4 Marketing Strategies for the Modern Accountant

by John E. Graziano, CPA, PFS, CFP®, FFP Wealth Management | December 20, 2023

Today’s accountants are in a completely different landscape than just a handful of years ago. You used to be able to open a brick-and-mortar store, buy an ad in the phonebook and wait for clients to flood your firm.

Now, to achieve success, you need to:

  • Niche down and become a specialist.
  • Set yourself apart from the competition.
  • Join podcasts and webinars.
  • Be on social media.
  • Create content.

And that’s just the start of marketing your firm. Modern accountants have a lot of steps to take if they want to build a long-lasting business that attracts the right clients.

So, where to begin? Let’s dive in.

1. Know Your Audience

Who is your niche audience? Who do you want to serve? You'll struggle to market yourself if you can’t answer these questions. 83% of accountants believe today’s clients are more demanding than in the past. Why? Accountants can help clients with every facet of their personal lives and businesses. You can’t serve clients best if you don’t know who they are.

Once you know who you’re serving, you can begin transforming your firm. For example, tax returns are tax returns. Clients must file their returns and pay the IRS, but when you know your clients are businesspeople, you can view taxes as a way to help them:

  • Save on taxes
  • Get access to specialty tax credits
  • Reach their short- and long-term goals through strategic planning

Knowing your audience empowers you to set your firm apart from the competition. Many professionals reading this right now don’t know what sets them apart from the competition. If this sounds like you, it’s time to begin thinking about:

  • What are your clients’ main pain points?
  • What can you assist your clients with better than the competition?
  • What can you offer beyond the basics for your clients?

For example, perhaps you do taxes for high-net-worth clients. Your clients manage businesses, and they want to save for the future. How can you fit into the equation? You can offer financial planning to help your clients reach their goals faster, invest for the future and save for retirement.

2. Establish Yourself as an Authority

If you’re still following the “build it and they will come” mindset, you’re on a fast pace to a struggling business. You need to think outside the box and become the go-to expert in your niche. How? You can do the following:

  • Hold webinars.
  • Appear on podcasts.
  • Write for industry publications.
  • Network at local and industry events.
  • Create content (more on that below).
  • Collaborate with other experts that share similar audiences but not services.

You can also volunteer for local charities and apply for local rewards. If you plan on offering services primarily to clients in your area, these awards and participating in the local community can be extremely helpful.

3. Create Content

Creating content is your blueprint to online authority and marketing, but it’s a lot of work. An estimated 90% of accountants believe there’s been a cultural shift in the industry. Accountants are now:

  • Being active on social media and posting daily
  • Writing blog posts
  • Creating newsletters
  • Guest posting on industry blogs
  • Creating free eBooks and resources

4. Show Up Where Your Audience is Hanging Out

You can and should create your own content, but you can also show up where your audience is located and “make an appearance.” For example, you can:

  • Join an industry podcast as a guest speaker.
  • Host your own live event on platforms your niche audience is hanging out.
  • Create your own podcast and stream it across popular distribution channels.
  • Speak at or attend conferences.

If you don’t have your own following online, try reaching out to others who do and try to be a part of their events. Perhaps there’s a business coach who would love you to come on their podcast to talk about how small businesses can save money on their taxes. If you have a social following, you can run live events to discuss pertinent topics with your followers.

If you make a conscious effort to follow the four steps above, you’ll position yourself as an industry leader and begin attracting your dream clients in the process.

Securities Offered Through: TFS Securities Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC a full-service broker dealer located at 437 Newman Springs Road Lincroft, NJ 07738 732-758-9300

Investment Advisory Services Offered through: TFS Advisory Services, a service of TFS Securities, Inc.

John E. Graziano

John E. Graziano

John Graziano, CPA, CFP, PFS, is president of FFP Wealth Management, a financial planning and management firm. He is a member of the NJCPA.

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