Five modern marketing tips for accountants

I was asked yesterday for my top five marketing tips for accountants and I said I thought these would clear on this blog. Except that I then realised that ‘marketing’ is not one of the categories I use on here.

Thinking back that’s because, in my experience, relatively few UK accountancy firms devote much time and effort to marketing per se. And that ‘marketing’ in isolation can be seen as a bit of a turn off by accountants.

Indeed I recall that I consciously excluded ‘marketing’ from the list of key points to be addressed in one of my most popular talks for accountants:
“Make more profits from your smaller clients.” It’s implicit in the heading ‘Easy high impact tax business strategies that really work’. And I certainly cover numerous marketing related points in the talk, but always in context and only after explaining why effective ‘marketing’ is one key way of achieving the desired end. I’ve long adopted a similar approach when mentoring and providing business coaching advice to firms. And I’ve been adopting the same approach on this blog too.  Consistency counts towards credibility I think.

Have attitudes changed significantly in recent years? Remember I’m referring to the thousands of smaller firms of accountants, rather than the bigger firms with their in-house marketing department.

For what it’s worth I’ve drawn together five key marketing tips that were not described as such in the original posts on this blog:

1 – Ensure that your website homepage is focused on your target audiences.

It needs to contain key words that they are searching for, distinguish you from the other accountants and incorporate at least simple SEO so that your website appears in search results when people look for an accountant in your area.

2 – Identify what makes you/your firm special and different

Don’t rely on your personal charm and personality to secure new clients. Even if that works generally it needs to be supplemented in your marketing materials by effective marketing messages.

3 – Ensure that you and your staff are all focused on quality client service

Many accountants claim that they secure the majority of their new clients through  word of mouth referrals.  But few accountants have a structured approach to securing those referrals. The starting point MUST be to focus on client service. They key here though is to ensure that you see it from your clients’ perspective. That’s what counts. Not how hard you try. Not how hard you work. But how delighted your clients are with the outcome of your efforts, work and advice.

4 – Implement a referral marketing programme

Ensure that you ask clients and contacts for referrals at the right time, in the right way and to secure the right type of new clients.

5 – Focus your marketing efforts where they will generate maximum return

It’s generally accepted that it is easier to secure additional fees by providing further services to existing clients than from strangers (new clients). Identify your top clients, the ‘A team’. Use your own criteria, be they aggregate fees, potential for advisory work,  wealth, or whatever you think makes most sense to you. Then look to identify the additional services and advisory topics that could be relevant to the ‘A team’. In this connection, if you need support on the tax side then of course don’t forget the Tax Advice Network!,

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Mark Lee

Mark is a speaker, mentor, facilitator, author, blogger and debunker. Mark Lee helps professionals who want to STAND OUT and be remembered, referred and recommended using his 7 fundamental principles to create a more powerful professional impact, online and face to face.
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5 replies
  1. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    Some fantastic advice here i’d say, not only am I seeking an accountant but I took the above into consideration when looking at how an accountancy firm presents themselves.

    I have now began my business with the help of Monahans chartered accountants, who are able to manage HR solutions, accountacy services and outsourcing payroll.

    Definetley worth a look at for those considering getting an accountant.
    http://www.monahans.co.uk/index.asp

    Reply
  2. Tony Margaritelli
    Tony Margaritelli says:

    These 5 tips have stood the test of time. Item 3 is important because so many practitioners forget the impact positive or otherwise staff can have and item 4 is crucial because as they say “There’s a time and place for everything” and if you really want a referral pick the right time and the right place. Tony Margaritelli – Chair ICPA

    Reply
  3. Ramona
    Ramona says:

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    Reply

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