cross over to new niches when partners spot a market opportunity so they too can become breakout successes. It might be worth mentioning too that South Korea is ahead of the U.S. in supporting not only Psy, but also International Financial Reporting Standards.
“Gangnam Style” isn’t the only recent viral video success story where there are some analogies—admittedly tenuous ones—with the accounting profession. But I won’t even try to elaborate on “Hey, I just audited you. And this is crazy! But here’s my business card. So call me maybe.”