Marketing - printed or online?

I've just set up and am looking at the different options available to market the business, given limited funds with which to do it.

I've spoken to a marketing/printing agency who can design and print some marketing materials for me.

I also have a website and am wondering whether the money would be better spent getting help optimising the website or paying for google adwords.

I will also do all the free stuff like yell.com, thomson local and social media stuff like fb, linked in and maybe twitter.

Does anyone have any experience of this and where the money would be better spent? I cant afford to do printed materials and promote my website.

I'd appreciate your thoughts. I know nothing about this field!

Comments

Direct Marketing

agknight | | Permalink

Obviously I don't know your strengths and weaknesses, both in accountancy and marketing, so what I write is quite blind. But it does sound that you don't have much capital.

I started out with telemarketing - guaranteed to get you in front of people, and it has returned for me, particularly in year two. But I guess this is too expensive for you.

I had a flyer printed for £40. This has been worth it, as part of what I give to people that I meet. But I also print lots of my own material, on my headed paper. If I see a topic of current or core interest I write an article on it, so that now when I meet a prospect I provide them with the flyer, plus two or three relevant articles.

But printed material has never worked on its own for me.

I have got zero from the free listings and nothing of value from my website, despite using Google Adwords - which does not seem relevant anyway, as I believe most people search 'accountant location' so I come out on page one on that anyway. You can get yourself fixed on a Google map. Personally I think at our level optimisation is common sense. Your keywords will be automatic - accountancy, tax and your location based stuff. Make sure your site is properly indexed.

I have gathered a database of some 2,000 relevant businesses, that I email quarterly, with links to the website. This is effective, and I always get calls after the email goes out. I hope it is also useful to my existing client base. I dabble a bit with Linkedin and Twitter - it does get people to the website.

I watch the local newspaper like a hawk, particularly on business day. Start-ups, new business purchasers and new innovators are all useful to mail perhaps and definitely to phone. Its amazing that they may have got this far and not covered accountancy, and you will come across as very helpful and proactive. But of course I use my telemarketer for this. You need to be competent on the phone. I actually went on a free training course.

Starting with zero income I have picked up full service jobs - bookkeeping as well as accounts / tax. The idea is to fill my time, and when I get full I will delegate this work to a self-employed bookkeeper or bookkeepers (to build resilience.) I was lucky as I spotted Milestones had gone out of business, so I did a mailshot to people I thought used them, and got a client.

Sometimes I wonder if I have been a busy fool with telemarketing - 120 appointments in two years takes preparation and time. I've had very little time off. But I can only conjecture that a more personal and direct approach may be cost and time effective.

I have found networking to be useless - full of people like us looking for clients, but no actual real businesses.

There is loads on AW about marketing. Take an hour to read it all.

 

Thanks for your reply

sheffieldaccountant | | Permalink

Its always helpful to hear what others have done and what their experience has been.

Can I ask how much the telemarketing cost?

Kind regards

Emma

Telemarketing

agknight | | Permalink

I have seen a cost per appointment of £80, and also £250. Or an hourly rate of £31.

Key telemarketing for accountants into Google and do your research.

 

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