Do you want to learn more simple, streamlined, effective ways to market your firm?
Gusto is your ally in helping make your firm a success. So we’re thrilled to partner with CPA Academy to bring you insights into effective outreach strategies. The webinar “Five Articles You Can Run This Week” featured marketing expert Matt Wilkinson, and you can watch the video here.
Matt Wilkinson is a marketing expert with 20 years of experience designing impactful marketing and web development strategies. While he has served clients in industries ranging from sports to healthcare, his expertise now lies in marketing for accounting firms. As Founder and CEO of BizInk, he provides revenue-boosting solutions for firms, including content packages, copywriting, and website optimization.
Why you need a niche marketing strategy
Chances are, you’d like to cast as wide a net as possible in your marketing reach. It makes sense—shouldn’t you try to connect to as many people as possible? You want to maximize revenue, after all.
Not necessarily. A marketing strategy that’s generalized will be somewhat appealing to everyone, but not necessarily enough to make you stand out. In a digital world where there’s an abundance of options, you simply must differentiate yourself. While you may have a talented team and even an ace marketing strategy, so do many other firms. The importance of understanding niche marketing shouldn’t be underestimated. It can be your greatest asset.
Niche marketing means you select your ideal prospect and tailor your campaign directly to them. You can then have laser-focused marketing messages that speak directly to your viewer’s wants and needs. You’ll craft stronger campaigns that your targets can’t ignore as you appeal to their location, purchase patterns, ages, locations, or interests. While you can still provide services to as many clients as possible, you’ll narrow your marketing focus. This helps cut out the competition and helps you have more control over the direction of your firm.
“I’m not going to suggest niching your whole firm, but I do believe that niching your marketing is really important. Why? Well, the first reason is you get to target your ideal prospects. … There’s a phrase I often use: ‘If you’re marketing to everybody, you’re marketing to nobody.’ But if you target your ideal prospects, you’re building a firm based on those you most want to work with.”– Matt Wilkinson
Not only does niche marketing give you an edge, it can also increase your impact. By targeting a niche, you give the impression that you’re mostly focused on a specific subgroup of clients.
“Every business owner thinks they are special, right? Every business owner thinks, ‘My business is special. It’s different from everyone else.’ We know that’s not true. They’re pretty similar, … [but] we should use that sentiment to our advantage.”– Matt Wilkinson
Prospects in your niche will feel flattered that you’re tailoring services to them. It gives people a feeling of exclusivity like they’re getting special treatment.
How to find a niche
The importance of market segmentation can’t be understated for niche marketing. To effectively find a niche, you’ll want to filter your segment data to look for key characteristics. These will define your segments.
There are four primary ways to categorize segments:
- Demographic: Age, income, gender, marital status, education level
- Psychographic: Lifestyle, interests, values
- Behavioral: Purchasing patterns, level of interest and engagement
- Geographic: City, country, climate
An easy way to define a market segment is to focus on one industry. So you might target creative professionals, non-profits, tech titans, or entrepreneurs depending on who you most want to serve. What services do you feel most qualified to perform? What services do you like to provide? Finally, which industry has the highest potential to help you maximize revenue?
If you choose to segment geographically, you might consider targeting those in your metropolitan area. You can also combine criteria. Consider what people in the Los Angeles area might be most interested in. L.A. is known for its creative professionals involved in the film industry. Could you target entertainment professionals? How about beauty and wellness businesses? On the other hand, maybe you’re located on the central-California coast, in which case you might target clients in the wine or travel industry.
How to create a niche marketing campaign
A niche marketing campaign doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember, you’re not changing your services. You’re changing the way that you present them. You can provide the exact same services to every customer you have; you’ll just want to present it in a way that makes them feel unique.
You can get off the ground running by simply taking a campaign you’ve already run and making it industry-specific. Take a look at this example of saving money on taxes, which any business owner is going to be interested in.
Subject Line: How some creative agencies save thousands in tax each year
Hi [first name],
I’m guessing you’d rather pay less tax!
If your business structure is a sole proprietor or single-member LLC, you could save thousands of dollars in taxes by setting up an S-Corporation instead.
Check out this blog I wrote about the benefits of S Corp status for creative businesses. Then if you’re keen to set up an S-Corporation, we can help.
You can make a time to chat here.
This campaign could have easily run as a general campaign or as a targeted campaign to healthcare providers, lawyers, or entrepreneurs. Everyone wants to save tax money. However, a few simple tweaks make it appear totally personalized to creatives. It could be tweaked even further with industry segmentation. You could do so by filtering for location or demographic, such as Los Angeles-based agencies or female-run agencies.
“What we’re trying to do is appeal to that sentiment of, ‘My business is special.’ We want to make the person who’s reading this feel like you’re really focusing on them and their challenges. Does it matter that the advice of our S-corps is exactly the same as that you’d offer to a restaurateur or a retailer? Not one bit. It doesn’t matter at all. You’re just taking that campaign and focusing on a certain industry.”– Matt Wilkinson
In addition to running campaigns, you’ll need to have a dedicated landing page for your niche on your website. In this case, you’d have a “Creative Professionals Services.” Again, this will make your target feel special as well as assuring them of your competence.
Finally, you’ll want to carefully select which channels to market through. Just like in any other campaign, you’ll need to find out where your customers hang out. So if you’re looking at creative agencies, you’re probably going for Instagram instead of Facebook. You might also consider whether doing outreach in person, say at a conference, would be effective for your niche.
Niche marketing tactics
Your campaign could involve a combination of blogging, repurposing content on social media, emails, and in-person outreach. The only difference will be that you’re going to segment your lists. This means that you’ll separate your prospects in different niches from each other. Then you’ll deliver your targeted messaging.
Outreach marketing is another approach made easier by targeting a niche. It involves direct outreach to prospects, sometimes by phone, but more commonly by email. Instead of using bulk emailing apps like MailChimp, Matt recommended using traditional email like Outlook but with outbound marketing apps on top of it. Outbound marketing tools YesWare and Prospect are both good options. These apps can track who opens emails, allow you to create templates, do automated backups, and automate actions based on customer data.
“Reaching out directly to prospects in your chosen niche … is one of the big advantages of niching your marketing. … We can go, ‘Okay, I’m going to market to creative industries in Southern California.’ Well, we know exactly where those people are. We can find them on LinkedIn. We can find them in directories. We can just Google for them so we can find out exactly who those people are and we can approach them.”– Matt Wilkinson
Matt also underscored the benefits of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a paid LinkedIn subscription. This tool lets you tap into the power of a vast network of potential leads and help you land higher deals and more wins. You can try it out for a month for free.
Finally, make sure to include accountants’ testimonial examples on your website. Social proof is a proven, powerful way to drive conversions. Be sure to ask for testimonials from clients in your niche and display them prominently on your website. You can also include them at the end of pieces of content, such as emails, blog posts, white papers, and case studies.
Learn more about marketing for accounting firms
Niche marketing involves narrowing down your targets using market segmentation. You can differentiate your prospects by demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and geographic factors, among others. By narrowing down your market, you increase your chances of success and can steer your firm in the direction you want it to go.
Niche marketing can be straightforward. Set up a landing page on your website, then tweak old campaigns just enough to appear designed for your niche. You don’t need to change your services, and the campaigns you run for different niches can be nearly identical. You’re just changing how you frame things.
Gusto’s mission is to create a world that empowers a better life. We’re here to help make marketing your business easy. Don’t forget to check out Parts One, Two, Four, and Five articles based on the same webinar.
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