Marketing an accounting firm to prospective clients can be a challenge.

Time spent compiling statements or preparing for an audit is often memorable, but not always for the right reasons. Yet, with the right mix of brand assets, marketing tools, and outstanding customer service, you can make your accounting practice more memorable and create a positive association with your work.

Build a Brand for Your Accounting Practice

Brand building is not just for consumer or retail brands, and for that reasons presents an opportunity often overlooked by service providers. That’s an advantage to almost anyone willing to put in the effort.

There are many ways to influence how clients feel about your accounting practice. The overall reputation of your brand is the combination of these factors, many of which an accounting practice is able to control.

Here are five suggestions for how you can take advantage of that control to make your accounting practice more memorable:

Start with Service

In every business, a positive brand reputation begins with a product or service that you can be proud of. After all, customers can’t be expected to spread the word about a business if they don’t feel strongly about the service!

With that in mind, make sure you understand the aspects of your accounting practice that clients love. If you personally handle each and every tax return, emphasize that in your marketing materials. If you focus on small businesses or forensics, be sure to have case studies and references that explain those aspects of your practice.

Just as importantly, make sure you quickly address any common areas of complaint that clients raise. You won’t be able to rectify everything, but eliminating basic service issues gives your practice a platform to build upon as you expand your branding.

Remind Satisfied Clients about Reviews and Referrals

Once you have service to shout about, it’s time to convince your clients to do some talking. Online and offline, reviews and referrals are the lifeblood of any service practice. We all know how much more likely clients are to talk about a negative experience than a positive one, which is why you need to encourage your best clients to spread the word about your practice.

Make it easy by setting up a review and referral program that anyone can follow. For example, pick your favorite platform for online reviews—usually the one that brings you the most business, be it Google, Yelp or some other service. Write a step-by-step process for customers to follow when they’re willing to leave you an honest review. Better still, set up a dedicated public workstation where they can take a few minutes to do so before they leave your office.

Take the same approach with referrals.

Set up a simple program to credit your existing clients when they recommend a friend or family member. This could be a free consultation or a discounted service. This combination of a reminder and small incentives is a powerful way to generate word-of-mouth marketing and build your brand.

Make Sure Your Logo and Visuals Are Unique

Once you know that existing clients are happy with your practice, it’s time to make a first impression that lasts for prospective new clients. To that end, your practice needs visual brand assets that reflect the best of your business.

Small things like consistent colors, fonts, a tag line, memorable contact details and a clear value proposition will help your practice stand out in a competitive field.

Take the time to translate your defined services and value into a uniquely compelling visual identity that clients will instantly recognize. Ensure your marketing tools and channels reflect these visuals consistently so that they become ubiquitous, whether clients find your practice online or in the real world.

Get an Unforgettable Phone Number and Website

When prospective clients see your ads, will they remember your call to action? If your practice has a complicated domain name and a random set of digits for its phone number, the chances are they won’t. This is especially true with offline ads on billboards, in print or on the radio, when they often can’t write down your contact details.

Don’t make it hard for potential clients to remember you.

Getting a custom domain link and a vanity number instantly makes your accounting practice more memorable. If you can associate that custom contact point with your services—words like rebate, dollars, accountant, for example—that’s all the better for your brand.

These are simple and affordable brand assets that many practices overlook. Take advantage of them!

Act on Feedback

As you get closer to clients and encourage your clients to engage with your accounting practice, you’re likely to receive a lot of commentary on how you’re doing, positive and negative. Use this feedback to improve your service offering and show clients that you’re listening.

If the opinions aren’t coming in as fast as you would like, get the ball rolling yourself. Send a survey to longstanding clients to ask what you can do better. By creating these feedback channels, you can loop back to our earlier suggestions and work to build on your service offering, further defining your brand.

This extra connection also creates more opportunities to ask for reviews and referrals from clients who have yet to answer those requests.

Building a memorable brand takes a little planning and a lot of care. Start from a commitment to excellent service, then make sure your brand assets and client follow-up make it easy to reach your practice and refer it to others. From that base you can build a memorable accounting practice that clients are excited to talk about!

Paul Faust

Paul Faust

Paul Faust is vice president of business development at RingBoost, a marketing company focusing on providing vanity phone numbers to businesses.