If growth is on the agenda for your accounting firm, then marketing is going to help.
Before you get started with creating content and posting on social media, you need to work through a few simple planning steps first.
Skip this, and you risk your marketing lacking focus and results.
Do this first, and your marketing will rise above the noise and help you to win the right type of clients for your firm.
Here are 3 things to do before getting started with marketing to ensure you get the best results…
1. Define your target market
There’s a popular saying that marketing to everybody is marketing to nobody.
So in order for your marketing to stand out and cut through the noise, you need to focus on a specific target market.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to ‘niche’ (although that can be helpful). It just means focusing on a specific segment vs. trying to please everybody.
Here are some different ways you can segment your target market:
- By industry – e.g. construction, professional services, medical
- By vertical – e.g. retail, e-commerce
- By client – e.g. not-for-profits, charities
- By service – e.g. tax planning specialists, or fractional CFOs
- By geography – e.g. by town/city
Once you’ve chosen your target market, you need to develop a strong understanding of their challenges, pains, goals, and aspirations.
The better you know your target market, the easier the next step will be…
2. Define your brand positioning
It’s not enough to say you want to serve a target market, your brand also needs to reflect it.
This includes things like your messaging, value propositions, and brand identity.
Let’s take a look at each in more detail…
Think of your messaging as the headline that tells people who you are and what you do. To make your messaging stand out, it needs to include the target market you serve, and what you help them with.
A great template to get your creative juices flowing is: “We help <target market> to <achieve goal/eliminate pain> with <what you do>.
You can then rework this into something that sounds more concise.
Hint – add your version into ChatGPT and ask it to suggest 10 similar alternatives.
Here are some examples from other accounting firms across the globe:
- Industry niche – “Accountants for landlords, and that’s it.” – UK Landlord Tax
- Vertical niche – “Your E-commerce Accounting Team: The Accounting & Tax experts that will help you to grow your online business” – The Ecommerce Accountants
- Service/Geography niche – ‘Live’ Tax Accountants at a Fraction of the Cost – Your tax done personally by a real Aussie Tax Accountant – Accountants Direct
Value propositions are statements explaining the benefits of working with you.
It’s a good exercise to create value propositions for each of your core services. You can then use these on your website and elsewhere in your marketing.
Here’s what to do…
- Write down each of the core services you offer
- Write down the unique pain it alleviates or gain it creates for your target market (the more specific you can be here the better)
- Create a simple statement connecting them both using this template:
“Our <name of service> helps <target market> to <achieve goal/eliminate pain>”
Here is an example if your target market was fast-growth SaaS companies:
- Service: Cash flow forecasting
- Gain/Pain: Need to know exactly how much cash runway is left
- Statement: Our cash flow forecasting service helps fast-growth SaaS companies to grow with confidence knowing exactly how much cash runway is left and when they need to raise.
I know this might sound a little wishy-washy, but believe me, it plays an important role.
You need to make sure that the identity of your brand matches the target market you’re going after.
For example, if you’re targeting construction firms and your branding is pastel blue, is that going to land as well as something bright orange (high-vis)? Equally, if your audience are female entrepreneurs, do you want to have images with lots of men?
Here are some things to consider as part of your brand identity:
- Colors – use colors they’ll recognise and be familiar with. Here is a great guide from Canva
- Fonts – choose fonts that match your audience’s preferences e.g. big curly fonts might not be best if you’re targeting a more mature audience
- Images – show images that reflect your target market e.g. in a local niche show local pictures people will recognise
- The tone of voice – use the same tone of voice your target market use e.g. if they’re typically more relaxed and playful, reflect this in the language you use
3. Establish your online presence
The final part of getting started with marketing is to establish your online presence.
Now that you know your target market, and you’ve got your brand positioning dialled in, it’s time to get it ready to show the world.
Here are a few things to consider…
Your website is often the first impression people will get of your firm (even when people come as referrals). And we all know that first impressions count.
So to ensure your website gives the best first impression, consider the following:
- Your headline reflects your messaging/value proposition for the target market
- Your brand positioning and identity are clear throughout
- Your contact details are clearly visible on all pages
- You have a clear call to action for people to take
- You’re regularly adding new content speaking to the specific pains/gains of your target market
Also, use this free checklist from Bizink to make sure your website follows best practices for accounting firms.
People aren’t going to find your website by accident. This means you need a plan to get as many eyeballs as possible on it.
One way you can do that is by focusing on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This means making it easy for prospective clients to find your website when searching on Google.
What you get found for is important as you don’t want non-target market clients reaching out when they’re not a good fit. This is why choosing the right keywords is essential.
If your target market is e-commerce businesses, you don’t want local businesses looking for a cheap tax return finding you.
Here are some options to consider depending on your target market:
- Industry niche – “Accountant for <name of industry> businesses”
- Sector niche – “Accountant for <name of vertical> businesses”
- Service niche – “<name of service> specialist”
- Local niche – “Accountant in <local area>”
Note – before investing in SEO make sure you do your research into search volumes. This is the total number of searches for things you’re trying to rank for. There’s no benefit in investing hundreds of dollars into SEO each month if only 50 people are searching.
Social media channels
Using social media is one of the best ways to create awareness of yourself and your firm.
But it’s important to choose the right social media channels in the first place.
You don’t want to spend time creating TikTok videos if your target market doesn’t spend time there.
To find out which social media channels to use, start by asking your clients. If you don’t have any clients in the target market you’re pursuing, then tools like Sparktoro can help.
Here is a rough breakdown of which industries use which channels but please do your own research to be sure:
- Facebook: Fashion, entertainment, people aged 25+
- Instagram: Lifestyle, fitness, cosmetics, food and drink
- Twitter: Technology, finance, Gaming, Crypto
- LinkedIn: Most B2B industries and decision-makers
Get started marketing your accounting firm today
Getting started with marketing doesn’t need to be difficult and you can get the ball rolling with the 3 simple steps below:
- Define your target market
- Define your brand positioning
- Establish your online presence
By following these 3-steps, you’ll make sure that your marketing cuts through the noise and helps to attract the right clients for your accounting firm.
Let us help with your online presence
Your brand isn’t just on show for new clients. It should also be there for your existing clients! We can help bring your brand into your online client interactions.
- branded document templates like engagement letters
- automated email creation including branded attachments
- document signing with a custom header, button color, and logo in our document signing web interface.
We invite you to a free, no-pressure demo to find out how we can bring your brand into your digital client experience.