One of the challenges of running an accounting firm is constantly winning new clients and attracting new business. Standing out from the crowd isn’t as easy as it used to be, but on the plus side, there are many ways to market your business in today’s digital landscape. You may not have a fully staffed marketing team, but you can create a plan to propel your small business forward. Let’s go back to the basics.
What is a marketing plan?
Quite simply, a marketing plan is a document that outlines your marketing strategy and goals over a certain period of time, usually one year. Ideally, it will document your key initiatives that are designed to drive results, and include your strategy around timings, cost and desired return on investment (ROI). Married with your business plan, it will cover topics such as your unique selling point, competitor analysis, business priorities and realistic goals and timeframes.
How do I create a marketing plan for my firm?
Start by identifying your target market. Your accounting firm may have a broad, mass market type approach or be going after a niche audience, either way, you need to clearly define who it is you want to target through your marketing efforts.
Next, write out the goals and vision you have for your firm over the next 12 months – be specific. If you’d like to focus on growing your firm and attracting new business, determine exactly how many new clients you’d like to bring into the firm. What’s realistic? And how many new clients can your firm facilitate?
It’s ok to have multiple goals you’d like to achieve. You may want to increase your brand awareness, grow your website traffic or your social media following or increase your number of referrals. You might even want to increase business of a particular service you provide, e.g. Get more businesses through the door who need help with financial planning or long-term strategy.
Then it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. You know who you want to target and what you want to achieve, now you need to look at your budget and determine how you are going to reach your goals. You’ll need to decide what strategies are best, whether they’re online, offline, mass market or niche. Then you need to work out an execution strategy, which will be the outworking of your plan – most likely as a calendar.
What marketing initiatives are going to be best for your firm?
There are so many avenues to choose from, when it comes to picking the right marketing initiative for your accounting firm. Here are a few you may want to consider investing in:
- Your website
- Social media marketing
- Digital marketing, such as online acquisition
- Influencer marketing
- Traditional mass marketing, such as radio, TV and print
- Email marketing
- Word of mouth, e.g. referrals
- PR marketing