For most accounting professionals, sales and marketing is a foreign language, but it needs to have some attention to spur along your firm's growth.
Even if you relied 100% on referrals, marketing strategy, marketing execution and sales are critical to ensure the best ROI on the time spent fostering and closing the right leads.
Here, I have compiled a list of 15 mistakes that I most commonly see accounting firm owners fall prey to, with advice on how to correct them.
1. "We market to small businesses." In marketing, a lack of focus is akin to lighting a pile of cash on fire. You need to have a narrow focus — an identified niche — plus an ideal client persona. Only with that can you determine the best, most efficient vehicles and channels to market, and ensure the best ROI for your marketing dollars and time.
2. No Unique Selling Proposition (USP) exists. A value proposition is not a unique selling proposition (USP). A value proposition is an internal marketing strategy component while a USP is leveraged for external purposes. A USP differs from a value proposition in that it highlights your competitive advantage to win the clients you want, where your strengths meet their needs and wants.
3. Protecting your firm's secret sauce. Live by the mantra: "Give to get." If you walk your prospects and clients through what and how you do what you do, they'll realize they don't want to do it and appreciate your firm all the more. In fact, they'll be willing to pay more too. Always be giving and always be training.
Marketing Execution & Channel Marketing
4. A random act of marketing. Every marketing act costs time and money. A random act of marketing has no purpose, no intent, no success metrics, no tracking, no reporting, no accountability, no campaign associated, and ultimately will be of no success. Have a plan, set a goal, continuously measure and make it part of a concerted effort to win.
5. Marketing through wide-aiming newsletters, office events, and email. Marketing like everyone else will get you the same return as everyone else — little to no growth. If you know your niche and your ideal client, you can understand what they want to hear, where they want to hear it, and how they want to be sold. Maybe email marketing or a newsletter is the right thing to do, but you need to understand your ideal client first and then determine if that is the best vehicle to approach them with.