I recently received the following question from a fellow colleague:
Q: I recently started my firm and would love your suggestion on what to prioritize first when it comes to marketing. There is so much to do between websites, social media, and all the other things.
Starting a new accounting firm is an exciting venture, and it’s understandable that you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the marketing options available.
(There’s a lot!).
So where would I start?
1. Define your target client. If you aren’t clear on who they are and how you can help them, then how will you go about marketing to them?
Should you niche? I argue yes.
Even if you take on clients outside of your niche, having a niche allows you to have a marketing focus.
Think about if – if someone says, I provide IT services to a business owner, does this resonate with you?
But if someone says, I provide IT services to Accounting firms. If I’m an accounting firm owner and I need IT services, you have my attention.
2. Website and branding. You DON’T need to go all out on these things yet, but you do need to look like you’re a real business.
Focus on the essentials here: logo, color palette, and a basic website.
Personally, my team and I are HUGE fans of Storybrand when it comes to creating all of our website content.
When it comes to the website, it’s fine to start out with a landing page and build on it over time.
The StoryBrand Framework is a marketing concept developed by Donald Miller, which aims to improve the effectiveness of brand messaging by structuring it like a story. When applying the StoryBrand Framework to a homepage (or your landing page) consider the following seven elements:
👉 A Character: Your client is the hero, not you or your firm. Clearly define who the client is and what they want.
👉 Has a Problem: Address the problems that your clients face. This can include external, internal, and philosophical problems. Make sure your clients know that you understand their challenges.
👉 Meets a Guide: Present your firm as the guide that helps the hero (client) solve their problems. Establish empathy and authority by showing that you have the knowledge and expertise to help.
👉 Who Gives Them a Plan: Provide a clear and simple plan that shows how your service solves the client’s problem. This should be easy to understand and eliminate confusion.
👉 Calls Them to Action: Have a direct and clear call to action (CTA). A common example is “Schedule a Consultation.”
👉That Helps Them Avoid Failure: Explain what’s at stake. Show the negative consequences if they don’t use your service to solve their problems.
👉 And Ends in Success: Paint a picture of how your service will positively impact their lives. Show them the vision of their success and happiness as a result of working with your firm.
Remember, clarity is key. Keep the messaging simple, and focus on the client’s journey from facing a problem to finding success through your service.
3. Social media.
This is the FASTEST way to find new clients online.
Pick one platform to target one audience with one offer. Commit to connecting with 10 people daily with the intent of building a relationship.
A lot of people make the mistake of connecting with people and NOT starting a conversation with them.
If you want to grow your firm, be proactive and start conversations. Not sure where to begin when starting a conversation?
👉 Ask about their goals
👉 Ask about how they got into the industry
👉 Ask about a piece of content you saw that they posted
Post helpful content at least 3x a week (this may vary based on your platform). And by helpful content, this likely is going to take some effort to create. It’s not the stock content you pay $97 a month for.
4. Track your prospects. So many firms forget to follow up, and they miss out on massive deals.
Get a CRM, use Excel, or use whatever works for you. We personally use an agency CRM that has contacts, emails, texting, pipelines, funnels, and more all in one.
Now what to avoid:
Over time, you can expand to email marketing, creating lead magnets, upgrading your website, paid search & social ads, and more.
But that’s the key, you can expand over time You don’t need to and shouldn’t try to do these things at the beginning.
Why? You likely don’t know what messaging resonates with your ideal clients, and you likely don’t have an audience built around to drive traffic to or send content to.
Bottom line: stick with these four basics. Get traction. Add on over time.
And, that’s a wrap on this Dear Katie question.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you have a question?