In this guide we will show you how to create a marketing plan for an accounting firm, using the following steps:
- Identify your audience
- Update your website
- Create content
- Use social media
- Involve your current clients
- Find valuable offline methods
Identify your audience
Marketing for accounting firms starts with research. Who is your target audience? The answer may be:
- Sole traders or freelancers
- Large businesses or corporations
- A specific industry
Each of these audiences will be found in different places and they will research services in different ways. Find out where your audience ‘lives’ online and offline. What magazines or online news sites do they read? Are there specific social media platforms that they are more likely to use? If so, make sure you have a business profile on them. You have to be where the potential clients are.
If you have clients who are part of the same industry, then it may be worth pursuing clients in this sector. Carving out a speciality in this sector may benefit both your firm and your clients; businesses like to work with specialists in their area, and as you continue to build knowledge in one area, you will be able to serve those clients better.
Update your website
Your website is the storefront customers will find when doing their research. Make sure it has a fast load time and is suitable for both web and mobile use. You might also consider investing in an SEO strategy so that you appear at the top of the results for searches like ‘accounting firm for small businesses’ or ‘accounting firm in Edinburgh’.
Your website must demonstrate what services your business offers straight away. The longer a person has to look for what they want, the less likely they are to stay on the website or work with you so making your services apparent on the homepage will improve the customer journey.
Identify what makes your firm different from other firms and highlight it by using a unique tone of voice, interesting imagery or engaging messaging. Think of this step as showcasing the personality of your business.
Content marketing is a very valuable tool in a marketing plan. Digital content is information, so starting a business blog and creating content (articles) for it gives you the opportunity to both show your expertise and capture the attention of people searching for answers to their accounting questions online.
For example, a small business owner might want to know ‘what forms do I need to complete my self-assessment?’ and if your blog answers this question for them in detail, you could build trust and authority with the customer, introduce them to the services you offer, as well as ranking high in the Google search results for this query. Building this familiarity with potential customers means that when they do need accounting services, they might think of your firm first.
It doesn’t have to all be written content. If visuals, photographs or infographics would be more useful for your target audience, then try using them on your blog too. Variety is important in content marketing efforts. Share your new content on social media or in email newsletters to get it in front of as many people as possible.
Use social media
It might not be typical to find accounting firms advertising their services on social media, but building relationships with businesses through the right social media channels will stand you in good stead for sharing your expertise and driving customers to your website. We’ve got guides with more detail on how to use social media to get you started.
Use your audience research to help you understand what platforms to prioritise. Figure out where your target clients are spending their social media time and use that platform. Generally, B2B businesses may have more success via Linkedin or Twitter, where the culture is centred around information sharing. Share the expert content you’ve created there to target other businesses.
Involve your current clients
It’s been proven that it’s more expensive to gain new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Involve your existing clients in your marketing efforts. Ask them to leave reviews on Google, request a quote about how your firm helped their business, or ask their permission to use their business as a case study.
A personal referral will be more impactful than targeting companies that have never heard of you. You could offer your current clients a deal if they introduce you to another business. A voucher for a free hour of your time could bring you new clients in the same industry, or even friends of your clients that need accounting help.
Find valuable offline methods of marketing
Use offline marketing methods to get your firm name in front of new audiences. This could include local and national methods such as:
- Attending accounting industry events
- Attending events in the industry you want to target
- Using local radio
- Registering in local directories
- Newspaper advertising
It’s useful to try and test what methods work well for your firm, as offline methods are harder to measure than digital channels. Find out what works and do more of it in the future.
How Countingup helps accountants work smarter
Now that you know how to create a marketing plan for your accounting firm, let Countingup support both you and your clients.
Countingup offers a business current account with built-in accounting software that helps small business owners keep on top of their bookkeeping admin. The app enables one-person businesses to share their organised, accurate financial data with their accountant directly, saving hours of time-consuming admin for both parties. Find out more here.