Which Marketing Strategy is Right for Your Firm?
Are you struggling to develop a pipeline of customers for your practice? Has your revenue been a flat line lately — or worse, for the last few years? Do you want to scale your business but you’re unsure how?
You’re not alone. These are some of the more common challenges women in accounting face when they’re trying to figure out how to get to the next level with their firms. But, the answer to overcoming these obstacles and paving your path for success is a little more complicated.
In short, if you want to kick your efforts (and rewards) up a notch, you’re going to have to do something we all avoid until the last possible second: put together a marketing plan.
Marketing can be a bit of a scary word, mainly because there’s no one way to put together a strategy for your business.
Should you opt for social media marketing or stick to more traditional channels?
If you do decide to try social out, which platforms should you use? And what should you post?
How can you measure your marketing efforts? And how can you determine the return on investment?
How much should you be spending in the first place?
It’s enough to just shut your laptop off and call it a day on your expansion efforts. But, that’s exactly why we took the time last summer to speak with marketing specialist, Candice Kelly.
Candice has a 20-year long marketing career in a variety of industries, including hospitality and finance. After experiencing so much success leading in-house teams, she founded her own firm, Anza Keita LLC, where she helps her clients figure out the marketing strategies that work for them.
So, thanks to Candice’s expertise, we’ll be covering:
The different kinds of marketing strategies out there
What those strategies look like
Social media do’s and don’ts
Let’s get started!
The marketing strategy rolodex
There are a lot of different ways you can market your firm — the possibilities feel endless.
But, don’t get discouraged! We’ll be focusing on the strategies that will most benefit women in accounting and finance — that’s right, we’re talking about you.
First, there’s traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is anything that isn’t related to digital marketing. Basically, any strategy that doesn’t take place on the internet.
These are outlets like radio interviews, magazine ads, and billboard placements.
Even though social media is incredibly popular today, don’t discount the more traditional avenues! They’re still very effective for getting your name out there and can even expand your reach.
Another kind of strategy out there is content marketing. Content marketing allows you to create products or services that aren’t a part of your core business or service package. Instead, they’re auxiliary services that allow you to build a base of consumers and broaden your audience.
Content marketing is pretty straightforward: create valuable content for your existing base and the clientele that you’re trying to reach! This could look like:
Appearing on a podcast as a guest
Speaking at a seminar or conference
Writing (or ghostwriting!) an ebook
SEO marketing is another strategy you can choose to adopt for your firm. SEO marketing has one main purpose: driving people to your website. So, first things first: if you want to engage in SEO marketing, you’re going to need a website.
The idea behind SEO marketing is that you’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. If they’re searching for a CPA firm in their area, your SEO marketing efforts will have you showing up right at the top of the search results, or at least early on in their process of looking for the right practice.
Once people land on your website, they’re already in your pipeline — you just have to get them to stay and complete the action you want! (For example, booking a call with you or setting an appointment through your online scheduler.)
If people can’t find you, how can you get more business or find your dream client? This is what SEO marketing tries to solve for you.
Finally, we have social media marketing. But, since this is so popular, let’s talk about this in a little more depth.
Social media marketing: more than smashing that “like”
Social media marketing is exactly that: marketing your firm on social media. But, keep this in mind: social media marketing should be just one element of your marketing strategy!
Say it with us again: social media is not and should not be the end-all, be-all of your marketing efforts. This is just something to supplement your plan!
Now, we can move on to Candice’s recommendations when it comes to social media marketing: stay consistent.
Women in accounting and finance should choose 1-3 social media channels to engage with consistently; even if you’re signing on once a month to post and connect with others, do that. Just make sure that once a month, every month, you’re logging on.
So, what channels are out there — and what can they do?
To a certain degree, these channels do the same thing. But, some are more conducive for certain people. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and the type of customer you’re trying to attract.
A little confusing? Here are some examples of what we mean:
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are great for mobile marketing — so people who do their work on the go would be more likely to see your efforts here
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the more conversational platforms: if you’re trying to really engage with your customers and have a conversation, this is the place to do it
Instagram and Pinterest are more visual than copy-heavy, so if you choose to plan around these platforms, make sure that your customers are looking for this kind of connection
What’s important is to be where your core audience is. Because if you land in the space where your nightmare clients reside — and not your dream clients — you’re not going to be happy with your results.
Social media do’s and don’ts
That’s right: social media has some rules. At least, if you want to see results from your efforts there! What are they?
Be yourself — people want to connect with who you are!
Choose at least 1-3 platforms to be on — and engage consistently (remember what we said earlier!)
Before you overtly promote yourself or your practice, take time to organically build some connections
Engage! Don’t just like your follower’s posts — comment on them, share their stories, and foster those relationships
Now, post your own accomplishments, interesting reads, and anything else that you’ve found valuable
Hide behind your company image — again, people want to get to know you
Sign up for platforms and accounts you never log in to, or try to be everywhere at once
Overshare: this is not the space for airing out all of your personal issues or overcriticizing yourself
We know, we know: this is a lot of information!
But, the key takeaway here is simple. Your marketing strategy has to work for you. Plain and simple.
You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to be everywhere. Your budget doesn’t have to be as high as Apple’s to get results.
Think about where you want to go as a business.
Think about the client base you want to build.
And plan your strategy accordingly.
What has your marketing strategy looked like so far? And how do you plan on changing it?