We don’t have to tell you that it’s critical that your firm stand out from the competition and this starts with effective marketing. With more tools available to improve your accounting firm’s marketing available now than ever, this is the time to get a jump start on your firm’s marketing strategy. Read on to discover five tips to get started.

When you’re ready for even more, check out our detailed eBook with step by step details on how to take this advice into action.

1. Write a marketing plan

Stop right there. Yes, you do have time to write a marketing plan. You have time because you already have all the information necessary to develop the plan right inside that brilliant mind of yours. Just a couple of hours is all it takes to help focus your efforts and resources so that your firm is getting in front of the right prospects. Here’s your marketing plan hit list:

  • Set some goals — Whatever they are, start documenting them and tracking your progress towards achieving them.
  • Identify trends — Pinpoint some patterns within your current business to see where your firm excels, where it needs to improve and if there’s any dead weight that needs to be disposed of.
  • Take some action — Be specific about the action you will take and how it will help you work toward your goals.
  • Budget — Set a preliminary budget for a given period, track the results, calculate a return on your investment, and do it all over again for the next period.

2. Do a website audit

“Our website is fine,” you might say. Oh? When was the last time you updated it? Is it responsive or viewer friendly for mobile devices? Does it have a blog? Has something been posted to that blog in the last week? In the last month? In the last year? Is the contact information current? Can you track how many leads your website generates?  

We could keep asking questions, but maybe we should focus on some crucial elements to consider for an accounting firm’s website. Here are three:

  • The mobile experience needs to be GREAT — Have you picked up your smartphone to use an app or surf the web? Okay, I think we’ve proved our point.
  • Short forms — Short forms will help you track leads generated by your website. Every new client that originated with a short form goes toward your site’s positive ROI.
  • Blog and SEO — Your future customers are going to Google you. Count on it. Your firm’s website should be optimized for relevant search terms, but perhaps more importantly, you should create high-quality content on a blog. This content should address your expertise and capabilities, and you should publish it regularly, and should actively promote it.

3. Quit unproductive social media platforms

It’s easy to get distracted by the viral nature of social media, so don’t be surprised if you find some platforms more valuable than others. When it comes to social media, less is usually more. With limited time and resources, focus on the community that’s most responsive, and ditch the stuff that’s not working.  

4. Revisit your brand

When’s the last time your firm’s look had a makeover? If it’s been awhile, consider sprucing it up. Once you invest in a logo, updated website, new tagline, etc., you can make a splashy announcement to talk about the changes and why you made them.

Those fresh assets go everywhere your brand lives, like social media, business cards, RFPs, and any printed collateral you might use. With more exposure, the more people will start to associate the new brand with your firm. Just make sure that the new brand speaks to not only who you are, but what you do and why you stand out from the competition.

5. Phone an expert

If the above sounds a little overwhelming, it might be worthwhile to talk to a marketing agency to help you sort through everything and prioritize.

Agencies come in all shapes and sizes and provide a range of different services. Some find the right places where your marketing should go, while others do creative. If you’re not sure where to start, get some recommendations from people you trust, or do some cursory Internet research. Lots of agencies specialize, so you may be able to find one that shares your niche or only takes on accounting firms as clients. In either case, you’ll be connecting with a kindred business that can get you going in the right direction!

Caleb Newquist Caleb is Editor-at-Large at Gusto. In 2009, he became the founding editor of Going Concern, the one-of-a-kind voice on the accounting profession, serving in the role for 9 years. Prior to Going Concern, Caleb worked as a CPA for nearly 6 years in New York and Denver. He lives in Denver with his wife, two daughters, and two cats.
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