TFYW #013: The 7 Marketing Mistakes Most Firms Make

Dec 9, 2022

This week, I’ve compiled seven mistakes that most firms make when trying to up their marketing game.

Before I jump in, I want to explain one thing.

The clients you work with make all the difference in building the firm you want.

When you and your team spend most of your time doing client work, success depends on having a Firm and Cultural fit with those clients.

(I’ll get into finding that Cultural fit in a future newsletter)

A Firm fit consists of easily identified characteristics:

  1. Industry Niche
  2. Sub-niche
  3. Business size
  4. Cloud-enabled

These instantly recognizable attributes will quickly help you decide whether to work with a client.

If you don’t remember anything else from this week’s newsletter, remember this:


Good, consistent marketing will do the heavy lifting in vetting businesses that won’t fit your Firm.


Your marketing should exclude more businesses than it includes, leaving you with your ideal clients.   

Mistake 1.

Thinking you don’t need to do marketing

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “I don’t do any marketing” on strategy calls with firm owners. That sentence usually follows long explanations about how they’re not seeing the desired consistent growth in their firm.

Marketing is the Key driver for your firm. I know most of us tuck marketing and selling into the SG&A, but it is NOT another cost to reduce. It is the leading indicator for your revenue growth.

Mistake 2.

Not niching down or focusing your marketing

You can’t cut through the noise if you don’t directly call out a niche audience and their specific problems. I’ve said this before – if you focus on attracting everyone, you will attract no one.

Mistake 3.

Not being consistent

Marketing, regardless of the channel, takes time. Whether through paid ads or blogging, you must build and commit to a plan.

Many firms hesitate to advertise, wondering about the return on investment. The self-fulfilling prophecy unfolds when the firm spends only 100 bucks on a half committed digital marketing campaign with no leads or traction to show.

Similarly, I visit many firm websites. I usually see consistent blog posts for about 2-5 months from around when the firm started. After that, there’s nothing because the firm picked up a few clients and is now too busy for marketing. Marketing has to be important as anything else in your firm.

Mistake 4.

Not collecting information and adding your contacts to an email list

It is easier than ever for clients to switch accountants and bookkeepers, but good clients still will do their research. If you have delivered and continue to deliver specific value to them, you will be top of mind when the time to switch has come. 

Marketing is the start of getting clients to go on the Know Like Trust journey. Clients must first Know you exist, Like you and the value you provide, and then Trust to become your client.

Valuable clients will rarely buy from you instantly.

Mistake 5.

Not considering the LTV (Life Time Value) of a client

Here is a quick calculation. I had a client who ran a $2.0M high-end roofing company. Each year, he paid me $30,000 – $35,000. Over the three years he was my client before I sold my firm, I generated $100,000 in revenue.

And that was only three years. Another 10 years would have yielded at least $350,000 more.

That is the secret of our recurring service model. A $1,500 investment in marketing yields incredible LTV. Don’t lose sight of the actual return on investment for your marketing.

Mistake 6.

Not being where your clients are

Clients don’t walk the streets searching for accounting firms. They talk to colleagues, are on social platforms, and listen to influencers. While we can’t be involved with what colleagues say to each other, just know that your client’s colleagues are also on those same social platforms.

Get visible.

Mistake 7.

Be Authentic with your content

 I am connected with two individuals on LinkedIn. One is a very conservative CPA who talks strictly about tax issues. He mentions the IRS in his posts and speaks about technical issues. He has many followers and shares how LinkedIn has become a great lead generator for his firm.

The second individual rants and raves in every post about poor decisions business owners make, how these business can implementation solutions to common issues. He is a no BS type of EA. He is very different from the above CPA. His following is quite large, and he enjoys significant growth within his niche – marketing agencies.

They are authentic with their content. You do not have to pretend to be something you’re not. The key is to be clear on who you are speaking to and the value you deliver.

Being authentic also makes the content creation process less taxing because you won’t be playing make believe.

At the end of the day, marketing takes time and effort, which requires a plan. I help my coaching clients develop a Find and Attract marketing plan that provides consistent leads. This way, they don’t have to play the wait-on-referrals game.

Hopefully, this newsletter motivates you to improve your marketing game.

Build The Firm You Want,


P.S. Email with something that you want me to talk about. I’ll add it to the list. 

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