Biggest marketing takeaways for small firms

27th, Nov 2017

How can small firms improve their marketing? Earlier this month, I joined a panel discussion on marketing at the Long Island Tax Professionals Symposium sharing tips on how small firms can successfully market their practice. Regardless of what kind of professional service firm you have, the same rules apply – firms must clearly differentiate themselves, be consistent in their marketing and focus on building relationships.

Here are a few more takeaways from the event:

Karen Tenenbaum, Esq., CPA, LL.M – Consistently look for ways to build your credibility and stay top of mind, such as through writing, speaking and public relations. Also, be organized about your marketing. Know who your target audience is and create a “bingo chart” that lays out what you will be doing to market your practice every month to reach those audiences.

Ken Cerini, CPA, CFP, DABFA – Become an expert in a specific niche area of accounting. There are less accountants specializing in auto dealerships or food services than there are accountants providing tax services. You have a higher likelihood of succeeding against 10 competitors than 1,000. Create specialized materials, write articles, start a blog, attend trade association meetings and engage in other activities that will get you in front of your target audience.

Sharyn O’Mara – If you want to get publicity, then get to know a couple of reporters in your local area or who focus on your area of expertise. You want to build the relationship beforehand, so the reporter thinks of you when they need an expert for a quote or will respond to you when you make a pitch. Whether it’s in the PR or another context, try to be a connector. It’s not about getting business; it’s about creating strong relationships with people.

Allison W. Rosenzweig, Esq. – When you are marketing yourself, be genuine. Don’t always be “selling.” Instead you should focus on building a strong reputation. How you are perceived by others is crucial. Also look for ways to stay visible whether in person, online or in the press.

Matthew E. Rappaport, Esq., LL.M. – Figure out what sets you apart from your competitors and make sure you can clearly articulate the differentiating factors in a few sentences. Also, don’t hesitate to give away some value in the form of knowledge or expertise for free to establish relationships.

Edie Reinhardt – Don’t engage in random acts of marketing. Have a written marketing plan where you think through who you want to target, how you will reach them and what you want to accomplish. You can keep it simple especially if you haven’t done a lot of marketing in the past. Start with a small targeted plan and then as you build on your successes you can expand your efforts. Also, don’t be afraid to test different tactics. A lot of marketing is trial and error.

Thanks to my fellow panelists and the conference organizers.

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