For the last week or so I have been writing article in a series of 10, 100 Ways To Market Your Accounting Firm. In each article I share 10 tips that you can implement to attract more ideal clients to your firm. In this article we cover tips 31-40. For previous tips click here.
Let’s dive in:
31) Have An Escalating Client Relationship™.
If you want people to buy into your services you must give value before they sign up. Many accountants mistakenly think that “window shopping” prospects will sign up after a one-hour free meeting and then buy from you. This may have been the case when competition was limited to the number of accountants in the local village, but now a one-hour meetings won’t cut it. You need to take your prospects on an Escalating Client Relationship™. This is where a prospect can spend time finding our about your practice, look at you online, download free information from your website and maybe come to an event or a webinar.
This Escalating Client Relationship™ enables a few things:
- Clients to come pre-sold to your services
- Your firm is positioned as the expert as you are sharing your knowledge
- Your firm is visible and therefore people start to recommend you
- You build your brand, which builds your potential market
- Your firm have a good reputation
- Leads flow, rather than trickle towards you
32) Nurture Your Leads Through Email Marketing.
Did you know that only 3% of people looking for accounting services are ready to buy right now. 7% are in the next 3 months and a whopping 40% are interested in the next 2 years. (The remaining 50% who visit your website will never buy).
This means that if you only speak with those who are enquiring here and now, only 3% will be in buying mode. Email marketing is a superb way to “keep in touch” with people and stay front of mind. When they are ready to change or enlist an accountant, they will think of you, as you have continued to speak to them on a weekly/monthly basis and shared valuable information.
This means that you have a chance of getting a further 47% of clients, just by keeping in touch with them on a monthly basis and providing value.
33) Focus On Markets With Growth Potential.
One of the biggest mistakes accountants make, is they focus on no market at all, and accept all and any client who will pay them. If you focus your efforts on a niche growth market, your practice profit will dramatically increase as the market does. Be careful not to choose a market that is shrinking over time or that is too small that you cannot meet your marketing objectives.
34) Set Measurable Marketing Objectives.
Be honest with yourself. Does your firm actually set marketing objectives and follow through on them?
- Marketing objectives can include:
- The retention of existing customers
- The increase in referred customers
- The increase in new customers
- The increase in joint venture partners
35) Understand Your Competition.
Successful accountants understand their competition and their competition’s strengths and weaknesses. It would be foolhardy to ignore those around you, and it will enable your firm to create unique benefits to working with you, as you understand what your competitors do and don’t offer.
So far we have covered 35 ways to market your accounting firm. This next section is all about your website and the mistakes I see accounting firms make.
In a nutshell your website has the potential to be marketing for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All too often an accounting website is lacking certain elements that would make someone who landed on your website enjoy the experience. Making sure you don’t make these costly mistakes will allow you to get more referrals, clients and a great reputation. So let’s dive into some website tips.
36) Have A Way To Capture Leads On Your Website.
If your website doesn’t have an opt-in box you have no way to collect names and contact details of people who visit your website, but don’t buy from you. This oversight will be costing your firm thousands in revenue every year in lost sales and lost referrals. The reason you have to collect contact details is so that you can guide people through the Escalating Client Relationship™.
37) Have A Website Designed For Your Client, Not For You.
If everything you have written on the website is about your firm and your services then visitors will get bored and not resonate with your words. The first thing you need to do is speak to the pains they are going through, there should be more words saying “you” than “we” on your website.
38) Have A Website That Answers The Questions That Visitors Want Answered.
Does your website say:
- Your firm is credible
- Your firm is trustworthy
- Your firm is a professional practice
- Your firm is welcoming
- That visitors are in the right place
The elements on your homepage or landing page must say that you are all of the above, and must also show that your firm has the services that the visitor may be looking for.
39) Tell Visitors The Answers To What They Are Looking For.
Visitors to your website will spend about 3 seconds deciding if they are in the right place or not. So in those 3 seconds you need to convey whom you help, the problem you solve, and keep them on it as long as possible. If your website doesn’t have enough information, or has too much, they will hop on and hop off, and never come back again.
40) Ensure Your Website Is Responsive/Mobile Friendly.
Although you probably run your practice from a desktop computer, many of your clients/prospects will be searching for your information on a mobile phone. Your out of date website, which cannot be seen clearly on a mobile or tablet, will be losing you customers. However it is also imperative that you do not let the desktop experience be downgraded, which is why a responsive website is recommended. This will enable layout and content to be adapted and tailored for smartphone, tablet or desktop, and not downgrade a users experience no matter the platform.
If this has highlighted some gaps and you would like to assess your marketing I have a few spaces in my diary each month for Profitable Practice Audits, where I spend 60-90 minutes with you looking at where you are in your firm, where you would like to be and what is missing and needs implementing to reach your 12 month goals. At the end of this time together we will have created a plan for the next 3-12 months that you can either go away and implement yourself, or we can implement together if we are a good fit.