CPA Practice Marketing: Expand Your Client Base by Narrowing Your Marketing Focus
I believe one of the most underutilized marketing weapons for CPA practices is the power of niche marketing. Niche marketing is something marketing to client groups that fit the demographic and psychographic profile of your target market.
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For instance, if you own a general CPA practice, instead of marketing your services to anybody and everybody, why not market your services to specific industry that relies heavily on a specialized type of consulting, tax or business advisory knowledge?
Another example might be offering your services to only not-for-profit religious organizations. Although this narrows the size of your target market significantly, it will open doors more easily and in ways that you never thought possible.
Benefits of Niche Target Marketing
Why would anyone want to actually narrow down the amount of people to which they market? It almost seems counterintuitive. Think of all the opportunities your CPA firm would be missing by not marketing to anyone and everyone.
I hear this kind of faulty logic all the time.
The truth is that when you narrowly define who you are marketing to, three magical things happen.
- Your service becomes more desirable
Once you have picked your niche you automatically begin to create a set of unique and tailor made products that have been specifically aimed at the people inside that niche. People want to feel unique. People want to buy stuff that's made just for them and those products that solve their unique “one of a kind” problems. Think of it this way, would you rather by a suit of clothes off a rack at Sears or would you rather by suit made to fit, just for you, by the best tailor in town?
- Your name and your brand spreads rapidly.
Let's face it, people in groups talk... in fact they talk a lot! Lawyers talk to other lawyers. Gas station owners talk to gas station owners. Wealthy people talk to wealthy people. CPA's talk to CPA's. Affinity groups are a fact of life. Why not take advantage of this simple fact of life?
If you're good and you provide superior services for a specific niche, your name will travel far and fast.
- When marketing to a niche it's easier and less expensive to find prospects.
If you pick the right niche, it becomes very easy to contact your prospects. A good niche will have a list of people who are either members of your niche or people who have purchased things associated with your niche.
Instead of spending your marketing on a "spray and pray" program-where you rent a plane and fly over town dumping 85,000 brochures out of the door hoping that a good prospect will get hit in the head by it on the way down, you can now acquire a tightly focused list of names, addresses, telephone numbers and even e-mails. Once you've done this, you now spend your money on sending a tightly focused stream of relevant marketing messages to the members of this group over and over and over again.
- You will face much less competition in a niche.
The fact that you've narrowed your marketing focus to a smaller subset of people means that there will be less competition with which you'll have to contend.
In fact, if you rollout your campaign in a big way into a niche where there is currently no dominant player, you will rapidly become the most important firm in that niche. This will deter any new competitors from entering into your niche due to the high costs associated with trying to dislodge you from your number one position. This is simple common sense.
Think of it this way; let's say you're a dry cleaning shop owner looking for a new CPA. Which firm are you more likely to hire: (a) the firm that sells itself as," the tax and consulting specialists for the dry cleaning industry," or (b) the firm that sells itself as," the city's largest CPA firm, “we work with any business."
All things being equal, you will always pick the “expert" in what you want done, versus the generalist. You don't get your Ferrari fixed at the local garage.
How to Select the Right Niche
I often get questions from CPA's that have decided to market to a niche, but don't know what niche to market to. This is an important decision and must be researched very carefully.
There are several questions you should ask yourself when choosing a niche in which to specialize:
Question #1 — Can you easily and affordably contact the niche?
Question #2 — Can the members of the niche afford your products and services?
Question #3 — Is there a successful track record of selling these types of products or services to your niche in the past?
Question #4 — How much competition is there in the niche and is there a dominant player?
Question #5 — Are you familiar with the niche, or do you have experience in the niche, or can you acquire the necessary “expert” knowledge quickly?
Question #6 — Is the niche big enough to sustain your business?
Done correctly, niche marketing is the most lucrative practice development marketing approach that there is. Nothing comes close in terms of results or profitability. Think about it this way, would you rather be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a rowboat with a fishing rod trying to catch one fish, or would you rather have 500 fish in a 20 gallon barrel and a stick of dynamite in your hand.
A niche market is a barrel full of fish. All you have to do is throw in your dynamite in the form of specialized direct marketing messages and customized services and products.
In the next part of this series I'll show you how to get the" fish" into the barrel and how you build your dynamite message.
CPA Marketing Best Practices