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How to advertise your accounting firm without ‘advertising’

Who says you need an advertising agency to skyrocket new business leads? We take a look at the most effective ways to gain new clients without breaking the bank.

Incentivise word-of-mouth

You’ve probably already experienced how a genuine recommendation can be far more effective than paid advertising. So why not ride off this natural phenomenon and incentivise referrals? Send an email out to your clients offering anything — a 10% discount, a restaurant voucher, a free one hour consultation, or even a cash incentive for referring their friends or family.

Get an award shelf

Make it a goal to apply for as many industry awards as possible. No matter how obscure the awards, a well-positioned shelf glittering with trophies will impress clients and remind visitors that you’re very good at what you do. Make a big deal of your awards. List them on your website, blog about them and email your customers about them. Plus any publicity from the award show itself is free advertising.

Shout from the rooftops

Elbow your way in front of a captive audience by blogging, talking at events, conferences and regularly sharing your opinion with industry publications. Share your professional recommendations, give advice, dissect industry news and announcements and celebrate practice wins. Showing the world that you have an interesting opinion is how you land yourself a spot as the financial specialist on say, the Today Show.

Get involved in the local community

Volunteering in the local community or sponsoring an event is more than just a nice thing to do. It’s good for business. It’ll raise your profile and remind locals that you’re a genuinely good business that’s located nearby. It gives you a chance to meet and connect with locals, other small business owners and potential clients. Don’t be shy about telling people about your good work too – that’s part of advertising.

Have a social media account

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are free ways to reach potential new clients. Build a following by regularly posting about your successes, opinions and community involvement. If you don’t have the time, ask an intern or a younger team member to take on the role.

Become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Attract new clients by skilling up in accounting software that businesses are already using, like QuickBooks Online. Once you’re officially trained, add your business profile to the Find A ProAdvisor listing. The listing is visited by thousands of small businesses every month looking for an accounting advisor – and it’s free. Leilette Calleja, Cloud Accounting Specialist, says “the ProAdvisor listing has been great for our business. We love the mix of quality enquiries we get for training, consulting, setups and bookkeeping. The listing gives us advertising opportunities that we normally would not have the budget for.”

Become an industry association member

When given advice on how to ‘find a good financial advisor’, prospective clients are told to check if an advisor is a member of an industry association or professional body. Joining an association is a simple way to make sure you’re considered by all potential clients. Like registering with ASIC, it’s more of a point of parity than a point of difference. 

Unfortunately, advertising your business isn’t a once-off activity. To see a difference in the number of clients, employ several different activities to build a constant year-round presence. It also helps to offer a really good product with genuinely friendly customer service.

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