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9 Marketing Tips for Your Accounting Firm

You’re an excellent freelance accountant. You’ve put in years of training, honed your skills, got your accreditations, jumped through hoops and got results. You’re clearly self-motivated and ambitious. Fortunately, as an accountant, you’re also much in demand. You’re the oil without which the machinery of business would grind to a halt.

So, it stands to reason that you should get some recognition and get your personal brand out there. But you’re a trained accountant, not a trained marketer. That’s why we’ve put together this essential list for putting yourself out there and growing your client base in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

1. Produce professional marketing materials.

Marketing materials are like shortcuts to putting across your brand identity – and it’s the attention to detail that matters. Research the kind of marketing materials the most successful accountants in your niche use.

When designing your materials, ask yourself, “Is a formal design the way to go? Does it represent both me and my niche in the best light? Can I afford to take a more informal approach? Will that make me stand out in a good way? How can I ensure I still look professional if I go down that road?”

As always, learn from the best. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel.

2. Invest in professional business cards.

There are a ton of companies out there providing high quality, pro-looking business cards. For example, Moo may be a little pricey, but they offer a great range of pre-designed options and have really simple-to-use and flexible customization options. More importantly, they produce cards of a very high quality and you won’t be disappointed.

3. Get a decent headshot.

This can be used in printed marketing materials and repurposed for online where appropriate. Avoid taking it yourself, if possible. Get a professional to take it with proper composition and lighting and it will make a big difference. For example, featuring a professional shot of yourself on your LinkedIn profile is a great way to stand out from the cloud.

4. Build a conversion focused website.

One of the problems with marketing is that you end up generating myriad materials, and end up with content strewn all over the web. The end result can be that you spread yourself too thin. The solution to this? Make sure all your real-world marketing materials, all your social media content, all your emails, etc. point to one and the same destination: your website

Your site should be at the heart of all your marketing operations. Think of it as a giant lead-manufacturing machine. It should be designed to maximize lead conversion. That doesn’t mean it can’t have great content on its own (it should definitely have that in fact); it’s just that lead conversion should be built-in at ground level and not be an afterthought.

This is how your site fits into your marketing process:

Marketing materials -> website -> content/ landing pages -> lead capture (email forms etc.) -> lead conversion

5. Be proactive on social media.

We all know that social media is an essential element of our marketing mix. But what’s the best way to use it for marketing and lead generation?

LinkedIn

Having a LinkedIn account is a bit like having a business card. It’s just something everyone should have. But, like with business cards, using it is much more complex than simply having an account.

LinkedIn is where HR staff and recruiters reside. And despite a competitive marketplace, they are looking for the right people for their business. The best people. Your LinkedIn account should reflect the best of you.

Here are some quick pointers for optimizing your profile:

  • Have a professional looking headshot
  • Personalize your URL by changing it to your name or business name. This will help with search engine listing, and it looks more professional
  • Craft a headline that’s not just a job description.

Reach out to people.

Social media is an active, outgoing medium. Take advantage of this to reach out to people and make connections. Your headline should instantly describe your skills, such as “Accounting Freelancer”.

Bear in mind that social media platforms like LinkedIn and others are essentially very dynamic outbound marketing tools. Use them to contact real people. Through LinkedIn you can join small business groups to ensure that you are part of a community discussion in your niche. Be as active as possible and join in conversations with others. Being proactive in this way will instantly put you in the top echelons of LinkedIn account owners, many of whom are extremely passive.

With social media, it can be very tempting to assume that people will simply come to you. This is the wrong approach to take. Imagine if you’d just bought an apartment that’s perfect for hosting dinner parties. You’ve put in lots of effort to make it look as attractive as possible. Despite this, the doorbell isn’t just going to instantly start ringing. There’s no shortcut to making friends and connections, being outgoing and personable and having a clear focus on what you want to get out of your social media endeavors.

From LinkedIn, to Twitter, to Facebook, all your social media accounts should have a similar structure of information delivery:

Name -> profile pic -> headline -> bio -> website link

For example:

– Jo Smith

– Accounting Freelancer

– A skilled and motivated finance professional within the financial services sector.

This is the very baseline of what a profile should be. The more personal and unique you can make it whilst maintaining an aura of professionalism, the better.

6. Get out and about!

It’s easy to think that these days marketing is all done behind the protective shield of a laptop. But the reality is that the old ways have not gone away – and for a good reason.

A very powerful and often neglected marketing tool is to simply get out and about. Check out the local businesses in your area. There are various networking events being organized in your business community which you can find through sites like Meetup and Eventbrite, not to mention good old Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. Just like every band needs a bass player, every business needs an accountant. So, don’t be shy!

7. Contact local co-working spaces.

Co-working spaces are popping up everywhere these days. It’s where dynamic and upcoming SME’s can be found. And these are companies that are in the early stages of their growth and are looking out for top-rate talent. Reach out to these places and make connections. Get known in your local co-working spaces and you’ll soon find you’re having to turn down work. Check out sites like Coworker and Flexiworkforce to find spaces in your local area.

8. Advertising & directories.

Adverts can often feel like an antiquated throwback to pre-internet times, especially given that social media sites are like living adverts. But that’s partly why ads and listings can be so effective. By using them you’re taking steps that many freelancers ignore. When people are searching for accountants they’re not interested in the most funky and new-fangled way to find people, they’re looking for the easy way to find new staff. And adverts and directory listings are just that.

It pays to take your time researching the best places to place your ads. Your local paper should be the first place to start. Find high quality, respectable online directories to advertise in.

If you were only to take out one listing, it should be a Google My Business listing. This is the ultimate way to setup and manage your business listings across the web and tap into the 1+ billion monthly google users. Take out paid advertising where appropriate but don’t forget you’re paying for results, so keep a close eye on ROI and measure which avenue generates the most amount of leads.

9. Email marketing.

An email list is the backbone of any business’s outbound marketing operations. You should be employing e-marketing techniques to grow your own list, but you don’t need to wait until you have hundreds of contacts. You can actually harness the power of other businesses’ contact lists. Seek out local businesses with a large B2B list, such as a local retail shop or DIY-app builder, and approach them about collaborating on their next newsletter.

These are some of the essential elements of your marketing mix. If you’re thinking about and implementing these tools, you’ll already be streets ahead of much of your competition.

AppInstitute is a cloud-based service that aims to revolutionize the app market by providing a SaaS platform. This platform allows businesses and individuals, with little-to-no prior technical knowledge, to create their own apps. For updates on AppInstitute, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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