As an accounting firm, one of the biggest challenges in growth is differentiation from other firms.

You may get the sense, from a client’s point of view, that your services are no different than anyone else. Which to them, means they are going to work with whoever has the lowest price. 

This is not the game yo uwant to be playing!

But when you can differentiate, you can stand out and provide premium services that are exactly what your client is looking for. You can become the right fit for the right client, so that they are not even looking at competitors.

But, how is this possible? 

Setting yourself apart isn’t easy. It takes intentionality, and discipline. It takes saying, “No” to many good opportunities in order to focus on great opportunities.

Why differentiation is important:

Differentiation elevates every aspect of your business. 

Here are just a few examples:

  • Your marketing gets better
    • With a focus on a specific clientele, you will be able to speak directly to the clients who will find your services to be of the best value.
  • Your clients will be better
    • Securing your ideal client through a focused marketing strategy leaves you with clients who appreciate your work and find value in your services. 
  • You can charge premium prices for your services 
    • The more valuable you are to your clients the more willing they will be to pay top dollar for your services. 
  • You are not constantly afraid of clients leaving
    • Clients are more likely to stay with a firm that is constantly growing and setting itself apart from the rest of the industry. 

7 ways to differentiate your accounting firm:

1. Pick a niche and stick with it

Simply put, don’t try to do too much. Clients like to know exactly what they are getting from the services you provide. Marketing strategies (aka reaching new clients) are most successful when a business can clearly define its services and target clients within that specific niche. The clients within your niche will fit your ideal client persona, and you will be grabbing their attention with all of the specific ways you can be of value to them.

2. Create a unique culture

Not only will creating a unique culture for your business help attract top-tier talent, but it will also help differentiate you from your competitors. Clients appreciate businesses that are real, in fact, they often seek out businesses that share similar values as themselves. A culture distinguishable from the rest will have you attracting your ideal clients in no time, and not to mention, a more enjoyable workspace.

3. Demonstrate a unique quality

Odds are you and your competitor offer similar services, that’s why you are competitors. However, you know you are really good at a specific task. It is important to make sure this is known to your clients. As an example, if you are the best at creating a certain report, be sure your clients know you provide reporting on this topic that is superior to others in your niche. This will set you apart and help you stand out to clients searching for a firm that provides that specific unique quality. 

4. Build connections

Creating a genuine connection with your clients will make you stand out from the crowd. Customers who feel their relationship with your business is personal will remain loyal and even recommend you to other clients. It is extremely beneficial to leave current clients with good things to say about your business because their positive reviews will turn into client referrals. Additionally, building personal connections puts a face to your business and creates a friendly environment, which is hard to find in many accounting firms. 

5. Specialize in technology

Accounting and technology are completely interrelated today. In order to serve your clients efficiently, you need to be a specialist at the movement of data to produce meaningful reporting.

But this text expertise can actually be a differentiator. If you serve restaurants, they may have a specific POS system, that you become an expert in. Now, you earn the trust of potential clients because you know how to interact with the tech they live in every day.

6. Be available and efficient

As an accounting firm, it is important for clients to be able to easily reach you. Your clients will appreciate a quick response to an issue or a question and will be impressed with your efficiency. This will also be helpful when building genuine connections. Your promptness will set you apart from your competitors and your efficiency will grow your relationship with your clients.

7. Grow with your clients 

Growing with your clients is essential to differentiating yourself from your competitors. The needs of your clients are always changing and in order to be successful, you have to continue to adjust your services to what will be of the most value to them. Taking this extra step will show how much you value your clients and care about their ever-changing needs, which will only help you stand out among the rest.

Focus on your clients

Notice a common theme? 

The majority of the steps you should be taking to differentiate your accounting firm places your clients and their needs at the top of your list of priorities. Better understanding your clients is the key to creating a successful business. The best way to do this is by creating an ideal client persona

Along with operational benefits, utilizing an ideal client persona will…

  1. Elevate your marketing game
  2. Attract better clients
  3. Allow you to charge premium prices
  4. Create a strong bond between you and your clients

…each of which are also benefits of differentiating your accounting firm. That is because knowing your client and setting your business apart from your competition go hand and hand. 

We’ve made it easy for you by creating a template that will help you better understand your client. You can find it by clicking here

Bottom line

Building your business around what is best for you and your ideal client is the best way to differentiate your accounting firm from your competition.

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