There’s no question that the tax and accounting market is a competitive one. In order to keep current clients happy and attract new clients, firms need to find ways to stand out from the competition and drive interest in their services.
One key area of business development is building a distinctive brand for your firm. While the notion of building a brand is one that’s commonly thrown about these days, many firms don’t entirely understand what that means or where to begin. Building a successful brand requires first defining your brand and then selling it. Following the steps outlined below will have your firm well on its way to increasing brand awareness and opening new avenues of business development.
Define Your Brand
Before you can successfully build your brand, you need to define and understand exactly what that brand is. Branding goes beyond simple names and logos to encompass the entire message that you want to promote to make your firm stand out.
Defining your brand involves determining your core mission or purpose and who the target audience is for that purpose, as well as knowing who your key competitors are. Your brand should be your articulation of why you’re uniquely better at delivering on your key mission than your competition.
Sell Your Brand
Once you’ve defined the mission of your brand, your efforts should shift to selling that brand throughout the market. The goal is to make a unique and lasting impression on your current and potential clients. The following are key ways you should be selling your brand.
1. Your Website
It’s 2020 – every company should have a website if they want to be successful. However, just having a web presence isn’t enough. Your website needs to give potential clients all the information they need to get in contact with you and should also demonstrate your expertise in your field, offering thought leadership or other content that will inspire your customer base to trust you with their crucial tax and accounting work. Finally, you should gain an understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) or hire someone who does, to ensure that your website garners attention when potential new clients are looking for tax and accounting professionals.
2. Public Relations (PR)
PR is all about managing your reputation in the market. In an industry as competitive as tax and accounting, you should have a dedicated PR person or team who’s responsible for generating a positive image for your firm, through media coverage, stakeholder communications, and more. A positive reputation is critical to business development.
Marketing is designed to make your customers want to take action and engage your services, generating sales and revenue for your business. These days, a large portion of marketing involves digital marketing, especially as in-person meetings and events are on hold. It’s more crucial than ever to get your name out there, so you should consider enlisting the services of marketing professionals who can oversee that critical function while you focus on running your business. Investing in marketing today will mean increased revenue tomorrow.
4. Social Media
While initially viewed as a passing fad or distraction, social media has cemented itself as a legitimate business tool. A majority of Americans have social media accounts, and you need to be leveraging them to sell your brand. Pick a few platforms that make sense for your firm – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular with businesses – and commit to posting regular content that will increase brand awareness and drive customers to your firm.
5. Local Marketing Efforts
Many firms focus on reaching as wide an audience as possible, but it’s important not to forget your local audience. Investigate local marketing resources like services offered by your local chamber of commerce or community message boards where local residents communicate. While it’s important to think big, your next client might be just down the street.
With the right tools and experts on your side, creating and selling a brand can be easy. Devoting time to building your brand will reap great dividends down the road.