You’ve probably added on your website that your firm has a lot of specialist knowledge. Your firm “knows all the ins and outs”, you might have written, and “nothing is too complex for your team”.
That might have hooked a lot of people in the past, but with the sheer number of accountancy firms out there in the UK – 34,950 at the time of writing to be exact – that’s not going to cut it.
Specialist accounting firms need to walk the walk and prove their expertise to persuade people to go into business with you.
That means if you’re a specialist in charity accounting, for example, you need to demonstrate you understand the charities statement of recommended practice; if you’re a construction accountant, you need to show off your knowledge of the construction industry scheme, and so on.
We’ve explained why it’s worth becoming an expert in a particular field, but too many firms just assert their expertise and leave it at that.
They’re missing a trick.
Why should you highlight your expertise?
Highlighting your expertise is a long and complex process, which may explain why some accountants tend to keep things simple. We’re a busy bunch, after all. Others, we suspect, are afraid they will alienate certain clients.
But the truth is that services targeted towards general prospects aren’t the main source of income. It’s the niche and higher-end clients, usually in specific sectors – hospitality, medical, charities, construction, creatives etc – that bring in a lot of revenue.
To bring them into the fold, you must highlight your expertise in a sufficient way with proper messaging.
Otherwise, higher-end clients might end up undervaluing you and your firm. They might even ignore you completely under the impression you’re not specialist enough for them.
So, show them you’re the owner of the market you’re in.
If you get it right, you don’t have to scare off lower-value clients just to capture the attention of the niche businesses you want to work with.
The truth is a firm that is not afraid to show off its knowledge usually stands out from the crowd, and can be engineered to appeal to as large a crowd as possible.
Furthermore, you can show off the more typical, ‘mundane’ services, from payroll to taxes, too. Think about it – does everyone know what a deduction or what their capital gains allowance is? One thing’s for sure: you do. Show it.
Update your website
If you want to rebrand your firm as a true expert in your field, start with your website. It’s up 24 hours a day and it’s what most potential clients will go to first. Therefore, it should be your priority.
Whether you want to change aspects of your ‘home’ and ‘about us’ pages is up to you. Are you so specialist that you want to signal to the world that you are an accountant solely for charities? If yes, cut to the chase and communicate that.
Every accountancy firm wanting to demonstrate their expertise also needs to refine their services pages. Even if you’re explaining your tax advisory services, a list of the different taxes you know about isn’t going to cut it. Anyone can write a list, but it should only be a tax professional that can explain that list.
That said, service pages should not be too long. As a rule, we would say they should be 300 words maximum. Include too much and you don’t look authoritative, but like you’re waffling. Short and sweet is the key.
Use technical terms, too, but avoid unnecessary jargon – a lot of people hide behind complicated words and jargon when they want to hide the fact they don’t really understand what they’re talking about. Don’t give your readers a reason to think that’s what you’re doing.
Finally, add sector pages to your website. These are similar to services pages but explain how you’re suited to specific sectors, giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
Start (and maintain) a blog
If you found it tough to keep everything within your word count, you’ll enjoy this suggestion.
An accounting firm’s blog section is its chance to answer topical questions your clients often come up with.
There’s no better way to show you walk the walk than providing potential clients with in-depth and useful knowledge before they’ve even considered reaching out to you.
Blogs are also a great piece of content to repurpose into email and social media posts, which you can use to communicate to as wide an audience as possible about your expertise and specialisations.
Talk to us about marketing your specialisation and developing your niche.