An accounting firms' success is increasingly due to their people skills, rather than just their ability to crunch the numbers. Going beyond the numbers to provide analysis, guidance and forecast insights is now the focus for modern accounting firms.
You have the expertise so now you need to shine the light on these areas. Marketing your advisory services is not just about bringing in new clients but also driving profitability from existing clients who often may not know the breadth of service you can offer them. If you are not already promoting your expertise to clients and prospects, the chances are that your competitors will be. In research by CMO.com, 71% of financial services organisations plan to increase their digital marketing spend in the year to come.
It can be as simple as sharing your firm’s knowledge. Here are some easy steps to get you started:
Focus on the problems you solve not the services you offer
Marketing your advisory services comes back to your value proposition. Put simply, this means working what problem you solve for clients and why they should choose you over another. Work out what matters most to your clients. Is it business development, cash flow, preparing for an IPO or your expertise in hospitality? There may be a number of areas of speciality that you can include in your marketing. When you have established them, use the following techniques to raise awareness.
8 top tips to raising awareness of your advisory services:
1. Start writing - start a blog and share insights, useful information and opinion pieces. You can also share articles written by others and add your personal commentary. Make sure you ‘give first and sell second’.
2. Grow your network through social media - Share these articles on your social media channels. Introduce your article with a compelling comment and include a link to bring readers to your website. Your posts will gather a following from people who are interested in the solutions you provide.
TIP: BOMA reformats and delivers your campaign to the channels you choose. Email, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram - all from one easy to use platform.
3. Get out there - go beyond your own blog. Offer your firm for speaking spots at events, respond online with commentary on topical issues, write guest blogs for sites that hold authority in your field.
4. Work with influential partners - find complementary partners and collaborate with them to offer your clients something of value. A good idea could be a seminar with a bank, a joint seminar with an industry organisation.
5. Tell your existing clients - How many of your existing clients know about the advisory services you can provide them? Make sure you are communicating with them each time you meet about the work you are doing for others and services they can take advantage of.
6. Friend get friend - send your top clients an offer of two hours free of charge to help them plan for the year ahead and include another free advisory session for them to give to a business they know. It’s a small investment that can lead to new revenue for your firm and your client feels good about handing the voucher on because it’s a free gift from them.
7. Be different - be prepared to put some new ideas out there, offer an opinion, and challenge the status quo.
8. Get others involved - share the workload amongst your staff. They will have their individual areas of expertise and this will showcase the breadth of experience you offer. You’ll also benefit from a wider audience online through their connections.
Marketing builds loyalty and grows your business
It can take a while to build awareness of your advisory services and encourage enquiry so the sooner you start the better. If your clients and prospects consistently see the value you add, you’ll see the flow on effect of more enquiry and work. And as you gain a reputation for your services, more people will seek you out.
Guest Author: Liz Studholme is the Marketing Content Manager at BOMA.
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