Accounting used to be a field where business owners could rely on the loyalty of their clients to sustain their firm’s profitability in the long-term. Today, 79 percent of consumers say they would take their business to a competitor within a week of experiencing poor customer service. This swing in consumer behavior has transformed accounting from a stable career into one that’s peppered with unpredictability, but there is a silver lining. Changing consumer sentiment presents accountants with an opportunity to grow their practices more quickly than ever before by marketing to consumers who are willing to make a switch.
Savvy accountants who have realized this opportunity are taking proactive steps to market their brand in their local communities. When so many other local accountants are still working under the old adage that word-of-mouth is “good enough,” preparing and executing a marketing plan for your business will help you grow by leaps and bounds over your competition. If you’re new to marketing your business, we’ve got three pieces of advice to get you started.
1. Less is more
Regardless of how you decide to advertise your accounting firm, your marketing message should always be clear and concise. You will only have a few seconds to leave a lasting impression with potential clients, so limiting your message to one idea with minimal text will help your accounting firm stand out from the competition. You might be tempted to fill your ad with a list of services, but doing so will only clutter your message making your ad more difficult for consumers to comprehend. And according to Google, the harder it is for a consumer to process your ad, the less likely they are to remember your message. To illustrate this point, here’s a look at two ads at each end of the spectrum. Which one will you remember?
2. Focus on how you help, not what you are
According to Accounting Web, there’s one single marketing mistake that’s killing the success of accountants, and most of them don’t even realize it. So what’s the big faux pas that’s draining the life out of marketing campaigns everywhere? Simply put, it’s when accountants market themselves as accountants. That’s it. Rather than focusing their ads on how they can help, accountants often focus on who they are.
You know what we’re talking about here. Picture an ad with a business name at the top, an image of three older men dressed in suits in the middle, and an address at the bottom. It’s a classic mistake that’s easy to make. If you’re guilty of committing this ad offense, it’s not the end of the world. A few simple tweaks will increase the level of impact your ad has on consumers. Here are some tips to help you promote how your accounting firm adds value:
Make a list of reasons clients love working with your firm. Do you offer special services that other accountants don’t?
Choose one service or benefit to promote in your ad.
Think about how to promote your message as simply as possible while still getting your message across.
If you’re not quite sure what a simple service-oriented ad would look like, here’s an example by Deloitte. This ad does a great job illustrating how Deloitte adds value to the lives of their clients:
3. Your website matters
When it comes to personal finance, consumers still prefer to meet with their accountants face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean your website doesn’t play a vital role in attracting and retaining clients. Consumers who are in the market for a new accountant will typically turn to the web to find out what their local options are. They’ll also conduct online research, exploring websites and reviews, to learn more about local accountants and the services they offer.
If your local accounting business doesn’t have a website, you haven’t even made it past the first stage in the consumer research cycle. And if your website is subpar in comparison to the competition, what reason would consumers have to move your accounting firm to the top of their list? It’s important to remember that consumers will judge the legitimacy of your business by the quality of your website. You might not place high value on your site’s design, but your best prospects will. So, does your website accurately reflect your level of experience and the quality of service you deliver? If you’re not sure, can help. Our experts will evaluate your website by reviewing features like:
- Responsive design capabilities
- Content strength
- Page speed
Once we’ve completed your website review, we will provide you with recommendations to delivering a better first online impression to your prospective clients. If you don’t already have a web designer, we have a team of experts that can help you get your website in tip-top shape. Contact us today to set up a website evaluation for your accounting firm.