Marketing strategy is one of the critical factors that separate high-growth accounting companies from low-growth ones. However, it’s not always the amount of money a company spends distinguishes the winner and the loser. It’s how they opt to capitalize on their marketing budget.
While large firms that have branches in various cities often have dedicated PR and marketing teams to handle their business development. However, for smaller firms, it is essential to be strategic in their marketing efforts. Most small accounting firms won’t have a marketing team to help them get clients. To overcome this problem, below are some marketing tips for accounting firms on a shoestring budget.
1. Develop a marketing plan
It may sound obvious, but if there is no marketing plan, then your marketing efforts are likely to be slapdash. Your marketing plan should include business targets. For example, you want to market to people who need tax help, or you want to reach out SMBs with less than 20 employees, include it in your plan.
Do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. What are the strengths – received through feedback from existing clients or reported through analytics? In turn, what weaknesses are there which can be turned into strengths?
Image: Conducting a SWOT Analysis for Accounting Firm
Opportunities are often external like alliances or growing markets, but they can use to achieve your business goals. Similarly, threats are also external, which can make or break a marketing plan. For example, changing laws, state tax increases or clients migrating.
2. Networking is the key
There are numerous options to get your business noticed at low cost at networking events. However, more than collecting business cards, it’s essential to follow up with the potential clients. If it is a particularly relevant event, accounting firms can offer to present their expertise or run workshops. Such events are not organized for closing sales but building your pipeline and allowing your community to know about you.
Targeted, person-to-person networking would always be one of the critical strategies for marketing for high-growth accounting firms having researched clear niches.
3. Use cloud technology
Using cloud technology for your accounting processes can help you reach a broader market more efficiently than your competitors.
Cloud-based applications have now become the standard for all areas of accounting, and not just bookkeeping processes. When implemented correctly, the cloud gives you more flexibility, better security and cost savings than the traditional methods.
4. Follow-up with clients
Don’t let your former clients forget about you after the project is over. Make it a part of your routine to send pleasant notes through email during each quarter to touch base. Tell them how much you enjoyed working with them and that you are just a call away if any further service is required. Birthday and anniversary wishes are another smart and impressive way to do that.
You’ll be surprised to know how many of them were thinking of re-hiring you or were trying to recall your name and how to contact you.
5. Get referrals from your clients
Finding a good salesperson is more difficult than finding a satisfied client. Your clients – existing or former, interact with other businesses as well. Their recommendation of your firm not only adds value to your reputation but would also help you get new clients.
It’s a myth that asking for referrals is wrong or pushy. They are your clients because they value your expertise and service. Be proactive in asking for referrals. Don’t take the “wait and see” approach.
Recommended Reading: Actionable Insights on Gaining More Clients and Maximizing Client Retention for CPAs
Tax season is the right time to look for more prospects as this is the time when you actively meet clients and have conversations about taxes and accounting. There are many marketing ideas your accounting firm can implement, but this should be a good start. And you don’t need to break your bank account for any of them.
Successful accounting firms never stop marketing
Finding a target market for accounting firms is not a stand-alone business activity. Even the most successful companies never stop marketing. It is essential to understand the requirements of clients and prospects and act on that knowledge. It should be done at every opportunity – online and real world because there is an excellent competition in the market and you want to get the clients first.