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In marketing there’s a lot of talk about the trade-off between inbound and outbound marketing, and how useful they are for accountants. Both play an important role in a successful marketing plan, so it’s a good idea to have an understanding of how they work and what the differences are.
Outbound marketing refers to marketing that we tend to think of as traditional marketing. It involves pushing messages ‘out’ to potential customers. You proactively reach out to customers knowing some of them will be interested in your business and become a client.
Outbound marketing activities include ads in magazines or search engines, taking part in trade shows and seminars, calling potential clients, sending emails, or contacting leads directly inside social media such as LinkedIn.
With outbound marketing, you’re sending a message out to people to bring them to you.
This is compared with inbound marketing, where you create content and spread messages on social media that build interest in your business or services so that people contact you first (such as visit your website and then sign up).
For more information on inbound marketing, see the guides on creating expert content to grow your audience, building an online community, and building a database of marketing leads.
People use outbound marketing because it can be effective when used strategically. Among the things that it does includes:
Before you can market your business you need to know who your target market is, so you can focus your efforts. To build a profile of your ideal customer:
While advertising is used to build sales, it can be effective for many other purposes, such as:
Advertising is a traditional way to reach out to potential customers and build brand awareness. Among the common types of advertising:
To successfully advertise, make sure you use the channel and publication that your clients go to when they need information. If your clients are all hospitality businesses, find hospitality publications and purchase ad space in some. If they tend to listen to podcasts, consider purchasing ad time on an industry podcast.
If you serve clients in a specific industry, consider attending trade shows or speaking at industry seminars. Hosting a booth at a trade show gives you the opportunity to meet many potential clients in a short time, which can greatly increase awareness of your accounting firm.
p>Speaking at conferences or hosting industry events can also get your name in front of potential clients. Prepare a presentation that addresses their pain points. Seminars are great because they’re repeatable. You can host similar seminars at a variety of events, and the more speaking you do the more people will view you as an expert
Messages, either email or direct messages on LinkedIn, can be effective at engaging prospective clients.
If you send an email, introduce your firm and be clear on how the recipient could benefit from working with you. Show why they should book a meeting and why they should consider your firm. Keep the email short and simple.
See the email templates for outbound marketing for emails you can send to potential clients.
Google Ads can be effective, but it’s vital you have an engaging website or lead magnet to link the ads to. With Google Ads you will likely see an increase in traffic to your website, giving you the opportunity to convert visitors into clients, so make sure your website is attractive, clearly states what you do and who you help, is easy to navigate and includes a compelling call to action.
For more information on effective accounting websites, see the guides on turning website visitors into leads and attracting visitors to accounting websites.
If you enjoy meeting people face-to-face, going to or hosting networking events is another great way to market yourself. You’ll get to know other people and have the opportunity to talk about what you do and who you help.
To network more effectively:
After identifying your ideal clients and deciding on the best method of reaching out, you’ll need to develop your plan. To do so:
Choose the marketing tactics that you feel fit your company and are likely to engage your ideal clients. Start with one or two at first. Once you’re comfortable with them and have studied the results, move on to others.
It’s important to know what worked well so you can focus your efforts on those tactics. When new clients come in, ask them how they heard about you and make a note of it. Use analytics to determine who visits your website, how they found you and how many website visitors become clients. Google Analytics can be helpful in understanding how visitors interact with your website.
Ready to get started? Use these outbound email templates to reach out to potential clients today!
Outbound marketing can play a significant role in a successful marketing strategy. By understanding your target market, using tactics that engage your ideal customers and examining the results, you can effectively use outbound marketing to engage your ideal prospects.