Marketing your accounting firm successfully and what works for you in marketing will differ from practice to practice. We cannot say that one size fits all and that your marketing is always going to be email marketing. You will not always use email marketing because our inboxes are all so busy and it is such a saturated method of marketing that your emails will not always get through. In an area where nobody uses the email for marketing, you will be unique. So there is no one size that fits all.
“What is the best way to market yourself in your accountancy business?”
Marketing Your Accounting Firm
The Cycle of Marketing
The rule to use here is this. We want to look for high consistency, high probability of conversion forms of marketing.
When I talk about high consistency I mean that you are continually marketing. For many firms that do a little bit of marketing, they may generate some leads from it. Typically, they can then become overwhelmed with the amount of work they've got to do to win their service. They then gain a client and get on with that but in the meantime, they lose a client. They then realise that they haven’t done any marketing for a while and turn the machine back on again and it then takes a few months before any leads come through again. It is like a roller-coaster effect, up and down.
You need to have good, consistent marketing. So whatever you do, you do it on a managed basis, on a continual basis so you always have a flow of opportunities coming through.
When your prospects come through you can decide then if you want to win them, or put them on the back,burner. You can choose to swap your client mix around so that you have got room for the new clients by losing some of your lower grade clients.
High consistency is important, otherwise your results will be very intermittent.
High probability means using the forms of marketing that work for you. If you have not done any marketing before, then it's very difficult. So I will give you an overview of the things that you can do to get started and maintain your marketing plan.
I am going to look at three forms of marketing that tend to be the most effective from my experience.
The first one is events. I am referring to seminars rather than golf days or social events. You can go to events where business partners may be attending, so you can team up with someone. Perhaps you have teamed up with your Bank Manager or a Financial Adviser. You both bring your clients to the event and so you have an opportunity to present your technical knowledge to existing clients, as well as to the clients that your partner has brought with them to the event. Of course, it works both ways and both of you have the opportunity to present to each other’s clients. Each could become a potential prospect.
Live events see a good degree of conversion because they have registered their interest by actually attending the event, participated in the event and then responded to a call of action that you give them at the event.
So if you consider these three stages, you can see why speaking at live events are very strong in that regard.
The second one to mention is email marketing. Email marketing remains a very strong method. Those who work out how to bypass spam filters, those who have a very strong message to communicate with their potential audience, and those who can connect on a value level with their audience are the most successful here.
The third one is a piece of old technology known as telemarketing. For many that is almost like a swearword. Telesales, as it used to known, or in today's language, telemarketing, has often been seen as cheapening the accountant, but that is not true at all. It has often proved to be quite effective for the sheer fact that few are using it.
The True Return of Marketing
In my experience, firms who harvest their marketing correctly and handle the appointments produced professionally, see well over four times a return on investment in their first year of doing this. If that is sustainable, there are marketing firms that will provide that kind of return for you.
So it is these three types of marketing that I would always recommend you look to put in your marketing plan. They may or may not be a good fit for your firm, but whatever you do, you need to make sure that you test the response at all times.
This means that you need to track the following:-
- How many leads have your marketing efforts generated?
- What work have we won from it?
- Over what period of time and when?
This is the marketing matrix I use to test any form of marketing you employ. You need to know where your marketing spend should go, especially if you are not working from limitless resources, as so few of us actually are.
Think about and choose which forms of marketing are right for you. If you have a proven track record using certain forms, then continue with those on a consistent basis. Always remember that high probably, high consistency marketing is the best way to market the prospects.
For more help and guidance on how you get your marketing strategy in place consider the Addviser+ course Marketing Momentum, a powerful micro-learning video foundation course to implement the simplest and most effective marketing strategies in your accounting firm.