Marketing any new business can be challenging, especially in a field with a lot of competition. Other businesses in your area may be more well-known and have established clientele. But that doesn’t mean you can’t successfully expand your business. With a little hard work and networking, your firm could be climbing its way to the top in no time.

Newspaper ads still work

Contrary to popular belief, print media is not dead. In fact, studies show that “print is still the most trusted type of ad.” And it’s ahead by a large margin — 82 percent to be exact. And the good news is that newspaper ads are a relatively inexpensive way to get the word out about your business. In fact, some will run news releases for free to fill space. And if you live in a small community where news is scarce, they might even be willing to pay you a visit and put in a write-up about you.

Social proof is king

While print media may be the most trusted type of ad, social proof is the most trusted form of recommendation. This is because people they know are giving them their opinions. And these people are presumably trustworthy for one reason or another. For example, a celebrity who endorses a product is often effective, but usually only if the consumer thinks it is unpaid. And expert social proof that comes from bloggers or social media users is often respected by their followers. This form of endorsement can also come from friends, crowds, and other users.

Promo items increase brand awareness

Promotional products are still a great way to spread brand awareness. In fact, in a recent survey on the subject, 56 percent of participants said that these products improved their impressions of the company. And 20.9 percent of them were enticed to make a purchase after receiving a promotional item. This percentage beats even print advertising, which came in at 4 percent, by a huge margin. Accounting firms can cash in on this successful form of advertising by putting all their documents in custom folders. Or they can hand out pens branded with their logos. They can even have kitchen items designed with their information on them that customers will continue to use.

Defining your target audience is key

No advertising method will give you the results you desire unless you know whom you’re marketing to. So, to plan your strategy, you need to have a good idea of your target demographic. And finding these people is not as difficult as it sounds. One effective way of doing it is to examine your competition. What type of clientele do the other local accounting firms cater to?

It may seem that everyone is a potential target, but you have to keep in mind that many people are now using chain tax service offices to complete their returns. And while this doesn’t mean you can’t effectively market to some of those people, your efforts will probably be better spent with the ones who own businesses or have higher incomes. Farmers and medical offices, for example, typically use accounting firms for their needs because of the complications of their businesses. In fact, many successful firms make names for themselves by specializing in a particular type of client, such as one of these.

Most importantly, be willing to adjust your marketing strategies as needed. You may find that some work where others fail. And don’t be afraid to ask new clients what brought them in. You may be surprised by the answers. Keep an open mind and put your efforts where you see the biggest results.

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