Top 5 Marketing Mistakes by CPAs

Author of New AICPA Guide on Online Marketing Lists Pitfalls to Avoid

June 10, 2015

NEW YORK (June 10, 2015) – It’s not enough to place a CPA shingle outside your office and wait for clients to beat a path to your door. To grow in the digital age, you need to have a strong online presence – yet many accountants neglect this critical step, says veteran marketer Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk.

Ruszczyk, founder of bbr marketing in Atlanta, is the author of Take Your Marketing Online! Proven Ways to Grow Your Firm in the Digital Age, a new book published by the American Institute of CPAs that offers tips for accounting firms – both large and small – who want to improve their websites, use social media effectively and make the most of content marketing.

“While referrals will always be important, more and more people are going online to find a provider or vet one who has been recommended to them,” Ruszczyk said. “It’s vital to make a strong, positive impression when they look for your firm online. I’ve seen the good, bad and ugly in my years helping accountants and other professional services firms grow, so the information in this book is based on real life examples and includes tactics that have been successful in practice.”

What mistakes should CPAs avoid when it comes to online marketing? Here are five of the most common missteps, according to Ruszczyk:

  1. Trying to grow your firm without a marketing plan. You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map, yet many firms jump into marketing without a sound plan. Remember, marketing is a key component of business strategy and should be included in any big picture discussion.
  2. Inconsistent use of firm logo and branding. You want to be instantly recognizable to clients, and convey your firm’s story consistently and concisely. But if your messaging is all over the place, you’re making potential clients work too hard to figure out your firm.
  3. Creating a blog, then not adding posts. A well-run blog is a great way to share your expertise and establish your position as a thought leader. But if your blog only has a few, outdated items, you’re sending a completely different message to your intended audience.
  4. Not having a complete up-to-date LinkedIn profile. If you have to concentrate on one social media platform, LinkedIn is it when it comes to business. Online searches pull information from LinkedIn, too, so you want to make sure you have the latest information posted in your profile. 
  5. Sticking with an unresponsive, old firm website. It’s never been easier to get a sleek, functional website for a relatively low cost. Would you be satisfied meeting clients in a decrepit office? If not, make sure you invest appropriately in your digital environment, too.

Ruszczyk is available for interviews and can be reached at bonnie@bbrmarketing.com or (404) 423-4433. Members of the media who would like a review copy of her book can contact Jeff May at jmay@aicpa.org.