Developing a marketing strategy is essential in your accounting firm. Without it you may simply rely on referrals, or post updates on social media without purpose or reason. This lack of purpose or reason is preventing marketing working for your firm.
I was giving a talk today at my local networking event, and it dawned on me that marketing has a bad rap. The reason is because all too often the marketing that is undertaken or outsourced by a firm doesn’t yield results.
There are many reasons why this marketing doesn’t yield results. These reasons can include a sporadic and unfocused plan of attack, or even that it is literally seen as an attack and is in place solely to get you clients (which gives off an air of desperation).
I would like you to think of marketing in a completely different way. From this moment on, it would be advantageous to the growth of your accounting firm if you see marketing as an education tool, rather than just a means to get clients.
Let me explain this further…
Why do you post updates on social media?
Probable answer: To be visible and to get clients calling you asking for help
Why do you write a blog?
Probable answer: To be visible and to clients calling you asking for help
Why do you go networking events?
Probable answer: To be visible and to clients to buy your services from you
THIS IS WHY MARKETING HAS A BAD RAP!
The focus is always on your firm getting clients, and not on helping your prospects overcome their pain and come to you for the solution.
It is for this reason that I made it my mission to ensure that marketing was perceived in a new light. Marketing isn’t about selling, it’s about helping and educating.
When you help a prospect either realise that they have a pain, or help them understand their pain and the options available, you are providing a solution, rather than trying to make a sale.
Only yesterday I was informed by an accounting firm that their current blog writer would write 6 blogs a month, but there was no strategy or plan behind it. He would come up with an idea and just write.
This is exactly why marketing has a bad rap. Whilst those blogs won’t necessarily do your accounting firm any harm, they certainly won’t help a prospect on their customer journey and take them through the three stages a prospect needs to go through.
These three stages are
During the AWARENESS stage you need to educate them that there is a problem, and educate them on what needs fixing.
During the CONSIDERATION stage you will be educating them on the solutions available, and demonstrate your expertise through quality insights and quality content.
During the DECISION stage you will be highlighting what is different about your firm, and ensure you are sharing case studies and testimonials. It is at this point that having a brochure with your services clearly outlined will come into play.
Depending on how much you read my articles you may hear me explain the process which I have developed.
The Traffic Light Method™
The Traffic Light Method™ takes a prospect from a Red light (Awareness and not ready to buy) through to the Green light (Decision and ready to buy). The journey they take goes through the Amber light which is where you educate them on solutions available and demonstrate your expertise.
The information you need to provide will be determined by the questions your prospect is asking themselves at each stage, and the mindset they have.
Let me share an example with you for each of the Traffic Light Stages
Purpose: Looking for a new idea, needing a mindset shift or transforming something that is bothering them.
Mindset: Hungry for understanding.
How they become AWARE of you: Scrolling LinkedIn, refeered through a chat with a friend, popped up in Facebook advertising, leaflet through door, etc.
Content: This is WHY content. Why you are (insert pain).
Purpose: Taking the prospect who is aware of their problem from conscious inaptitude to understanding. At this moment in time they don’t know the options of how to overcome the pain, so your aim is to give them steps to help themselves.
Mindset: Hungry for answers.
How they CONSIDER you as a solution: by sharing insights and understanding of their problem, plus offering some quick wins they can do on their own, you will be on their radar as a solution.
Content: This content is WHAT content. What they need to do to get rid of their pain and move to solution.
Purpose: Here you lead the prospect to choose you as a solution. At this moment in time they know their problem, they know the solution and are now wanting help.
Mindset: Wanting to take action.
How they DECIDE on you: by having proof that you deliver a full and remarkable solution to their pains, for example using case studies.
Content: This content is HOW content. Brochures, sales pages, events and webinars.
Audit Your Content
I have given a brief overview on what marketing you need in place using the tried and tested Traffic Light Method™.
In essence, you need to explain to them why they have a problem, what the problem is, and how to overcome it.
Chances are the marketing you have been doing to date may not have covered these 3 different stages, and for that reason it has been fruitless.
Only when you have the right content in place can you think about a strategy to get that content out into the marketplace, and in front of your prospects.
For now, you need to stop posting on social media and writing fruitless blogs, and start to work out the exact information your prospect needs to hear to help them on their customer journey. That way your marketing will work for you, and my industry will no longer have a bad rap.
To download our ebook and get a list of 100 marketing ideas for your accounting practice click here for the 100 Ways To Market Your Accounting Firm
What do we do at TwentyTwo?
At TwentyTwo Agency we specialise in helping you create a strategy, attract ideal prospects, convert them into clients and get remembered and referred. Our specialities include content marketing, blog writing, email newsletter management and social media management. We are a content marketing and digital experience agency for accounting firms. We ensure you get remembered, recommended and referred.
To find out if we can help you, reach out to our team by emailing [email protected]