Avoid these 10 slip ups when marketing an accounting firm


Marketing an accounting firm has proven to be one of the most critical tasks our students have encountered when getting their business up and running, and it’s also one of the easiest things to get wrong.


Since 1979, Universal Accounting School has helped business owners through the frustration and overwhelming pressure of connecting with the clients they’re looking for. It’s one of the most intimidating parts of starting an accounting business, but Universal’s proven strategies for generating and retaining leads make it all more manageable.


Without a carefully developed marketing strategy, accountants may be left with heaps of training and skills with no real way to profit off of them. Targeted marketing for an accounting firm can be a catalyst to success in the early stages of the business. Here are 10 pitfalls to avoid:

1. Failing to invest in marketing

Some CEO’s may view marketing as an unnecessary expense, leading to a lack of resources and attention devoted to marketing their services. Don’t leave marketing sitting on the back burner. Set aside time to develop and revise your marketing strategy, and don’t be afraid to put some money into it. It will pay dividends down the road as your brand becomes more recognizable.


This is a scenario where it’s easy to put the cart before the horse. No matter how effective your services are, your business will be pulled forward by the impression your marketing makes on people who encounter it on social media or out in the world.

2. Inconsistent messaging

Without a clear and consistent message, CEO’s may struggle to effectively communicate the value of their services to potential clients. When starting an accounting business, we can sometimes fall into the trap of focusing on defining our purpose and not enough on how we’ll help the people who we work with.


A great place to start is to focus on the feeling you hope to elicit in people as they encounter your business in the wild. Every resource you use when marketing an accounting firm, from social media to billboards, should pull in the same emotional direction. That will build your reputation in a client’s mind with each engagement.

3. Not defining target clients

If you don’t take time to define your ideal client, it can be easy to feel like you’re sending your marketing out into a void. Visualizing an avatar for your ideal client, and being as specific as possible with age, income, industry and the like in that visualization, makes it easier for you to empathize with your client and tailor your messaging to suit their needs.


Write your marketing strategy for one specific person and see how it transforms what you create.

4. Poor branding when marketing an accounting firm

CEO’s may fail to establish a strong brand that resonates with potential clients, leading to a lack of differentiation in the market. You need consistent branding that sets you apart from your competition, and a good approach to being unique is to focus on what your clients need most from you. 


We respect the ingenuity of folks who build their own logo in about 15 minutes on Microsoft Paint or whatever, but you may consider hiring a graphic designer to offer fresh perspective on branding you’ve already created or to build you something from the ground up.

5. Lack of market research

Market research helps businesses identify their target audience, understand their needs and preferences, and determine how to position their products or services in the market. Without market research, an accounting firm may struggle to understand their potential clients’ needs and preferences, which can lead to ineffective marketing efforts.


For example, they may spend resources advertising their services to the wrong audience or promoting services that are not in demand. As a result, they may struggle to attract new clients, and their business growth may be limited.


In addition, without market research, an accounting firm may miss out on valuable opportunities to differentiate themselves from competitors. They may not be aware of their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and they may not understand how they can offer unique value to their clients. This can result in a lack of differentiation in the market, making it difficult for potential clients to distinguish them from their competitors.


Market research can also help accounting firms determine how to price their services competitively. Without a good understanding of the market and their competition, they may struggle to determine the right pricing strategy for their services. They may underprice their services, leading to lower profits, or overprice their services, making it difficult to attract new clients.


6. Overreliance on referrals

Getting a recommendation from a friend or colleague is a great way to start long term relationships with your clients, but it’s a well that can dry up quickly. Word of mouth is crucial to any business’ success, especially at the beginning, but CEOs need to think about reaching people beyond their circle of acquaintances as soon as possible to avoid missing any growth opportunities.


7. Poor online presence

This is a pretty straight forward point, but in the digital world we live in today, marketing an accounting firm really starts online. If your website is unappealing or difficult to navigate, you’ll struggle to connect with new clients and retain clients who have to use your confusing webpage.


Social media is an important avenue for advertising as well. Set goals for how often you’ll post on LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms where your audience hangs out online. Don’t be afraid to try different types of content as well, as videos are especially attractive to most social media algorithms.


8. Failure to track results

What is success when marketing an accounting firm if you never take the time to measure it? Without regular tracking and analysis of marketing results, CEO’s may struggle to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.


Set up regular meetings to review engagement with your brand on social media and review what’s working and what isn’t with your current strategy.

9. Lack of expertise

It’s ok if you feel like you are an expert in the world of marketing, but you need some experts in your corner to build a successful marketing strategy. Consider hiring a consulting firm, or get the skills you need yourself with an online training program like Universal Accounting Center.


With Universal Accounting Center, you’ll not only get the instruction you need to begin marketing an accounting firm, but you’ll be assigned a coach who will evaluate and help you tweak your marketing to reach the right people at the right time.


10. Failure to adapt to changing trends

CEO’s may fail to stay up-to-date with changing marketing trends and technologies, leading to missed opportunities to reach potential clients and stay ahead of the competition. The marketing game is always changing with platforms for putting your services out there rising and falling in popularity constantly.


If you need help marketing an accounting firm, Universal Accounting can give you the support and techniques you need to stand out from the competition. Start tuning up your marketing strategy today by calling 877-801-8080 or, set a time to discuss how Universal Accounting will help you reach your goals online when it’s convenient for you.

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