I was asked recently for my top five marketing tips for accountants and so I had a quick look at the marketing related posts on this blog.
In so doing I realised how much has changed over the years. When I first started mentoring accountants I had to avoid the M-word (Marketing). It didn’t resonate with many accountants – other than those in larger firms with established marketing departments. Now I am often approached for strategic and independent marketing advice!
Anyway, here then are my five key marketing tips for accountants in practice:
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 if you want your website to appear in the search results when people look for an accountant like you in your area.
2 – Identify what makes you/your firm special and different
Don’t hope you’ll be able to rely on your personal charm and personality to secure new clients. Even if that works generally, it needs to be preceded by more specific marketing messages on your profile, website and marketing materials.
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. The key here though is to ensure that you consider this 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’.
Beyond this, concentrate your marketing to secure more such A-team type clients and focus your efforts where they are likely to have maximum impact. The alternative of a scatter-gun approach across multiple social media platforms is rarely worth the time, effort or investment!
Bonus tip: Check out my 5 Ms of marketing in this earlier blog post: 3 questions you must answer before seeking out new clients
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