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Firm Management

Using Traditional Marketing to Gain Leads

Keep in mind, traditional marketing efforts must do one thing – help you meet a business goal. Whatever approach you take, keep that focus in mind when it comes to creative, design, placement, target market, and use.


If you feel like all you hear about is social media and digital marketing, you’re not alone. According to Oberlo (, “Currently, there are 3.78 billion social media users – which equates to about 48Life Happens postcard sample
Direct Mail Example

Let’s say you live in a community with an influx of new families. One way to get in front of new community members is to create a postcard introducing them to your services. Ask the town’s welcoming committee to place it in their welcome kit. It could also be shared at community events and networking meetings. If you’re not comfortable handing them out, put them on an entrance/exit table and collect the extras when you leave.

billboard example
Billboard Example

When it comes to billboards, you have seconds to make an impression. Get their attention with eye-catching graphics and an unusual turn of phrase. If your phone number is easy to remember (maybe it ends in 1040) or could be turned into a word or phrase, such as 1-800-CPA-4You, use that too.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

  • When sending direct mail, rather than blanketing a population, use a targeted approach. For example, start by sending information to existing clients or to people who’ve shown interest in the product/services.
  • No matter the campaign method, use a code to help you track its success, such as PromoPC for phone calls. PromoDM for direct mail, etc.
  • If you want to increase speaking engagement opportunities, let the AICPA, your State Society, and local Chamber of Commerce know you are available – especially as a last-minute, fill-in speaker. Develop a speaker deck for 3-5 different topics, that vary in length. Also, to be automatically notified when speaking opportunities are announced, add a “call for speakers” topic in Google Alerts.
  • Networking is a tough nut to crack, especially if you’re an introvert. Here are four suggestions offered by Charlie Houpert (
    • Think outside the “networking” box. You’ll be much more successful (and comfortable) if you turn everyday situations into networking opportunities. Consider your hobbies, places you frequent, and people you’re comfortable with. Do they know what you do and how you can help them?
    • Be a peacock (that’s my phrase not Charlie’s). Is there something subtle you can use to stand out in the crowd without feeling uncomfortable? Maybe it’s a certain lipstick color, bow tie, glasses, jacket / blazer, shirt / blouse / t-shirt, hair color, shoe, etc. Use that peacock symbol on your social media profile, business card, tradeshows and conferences profile, etc. People may not approach you, but they will remember the peacock icon. Does anyone come to mind instantly? I can immediately think of a few CPAs who use this effectively.
    • Get people talking about themselves by asking questions like, what brings you here; what do you hope to get out of the conference; what are you looking for; what are you working on right now; etc. It helps turn the attention away from you, while gathering information about them.
    • Play match maker to connect people with each other, which helps you build your personal network.

Keep in mind, traditional marketing efforts must do one thing – help you meet a business goal. Whatever approach you take, keep that focus in mind when it comes to creative, design, placement, target market, and use.

I’d love to hear about a successful traditional marketing campaign your firm launched. Share your story in the comments.


Images from Penheel marketing.


Becky Livingston is the President and CEO of Penheel Marketing, a NJ-based firm specializing in social media and digital marketing for CPAs. With over 25 years of marketing and tech experience, she is the author of “SEO for CPAs – The Accountant’s SEO Handbook” and the “The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook.” In addition to being a practitioner, she is a dog lover, an active on the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) social media committee, an adjunct professor, and a speaker/trainer. Learn more about Becky and her firm at

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