Are you memorable or boring? What personal qualities do you have that make clients like you? Do the people you meet, whether at networking events or elsewhere, remember you and feel comfortable referring their clients and contacts to you?
If you're an accountant who has been experimenting with social media, this article is for you. It will be of particular interest if you've been disappointed by your social media experiences. And you're not alone if you started out with unrealistic expectations or misunderstood how social media works.
What identity do you want your firm to have? What do you want people to think of when they hear the name of your firm? Once you've identified your firm's desired positioning, the next step is to plan the branding strategy that will make it a reality.
Imagine that your firm comes up in a conversation between two business people. One says, "Smith and Jones, CPAs, sure, I've heard of them. They're the [blank] firm." Now, what do you want the [blank] to be? That's brand positioning.
At some point in your career, it's likely that you've been involved in a project that seemed to meander endlessly without any real direction. It could be a marketing project or just about anything else. In marketing, there's a name for a project like this: the platypus.
Knowing just how satisfied clients are with your services might be difficult if not impossible to gauge on a daily basis. For accountants, recognizing whether clients are considering shifting to another service provider is not always blatantly obvious.
Spring is a time of optimism, so it's a great time for accounting firms to look for fresh opportunities to grow the business. Lauren Prosser offers five ways accounting firms can "fertilize" existing efforts in order to jump-start business and grow deeper, stronger roots with clients.
You may not have time to do any active marketing, but right now is a great time to be doing passive marketing. As the name suggests, passive marketing doesn't require any action from you once it's in place.
Do you serve a particular niche especially well? Have you served clients with complex issues that took a great deal of research? Do you have more knowledge than most in a particular area of tax or accounting? If so, congratulations – you're an expert. But are you keeping your hard-earned expert status a secret?
Dozens of metrics exist for firms to track, number crunch, and strategize around. No two firms will track the same exact metrics in the same way for the same exact reasons. However, focusing on a "defining dozen" can propel firms to the next level.
When you know who your competitors are and what services they provide, you can better plan your marketing efforts and messaging to stand out among your peers. A quick review of competitors' websites will reveal a lot.
How is your firm different? Since the "what" of your firm has already been defined, it may be a good idea to take a close look at the "how" of your firm as a way to set yourself apart from the competition.
If you're like most busy accounting professionals I know, you probably aren't able to devote as much time to marketing your firm and as you'd like. I'm going to highlight a strategy that can help you achieve significant leverage from whatever amount of time you have.
Using the Web for marketing is popular for good reason. There are many low-cost tactics that require little to no cash outlay, such as e-mail and social media. All marketing initiatives take time, and these options are no exception.
I've long held the belief that LinkedIn is a serious online business networking tool, and it can be an effective tool for start-up practices. This is the first article in a three-part series where I'll explain how LinkedIn can help the solo practitioner.