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Effective Marketing Techniques for Accounting Firms

Effective Marketing Techniques for Accounting Firms

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by Hugh Duffy

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Are you one of those accountants who does not aggressively and continuously market your practice? Clearly said, does your marketing program suffer from ADD? If so, this is common so here are some tips to focus on given your lack of commitment.

  1. Focus on a Differentiator. Something that Truly Makes Your Firm Unique. – In today's overcrowded marketplace, it's extremely important to differentiate your accounting practice from all of the rest. In other words, pick something that distinguishes your practice and enables you to eventually, become superior at providing a particular service.
  2. Use Websites as Selling Tools – An effective website can educate prospective clients about your firm services and generate new clients. In fact, it should be making money for your accounting firm. And while I appreciate the added benefit that it has practice management tools as well, it's first goal is to bring money in the door. Second, I would encourage you to break your mindset that everything your firm does needs to be communicated on one website. While your main website needs to broadly communicate the most important things your firm provides, it is often impossible to get into the detail of key aspects your firm does, and how you are uniquely suited to exceed their expectations. For example, we have one client who has unbundled IRS Problem Resolution into over six different websites that focus on smaller pieces of the pie. And each website makes money for this practitioner so his creative approach can work wonders for you, too.
  3. Identify Your Most Important Clients – Every savvy business owner identifies their most important clients and uses them strategically to grow exponentially. In many cases, these VIP clients are not based on current revenues but the potential that acquiring many more clients like them could turn into a home run. For example, you may elect to focus on a client in a particular industry because learning from them may enable you to penetrate a certain type of industry. In other cases, some accounting firms focus on business clients that routinely refer the most business.
  4. Market Your Practice Even When You Are Too Busy – Even when your accounting firm is nearing full capacity, I would encourage you to maintain your marketing. To deal with the capacity issue, I often encourage accountants to "cull out" a small portion of their practice. That's right, accountants seldom package up less desirable clients and sell them on the open market to another firm. The reality is that you should maintain your marketing to improve the quality of your clientele while freeing up capacity by selling off your lower quality clients to someone else.
  5. Make Reputation Management a Priority – Online reviews and reputation management are here to stay. With today's electronic world, the consumer has more power and can flame your firm at any moment. Rather than wait until this blows up, you need to own it and become proactive in the management of your online reviews, and local reputation. Going forward, online reviews will become more and more important to your branding and long-term reputation.
  6. Embrace Social Media As Another Marketing Outlet – Whether we like it or not, social media is not going away. And when you ultimately acknowledge this beast, the next challenge is to develop a strategy that elevates your practice in a meaningful way that creates long term value.
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Hugh Duffy, BYF CEO and Co-Founder

Hugh is the consummate marketing coach for accountants and takes pride in the impact that it has on their practice, and lives. Hugh has more than thirty years of marketing experience. Since 2003, he has been teaching accountants on how to improve their marketing and make more money from their accounting practice.