There are a number of ways that the average person can benefit by forming a partnership with a CPA, but many don’t realize this. Professional accountants that effectively market their services can compete with the biggest international CPA firms to provide a valuable service that will help shatter a glass ceiling that tends to get built. If you’re looking to find more success, then these proven marketing ideas are being used around the world right now by CPAs just like you.
It all begins with an effort to be genuine with each person who comes your way. If you are helpful, even in a way that doesn’t bring about a source of revenue, then you’ll establish the cornerstone of a relationship that can continue to be built from the ground up.
Effective Marketing Ideas for CPA’s
1. Good Work Doesn’t Guarantee Good Results
Just because you do an awesome job and are a committed CPA doesn’t mean people will seek you out. The best products in the world won’t sell if no one knows about them. People always need reminders about what it is you do and how you can provide value.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Freelance
Many commercial businesses need help from a CPA and don’t even realize it. Perfect a 30 second pitch and then contact a minimum of 1 business per day to talk about the services you can provide them. That gives you 20 extra contacts per month at minimum, which means 20 extra chances for more business. Contact more per day if you’re comfortable doing so.
3. Get Feedback
Good feedback from customers is essential to building a strong business and it is often not done because it’s scary not knowing what people will say. Any feedback, however, is good feedback because it will either reinforce the good stuff or help you fix the bad stuff that you’ve got going on.
4. Clone Your Customers
Certain target demographics are going to perform better than others and the best demographics are the ones that you’ll want to clone. Find out what makes this demographic tick and then make your presence known in a way that gains their attention.
5. Organize a Local CPA Group
When CPAs are working together, they’re creating a referral network that benefits everyone. Are they competition? Sure they are! They’ll also return the favor of a customer sent their way if given half a chance.
6. Be Authentic
It’s easy to pretend you’re something that you’re not on the internet today and that seems like a good idea sometimes because it makes you seem better. Even a small embellishment can create large problems later on down the road, so just be yourself and market your true strengths.
7. People Just Don’t Know
Your job is to convince people that they have an accounting problem and most people believe that they do not. Show prospects how their finances could improve with your help and this will convince them of the value that you’re able to provide on a regular basis.
8. Get Out Into Your Community
The more people see you, the more comfortable they will be with you and that’s how relationships are formed. Participate in community festivals, get into shape and be in the local 5k run, and volunteer at the local food bank or shelter and you’ll establish a good, recognizable presence.
9. Have a Good Elevator Pitch
Elevators are an uncomfortable social arena, but it’s a good chance for you to break the ice and maybe find a new customers. “Hey – I’m a CPA. What do you do?” is about all you need to say to get the conversation started.
10. Give Endorsements
Social media sites like LinkedIn provide the opportunity to give people endorsements that they can use for self-promotion later on. Take a few moments at the end of the week or during slow times to provide these for people with whom you work and you’ll likely get the favor returned.
11. Join New Groups
Seek out local groups where there isn’t a CPA involved and then join that group because you’ll have an instant access to a target group who will know you. That means they’ll come to you when they need your services.
12. Ask People Questions
If you attend a trade show, then ask the organizers to introduce you to anyone they’re willing to have you meet. Any introduction is a chance at future business.
13. Teach a Class
Local community colleges and even some high schools need help teaching students accounting principles and that means you’ve got an opportunity for better exposure. You’ll also have a group of parents who will be grateful for your expertise.
14. Tell People What You Do
Tell people what you do every day rather than talk about what your job title as a CPA means to you. Your job isn’t to stroke your ego at the expense of others. It’s to solve a problem for someone and that’s why this effort is so important.
15. Get Guest Lists
Whenever you attend a lecture, seminar, or ongoing learning opportunity, ask for a guest list so you can follow-up with people afterward and talk about their experiences. You’ll establish relationships, potentially start a referral network, and maybe even drum up some extra business.
16. Give, Give, Give
Going to any event isn’t about what you can get out of it, but is instead what you can give to that event. Your business will benefit because your providing instead of taking.
17. Be Reachable
If people can’t reach you when they have a need, then you aren’t going to have their business. Your office needs to be convenient, but you’ve also got to be available. If you take 3 hour lunches, come in late, and leave early, you won’t be very attractive to potential clients.
18. Don’t Criticize Others
If you try to make others look bad through marketing, then you’re burning bridges that you might need later on. You never know when a job you can’t turn down will come from… and it could be that business that you just threw under the bus that needs a good CPA.