Is a niche marketing strategy possible for small firms?
I’m not going to leave you hanging any longer here, and let you know… yes!
A niche marketing strategy is important for small firms. In fact, we venture to say that in an industry with $119 billion in revenue per year in the United States, marketing strategies for accounting firms should revolve around niches.
You need to carve your own path in the industry to compete. And we’re not talking about just creating against the Big Four but also all the new firms entering the market every day.
Niching down is a great way to demonstrate your expertise while gaining market share in a highly competitive industry.
Let’s see how you can begin carving out your niche.
Creating Your Niche Marketing Strategy
Before deciding on your niche, it’s essential to know that there are two main types of niches in accounting. You can choose one of these broad niches and then narrow them down further.
Finding your niche will help you create an inbound marketing strategy to drive organic leads to your firm. It’ll also help you focus your outbound marketing efforts if you chose to take that approach.
Understanding the Two Types of Accounting Niches
What are the two main niches in your industry?
- Industry: If you enter an industry, you’re offering services to a select group of businesses. For example, you may offer specialized services to e-commerce businesses. It’s easier to narrow down marketing strategies for accounting firms when focusing on one industry versus many.
- Transformation: Are you a specialist in a certain area of accounting? Perhaps you have a love and passion for tax planning or business planning. These specializations offer transformation and fall under this category of niches.
Want to niche down even further? You can. A lot of accounting firms will find an industry that is underserved and that they love.
For example, the firm’s owner may have experience in the restaurant industry, so they provide key accounting services in this industry. But the firm may specialize in business planning, so they combine the two and offer business planning services for restaurants.
How to Find a Niche
You’ll find a lot of articles on finding the right niche for your accounting firm. But it’s best to do three main things to find a niche:
- Determine whether there’s a need. Going off of our previous examples, perhaps you want to focus on business planning for restaurants. Is there a need for this service? Consider reaching out to restaurant owners or running your own survey with local restaurants to determine whether there’s a demand for your services.
- Do you enjoy working in the niche? Just because you can enter a niche doesn’t mean that you enjoy working in the niche. Write down the niches and industries that you’re considering. For example, if you hate working with restaurants, don’t niche into this industry.
- Will it be profitable? Even if there’s a need and love for a niche, you have to ask yourself if it’ll be profitable based on your business model. What works for one business may not work for another. At the end of the day, a business has to make money to continue, and that includes your business.
A niche is going to follow you as your business grows, but that doesn’t mean it’s permanent. If you don’t like the restaurant industry or business planning, go back to the drawing board and find a niche that you can envision yourself working in long-term.
How to Market to Your Niche
A recent survey found that digital marketing strategies account for the largest allocation of a marketing budget. Digital marketing strategies should be used alongside local marketing to help generate leads for your firm.
One way to get the most out of your marketing budget is to create reusable content that can be used across a wide range of digital platforms.
There are many opportunities to market to your niche, including:
- Social media: Your goal should be to build a social media following to create a strong brand and loyal following. Here, you can also pay for social media marketing services for accountants. You can purchase ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media channels to generate leads or help build your social media following. Over 69% of the US population is on Facebook alone. Leverage these platforms to your advantage.
One of our favorite platforms specifically for accountings looking to grow their business is LinkedIn. Check out how you can use LinkedIn here.
- Email marketing: Build an email list or purchase ad space on existing email newsletters in your niche. For example, you might be able to buy space in a restaurant magazine’s newsletter.
Building an email list is so important, even if you currently use social media or another outlet to generate leads. The issue with using other outlets is you don’t own that information. So if for example Facebook gets shut down overnight, then you lose access to that platform and your business could go obselete. If you need help building an email list, we can help.
- Search engine optimization: Invest in outsourcing search engine optimization so that your firm can generate organic traffic from Google. Next time your niche searches for an accountant to help them, your website could show up!
- PPC and ad buys: Need leads immediately? Purchasing PPC ads on Google, Facebook and other leading sites can help you generate leads fast, but make sure you have a proven offer first or you may end up spending money that doesn’t give you the return you desire.
You can, and should, also create a content marketing strategy to start building your online presence and authority.
Can You Have Multiple Niches?
Yes, but you have a lot to think about before you expand your niche. As an accountant, you know how important revenue is to a business’s success. Companies often allocate 9% – 12% of their revenue to marketing. If you have $500,000 in revenue, let’s assume that you put $50,000 into your marketing budget.
When you have one niche, you can dedicate the entire marketing budget to this niche for rapid growth.
Adding in an additional niche means:
- Reducing your marketing budget per niche
- Depleting internal resources
It’s often best to focus on one niche until you’ve reached a point where you have the money and resources to expand beyond this niche, or you hit stagnation.
Initially, focus on one niche until you’re comfortable with your market share and have the resources to expand further.
What About Existing Clients That are Not in Your Niche?
If you already have a list of clients that use your services, there’s no reason to let them go. Diversification is the key to business success, and these clients are already helping you pay the bills.
In most cases, you can still offer services to existing clients, even if they don’t fit the mold of your new niche marketing strategy.
You can, in the future:
- Phase these clients out
- Continue working with them if you have a good business relationship
It’s up to you how to handle your existing clients. You can also retain the clients you enjoy working with while phasing out those who take up too many resources.
Niche marketing for accountants is a great way to compete with large, established accounting firms that already have a large market share. When you niche down, you’re able to target a smaller segment of clients and become a specialist in your industry.
You may even be able to charge more when you niche down your services.
Want direction on picking a niche or desire to offload your niche marketing strategy? We can help.