Previously, we talked about the Top 5 Business Challenges of Accounting and Financial Services Firms according to a research conducted by Hinge Marketing. These firms identified that their top business challenge for 2015 is attracting and developing new business.
Now, we’re going to discuss the professional services marketing initiatives that these firms plan to address these challenges. You will notice that most common emphasis in these is the importance of increased visibility, the area where many firms reportedly fall short.
Here are the top 5 initiatives that these firms are likely to focus this year:
- Try to Generate More Referrals
When we talk about referrals, we’re only aware with traditional referral, or those that come from people who have direct experience working with your firm. This is also called experience-based referrals. But aside from this, there are actually two more types of referrals namely reputation-based referrals and expertise-based referrals.
Reputation-based referrals may come from people who have not directly worked with you but are familiar with your firm and its reputation, while expertise-based referrals are referrals that arise because of direct experience working with your firm. In order to generate more referrals, you have to rethink your referrals strategy, which we will tackle in a separate article.
- Increase the Visibility of Your Experts
Another effective way is to promote the experts within your firm because this can lead to a “halo effect” where the overall positive reputation of one or more persons influences that of the whole company.
Hinge Strategy LLC calls this kind of persons as Visible ExpertSM, a professional who has attained a high marketplace visibility and a reputation for expertise. Based on the results of their study, Visible Experts contribute to the expansion of the firm’s brand-building capabilities and the overall growth and business development.
- Make Existing Clients More Aware of the Services You Offer
In a separate research by Hinge Marketing, it was found out that 48% of the clients admit that, even as they seek more help, they are not aware of the scope of services that the firms provide. This clearly shows that these firms are missing a lot of opportunities in telling them what they have to offer.
In order to get the most out of your existing clients, you should increase their awareness of your services. According to the study, the best marketing approaches involve personal relationships, personal emails, and direct contact with an account manager. Likewise, you can market to your clients through your website or through training your client-facing staff.
- Increase the Brand Visibility of Your Firm
Your brand is your biggest, most valuable asset, and having a strong brand is crucial to your firm’s success. It can help you bring new clients, great employees, and premium rates. Reputation and visibility comprises the equation of the strength of a brand. Building and reinforcing a strong brand makes it easier to attract referrals and close new business.
Aside from developing Visible Experts, the top brand building strategies include content marketing, social media, and professional partnerships. These approaches, along with traditional ones, gives the most impact in hitching up your brand visibility and communicate your reputation.
- A Content Marketing Program
Compared to other industries, accounting and finance firms place content marketing programs relatively higher on their list of marketing measures. In relation to building brand visibility, this is one of the strategies that you can execute.
Aside from the fact that it is relatively less expensive than traditional outbound marketing, content marketing helps your firm demonstrate its expertise to both prospects and competitors, get found more easily on search engines, qualify and nurture more leads, become more transparent and relatable to clients and followers, and save time, because your content is always working even when you aren’t.
The accounting and financial services industry is fast evolving and your firm’s marketing efforts should adapt with this pace. With this study, you can compare the challenges that your firm is facing and assess how and what are your marketing initiatives to tackle these.
The Outsourced Accountant supports Australian and New Zealand accounting firms by helping them understand and implement outsourcing solutions to help them become more proactive and truly add value to their clients. If you want to know more about outsourcing, call us at 1300 896 522, and download our e-book.