In a perfect world, the fact that you run a reputable accountancy practice whose employees do everything the right way would be enough. We do not live in a perfect world and there is more than some need for accountancy practices to cut through the noise and get the name of their practice in front of potential customers.
In other words, doing marketing has become an integral part of running an accountancy practice, which may prove to be somewhat of a problem for practice owners whose knowledge of modern marketing is limited, at best.
So, how exactly do you market an accountancy practice?
Coming up with a Strategy
Before you can do anything else, you need to come up with a strategy that will guide all of your future marketing efforts and it is absolutely essential that you do not rush this part of the process.
Formulating an effective marketing strategy will involve quite a bit. For one, you will want to clearly identify your goals. For some accountancy practices, the goal might be increasing the client base by 25 percent. For others, it may be attracting a certain type of clients, like foreign new company setups. An accountancy practice might be changing their focus and they want their clients to understand this. The goals are many.
The next step is analyzing your own practice. What are your unique selling points, that is, what are the things that separate your practice from the myriad others? What does your SWOT analysis unearth?
Your strategy should also include coming up with a realistic budget for your future marketing efforts. It should also involve a certain timetable that these marketing efforts and (hopefully) subsequent successes will follow.
Online marketing is a must and this goes for accountancy practices too. Simply put, if your practice cannot be found online and if you are not actively promoting it on the web, the chances are you will be missing out on a huge portion of potential customers.
The first step in doing online marketing will be sprucing up your existing website or having it well designed for you. There is no need to spend too much money on this, but your website needs to look good – not like an accountant designed it…
Elements your Website Needs to Have
Your accountancy practice website will need to feature certain elements that will help you market it online. For one, you need a great description of your practice and your areas of expertise. You should also feature an About Us page where you will introduce your team and some of your past accomplishments. You will also want to have a Contact page where people will find out how to get in touch with you.
A blog is also a good idea, and for a number of reasons. For one, you will be able to use it to demonstrate your expertise and the expertise of your team. It can also be a place where you can answer your clients’ most common questions. You will also use your blog content for your social media marketing purposes and in guest blogging if you choose to do it.
Social Media Marketing
A modern accountancy practice will also be social media savvy and you will maintain at least some kind of a presence on social media. It is important to remember that social media should not be used as an advertising channel, but as a way, for you to connect with your clients and potential clients by being helpful and, well, sociable.
Still, no one can stop you from mentioning your services every now and then, or share a story about the successes of your team. A social media shared inside look into your practice can further promote your brand and make your accountancy practice stand out from the competition.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, ‘The news of email marketing’s death have been greatly exaggerated’. Email marketing may not be the most exciting or the most innovative way to market your business online, but the numbers speak in its favor. This is especially true for B2B companies, which is what many accountancy practices are. Learn more about emails, leads, newsletters and email marketing in general. It will come in handy.
Traditional Marketing Still Works
If you were to listen only to the “marketing experts”, you would probably sink all of your efforts and money into online marketing and, in doing so, make a huge mistake. In reality, traditional marketing still yields great results, especially for “traditional” businesses such as accountancy practices.
Local media provides great exposure for accountancy practices and even though this might be a sizeable investment, it is still possible to get great air time without breaking the bank.
Local sponsorships are always a great way to increase the visibility of a brand, especially if they are combined with organizing a local event from time to time. The best thing about this is that it does not have to be anything spectacular. A charity run or a picnic in the local park can do fantastic things for exposure among your local potential clients. With today’s social media craze, it is all but guaranteed that this kind of exposure will travel well online too.
Networking and encouraging word-to-mouth recommendations is a fantastic way to get the name of your practice where it needs to be. After all, a huge number of people still rely on their friends, family, and acquaintances when it comes to recommendations for services such as bookkeeping.
Instead of a Closing Word
Whatever you choose to do in order to market your accountancy practice, you need to remember one thing – always track your results. Read up on marketing KPIs and make sure you are not spending money on practices that are yielding no results.
Marketing is meant to have a positive effect on your bottom line. If it does not, no number of Facebook likes or national TV ads will matter.