I read with interest that the first rule of effective marketing for an accountancy practice is doing a great job for your existing clients. As well as this first rule, I think that there are another six rules – which apply to any professional practice, be they accountants, lawyers or consultants.
Rule 1: Decide on your niche
Doing marketing or business development work costs time and reduces either the profit margin of a firm, or the time fee earners have to do chargeable work. By choosing a niche, it enables you to pool your marketing resources and messages, and attract the clients you like working with.
Rule 2: Differentiate yourself
When you know your niche then you can differentiate yourself so that you stand out from your competitors. After all, at some point your potential client is going to ask you – ‘so why you?’
Rule 3: Keep prospects warm
Most potential clients when they meet you don’t yet have a need for your services. What systems and processes do you have in place to keep both existing and potential clients in touch with your fee earners until they ARE ready to use or recommend your services?
Rule 4: Decide on your channels to market
There are so many different marketing methods available to an accountancy practice – telemarketing, social media marketing, direct mail marketing, search marketing, content marketing, print advertising, PR etc etc. Be selective on the methods you pick and always plan, measure and monitor.
Rule 5: Do a great job for your existing clients
It’s often been quoted that it is 7-14 times easier to get new work off existing clients. Have you got processes and systems in place to make sure that you are doing a great job for your existing clients?
Rule 6: Cross sell your services to existing clients
Many partners within existing firms purely market to generate work for their own part of the practice. There are many opportunities across the firm to upsell more services to new clients. For example, tax advice – both corporate and private – to business owners who use you for accounting services and audit.
Rule 7: Decide on your product ladder
If you know your niche and can differentiate yourself, then it is easy to start to work out the products and services which your firm needs to provide. For example, I was working with one of my clients who runs an accountancy practice – and she wanted to differentiate herself on the fact that she wanted to work with the small clients and cared about supporting them however small her business was. Consequently, her service includes a free helpline regardless of the package which you buy from her.
Have I missed any rules out?
- Why most accountants are wasting their time with social media marketing
- How social media can assist word of mouth marketing for accountants
- How to create a effective business blog for your firm
- 9 reasons to resist being vanilla with your marketing messages
- 11 reasons why accountants should not use social media…