For even the smallest accounting firms burdened with the most prohibitive marketing budgets, there are plenty of cost effective ways to promote your business.
With regularly updated Facebook and Twitter pages, a well-designed website, and a little planning and strategic vision, practically anyone can have a red hot go at promoting their company online.
In terms of accountants, potential clients typically look for trustworthiness, expertise, and the ability to communicate simply and effectively, plus a track record of satisfied customers, all of which should be reflected in your digital marketing plan.
Armed with the promise of being able to “liberate your lifestyle”, Melbourne's The Practice is a very good example of a small operator punching well above its weight online.
It's website features an array of 'freebies' designed to promote the company as an expert and 'thought leader' in its fields, including a free webinar titled “Grow your business' value by 5X” and a free eBook – “Grow your business with less stress”.
With 619 likes on Facebook and 238 Twitter followers, both social media platforms are used to publicise co-founder Jason Cunningham's media appearances, including his regular radio spot on SEN's The Run Home.
The Practice has also developed a solid amount of material as part of its YouTube channel, with clips covering various topics including wealth creation, budgeting, asset structuring and the like.
Devlin & Co. Accountants and Business Advisers
Another Melbourne firm, Devlin and Co., continues the trend of offering plenty of free advice, principally via its website. This includes the latest tax checklists, online tax and financial calculators, and a newsletter known as “Taking Care of Business”.
The company's website also provides clients with the ability to upload and download files securely, as well as log in to cloud-based accounting platform Xero.
Its blog – cleverly titled “Spilling the beans” – covers industry specific topics such as ATO rulings, changes to superannuation legislation, tax tips and advice on chasing up debtors.
Devlin has a relatively small number of Facebook followers, but makes a concerted effort to post regularly, including links to articles from the business.gov.au and ATO websites.
When he isn't jumping tall buildings in a single bound, Mr Taxman – a regular Woman’s Day columnist and TV finance commentator – goes by the everyday name of Adrian Raftery (MBA, B.Bus, FCA, CFP, F Fin, FTIA, MAICD).
Mr Raftery, mainly via digital means, has done a brilliant job of developing a reputation as someone who's transcended the accounting world and become an expert financial pundit.
For example, the Mr Taxman website dedicates a substantial amount of space to Adrian's blog, as well as fielding questions from the general public.
Each blog entry is accompanied by buttons that allow it to be Tweeted or Liked on Facebook – a simple and easy way for readers to spread the word on Adrian's behalf (Mr Taxman has 1,274 likes on Facebook and a similar amount of Twitter followers).