Attracting and developing relationships with clients is critical to the success of your accounting firm, just as it is for any business. Unfortunately, many accounting firms excel at the craft of accounting but fall short in terms of marketing. A strong marketing strategy can give your firm a substantial edge in the marketplace.
Make Marketing a Priority
The first step in creating a strong marketing strategy for your accounting firm is to make marketing a priority. The majority of accountants are not well-trained salespeople, and as a result, many firms end up relying on just one or two people to bring in virtually all new business. You can avoid that handicap by emphasizing marketing as a key part of your business plan.
For example, take time to teach your team members effective sales skills. You can encourage the process by rewarding sales success with bonuses for associates who bring new clients on board.
Find Your Marketplace Edge
Identify your firm’s competitive edge and unique value proposition. What does your firm offer potential clients that makes you stand out from your competitors? For example, perhaps your firm has special expertise in business or personal tax planning. Once you identify your competitive edge, design marketing campaigns that emphasize that aspect of your business. One Ottawa accounting firm doubled its revenues within five years by branding itself as a firm that offers superior customer service.
If your firm has more than one competitive edge, focus on the one you think has the strongest appeal to your ideal client. For example, if you want to target new small business owners, you might emphasize your firm’s expertise in handling working capital and cash flow management.
While remaining open to serving all types of clients, consider niche marketing. That means advertising your firm as specializing in serving a particular client base, such as a specific industry.
Use Modern Marketing Methods
Recognize the fact that potential customers and clients of all types increasingly search online to meet their needs. Make sure your company website is engaging, informative, and easy-to-navigate. Construct it to effectively convey your desired brand image, the central idea that you want the public to associate with your firm. It may be well worth the expense of paying a web designer to create a site that has maximum appeal to your target clients, and you may also want to hire a marketing company to do search engine optimization (SEO). That helps to ensure your website appears near the top of the search results when prospective clients search for accounting firms in your area. Also, build relationships with clients online through social media accounts or blogs offer free, helpful advice.
Remember to target your marketing efforts to most effectively reach your desired clients. For instance, if your target demographic is on Twitter, you need to be tweeting. If they tend to read business journals, you need ads in those publications.
Consider marketing through media outlets that your competitors have failed to take advantage of. That helps your firm stand out from the crowd and enhance its prestige. For example, if your firm is one of the few firms in the area with its own YouTube channel, your educational videos or webinars on tax planning may help attract clients that the competition isn’t reaching.
Continually solidify your brand image by using consistent messaging, tone, colors, and style across all your marketing media. Creating a strong, well-designed marketing strategy can help you successfully land new clients and keep your accounting business steadily growing.