Here are some often overlooked yet easy ways to market and increase visibility for your professional services firm:
1. Feature individuals. Tap an ambassador or two to serve as your public face. Is there someone within the ranks who is particularly well spoken and likeable? I’m not talking about the guy who’s the best at his job or who has the niche ability. In fact, avoid those guys at all costs. Find an above average accountant who can ditch the pocket protector, shoot the shit, and think on his feet. Maybe someone who hosts dinner parties in his spare time. People like to do business with other people and, preferably, with folks with whom they can picture themselves having a beer.
2. Create executive visibility plans for the aforementioned ambassadors, plus your key executive. Will the local newspaper need someone to interview this spring as tax season rolls around? Does the local TV channel have a business segment that you could prep’ for? What about the chamber of commerce’s lunch and learn schedule? Create five to 10 annual opportunities for your ambassadors to share key knowledge — and their likability — with your target market(s).
3. Maximize sponsorships. All too often, you sponsor the local golf tournament by sending a banner and letting the organizers put your logo in the brochure. What about the awards ceremony, is there an opportunity for someone from your firm to present the winners with their trophy and have that photo featured in the local newspaper? Do you want to position some of your staff at the registration table to say “hello” and network with folks as they arrive? Instead of a banner, could you offer branded golf balls or other tshotshke that will have a shelf life post-tournament?
4. Create a referral incentive. Everyone asks their friends for accountants, even before they’ll Google or look in the Yellow Pages. How are you encouraging your happy clients to tell their friends about you? Create a solid strategy to cultivate referrals — it’s often as easy as asking and thanking clients.