A Better Accounting Firm Marketing Strategy in 3 Easy Steps

Last year, I wrote about how the BEST CPA firms don’t limit themselves by geography, relentlessly target the most qualified leads, and position themselves to win better clients. It’s been a long time coming, but now I’m going to talk about how you achieve this.

Step #1 – It All Starts With Positioning

If Step #1 surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention. Positioning yourself means narrowing your offerings by:

  1. Leaning on one specific skill you do better than anyone else (e.g. maybe you do a little bit of everything well, but you’re THE person to come to for valuations for VC funding).
  2. Marketing your services exclusively to specific type of client (e.g. engineering firms, plumbing and HVAC contractors, etc.)
  3. Offering a process like no other (e.g. using custom software or home-grown solutions to solve problems better than any of your competitors).

When you’ve found your calling, it’s time to reinvent your business. Write a positioning statement such and the use that as your guiding star in every one of your advertising campaigns, content strategies, and client interactions. For example:

“Madtown Agency provides better positioning strategies and strategic web design for accounting and advisory firms, because we create unique solutions that fit our client’s needs each and every time.”

If this sounds limiting: GOOD. You want to scare off clients who are only interested in hiring the lowest bidder. Positioning is the bedrock you build your business on, NOT a marketing strategy in itself. It’s not a facelift for your website or a rebrand—positioning means reinventing yourself from the ground up.

Still not sure if your firm is positioned well? We made a 100% FREE positioning guide specifically to help you win better business.

Step #2 – Meet Your Clients On Their Turf

Once you understand your firm’s positioning, you should know exactly what type of client you’re after. Your mission is to find these clients and win them over using these steps:

  1. Define the goals of your marketing strategy. Your goals should align with your positioning goals, but be more specific to each marketing campaign you launch.
  2. Build customer personas. Customer personas are real snapshots of your most qualified leads. You build these personas by researching your target market and narrowing your demographic. Find out what their pain points are and how your services solve those pain points.
  3. Research your competition. Cast your eyes on your competitors. How are they winning their leads? How can you do it better?
  4. Make a plan. Now that you have all the pieces, it’s time to put the puzzle together. Build a strategy that goes beyond “a new website” or “more content.” Your strategy needs to specify how you’ll reach your audience, win them over, and kick your competitors to the curb.
  5. Offer something of value. Nobody will buy from you if you’re all talk. You need to create content that shows off your skills and proves you’re the best in your niche. You should be offering content that appeals to brand new leads who know nothing about you and highly qualified leads who only need one, final push before they hire you.
  6. Advertise where your clients live. You don’t necessarily want to advertise your services on the cheapest platforms or even the most popular—the goal is to reach high quality leads. Figure out what platform offers you the best reach and pump your marketing dollars there.

When most digital strategists talk about marketing strategies, these six steps are ALL they talk about. Then poorly positioned companies are left wondering why nothing improves.

Step #3 – Measure Your Impact

According to the only 50% of accounting firms track their leads. In other words, half of all CPAs have NO IDEA where their customers are coming from.

How are you supposed to better target new clients if you don’t even know where you’re targeting?

Measuring you advertising channels, web analytics, and user metrics is essential for the health of your firm. The only way to see the results you want is by experimenting in new markets, split-testing different solutions, and continuously improving your content offerings.

The Results

Now that you’ve built your marketing strategy, it’s time to reap the rewards.

You can stop thinking geographically because qualified leads will seek out your expertise.

You can stop offering “full service” solutions and start specializing in your main calling.

And you can stop competing for the bottom dollar and start enjoying a higher calibre of client.

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But when it's right, it's really right. Let's have a conversation and find out if we're a good match.