Every business - irrespective of whether it is well-established or just a startup - has to grow at some point in time. Reinventing the wheel time and again, and beating complacency is paramount for all business owners. Your accounting firm is no exception. Often, stagnant income indicates that you are not employing new brand messaging or local marketing ideas to reach your target customers. Or it could indicate that you are not maximising the value of your offering to your current customers.
These are not big changes. You still need to attend networking events, rely on referrals, and have a basic online presence. All your practice staff happily engage with similar clients, with the same level of expertise and finesse, and offer the same service every day. There is nothing wrong with consistency.
But the goal of any business is to push boundaries day in and day out and bump up revenues periodically. That is the kind of consistency your accounting firm should look to achieve. You should, at no point, be left wondering why prospects are not knocking on your door.
Thankfully, opportunities for driving multiple income streams are varied, and the sky's the limit in terms of which idea to pursue. Local marketing ideas - both offline and online - when implemented together, can yield fantastic results.
It doesn’t matter if you are a growing practice or a one-man show, there are five core components to market your accounting firm you need to follow:
1. Expand your service offerings
Besides offering bookkeeping, payroll and taxation services, consider expanding your suite of offerings. And this does not only include upgrading your services. Make a list of additional benefits you can provide for your clients. These could be:
For example, if you have a number of small businesses as clients, you could organise training sessions for them, perhaps with some other similar providers like finance providers or with your taxation expert. It’s a great opportunity to introduce some of the other services you provide.
Sit down with your practice staff and brainstorm similar local marketing ideas that you can implement in your accounting firm.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will agree that social media is a huge driver of customer behaviour and engagement. And businesses can use it to bring in more customers and therefore, higher incomes.
Simply having social media accounts and posting random content on them will not fetch you results. You must have a well-thought-out plan so that your staff knows what to focus on, how to track progress and where efforts are falling short and can be improved.
But before implementing local marketing ideas like these, you should tune in to what your local customers are talking about online and where their interests lie. Define your target audience in terms of age, business type, pain points, interests, and social media usage.
If your prospects are more active on Twitter and LinkedIn, there is no point in having an active Facebook presence. It is only after you select the appropriate platforms, should you create a content calendar.
But don't just talk about your accounting firm; instead, interact with your audience. Make it a two-way process by announcing special offers, hosting contests, and asking for suggestions on how you can improve your services. And give them useful information too.
Use social media to educate and guide your customers about the services you offer. Include videos, infographics, gifs, images, blogs, testimonials, and more in your content calendar. We wrote an entire blog about getting started on social media.
Use local hashtags - including the city, district or area where you run your accounting firm. Join local LinkedIn and Facebook groups geared towards your target audience, and post your social media posts on those groups.
3. Ask your customers to write online reviews
4. List your accounting firm on Google My Business and Bing Places
One of the most widely-implemented local marketing ideas is to optimise your business for search engine listings; it is one of the most important ways to get your business to appear at the top of local searches.
In particular, Google My Business (GMB) offers a step-by-step optimisation process that you should follow diligently. Be sure to update every single piece of information that GMB asks for to ensure that your profile is complete, and add your accurate location on Google Maps so that people know where to find you.
You should also ensure that any changes to your business name, contact details, address, holidays or working hours are updated promptly on GMB so as not to risk poor reviews from customers.
5. Participate in local conferences
Going to any accounting or industry-related events offers you a platform to not only network with peers and discover new trends in the market but also meet with potential clients.
But don’t just go to the big national events; keep a look out for local ones. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups often run local events which provide the opportunity to exhibit or just attend. If you are solely attending, make sure you see as many relevant stands as possible; these local businesses could need the services of an accountant.
Even in this digital age, it is crucial to collect collaterals, such as visiting cards and brochures from the prospects you meet at the event. Keep the contact information organised so that you can easily remember and get back to the promising ones post-event.
In case you are exhibiting and have set up your stand, make sure you organise several fun activities such as the lucky draw and pop quizzes to attract footfall. As a giveaway, offer your prospects exclusive discounts that they can redeem within a specific period.
If your accounting firm is functioning at the same pace, producing the same numbers, and engaging with clients without adding any value, it is time to take note.
Many local marketing ideas can help your accounting firm create a consistent and growing income stream. But if you are not sure about what will work for you, don't hesitate to experiment with them all in the beginning.
Or best, sign up for a free consultation with us, and get a step-by-step guide on using these local marketing ideas for creating a consistent income stream.