When you’re running a busy accounting firm, non-billable activities often take a back seat. But if you’re looking to grow your firm, enhance your reputation and stand out from your competition, you need to spend some time building your brand.
Here are four ways to help position your practice as the accounting firm of choice.
1. Find your voice
Decide what you want your firm to be known for and build on that concept. Be clear about your main areas of practice, how you operate and how you want to position your team.
Once you have a grasp of who you are, inject some personality and flair into your marketing materials. Your voice should be helpful, positive and customer friendly, and clearly articulate your firm’s main services, strengths and areas of expertise.
This voice should inform every part of your practice – from how you write your brochures, website and working documents, to how you answer the phone and interact with your clients.
2. Develop your online presence
A professional website is a must, and so is a Google+ page if you are fishing for local clients. Your website should include obvious branding elements – your company logo, a consistent colour scheme and sections such as ‘about us’, ‘services’ and ‘testimonials’ – but can also help develop your firm’s voice.
Creating and maintaining an online blog is a quick and efficient way to give your brand personality and develop a deeper relationship with your clients. Aim to write a new blog every month on topical industry issues and invite clients to comment, which will help start conversations and position your firm as a thought leader in your field.
You’ll also better understand – and therefore deliver on – your customers’ expectations, positioning you as a firm that listens and meets clients’ needs.
3. Go social, be social
Many accountants are reluctant to dip more than a toe into the social media space, but going social is far from a waste of time. By integrating social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn with your website, you can take advantage of powerful networking opportunities that can help drive referrals and attract new clients.
Share your blog posts and other interesting news stories relevant to your industry or area of expertise to further develop your practice as a thought leader. An active social media presence can also help attract younger, tech-savvy recruits.
4. Achieve recognition
Is your firm at the top of your chosen field? Your word might not be enough to convince potential clients that you’re better than the competition, so encourage others to do the talking for you.
Create written and video case studies, share testimonials from satisfied clients on your website and social media channels, and enter industry awards. Annual events such as Thomson Reuters’ Tax & Accounting Excellence Awards offer accolades such as Accounting Firm of the Year, Tax Team of the Year and CFO of the Year to firms that have excelled in the tax and accounting industry.
If you win, you can share your success through your website, blog and social media, letting current and potential clients know that your brand really is the accounting firm of choice.
To find out more about the Thomson Reuters’ Tax & Accounting Excellence Awards, or to nominate your firm, visit the awards page. Hurry though, nominations for this year’s awards close Wednesday, 10 October.