networking in tax profession
networking in tax profession

Seriously consider using Instagram for your firm

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Social media permeates our lives, commands our attention, and has made a lot of money for the people who have learned how to use it to market their products.

But, many firms are hesitant to dive into the social media deep end. Whether it’s the excuse that they don’t understand it, or because it takes away from time spent on “billable hours,” the vast majority of tax and accounting firms don’t invest enough resources into building their social media brands.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will understand why that is a massive mistake. My firm made a commitment in October 2017 to go all in on Instagram. At the time, we had five employees and were experiencing decent growth, but nothing out of this world. Fast forward to April 2021, where we now have a headcount of 46.

Here are some reasons why you should seriously start to consider making Instagram a priority to grow your firm.

Your firm’s brand will be considered premium

Before we launched into growing our social media presence, we were a good firm with a decent local reputation for saving people money on their taxes. Now, with more than 230,000+ followers on Instagram, we are known to thousands of business owners as THE firm to speak with if you are a business owner who needs help on your books and taxes.

Having a large Instagram presence also allows you to command a higher price point to the followers who value you. While my firm is far from the most expensive shop around, I have had hundreds of followers send me a direct message and say, “I probably can’t afford you, but .…”

They are expecting you to be expensive simply because you have established a presence of delivering value.

Prospects are pre-sold and already educated on your services

When you do Instagram the right way, it means you are educating your audience and consistently providing value to them. A side benefit of this is that when you do get them on the phone for a consultation, they know more about taxes, the importance of keeping books, and the value of all the other services you provide.

On top of that, since you have been in their social media feed on a regular basis, they already trust you. There is no more need to convince them who you are and why you are the best person for the job. You have already proven that to them by delivering consistent value in the form of educational Instagram content. They are ready to sign up right away.

No more late-night networking events to attend

While the occasional cocktail party or speaking engagement can be a great way to network and meet potential prospects, those late nights away from your home can get old. One of the greatest perks of growing your practice through Instagram is that you are able to eliminate, or dramatically reduce, the number of “networking events” you need to attend.

All the networking is done via social media, electronically and from a distance. This means your business development activities can be done anywhere, any time of day. Of course, if you thoroughly enjoy the in-person networking events, then keep them up. But, building a social media presence affords you the luxury of no longer needing to rely on those events.

Younger professionals see an Instagram presence as progressive

An unexpected perk that started happening once my follower count increased on social media: I started having young accountants reaching out to me for career advice, and asking if we had any job openings.

When working in public accounting, there’s typically a problem with finding strong talent, so having this avenue open up as an additional recruiting source has been immensely valuable.

Young professionals coming out of school are looking for modern firms that are progressive. By having a presence on the hottest social media network (which Instagram currently is), you send a loud and clear message that you are progressive.

If you have been on the fence about diving into the social media world – and with Instagram, in particular – I strongly advise you to reconsider. While it took six to nine months of consistent content production to get real traction, it has absolutely changed our business.

Not only will it make your brand’s perceived value that much stronger, but it will also help you attract top talent and make excellent prospects excited at the opportunity to use your services.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on the Firm of the Future blog. It was published on the Intuit® Tax Pro Center on Nov. 8, 2019, and updated with new information on April 26, 2021.

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