2020 has been difficult for many, bringing confusion and hardship. Thankfully, your accounting practice is hanging on - and you’d like to keep it that way. But, you wonder: how do I promote my company in light of these challenging times? How do I maintain customer loyalty and trust? Don’t worry. We’ve got you. Here’s how to market your accounting services during a crisis.
Be Less Promotional and More Helpful
Your customers will always remember how you made them feel during a crisis, so it’s critical that your marketing helps them feel understood and less lonely. Now’s not the time for overt self-promotion. Rather, you should focus on building relationships and doing your part to guide people through this difficult period. Yes, you still need to bring in revenue. But, try to show your empathetic human side and save the more sales-y messaging for your post-crisis marketing campaign.
Pro Tip: Review any automated marketing campaigns (scheduled social media posts, email newsletters, ads, etc.) and pause or delete any that could be perceived as tone-deaf or too aggressive.
During an emergency, most people understandably don’t think about things like doing their taxes. That means you’ll need to keep them engaged even if they’re not yet ready to enlist your services. You can do this by regularly creating, sharing, and promoting helpful accounting and tax-related content.
There are lots of ways to stay connected with your clients and prospects. Depending on your skills and interests, you could create blog articles, podcast or vlog episodes, or social media posts. Make sure your content is easy-to-digest (folks are busy and distracted) and, above all, helpful (i.e., timely and relevant). By doing this consistently, you’ll maintain engagement with your target market and be top-of-mind when they need your services.
Pro Tip: Be vulnerable in your content. Share how the crisis has impacted you or your family. An emotional connection helps you build trust.
Highlight Your Relevance
Even though you’re not on most folks’ radars, maybe you should be. Accounting and tax services are essential, and people need to stay on top of their money situation despite the crisis. Plus, by working with you, they just might be able to improve their financial outlook. For example, a tidy tax refund could go a long way if their budget is really tight. Remind people of how you can help them weather the storm.
Share What You’re Doing
Your market wants to know how you’re handling the crisis. They need to see your genuine concern and your appropriate response. The key is to quickly acknowledge the emergency and take active steps towards modifying your services as needed.
In the case of a pandemic, you’ll want to clearly and continuously communicate things like:
Your physical office is closed (or available by appointment only, following Center for Disease Control guidance)
All meetings can be held virtually (via phone or video call)
Accounting and tax documents can be securely uploaded and signed remotely
Pro Tip: Openly recognize the severity of the situation, but don’t add to the panic. Express optimism and offer camaraderie -- even from a distance.
Take a Marketing Inventory
A crisis is an appropriate time to take inventory of your accounting firm’s full marketing picture. If revenue is down, identify where you can scale back on spending. If you’ve got more free time, learn new digital marketing skills, improve your website, or update your online profiles. Ideally, you come out of the crisis with a leaner, more effective marketing strategy.
How Rapidly Can Help
Find new clients
Communicate with clients and prospects
Securely collect and manage important documents
Rapidly helps you stay connected with your market and clientele in times of crisis. But, it also helps you thrive when times are good. Conducting business virtually isn’t going away post-crisis. In fact, it’s already the new normal.
A crisis doesn’t require you to stop marketing -- you just need to change how you do it. Empathy helps to build trust and paves the way for future sales. Showcasing the value you provide in a helpful, non-sales-y way generates the revenue you need to stay afloat today.
Remember, no crisis lasts forever. So, stay informed and have a plan ready for when things get back to normal. You may find that some of your emergency-oriented marketing tactics still have a place in your strategy after the fact.