8 actionable marketing tips for accounting firms you will love

When most accounting firms start their operations, the owner manages key departments in-house. Although this practice may seem viable in the initial growth years, it develops into a highly time-consuming and stressful task over time.

From bookkeeping and payroll to taxation and AR/AP, these accounting functions can prove to be too tedious to manage for your developing business. Moreover, it is equally important to undertake some form of marketing activities to grow your accounting firm.

But since you are caught up delivering accounting work to your clients, it isn’t very easy to make time to market your business. And because we at TLBM offer marketing services for accountants, we know exactly how your business can market itself.

With that in mind, here are eight actionable marketing tips for accounting firms:

1. Establish a niche to specialise in

Many accountants cater to clients from multiple industries. It may be useful to have your eggs in multiple baskets; however, for any marketing activity for accountants to be successful, it is crucial to understand and address the issues that the target clientele faces.

How can you market to multiple audiences, each with numerous different pain-points, successfully? You can’t. Therefore, the best option is to specialise in a few selected niches, or even just one. By doing so, you can:

  • Stay ahead of the industry challenges, and stand out from the competition
  • Get to the top of online search results because of focused marketing efforts
  • Improve your services by learning more from niche clients

That way, you can acquire expert status as knowledge leaders in that field, and take less time executing the work and delivering quality services. If you need help to establish a niche to specialise in – take help from us. We are providers of marketing services for accountants.

2. Formulate an STP plan

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, or STP is the “holy trifecta” of marketing and that too for a good reason. When resources like your time and money are limited, an STP plan helps you allocate them effectively so that you can achieve the desired marketing results for your accounting firm.

First, identify the demographics of your target customer base, and segment them based on different factors such as industry, their total revenues, their team size, and so on. Once the segmentation is done, identify the entities you can serve best, given your limited resources.

Post this step, develop a marketing plan for your accounting firm which will include your USPs, SWOT analysis, overarching goals and specific business targets. Having this plan in place will help you ensure that your efforts are positioned in the right direction.

But before you start approaching or engaging your potential clients, learn the next steps in marketing for accounting firms.

3. Improve your business website

Your website is the face of your business. The first impression it gives to a potential client can’t be underestimated. Therefore, adequate steps should be taken to optimise the website. For example, your site should feature:

  • High-quality textual and visual content
  • A comprehensive list of services offered
  • Appropriate CTAs to instigate visitors to take action on the website
  • A contact form for your potential clients to get in touch directly
  • A blog section offering expert advice and tips on topics relevant in your industry

Besides, your website should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. You wouldn’t dream of having fish without chips, or Ant without Dec. So why should your website be devoid of essential features that make marketing for accountants successful?

4. Set up relevant social media profiles

It’s no surprise that social media is considered an excellent platform for engaging with potential customers. It allows you to not only promote your services but also give opinions on industry trends, thereby helping you establish as a thought leader. However, please note that your accounting firm does not need to be on all social media platforms. You can choose those channels on which your target audience is most active. For example, LinkedIn and Twitter are commonly used by professionals across the globe. When setting up profiles, try your best to secure matching handles for each of your social media accounts. By doing so, you not only create an easy-to-remember handle for your business but also make it easier for potential clients and vendors to find you online. Importantly, make sure the company information is up-to-date on all platforms. Dedicate a day every two weeks or month to create your social media calendar. Make sure the content is informative and relevant, and the tone used in the posts match your brand image. Use tools such as Buffer and HootSuite to schedule the posts to go out at the right time. Also, utilise the day to engage with potential clients and industry leaders by following their social media accounts, and commenting on or sharing their posts online.

5. Take advantage of client referrals

For every business owner, its current clients are ideal advocates when it comes to expanding its customer list. They can make recommendations to other businesses or individuals looking for similar services (offered by you) more successfully.

An accounting firm like yours is no exception, which is why you should focus on making the referral process easy for your clients, and offer them rewards for each referral. For example, you can set up a landing page to promote your referral program.

Or you can edit the contact forms on your website to include a field for how a new client heard about you. Alternatively, set aside a budget for offering discounts, gift vouchers or business-appropriate gifts in return for each referral your clients make.

Run an email campaign every quarter, asking your clients to recommend you to other entities that could use your support. We have a rich experience in marketing for accounting firms. Maybe we can help you get started? Let’s talk.

6. Reinforce your position as industry expert

In the highly competitive accounting field, your business needs to establish itself as an industry leader. For this, the regular creation and syndication of relevant content is vital.

You can publish blog posts on your website on general accounting topics or on specific questions that your target customer base often raises. Blogging takes some effort. However, it does help in building an audience online over time.

You can also write guest posts on niche publications such as AccountingWeb and XU Magazine or get published on global platforms such as CustomerThink and The Penny Hoarder, and gain visibility on a broader platform.

Alternatively, you can also participate in an industry-focused podcast or vlog on accounting topics on your YouTube channel. Marketing an accounting firm is easy provided you have the right support. Let’s connect?

7. Measure marketing efforts regularly

Every accountant should have in place a system to measure the results of the marketing tactics being employed. The sooner results get generated, the faster you can stop devoting resources to tactics that don’t perform well. But before you start measuring, decide on meaningful specific key performance indicators (KPIs) beforehand so that results can be measured systematically. These metrics could be:

  • Reach – the number of users who see your content on social media
  • Engagement – the number of users who interact with your content (e.g. likes, shares, retweets)
  • Bounce rate – the number of visitors who leave your website after visiting only one page
  • Actions – how many users click links and Call-To-Action buttons on your web page

Most social media platforms have built-in analytics tools that generate reports on how different posts are performing. Social media management software solutions such as Buffer and HootSuite also report on specific metrics. ROI-based platforms such as Google Analytics (a web analytics service by Google for tracking and reporting website traffic) is a valuable investment in terms of time for measuring website-related activities.

8. Set aside resources for offline marketing tactics

While online channels such as blogging and social media help you engage a more extensive potential customer base, also consider implementing offline tactics. Think about your clients – are there any commonalities that you could use for targeting similar prospects? Attending events, conventions, and gatherings that your targeted prospects attend can be useful.

Or, consider offering keynote addresses at relevant forums to gain the attention of potential clients. If time and budget permits, it is worth trying every quarter or six months, because face-to-face interactions are always better than doing them online.

Alternatively, if the budget permits, try targeted or local newspaper or magazine ads, or run a campaign on local radio. You might get lucky with this broader brush approach and find potential clients through these tactics for marketing your accounting firm.

Endnotes – consistency is key

To optimise your marketing efforts, you have to be consistent. But before that you should research your target audience, have a long-term vision, and then identify the means to market. Every business is unique. Therefore, focus on the marketing strategies that you think will work for your accounting firm.

Do you need a helping hand? We at TLBM believe marketing an accounting firm is lots of fun. Click here to connect with us.