In over 26 years of working with accountants, it still surprises me to see how little focus many place on marketing. Here are six tricks one of my clients will use to add $1 million to their annual revenue.
Marketing isn’t your concern, right?
I get it. You’re an accountant and you’re focused on the nuts and bolts of your work. You’re trained to work with figures and provide specific results for clients.
Marketing doesn’t fall into that category. It’s floaty and perhaps more suitable for the creative types.
Except it isn’t.
Good marketing’s going to help your accounting firm to scale. It’s going to get you in front of potential customers and lead to increased sales of your services.
You need marketing to elicit a response from your audience. You need it to get them talking about you, your services, and why you’re awesome.
There’s no excuse not to focus on it.
Yet, so many of the firms that I work with put marketing on the backburner. Such was the case for one client in Michigan that now has big ambitions thanks to implementing a marketing plan.
An Extra $1 Million in 1 Year
I believe that accountants don’t earn enough money for how smart they are. You add amazing value to every one of your clients. Yet, so many accountants undercharge for their services.
This often comes down to their marketing. The materials you’re putting out there have to convey the value that you’re going to provide to the client. They have to show that you are much more than a number cruncher whom the client could replace if they needed to.
That’s how you increase average hourly rates while delighting your clients with your service.
I have a client in Michigan that’s currently struggling with their marketing.
Let me give you some of the raw numbers:
- Average hourly rate across the entire team – $74
- Average hourly rate for client hours – $163
- Annual revenue – $2,457,164
- That’s where they stand right now.
I believe that they can boost those figures enormously with the right marketing strategies. That’s what we’re working on right now – the implementation of proven strategies that lead to success.
In 12 months, we aim to change these numbers to the following:
- Average hourly rate across the entire team – $150
- Average hourly rate for client hours – $291
- Annual revenue – $3,440,739
- That’s a near-$1 million increase in revenue.
And these are the marketing tricks that the firm will use to make it happen.
Trick #1 – Set Firm Objectives
Your marketing material has one objective:
Sell the client on the idea that they need to get in touch with you to find out about what you offer.
That’s something that a lot of firms forget in this brand-centric environment. You might think that a shiny brochure or a TV ad’s going to cut it for your marketing strategy.
But it won’t. They may help you to build your brand but you’re not necessarily going to get responses.
And that’s the key. Without responses from clients, your marketing amounts to very little.
You’re selling the client on a dream. But you need to make that dream tangible when it comes to your objectives.
What does your marketing need to achieve in pure numbers?
Building brand awareness is a common objective. But it’s not going to move the needle.
You want objectives that are similar to those of my client in Michigan. Objectives like “raise annual revenue” or “increase hourly rates” are better choices.
Remember that your marketing complements your sales. You need it to pull people towards your firm so your sales team can focus on selling the service.
Aim for the direct responses that actually build to something.
Trick #2 – Use Social Proof
You know you’re good and you know that you get results.
Your existing clients can see that. But you’re struggling to get that message out to a wider audience.
It’s because you’re telling that audience how great you are. That’s a sales pitch and a lot of potential clients aren’t receptive to it.
What they do want to see is proof.
“What have you done for a firm like mine?”
Stop promoting direct to the marketplace and start promoting via your clients. Every one of your clients has a story. They have a starting point, which is when they joined you. And they have a (hopefully) positive result from having worked with you.
Lead with that in your marketing.
Use that social proof to show others what you can do. Use video interviews and case study documents to talk about what you’ve achieved for a client.
That creates belief in your abilities, which makes people more willing to talk to you.
Trick #3 – Never Forget the Follow-Up
You had a client for a while and then they stopped using your services. The reason doesn’t matter. They just decided to go in another direction.
That’s a lost client, right?
Maybe not. In fact, it’s a huge marketing mistake to scrub former clients like that from your database. You likely don’t know all of the facts behind why they stopped using your services.
And it’s possible that you could get them back on board later on down the line.
Now, I’m not saying you need to hound these guys constantly to get them back on board. That’s just going to drive them away.
But a part of your marketing strategy should be to maintain contact with former clients. You’ll also maintain contact with people who almost became clients before dropping off.
Just send a quick message every quarter to let them know that you’re still available. Leave it open and don’t get too salesy.
If you provided a great service before, you may find that many former clients will come back to you with a little prompting.
Trick #4 – Use Content Effectively
It’s so hard to find great content about what you do.
Trust me, your potential clients have tried and likely failed. They’re looking for an expert and your website isn’t showing them that your firm’s going to get the job done.
Great content is about much more than a dry recital of your services on a website.
It’s about weaving stories into narratives that display what you can do for a client. It’s about picking a specific niche or topic and creating content that shows you’re an authority.
The best content answers questions and sparks conversations.
Look at what’s in your blog right now. Is it content that would inspire you to want to talk to a firm like yours?
I bet it’s not. But with a little more focused approach, you could turn it into compelling content.
Trick #5 – Know Your Clients’ Goals
You’ve worked with enough clients to know that they have some common goals.
Use that knowledge to your advantage in your marketing.
You’ve identified common pain points. You have services that can solve those problems.
Match the service to the problem to show why your firm is the firm for helping people achieve that specific goal. I recommend sprinkling in a little social proof here to back up what you’re saying.
This is especially important when marketing to your existing client base. To get that expansion revenue, you need to show that you can solve more problems than the specific issue the client came to you with.
Talk to your clients and dig deeper into the issues that they have. You’ll find more opportunities for marketing with a little exploration.
Trick #6 – Use Direct Response Marketing
Marketing’s a call and response game.
You send out the call and you aim to get a response from the client.
Direct marketing is still the best way to do this. With direct marketing, you combine your value proposition with a CTA to make something happen.
Typically, that means identifying a niche and sending targeted marketing messages to that niche.
There are all sorts of ways to do this, including:
- Using Facebook Ads to target specific audience segments.
- Shooting emails about seminars over to your list.
- Getting on the phone and actually talking to people.
Direct response marketing is all about engaging with your audience to generate inquiries. And it’s a long-term thing. You can’t send one email out, see that it hasn’t gotten a response, and then give up.
You need a concerted and consistent strategy that keeps you in the conversation. And it should gently nudge prospects towards becoming clients.
Power Up Your Marketing Today
It doesn’t matter if you only have modest growth goals for your firm.
Marketing is still something that you have to focus on. I’ve lost track of the number of firms that tell me they’re putting marketing on the backburner to focus on “more important” things.
I tell them that without effective marketing, those important things disappear.
I’m going to help my Michigan-based client use these six tricks to build a marketing strategy that works.
And they’re not the only clients that I’m working with. Do you want to find out more about those firms?
Then you need to read…
The Wealthy Accountant: Click here to get a copy. https://robnixon.com/wealthydigital/