Attending niche trade shows is a powerful marketing tool

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Setting up your firm to focus on serving the accounting needs of a specific industry, or special service, is a powerful way to set your accounting practice apart from the rest.

This approach establishes your firm as one with an edge over competitors who offer broader-reaching, generalized accounting services. When you tailor your focus and services to one specific slice of the market, you gain an in-depth knowledge of that industry. Your skills are fine-tuned to the intricacies associated with your niche, allowing you to provide highly specialized solutions to your clients while commanding higher fees for the services you offer.

Once you determine your accounting niche, one effective way to home in on your desired market is to attend industry-specific trade shows. Attending trade shows in your own industry is important but consider stepping outside the box. Contemplate what might happen if you dedicate a portion of the time and money you spend marketing your business to attending a niche show. For example, if you specialize in working with veterinary practices, you might attend the North American Veterinary Conference. If you specialize in accounting for construction companies, you would want to research the top building and construction trade shows and select one or two to attend. Regardless of your niche, whether it’s law, dentistry, chiropractic or real estate, attending niche trade shows is a powerful marketing tool that will help your business rise to the next level of success.

5 Benefits of Attending Niche-Specific Trade Shows

1. Targeted exposure for your firm: If you choose a niche trade show wisely, you will put yourself and your business in the center of a marketing paradise. Select a niche show that is geared toward business owners and managers. By doing so, the odds are high that you will be in the company of an audience of decision-makers who may have a keen interest in the services you offer.

2. Streamlined prospect identification: Nearly everyone you meet at a niche show will be a prospect. If you’re at a dental trade show, the people you’re most likely to run into and interact with are dentists and dental office managers. Those are your future clients and because you attended a trade show in their industry, you have the opportunity to meet them face to face. That trumps a cold call any day. Not to mention, there is a significant chance that some of the people you meet will be in immediate need of your services.

3. Increased lead generation: Let’s face it, on the floor of a niche trade show, you have a captive audience at your fingertips. Everyone you speak to is a potential lead. This is where professionals go to scout out new associates, products, services and connections. By putting yourself out there, you’re increasing the likelihood that your business is the one that is on their mind the next time they need accounting services.

4. Optimized networking opportunity: Even the people you meet who are not in immediate need of your services can be meaningful connections. They may hang onto your contact information and pass it along to an associate, or they may need it themselves in the future. You can also use trade shows to acquire specialized information on the industry to which you cater. Pick up a few brochures to take home and read later. These will help you stay abreast of technical terminology and industry-specific topics.

5. Accelerated access to key decision makers: The trade show floor is a prime location for bumping into a company owner, CEO or upper management personnel. This is even more likely at a niche show. If you attend a trade show for divorce attorneys, you can bet that divorce attorneys will be the main attendees. They want to acquire all the cutting-edge information in their area of expertise, and it is unlikely they will send someone on their behalf to do that. Those attendees also want to meet people who offer specialty services customized to their needs. If you attend a niche-specific show, that person is you.

A bonus benefit of attending a niche show is that attendees you meet will take you seriously because they know you spent time and money to attend. So be sure you spend your trade show travel budget wisely. Take some time online researching top shows in your niche to determine which one will most likely benefit you. Once you decide, go armed for success with plenty of business cards and a brochure explaining your services. And remember, always get an email address from everyone you encounter. Once the show is over and you return home, take a moment to follow up on viable prospects so you and your specialized services stay front-of-mind for the connections you made.

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