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Having a niche helps you more effectively and efficiently market your services, as you can better target your marketing message. As an accountant there are many different industries and customers you can help, so appealing to those you work with best is better than trying to appeal to them all.
In this guide, we explore the main reasons to focus on a niche when you go to market.
Your niche is the specific area you specialize your services in. It can be based on a variety of factors, for example:
Or you could combine them into a more focused niche. You might work in wealth management for clients who offer professional services, for example.
People get hesitant when they hear about a niche because they think it means they have to turn others away. You don’t have to. You could specialize in a few industries, such as providing accounting services for business in both the retail and hospitality sectors.
You can also still take on clients outside your niche, but you aren’t actively marketing your firm to them. If they come to you and want your services, you can still help them. You just haven’t spent your time or money marketing to them.
Accounting is often seen as a general profession because virtually everyone has accounting needs. But every sector has its own way of conducting business. It has its own norms and practices, rules and regulations, and it has its own terminologies and ideas. If you have a niche, you’ll understand your niche better than a generalist, which makes you a more attractive accountant for that business owner.
People who work in specific industries like to work with people who speak their language, understand their terminology and grasp their unique circumstances. It’s easier to connect with the people in the legal industry if you can properly use legal language, just as it’s easier to help the hospitality industry if you understand their business cycles.
When you have a niche you can send out specific messages to a micro targeted audience. You can also build a website around that niche that is more effective at engaging your audience. When clients in your niche industries search online, they’re likely to search within their niche, so you need a website that not only uses their keywords, but showcases your expertise in that industry.
When you focus on a niche you’ll gain a unique perspective on your clients’ circumstances. You’ll be able to anticipate their needs and develop innovative solutions for them that you can then use for other clients. Not only will your services be well suited to your clients, you won’t have to continually change up your services for every client that comes in. This leads to more satisfied clients and higher retention rates.
A niche makes your firm unique, which helps you target and attract specific clients in a way that marketing yourself as a generalist doesn’t. Further, it’s easier to highlight your expertise in a way that appeals to specific clients, rather than saying you’ll do anything for anyone.
When you have a focus, you build knowledge and experience that other accounting firms won’t have, which makes you more of an expert in the field. As your knowledge in the industry grows you can charge higher prices for your services, and clients will be willing to pay for your level of expertise.
Additionally, as you provide similar clients with the same services you’ll become more efficient in these services and identify ways that clients can make your job more efficient as well, for example by keeping their records in a certain way.
By taking on too many clients in too many industries, you and your team could be stretched. Unfamiliarity with different industries means you’ll have to take time researching their needs. With a niche market, your level of knowledge means you can provide expert services in that industry. Your team will also develop expertise, which means your services will be incredibly valuable.
That excellence can translate into providing guidance in areas where a generalist couldn’t. For example, if you’re a specialist in an industry you’ll be aware of industry trends and better able to forecast how those trends will affect your clients. That’s a level of value that not everyone can provide.
In every industry, there are clients who need certain accounting services that get overlooked. By having a niche you will identify those unmet needs and connect with those clients in a way only an expert can.
When you have in-depth knowledge of an industry and are able to provide highly valuable services, clients take notice and they may refer you to others in your industry.
You can publish thought leadership articles in industry publications so prospects in your target market can learn more about you. This helps people in your market get to know you better and identify you as an expert.
Being the go-to accounting firm can be especially beneficial if you have a transactional niche where income isn’t necessarily recurring and you need a steady stream of new clients coming to your firm.
Ideally, your niche is based on areas you either:
Make a list of areas or industries you have worked in and feel comfortable with your knowledge base. Now make a list of those that you have skills in and finally a list of those you are interested in or otherwise enjoy.
Any areas where all three lists overlap are a great place to start from. Do some research to see if there’s a need for accountants in those areas to determine if it’s profitable for you to go into.
Some questions to consider when developing your list of niches
The niche you choose means you’ll be dealing with that industry or those services for most, if not all, of your professional time. Choose something you enjoy or want to learn more about.
There are other ways you can niche your market. You could only take clients that do most of their record keeping digitally, for example, so you don’t have to deal with physical paperwork. Or you could help people who are just starting their own business–or who have been in business at least 10 years, or who have a certain net worth.
Once you’ve identified your initial niche you can become even more hyper-focused. It’s easier to do, however, after your initial specialty has been identified.
With a solid niche you can more easily market your services to prospects and bring in clients by:
Use these templates to get started in marketing to your niche.
Having a niche is one of the most effective ways to efficiently market your firm to prospects. It differentiates you from other firms, makes you the go-to for clients, and improves your profitability.
If you don’t already have a niche or an idea what your niche could be, take some time to think about it and consider how having one could help your firm.