In my Ignite Program, my clients often ask if its important to differentiate. This is not an easy question to answer for all. The accounting profession is saturated and I often tell my clients to avoid worrying about the competition. I tell them this because I don’t want them to get sidetracked and worry about what they cannot control. Competition is everywhere here, but there’s still a ton of opportunity. Differentiation will help you stand out and get more clients. So, should you differentiate your practice? Absolutely!
Often I’m asked if differentiating will limit you to certain type of client. My response is generally no. I often get requests from non-accounting firms to help with marketing. Because I’m focused on accounting professionals, often these clients are asking me if I can help even though they know and understand my focus. Sometimes they sell me on why I should help them. This works for me.
There are several ways to differentiate. You can use all or just some. Either way, your goal should be to be memorable. My clients with the most memorable brands are the easiest ones to help market and seem to get the best results. Perhaps its their passion shining through as they love their brand and tell their stories loudly.
First, you can create a unique and strong brand with a solid story that carries with it your passions and skills. I recently worked with a client that loves drag racing. Her company is now called Nitro Bookkeeping! You’ll definitely find pics of dragsters on her soon to be launched website. A brand like this not only illustrates who you are, it will help separate you from the pack.
Next, you can differentiate your services and find a specialty or two. If you have experience with law firms, then go for it and market the heck out of it. If you are a payroll specialist, make sure people know it.
You can also differentiate your approach, whether this be your attention to detail, your focus on delight, or the methods you use to perform your services. Strong processes and great systems make clients happy. If you have them or want them, be sure to market them.
There’s also your platform. Are you a desktop guru or a cloud provider? Is it Xero, QBO or Sage as your primary G/L? Are you a TSHEETS pro, Finagraph partner or Profit First Professional? If not, you probably should be and you should make sure everyone else knows it too.
Finally, there’s the type of client you seek, i.e. small, large, international. Do you work remote only or onsite? Can you scale with your clients needs?
Any of these differentiators are great to help you identify with your prospective audience. They’re also a great way to stand out and get more attention. There are many providers, many just like you, so do something that will make your company win more deals.