14 marketing ideas for startup practices

Mark Lee suggests which of the main marketing options available to startup accountancy practices are worth your attention.

One of the most common topics raised by startup practitioners on the Any Answers section of AccountingWEB concerns marketing. Typically questioners either want to know what to try first, or they have a tale of woe and want to know what others have done.

Every accountant who replies seems to identify a different form of marketing as having been successful for them. Others will suggest that word of mouth is all that matters and that no overt marketing or advertising has ever worked for them.

What is often missed is that other factors are crucial. Besides the form of marketing used you must also remember that the headlines, the content, the message, style, responsive mechanism, local demand, competition and even the accountant’s location can also have a dramatic impact on the form of marketing that works best in each case.

What follows is part one of a list of classic ways that accountants can market a startup practice. Here I have focused on those ideas that I suggest should be among the first you might try. I have also included links to related articles that provide further details...

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  1. Local adverts
  2. Website
  3. Pay-per-click
  4. Networking
  5. Search engine optimisation 
  6. Collaborate
  7. Mutual promotions
  8. LinkedIn
  9. Online forums
  10. Online directories
  11. Yellow pages/Yell
  12. Signage
  13. Breakfast clubs
  14. Business cards

Continued...

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Comments
Kent accountant's picture

Networking and linkedin    1 thanks

Kent accountant | | Permalink

I was fortunate in that I had done a lot of networking prior to starting my practice. I was previously a member of BNI and while I'm not  a huge fan of it I can see that it works, indeed several of my clients are people I met through BNI.

Linkedin was/is by far and away the best source of new clients for me. I initially spent hours every day on linkedin - updating my profile, joining groups, connecting with people and joining in discussions. I now spend 5-10 minutes a day on it.

I'm a sole practitioner with one part time member of staff and I use subcontractors a small amount. My practice is now just over 2 years old and I have 100+ clients.

I don't currently have any intention of growing significantly so I'm happy to rely on referrals and recommendations as my main source of new clients going forward.

My advice to those just starting out and looking to take on clients is to research and then choose a form of marketing which will help them get in touch with the types of client they want.  Then stick with it - if your marketing works after a while you will start to get a steady flow of contact from prospects.

So networking got me started and linkedin then helped me to grow quite quickly in a relatively short space of time.

 

petersaxton's picture

It's difficult

petersaxton | | Permalink

to know which will work and which wont so unless you are very opposed to a method of marketing I would suggest giving each a serious attempt to see which works.

The big problem is finding enough time. Maybe that means it's a good idea to get a marketing student to do the grunt work.