Gone are the days when cold calling, advertising, listing in yellow pages would get you a good return. Accounting is a stable profession. You already would be having a good client base. But due to the competitive market, this may not last. Other accounting practices would already be attracting your existing clients. It has become easy to shift to a different firm, unlike earlier times. To win new clients and retain the existing ones, it is of utmost importance to market your existing accounting practice.
Below are some factors that will help you to do so:
- Know your Clients as well as your market:
It is important to know the needs of your clients. Without knowing your client’s needs, you won’t be able to retain your potential market. It is not important to know in and out about your client’s needs, but basic needs can help you build your business. Learn about your target clients and know about the target market. This can make you stand tall and different from others.
- Create a Marketing plan:
Like before you started your firm, you must have created a business plan. Likewise, there is a marketing plan to help you reach your goal. It will help you stay focused. The marketing plan must include:
- Your USP( Unique selling point) that sets you apart from your competitors.
- Do SWOT analysis that helps you to know your strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats
- Make a target market business list.
- What all services you wish to market more.
- Create realistic goals- time frame to reach your goals and ways to measure performance.
- Brand your accounting firm. It includes mission, logo, and business practices.
- Lastly, create a schedule of actions to reach your goals.
- Stay Up to date:
There is more to accounting firms than only staying informed about the tax law. There are plenty of resources to keep you informed that will help build the marketing for your firm. You can go to events and participate and network with other clients and businesses. Join groups on social media related to your field. So stay informed throughout.
- Create a Niche:
Marketing in a niche market can be very effective. You might have potential clients in that niche. You can market your practice in other fields like IT, healthcare, etc. Imagine your firm with medical clients. You and your clients will benefit as greater efficiency leads to greater benefits.
- Client referrals:
This is one of the most effective marketing channels. Personal recommendations are far more effective than stranger’s recommendations. You can ask your clients to recommend your firm to their family, friends or relatives. You can offer some benefits for every referral given by your client. This will help you get more clients.
- Create your own website:
Update your website with informative content. Make a simple and effective website.
- Social Media:
In today’s digital age, you can’t get away with social media. You need to be where your clients are. They are on social media, be on social media. You can outsource social media handling to other firms who can help you with social media management.
Email Newsletters are very effective. They should be precise and clear. It should be informative and to the point. You can write about tax deadlines, budget effects, changes in the tax laws, and other news you think your clients would love to read.
- Radio, Print, and TV:
Consider advertising on the local newspapers, radio, magazines or tv.
Keep your content consistent on all the channels, that way your clients will remember you.
- Raise your profile in the community:
A little charity can help other people and your business too. So get involved in the right doing selflessly. You may sponsor a charity, work with non-profit organizations, or any project that interests you. Once your company involves in public work, it gets a good reputation in the market.
- Value your existing clients:
Marketing to existing clients is important to retain them. Create a personal touch with your clients. Build relationships with them by asking about their needs and expectations of your firm. If you have introduced a new service, tell them about it. Find innovative ways so that your clients talk about your firm to others. Offer one extra service to your client. Suppose you are doing their tax, you could offer payroll services too. It’s always cheaper to retain old clients than trying to get a new one.
Okay! So you are already a big firm and you think marketing isn’t for you. Then it’s time to think again. Marketing is a never-ending approach. It’s a constant approach. It is an effort to understand the needs of your clients. The more you show your clients that they are important, the more valuable your business will get. Marketing is a part of your accounting firm.