The Four Levels Of Niching For Accountants

Positioning In The Marketplace is the phrase that describes where your accounting firm sits in the mind of your clients and prospects, and how it is different from every other accounting firm.

There are a number of ways you can position yourself in your prospects minds, one of which is how you position your firm in the accounting industry.

Throughout my career teaching marketing and branding, positioning has been the key to catapulting a businesses success. But it is something that the accounting industry has yet to fully embrace.

Primarily positioning is about “the place a brand occupies in the mind of it’s target audience”. And herein lies the problem.

Most accountants say their target audience is anyone who needs an accountant, and therefore find it difficult to position themselves in a prospects mind.

This has a knock on effect, and leaves accountants competing on price. Which drives down the perceived value that the profession brings to businesses.

There is a solution though, one that enables you to position your accounting firm in the market place, and in your prospects mind.

David Ogilvy says positioning is about “what a product does, and who it is for”.

So how can you get clearer on what you do and who you do it for?

Quite simply it is through Niching.

What Is Niching?

A small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer. Niche markets are created by identifying the needs and wants of your clients that are not being fully addressed by competitors.

Now niching is a fairly new concept for accounting firms to embrace so I will break it down for you. It is not a one size fits all either; there are different degrees of niching for accountants, and the strategy you choose will depend largely on your nerve.

Niching is a powerful strategy, but one that scares many small businesses. However the tighter your niche, the more successful you will be in your accounting firm.

Let’s face it, there is rarely any praise for those who do not come first in an industry, therefore if you own your niche you will be seen as first. And being first in your industry means being first in your prospects minds. Which means being first to be hired.

The 4 Levels Of Niching:

1.    Micro Niching

2.    Vertical Niching

3.    Horizontal Niching

4.    Generalist (No niching)

Let me explain each strategy… starting with being a Generalist and moving through the levels to Microniching.

I will use ask two questions, and give examples for each level of niching.

Generalist

A generalist is where you are all things to all people…

What do you say you do when you are asked,“what do you do?”

A generalist will answer
“I am an accountant”
Who do you help?
“anyone who needs accountancy work”

This is a generalist.

Horizontal Niche

An accountant who has a horizontal niche is a business that helps ALL PEOPLE overcome a specific pain/problem.

For example:

What do you do?
“I am an accountant that gives a full range of tax advice”
Who do you do this for?
“Anyone who needs tax advice”

This is an accounting firm that has a horizontal niche. Having a horizontal niche makes writing your marketing material so much easier. It also enables you to position yourself and your accounting firm as an expert, because you can show how you and your firm are master tax technicians.

Vertical Niche

An accountant who has a vertical niche is more specific on WHO they help, not on their service.

What do you do?
I am an accountant”
Who do you help?
“I specialise in helping small tech start-ups”

This vertical niche is starting to make marketing even easier. When you have a specific niche where you know your ideal client, it becomes easy to hang out where they are hanging out. It also makes it easy for your ideal client to say “Ohhh that’s me, I’m a tech start up, and I’m looking for an accountant!”

Micro-Niche

And finally the holy grail of niching. The micro niche.

A micro niche is where you are specific on the PROBLEM (the service) and the PERSON (or business).

This is what happens when asked the questions:

What do you do?
“I am a tax specialist”
Who do you help
“I specialise in helping tech start ups minimise their end of year tax payments, and maximise their profit.”

If you were a tech start-up which kind of accountant would you want to work with?

Why Is It Important To Have A Niche?

1. Easier To Identify And Target Potential Clients And Partners To Work With.

As the pool of people you are looking to work with is smaller, it is easy to identify them and target them through your marketing.

2. Easier To Become An Expert And Well Known In Your Niche.

It is easier for others to understand what you do, and whom you do it for. You will be seen as the expert because this is what you have specifically mastered.

3. You De-Commoditise Your Services.

If you are a specialist you will no longer have to compete on price. People will pay more for a specialist, as they have more trust in what you do. You will also be better at your specialism than others, because you know the market and your subject.

4. More And Better Referrals.

As you are more efficient and proficient you will get better results for your clients. This will mean that you will get more referrals, and better quality referrals. As an accounting firm you are often referred non ideal clients. When you niche you are basically saying “this is whom we help” and you can stop wasting time on poor prospects.

5. You Will Be Unique.

Which means less competition. Allowing you to stand out in the sea of accountants all vying for everyone’s business.

6. Identify Specific Clients.

When you know whom you help and with what, marketing becomes simple. This is because you know where to find your prospects, and can easily get in front of them. This saves a lot of time, and eliminates you going to pointless networking meetings full of people who will never be your ideal clients.

Niche marketing really comes down to this:

 

What would you rather your accounting firm is:

A small fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a small pond?


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]