Every business, no matter how big or small it is, needs an accountant.
But that doesn’t mean that accountants can just sit and wait for their new clients to knock on their door. The competition is fierce, and if you want to establish a steady stream of customers in need of your accounting services, you need to promote yourself and attract the attention of your target audience.
There are different tactics that you can employ in order not only to mention your phone number and address but also to explain to your potential clients why they would be better off with you by their side as well as what makes you stand out among other accounting businesses – why they should opt for you instead of your competitors.
Here are some strategies to help you attract new clients and stay relevant.
1. Offer a Free Consultation
This tactic is a great way to both incentivize your potential clients as well as to demonstrate your accounting chops.
Many people aren’t exactly sure whether they need an accounting specialist, and by offering 15-minute consultations, you can show a potential client how exactly they will benefit from hiring you. What’s great about this approach is that it doesn’t require anything else other than a bit of your time, and they can be extremely effective when it comes to building rapport and trust with your prospects and converting them into paying customers.
2. Leverage Social Media
Did you know that 66% of people have found out about a new business on Twitter?
So, it’s clear that this strategy is a must, too, because your potential clients spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, and that’s why you should target them on these channels. Visme is an online app that allows you to easily create beautiful infographics in no time; perfect for targeting these social channels.
Quora is another channel that can help you generate a lot of leads.
The trick is to know your audience and find out where they like to hang out. There’s no need to go to great lengths to amass a huge following, because, in your line of work, it doesn’t play an important role. Instead of that what you should do is try and establish meaningful relationships with those who start following you.
Make sure to post useful accounting tips and share your knowledge and expertise on a regular basis. Also, it’s important to answer all questions and engage your followers in conversations.
You can also combine social media with free consultations, and encourage your prospects to reach out to you in case they need a piece of accounting or financial advice.
3. Build a Website
It’s very important to build a functional and well-designed website.
Nowadays, when people are looking for a product or service, they usually want to check out the website of the company and see more about what it offers.
In other words, your website is of critical importance for your lead generation efforts.
However, having a website won’t get you far if it’s crummy and visually unappealing – quite the opposite, it will only cramp your style and make your business look untrustworthy and shady.
Namely, research says that 94% of first impressions are design-related, which means that if your website is not aesthetically pleasing, your visitors will perceive it as not particularly credible and trustworthy. You can guess how important these factors are when we’re talking about accounting and finances and you can be sure that no one will be willing to trust you with their financial matters if your website looks like from the Windows 95 era.
Besides being eye candy, your website also needs to be easy to navigate so that your visitors can easily find what they’re looking. Otherwise, they’ll bounce off and go to your competitors.
If you already have a website but fail to generate enough leads, an audit will help you identify what the problem is and fix it.
4. Create Helpful Content
Marketers who focus on and prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to generate a positive ROI.
A lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs aren’t exactly financial wizards and they need help figuring some basics out. That’s where you come in with well-researched content packed with useful and actionable tips that your readers can easily implement.
It’s a good idea to ask your existing customers to tell you what their biggest accounting challenges are, as well as to check out some of the most frequently asked questions on Quora and the internet in general and try to create your content strategy around providing detailed answers to these questions.
But you shouldn’t limit yourself to blog posts only – video is one of the most popular content types at the moment, while infographics and different listicles can also help you attract new audiences to your website.
5. Don’t Underestimate SEO
Content marketing can work well only when it’s combined with search engine optimization.
This marketing strategy will help your potential clients find your content in an avalanche of results on Google and other search engines.
Although it’s always better to hire a professional who will improve and fine-tune your SEO efforts, there are some things that you can do on your own.
First of all, research your keywords and identify the ones that work best for your specific niche and try to include them in your blog posts. Just don’t make your content revolve around your keywords as Google will penalize you for keyword stuffing. Include your keywords as naturally as possible and ensure that your content makes sense and provides value to your readers.
Also, add internal links to your blog posts. Internal links will help your readers navigate your website as they are links from one page on a domain to another on the same domain, and they allow your website visitors to easily find additional information on the topic they’re interested in. Besides that, Google bots also highly value a good internal linking structure which means that your rankings will go up.
Finally, you can also optimize your page titles and descriptions, as well as alt tags. All these elements should be unique, descriptive, and it’s important to include a relevant keyword.
6. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Mobile internet traffic takes up almost 52% of global website traffic, which means that a great number of people browse the internet and visit websites from their mobile devices.
Google’s mobile-first indexing which rolled out in 2018 reflects this trend and basically indexes websites primarily based on the mobile version of their content.
This means that if your website isn’t mobile-friendly both your visitors and Google will in a way punish it – your rankings will suffer, your traffic will drop, while your bounce rate will soar.
In order to prevent such a worst-case scenario, make sure to optimize your website for mobile so that your potential clients can read and flip pages without having to zoom in.
7. Build Your Network
One of the most important things for attracting new clients is word of mouth.
This traditional marketing strategy can help you grow your client list with the help of referrals and recommendations.
So, it’s important to attend different industry events and expand your network. Don’t hesitate to come up to different people at conferences and meet-ups, introduce yourself, and offer your business card.
Getting to know people face-to-face and establishing a connection with your potential business partners and clients is a surefire way of growing your accounting company.
Attending trade shows can do wonders for keeping pace with the latest industry trends, showcasing your expertise, and keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing.
8. Write an Op-Ed for Your Local Paper
Having your personal opinion on a financial or accounting topic published in a local paper is a great way of promoting your business.
That way you’ll establish yourself as an authority in the field, and it’s only logical that people trust experts more, which means that they will come to you in case they need an accountant or a financial advisor.
A word of advice: don’t use too much jargon because if you want people to read your article and learn something from it, you need to use a simple and comprehensible style so that it appeals to a wider audience.
Finally, a local paper is much better for your promotion than a nationwide newspaper, because your clients are people who live in your area.
9. Automate Your Email Marketing
Email marketing is still one of the most popular and effective lead generation strategies.
According to stats, it’s 40 times more effective when it comes to lead generation than Twitter and Facebook combined.
Besides, it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag.
So, collect your prospects’ contact information (and stay GDPR compliant) and send our educational newsletters and different valuable offers to your recipients.
By creating and scheduling your campaigns in advance, you’ll make sure that your target audience receives regular updates as well as that you’re on their radar.
Things to bear in mind when it comes to email marketing are:
- A catchy and compelling subject line. Given that businesspeople send and receive more than 100 emails every day, it’s important to create an eye-catching subject line that will stand out among other messages in their inbox.
- Include a call to action in your email message. Your every email should have a certain purpose – don’t send them just for the sake of it or to touch base. Be it a new service that you’ve introduced, or an interesting piece of content that your recipients will find useful, or a discount, you should reach out to your audience only when you have something to say. And if you want them to take action, you need a clear and visible CTA that will tell your recipients what exactly you want them to do, as well as how they will benefit from clicking on it.
- Include a link to your calendar, so that your recipients can schedule a meeting with you without having to email you back and forth.
- Create a professional signature that contains all your relevant contact information and social media buttons.
One more thing to bear in mind when it comes to email marketing is that you need to be persistent and follow up regularly. It’s very unlikely that your recipients will convert after your first or second message, so shower them with superb content and don’t give up.
10. Sponsor a Local Sports Team
It’s only fair to admit that most people don’t find accounting particularly interesting, which is why you need to find a way for your business to be associated with something positive and inspiring in order to attract the attention of your audience.
Sponsoring a local sports team can be a way to put your business in a more fun and positive context.
Organizing a charity event, doing something good for your community, or financially supporting an individual or an organization in need is a win-win situation – it allows you to do something for the greater good and generates some positive PR for your business.
Such an effort will have a great impact on your business reputation, make you come off as more approachable, and bring you closer to your community.
11. List Your Business in Local Directories
Online directories and local business listings can do wonders for your company.
These online entries play an important role in promoting your business and establishing your online presence. Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, your local Chamber of Commerce, or any other directory is a great place to publish the information about your accounting business.
Even if you’re running an online accountants, it’s still important to be listed in these publications because that way you’ll appear in local searches when someone from your area is looking for an accountant. So, make sure that you provide all the necessary information about your company, such as phone number, website, email address, and working hours.
Make sure that your Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) are consistent across all these online directories.
As you can see, digital marketing for accountants isn’t rocket science and you can do some of these things on your own, without having to break the bank, but it’s always a good idea to hire an expert if you want to make sure that your efforts are worthwhile.