Marketing

Collaging - A New Way to 'Think Out of the Box'

We’ve all heard the term "thinking out of the box" and as worn out as those five words are, it really is a good goal to have if you’re trying to incorporate change into your firm. One problem in accomplishing this feat is getting the brain ready to actually go into the realm of the creative.
Practice Management

Can Farmers Really Be Great Clients?

The following is an editorial by Paul Dunn, co-founder of Results Accountants' Systems.As we look around the world at great accounting practices (what we’ve called "the Practices of the New Millennium") one constant theme is the selection of clients.It’s critical, we’re often told, to select clients who you like, clients who are profitable, clients who are open to suggestions, clients who are willing to listen and so on. And farmers feature infrequently in that list for many practices.

Advertising: Make Sure it's Legal

Though not all accounting firms feel that advertising is the way to go when it comes to getting the word out, it’s also not a bad idea. Several of the Big Five have regular ad campaigns in place, which allows them greater exposure (they hope) to their target audience.If you are thinking of advertising there are a few things you should keep in mind. Since accounting firms offer a service and not a product, the approach to advertising may be slightly different.

What Are You Talking About?

Last week I attended a workshop intended to help the professionals in our firm learn more about a new service our company is offering. On the last day of the workshop a considerable amount of time was spent on how to interview the client about this service. I was interested to see that many of the partners, who often pride themselves on knowing their clients better than the client knows him or herself, didn’t quite know how to approach the client about this new service.

Unleashing the Ideavirus

Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing has done it again. He has written Unleashing the Ideavirus and once again shares his intuitive thoughts about getting your idea out without interrupting your potential clients and forcing them to slog through the mire in an effort to get to your message.How does he recommend you get your ideas across without going door to door? Easy! You let the consumer do it for you. Present your idea in an easy-to-access way and make it free. Voila!

Is Summer Burning You Out?

The lazy days of summer affect all of us. You don’t have to be a little kid dealing with the long stretch before school starts to get that feeling of being just a little less motivated than usual. We all go through it. However, we also need to forge through and use this “down” time in the industry to pursue new business opportunities.Try scheduling a week out to phone clients specifically to catch up and receive some feedback as to what and how they are doing. In the process you may gain some insight as to what additional services you can be providing them.

Writing: A Great Tool for Accountants?

If you are looking for a way to get yourself out there in front of specific audiences, namely those belonging to niches you’d like to grow, consider your article writing abilities. As professionals, we all turn to various trade publications to teach us the latest and greatest in our industries. This is a great place for accountants to stretch some marketing muscle and get smack in front of your target audience.If you’re considering getting articles published, think first of where you want to be.
Practice

Direct Mail that Grabs the Reader

The name junk mail is just that for a reason; because it’s junk. A company may have many wonderful things to inform you about but unless they grab you and give you a reason to read, you will find yourself dumping it without giving it a second glance. Don’t let this happen to your letter.Start by making sure you know your audience. Sometimes hitting the masses and hoping that your target it nestled somewhere within is not as effective as shaving down your list knowing full-well that these recipients are people who will be interested.
Practice

Do You Really Know Your Clients?

If you’re looking to position yourself as a leader in your industry you’ve probably found yourself focusing on the intricacies of the accounting industry itself. While this is a mandatory aspect of what you do as an accounting professional, a way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to be an expert in your client’s industry.Make it a point to subscribe to publications focusing on the industry you find your practice wanting to grow the most, or the ones your practice has developed a strong client base in.
Practice Management

Are Digital Business Cards Worth the Effort?

The latest craze in electronic gadgetry is sure to be the electronic business card, a hand-held, smaller-size CD-ROM that can serve as a gateway to lots of different kinds of information about your firm or business.But are these cards worth producing, and are the benefits going to truly help?Like any marketing tactic, the answer sometimes is vague, but CPAs and accounting professionals will want to quantify this effort first by looking at the card's cost.
Practice Management

Is Accounting the 'World's Oldest Profession'?

The following is an editorial by Paul Dunn, co-founder of Results Accountants' Systems.Come on — time to own up! Is the Profession actually the oldest Profession in the world?In every gathering of Accountants I'm asked to address, I always ask the question: "how many of us have clients we wish we didn't have?
Practice Management

Seminars: Let’s Get the Word Out

Seminars are a great way for accounting firms to introduce a new service, educate on a current service or inform clients on an issue that may be very pertinent to their financial situation. However, often times the message misses its mark due to an unsure approach to the audience and lack of follow-up. The following are a few ways to update your checklist for ensuring greater success with your own seminar.Make sure your audience is appropriate for the topic. Not everyone on your client list is meant for every subject or service your firm hosts seminars on.
Practice Management

Ready, Set, Market!

So you’ve decided it is time to add a marketing director to your staff. Before you bring your new marketing director on board there are a few things to take into consideration. Currently, the shelf life for an accounting firm marketing director is about 13 months. The following might help you keep your marketing director beyond the current attrition rate.Make sure that the consensus among your partner group is one of a positive nature when it comes to bringing this individual into your firm. While not everyone will agree, it’s important that the majority do.

Getting Great People

The following editorial was provided by Results Accountants Systems.It seems a long time ago now.I was playing the classic ‘victim’ — something had happened that I didn’t think was my fault and I said so. And then this wise person said something I’ve remembered ever since:“When you point the finger of blame at someone, there are one, two, three fingers pointing right back at you.” (To understand that graphically, just go ahead and point at someone close to you right now.

Is your newsletter getting the attention you want?

If you are like most accounting firms, you want to get the most bang for your newsletter buck. A quarterly newsletter often can cost a firm thousands of dollars per year to produce. Follow these tips to make sure your newsletter is read – not tossed.1. Name your newsletter with the audience in mind. Sure, you want to get company name recognition with your newsletter, but you also want your newsletter to say something to your readers. What is your publication going to do for them? Think benefits to your readers when naming your newsletter.2.

Want Information Now? Look to the Web!

When your firm is busy prospecting, the sales function needs to be a streamlined machine. Each team member needs access to sales information and they need it fast. If you have been struggling with a sales contact software that just doesn't seem to make the grade, consider a Web-based alternative. Two good sites that allow you to upload your information and maintain it online are UpShot.com and SalesForce.com.

AccountingWEB Hosts First Ever Live Press Conference!

The firm of SS&G Financial Services chose the AccountingWEB workshop room as its venue for announcing the merger of Greene & Wallace Certified Public Accountants with the SS&G Financial Services Group.

HOT Trade Show Trends

If you think that trade shows are a marketing tool of yesteryear, think again. A recent survey of one thousand executives shows that 85 percent believe trade shows are MORE important today.The trick is that the way they visit trade shows has changed. Trade show visits aren't a haphazard jaunt down the aisles; they are pre-planned strategies with a mission. And, because of lack of time, serious visitors stay late to accomplish their task. But, according to another survey, more than 60 percent of booths are empty the last hour of the show.

Where do businesses go to find an accounting firm?

Bsource.com - ever heard of it? If you act quickly, you can list your accounting firm with the web site and get exposure to millions of qualified, prospective clients. So what's the deal? Well, Bsource is a matchmaker for businesses and vendors. Beyond being a directory online, the site uses a proprietary matching system that connects you with clients that specifically match your firm's skills and interests.Many news sites use Bsource as their "matchmaker" service, so you get the benefit of being on many sites at once with just one listing.

Increase Your Newsletter Exposure

Wouldn't it be nice to double, maybe even triple your newsletter audience without increasing your production costs one penny?You can. And this little tip may just help you reduce your current costs if you've been sending several copies to people in the same company. Unless your newsletter features time sensitive information, this is a great way to get your newsletter passed around.How? You ask. It's easy. Simply incorporate a routing box on your newsletter.

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