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The Best Ways to Market Your Valuation Services

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Valuation services can be a great way to grow your firm, as long as you market these services using proven strategies. Here, Lee Frederiksen of Hinge Marketing explains why you should consider a new approach to marketing and implement the strategies that high growth firms use to earn new clients.

Apr 22nd 2022
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Businesses are running leaner than ever before. With smaller staff, they search for trusted financial partners who can provide solutions for their unique needs. Many accounting firms today are expanding into business valuation practices. Some companies are seeing significant growth in their operations. Others are finding it hard to attract new clients.

The key to success is paying particular attention to how your market these new services. At Hinge, we've spent years studying the fastest-growing professional service organizations. We’ve uncovered how high growth accounting firms are expanding and marketing these services, deepening relationships with existing clients and adding new clients to their pipeline.

This article will give you a peek at what high growth firms are doing right and how you can successfully move into this new service realm.

A New Reality

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, savvy marketers recognized that buyers' behaviors were changing. Our research shows that client loyalty is down 14 percent, with referrals down 15 percent. Instead, B2B buyers conduct extensive online research before reaching out to a company to find a "perfect fit" solution. If they can't find your firm online, you are losing business.

But that’s not all. Firms with deep industry knowledge and laser focus attract more new buyers. If your organization tries to be everything to everyone, you will be less attractive to these prospects. (And you run the risk of providing lackluster service to important clients.)

Focusing your efforts on specific value practices makes it easier to differentiate yourself from your competitors—and excel in your field of expertise.

Meet the High Growth Firms 

High growth accounting firms come in all sizes. Our research has shown that these firms are growing three times faster than their counterparts and are more likely to be highly profitable. Growth does not have to come at the expense of profitability. Marketing new valuation practices to your clients and prospects takes insight and ingenuity. Choose the type of services you want to specialize in, then find the right channels to tell your story.

Here are the four strategies high growth firms utilize when creating robust marketing plans for their specialty practices.

Don’t be afraid to focus.
Fast-growing firms focus on distinct target audiences. If they try to focus on servicing everyone they offer no advantage to anyone. They also take the time to get to know their potential clients and referral sources. They are looking for two pieces of information. What do clients need, now and in the future, and where do they search for help? 

Firms frequently turn to outside sources, including high-quality third-party research and data provided by trade associations, to gain the insight they need. This homework provides high growth firms with a greater understanding of their clients’ pain points and needs. With this insight, you can craft free, custom content on valuation services that showcase your expertise. If buyers see your firm as an industry thought leader, they are more likely to turn to you with questions about their unique challenges. After all, you’ve already proven to them you know the answers.

Leverage outside talent.

The competition for top talent is fiercer than ever before. But that doesn’t stop high growth firms from performing mission-critical marketing operations. Our research indicates that high growth firms are more likely to have access to skilled talent than their “no growth” competitors. These firms frequently consult with outside agencies, firms or freelancers when needed.

Contracting outside talent is a more flexible alternative to hiring. This is especially true with specialized skills such as search engine optimization (SEO), graphic design or research your marketing team will need to succeed.

Mix marketing techniques to demonstrate expertise.

It should be no surprise that traditional marketing efforts are no longer the most effective tools to reach clients and prospects. Print ads and sales collaterals do not have the impact they once did. Today, digital marketing is more cost-effective and has a significantly higher ROI. These techniques ensure your content is on point—and seen by the buyers you are hoping to attract. High growth firms focus on:

  • Digital ads (e.g., pay-per-click, banner ads, etc.)
  • Conducting and publishing original research
  • Public relationships/earned media
  • Keyword research/search engine optimization

Creating content is the top marketing priority for high growth professional service firms in 2022. If your firm is planning to start creating content, be sure to leverage techniques that support digitally focused thought leadership (web, SEO, video, social media, etc.). Why create compelling content if no one will see it?

Track your progress and adjust accordingly.

We found that the most agile firms responded to the new business “normal” by transforming their operations with advanced digital technologies that empowered them to survive—and thrive—in this new business reality. High growth firms are more likely to utilize CRM platforms (Salesforce, Hubspot) and marketing automation software for daily business operations. Collaborative work software (Smartsheet, Workfront) and social media scheduling (Buffer, Hootsuite) are also popular.

Detailed tracking of marketing and business development operations leads to higher profitability. High growth firms develop targeted KPIs (key performance indicators) and dashboards to measure the health of their sales pipeline. Analytics from websites and social media help marketers measure engagement, with metrics and ROI calculations evaluating the success of their efforts.

Digital technologies are powerful tools in any professional service firm’s operation. Their ease of use and flexibility allows businesses to pivot as necessary and respond to changes in the marketplace.

Doing it Right Makes a Difference

Valuation practices can be the perfect fit for your organization, but it takes expertise and a laser focus to be successful. Get to know your target audience. Discerning buyers are looking for financial partners who understand their industry and business needs. Specialization is the key. Your accounting firm will see higher growth and profitability if you differentiate yourself from your competitors and creatively market your story for all to see.

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