A recent conversation with an accountant I’ve not worked with before started as follows:
Accountant: Do I need to promote my firm better?
Mark: Probably, but it depends on what you want to achieve.
Accountant: What do you mean?
Mark: Marketing and promotional activities work best for accountants when you have first identified clear objectives. Otherwise you’re likely to waste time and money on exercises that may or may not be worthwhile.
Accountant: I was thinking of promotion to help me win more clients.
Mark: That’s fine. There are still some other factors to consider before you do anything by way of promotion. Anything you do in this regard will be more successful if you start by first clarifying exactly who you want to influence to become clients of yours, what sort of people are they and what sort of messages will resonate with them. Only then can we consider where you likely to find them (be that face to face or online) to influence them with your promotional messages – which may be overt or, often, more subtle in order to be effective.
This accountant’s objective was not unusual of course. Those with whom I have worked quickly come to see the benefits of thinking through their objectives before they start investing time or money in promotional activities. This includes whatever they might do on social media, how they project themselves online, on their website and when attending networking events.
In case you were wondering, here is my list of reasons why accountants might want to promote their firm:
- To attract and secure more clients
- To generate PR coverage
- To aid your recruitment efforts
- To increase the referrals you receive
- To encourage more clients to ask for additional services
- To evidence your ability to provide a wider range of services
Maybe your objectives overlap. That’s fine too. But the clearer you are about the end point you seek, the more effective you can ensure your promotional activity will be.