In our experience training accountants to start their own successful firms, we at Universal Accounting Center have seen our fair share of marketing missteps.
While many students excel with training and can crunch numbers and provide valuable financial guidance to their clients, they sometimes struggle when it comes to marketing their own services. In this post, we’ll cover 10 common marketing mistakes that accounting firms make, so you can avoid them and start growing your business more effectively.
1. Not having a clear target audience: Without knowing who their ideal clients are, accounting firms might struggle to tailor their messaging and outreach efforts to the right people.
2. Inconsistent branding: Inconsistent branding can lead to confusion and lack of recognition among potential clients. Choose consistent colors, slogans and text. Consider hiring a graphic designer to improve your visual appeal.
3. Relying solely on word-of-mouth referrals: While word-of-mouth referrals are valuable, relying solely on them can limit a firm’s growth potential. Lean on friends and family at the start, but have an eye on building beyond that circle of people.
4. Not utilizing digital marketing channels effectively: Accounting firms may not be taking advantage of online platforms such as social media, email marketing, or search engine optimization (SEO) to reach new clients.
5. Failing to differentiate themselves from competitors: Many of the firms we work with fail to highlight their unique value propositions or differentiators that set them apart from competitors. Your clients want to know you. Tell them your story and why you choose to offer the services you do.
6. Not having a defined sales process: Without a defined sales process, accounting firms might not be effectively nurturing leads or closing deals. What’s your marketing going to lead to? Consider the flow chart your clients will follow if they see your marketing materials.
7. Focusing on price rather than value: Accounting firms might be competing on price rather than highlighting the value they provide to clients. Many accountants charge similar rates for their services. Focus on the value you’ll provide to clients.
8. Not measuring their marketing efforts: Without measuring and analyzing marketing data, firms may not know which efforts are working and which aren’t. Keep a pulse on the presence of your social media content and measure how often the people who interact with your materials lead to sales calls.
9. Neglecting client retention: Accounting firms might not have a process in place to retain and upsell existing clients, missing out on potential revenue. Consider implementing different stages to your marketing strategies. If a client sees an ad you’ve placed regarding your bookkeeping services, develop materials to also offer your tax planning, as an example.
10. Neglecting to showcase their expertise: Accounting firms may fail to showcase their expertise in a specific niche or area of specialization. By highlighting their knowledge and skills in a particular industry or service area, accounting firms can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract clients who need their specific expertise. This can also help firms move into the CFO and advisory space, providing more value to clients and increasing revenue potential.
Entrepreneur and marketing strategist, Matthew Banker shares specific strategies for building a powerful digital marketing system on the latest episode of Building the Premier Accounting Firm podcast. Banker dives into solutions for the 10 mistakes listed here and highlights must-haves for any successful accounting website.
By avoiding these common marketing mistakes, accounting firms can develop a turnkey sales and marketing process to find their ideal client and increase revenue. Taking the time to focus on marketing may feel like a distraction from the day-to-day tasks of managing clients, but it can pay dividends in the long run. By investing in professional development and taking a more strategic approach to marketing, accounting firms can move into the CFO and advisory space in addition to tax and accounting work, providing even more value to their clients and securing their own financial futures.