This past week our good friend Nichole Howson of AIM Social Media Marketing had an awesome post about not competing with your competition. I know what you may be thinking, but don’t I need to compete in order for my business to do well? Well yes, but not by belittling the competition. You should be delivering your own message as to what your brand is all about. Belittling your competition actually makes your business look worse.
Now is it ok to toot your own horn when someone is looking for recommendations? As a rule of thumb, maybe mention how your business differentiates itself in one post to the thread. However, by doing this more than once in the thread may make it seem like you are coming off desperate and you may lose the potential customer. Our friend, Nick Russell of Russtek Media suggests to include a call to action in your initial post such as “If you would like more information please send me a direct message.” Hopefully, some of your current customers see the thread and can recommend you. This is the ultimate compliment and is stronger than your post by itself.
As a CPA, our profession has bylaws in place with respect to marketing our practices. If we market in a way where we are saying that we are cheaper than the competition, we can be fined or even lose our designation. I realize this is different than other industries, however what we should be really marketing is the value of the products or services provided. For example, cloud accounting allows for real-time data for better decision making rather than I am cheaper than the competition because I use cloud accounting software, which is not necessarily the case.
Instead of competing with other practices, I like to support them by referring potential clients that make more sense for the other firm. If there is someone that wants bookkeeping done in a software other than Xero or high-level tax strategies I tend to refer it elsewhere.