Many accounting firms rely solely on word of mouth referrals and longevity to gain new clients. In today’s technological environment, there are other effective marketing techniques that an accounting firm can employ without breaking the bank.
Focus is critical
Many accounting firms offer a whole host of services to several different clients. While you want to maximize your revenue opportunity, you also don’t want to become hidden in the crowd. Firms that focus in a specific area and then expand their service offerings with time are more marketable to a client base that falls within that segment. For instance, if your accounting firm specializes in providing services to the healthcare and technology industries, it will be far easier to win new business as compared to if you were a general accounting firm. Your firm will also be able to develop deep rooted relationships within the healthcare and technology communities. The focus doesn’t necessarily have to be industry specific; it can be a service such as tax law or a cloud-based client experience. The point is that you need to prepare marketing materials that reflect the service and competitive advantage you offer as compared to the competition.
Explain your services and brand
You may have a client that uses you once a year for tax preparation. That’s great, but you and they are likely leaving a lot on the table. They need to be made aware of the other services you offer and how it may benefit them. Accountants often find themselves being referred to as, “my tax guy” or “my auditor.” This is partly due to public perception and the accountant’s own failure to market or brand themselves appropriately. Many accountants can provide strategic business advice on many matters related to a client’s company, but often don’t have the opportunity. It’s important to explain your brand upfront and all of the services you can offer the client now and in the future.
Grow your presence with your existing clients
If you keep your clients happy, then you will certainly receive a few referrals here and there when your client thinks about you. Unfortunately, most times when a client has a chance to plug your name in a conversation with a friend or colleague, they may fail to mention you. If this occurs, it’s likely your own fault for not increasing your presence with your existing clients. Meeting with your client once a year to help them file their returns isn’t enough. You need to be providing valuable information and insight throughout the year via quarterly updates and monthly or even weekly newsletter email blasts. Also, personalize the client experience as much as possible. Make sure you spend a lot of time on constructing your client communications so that it is intriguing and relevant to them. Cookie cutter newsletters with stale articles are better left unsent.
Thought leadership and building a knowledge base
Everyday there are several opportunities for accountants to contribute to the mainstream media in the form of their expert opinions and insights. We know from our own experience here as highlighted by our media coverage. However, not enough great accountants get in front of the media and share their insights with the public. Establish yourself as a thought leader and try to build relationships with industry writers that cover personal finances, small business, and changing tax legislation. It also doesn’t have to necessarily be a finance or tax specific publication. As a business owner, you have many other areas of expertise related to hiring, marketing and being an entrepreneur.
Accountants can showcase their knowledge through their credentials of course, the copy on their website and their newsletter. It’s important to educate your prospective and existing clients through thoughtful and interesting content. This can be achieved in part by building a Knowledge base of tax, accounting and finance questions and answers. The information will help showcase your expertise as well as drive additional traffic to your website. We have many tools here at BIDaWIZ that can help you build a knowledge base and incorporate it with your newsletters.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can build your client base, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 866-991-3665. We look forward to helping you grow your practice.
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