Even if your firm relies heavily on referrals to bring in new clients, there will come a time when marketing will be important to your success. A solid marketing strategy engages new leads and potential clients, helps you identify new target audiences, and confirms your reputation. Done well, your marketing can bring you a steady stream of new clients and keep your business growing. 

When it comes to outsourcing your marketing, there are a few important things to consider. You’ll still need to take on a few activities that make your marketing as successful and efficient as possible. 

Here are some important things to know so you can get the most out of your marketing. 

Benefits of outsourced marketing

Working with an outside person or company to manage your marketing takes the pressure off you and puts it in the hands of the experts. Just as you might advise small businesses to outsource their accounting to an expert, you can do the same thing with your marketing. 

Among the benefits of outsourced marketing:

  • It frees up your time to focus on other aspects of running your business
  • The marketer is highly knowledgeable in marketing trends and how to successfully run a campaign
  • It’s cost efficient because you can outsource your marketing when you need it
  • There is no training necessary to get started
  • You’ll have more consistent and trackable results.

What you’ll be responsible for

Your outside marketer can help you with the content and strategy, but you’ll still need to do some thinking to set the foundation. 

Determining your niche

Marketing to an audience is more efficient when you have a target audience in mind. While your marketer can identify patterns in your services, it’s up to you to decide who you want to focus your marketing efforts on. You’ll want to identify your niche, which can be based on a number of factors such as industry or transformation.

Identifying your ideal clients

Every business has clients they prefer working with. Those are your ideal clients. You’ll need to know which clients are your best clients and what their characteristics are. Do they work in a specific industry? Have a certain income? Own a particular type of business? Do they embrace technology or shy away from it? Do they tend to need a lot of services from you or only see you once a year? 

 First, write down a list of your best clients. Second, list the things that make those clients appealing to you. Third, write a list of your ideal accounting activities or industries. Finally, identify areas of overlap.  

Determining your goals 

It’s important for you to know your immediate and long-term marketing goals. You’ll need to consider what you want the marketing to accomplish. Among the possibilities are that your marketing can

  • Encourage consistent growth
  • Introduce you to new leads and potential clients
  • Establish your thought leadership
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Confirm your reputation
  • Position you as an industry expert
  • Create opportunities for you
  • Make your firm more visible.

 There are numerous avenues for marketing your firm, including emails, social media, blogs, case studies and articles. Your marketer will want to know what your goals are so they can identify the most effective ways to market your firm to your ideal clients based on your needs. 

 They can also recommend ways to leverage your existing clients to market your firm. 

For example, you could:

  • Promote your customer success stories through case studies or blog posts to highlight how your clients benefitted from working with you
  • Discuss client collaborations on social media
  • Ask your clients to share your stories with their networks
  • Encourage clients to leave reviews and testimonials on review sites and on social media.

Deciding what you like

 Your marketing has to work for you, which means you should like it. Do some research on other accounting firms like yours to see how they’re marketing themselves. Make notes of what you like and what doesn’t feel right to you. Take note of the language they use, their tone, how formal or informal they are, where they market themselves, and how you feel reading their content. 

 Your reactions to other accountants’ marketing will tell you a lot about what you will and won’t like for yourself. With that information, you’ll be better able to guide your marketer towards how you want your own content to look.

What an outside marketer can do for you

Depending on your needs, there are many marketing activities that can be taken care of on your behalf, involving everything from setting the strategy to writing and designing the content. Among the activities that can be done:

  • Developing and implementing an integrated marketing strategy
  • Determining which avenues are most effective at reaching your audience
  • Creating content and graphics that are consistent with your brand
  • Setting a content calendar and ensuring deadlines are met
  • Working with you as needed to ensure your objectives and campaigns are still aligned
  • Ensuring all your marketing content is consistent across channels and platforms
  • Reviewing the results of marketing campaigns to determine what worked best.

Finding the right marketing consultant

With many people out there offering to take care of your marketing needs, it’s important to ask a few questions to make sure you find the best relationship for you. 

Do our personalities match? Ideally, you’ll work with someone who has similar values as you. You don’t have to be identical, but you want to choose someone you’ll enjoy working with. 

Do they understand my business goals? Find out if their experience includes accounting firms similar to yours or businesses that fall into your target market. If they do, chances are they’ll understand your needs and objectives. It pays to work with a marketing company that focuses on serving your profession as it will save you a lot of time.

What do their clients say about them? Find out if their clients are happy and if they were satisfied with the outcome of their marketing initiatives. What were their goals? Did they want to bring in more leads? If so, how did the marketing firm help them bring in more leads? If possible, ask for some case studies or in-depth testimonials to learn more about how they helped their clients. Ideally, the case studies will involve clients similar to you, so you can get an idea of how the marketer can help you.

Do they use updated marketing strategies? Marketing trends change constantly, and while you don’t need to hop on every idea that comes around, it’s important to use strategies that are up-to-date and help you stand out from the competition.

Creating an outsourcing agreement

Marketing is one area where you could outsource entirely or use a combination of outsourcing and in-house. Your options may depend on your capacity, financial situation, experience, and knowledge. 

There are many aspects to marketing, such as email, social media, thought leadership and blogging. There may be one area that engages your audience the most but that you aren’t as familiar with doing yourself, while others you may enjoy. It makes sense, then, for you to take care of the social media if that’s what you love, but outsource the email and thought leadership marketing to someone else. 

Or you could have someone set the strategy for you, but take care of the mechanical aspects, such as writing, yourself. 

Make a list of all the tasks involved in marketing and determine which you enjoy doing and have experience with, and which you’d rather have someone else take care of. 

If you think you’d be happy to have someone do all your marketing for you, that’s fine! It frees you up for other business activities.

Final thoughts

Your marketing can do a lot of heavy lifting for your accounting firm. It can do everything from confirming your reputation to assisting you in acquiring new clients. It enhances your brand and extends your network. 

Sometimes it makes sense to do the marketing yourself, but there are situations in which outsourcing is the better option. If you’re looking to outsource, be clear on your goals, do your research and find the marketer that best suits your needs.