How Do I Educate My Niche Market?
How Do I Educate My Niche Market?
Educating your niche market is key for retaining clients and reaching new ones. As I travel to speak to, and meet, accountants and bookkeepers across the country, many have asked the same questions: what should I educate my niche market about and what format should I use for the education? Here are some strategies that I have seen successful accounting firms use.
1. What should I educate my niche market about?
- Basic accounting skills. Even though the business owners in your niche market may be successful in their business, they may not know much about business accounting, (especially if they are a smaller business), such as what receipts to keep and how to track expenses properly. Additionally, they need to know what information their tax preparer will need and how important it is to get the information to the tax preparer as early as possible.
- Teach them how to use tools. QuickBooks® is a great tool to introduce to your niche market. Its easy-to-use format will set the business owner up for success. Or, the niche market may be already using QuickBooks, but should be using an updated version, or move to QuickBooks Online. Depending on the niche, there are other accounting apps and tools that could help keep them organized and save them money (and taxes!).
- Share success stories of how to solve a specific problem in their niche. As you are getting to know other business owners in the niche, listen for problems they faced and how the problem was solved. Invite them to share their successes with others in the niche who are already your client, or who are your potential clients. Make sure they share the success through your firm so that the niche recognizes you as the catalyst for providing solutions, and so that the problem solver feels that you have recognized them as an expert in their field. That creates an atmosphere of mutual respect.
2. What format should I use to educate the niche?
- Video is very popular for reaching your market on the business owner’s timetable. A business owner may not be able to attend a workshop at noon, but they can watch a video you have during their late evening free time. Whether you email the video to your market directly or just share it on your website or social media platform, video is an easy way to make a personal connection. For your video, choose a person in the office who would be informative and welcoming. No need to hire a professional. A low budget video made on a smartphone, with a tripod or on a laptop, communicates that you are down-to-earth and approachable. Depending on the topic, the video can be short (even under five minutes). If you are teaching how to use a tool, you could either create one long video or divide up the instruction into shorter videos. Another advantage of a video is that it can continue to draw attention to your firm long after the initial work of creating the video is complete.
- Blog or Website Content can be used to share the same type of information that a video can. But, this time the information is in written form. Once you create a blog or content, be sure to share it so that it gets read. Email is a popular way to share content, and so is social media.
- Offer one-on-one meetings to answer questions that the business owner may have that are related to accounting and their business. Perhaps, even give a free 30-minute consult to get them in the door. Or, you could host a short, free introductory class on QuickBooks or another tool. Follow it up with offering a more in-depth class for a fee.
- Host a roundtable discussion. Invite several different clients from the niche to the roundtable. Let them learn from each other. Pick a topic of discussion ahead of time to focus the conversation and have questions prepared.
- Create a workshop presentation in your office, or in a public place, centered on a topic that they would find useful.
No matter the content of the education or the format of the education, make sure that you are educating with the goal of empowering your niche market to succeed. The goal is not to make yourself and your firm look good, but rather to focus on the audience. Focus on the niche and genuinely desire for them to see success. Through that humble attitude, the business owners in the niche will see that they want and need you on their side, resulting in the kind of clients that are a joy to serve for the long term.