This post has been adapted from the AccountantsWorld Expert Webinar presented by Div Bhansali. Click here to download the full webinar presentation.
Most accountants are very busy people. Most accountants would also like to attract more prospective clients.
So how do you reconcile those two realities? Is it possible to succesfully market your accounting practice in a productive, time-efficient way? Yes – and this post will show you how.
Here are some concrete steps you can take to better market your accounting firm. Each of these tactics can be completed at your own pace, and none require more than an hour or two to get started.
(Note: Any companies that I reference below are based on my personal experiences or those of colleagues I trust. None have compensated me or AccountantsWorld for the mention.)
1. Maximize your local presence
if I asked you what adjectives describe you and your accounting firm, you might say “dependable”, “high-integrity”, or “trustworthy”. Great. But here’s another one: you’re also a LOCAL business. That’s not to say all of your clients are local – but rather to say geography matters. So when when it comes to marketing, you want to make sure you’re maximizing your home-court advantage. So how do we do that? Start with your local online presence.
Percentage of consumers who use the Internet to research products or services in their local area: 97%.
Let’s start with search results on Google and Bing, since that’s where so many prospective clients will be looking for a firm like yours. In search results like the one shown above, two critical things to get right are your ratings (usually represented by stars) and your contact information. Step one: make sure you’re listed correctly on Google. Just go to Google’s business page, claim your business, and verify that your business listing is correct and up-to-date.
So why is this so important? First, because Google is ubiquitous. They do search, they publish local contact info and directions, they publish reviews, and they publish Google+ pages. And they’re a dominant player in each of those areas.
The second reason to manage this data is that everything on Google is integrated. It may take you 20-30 minutes to get listed on Google (or update your listing), but after that your information immediately propagates on every Google property, and on every device that people might be searching for you on.
Step two: ensure that you’re listed everywhere else. Now that you’re set on Google, you can go to every other major online media and get your business verified… or you can use an aggregation service like Moz Local.
Moz Local scans about a dozen different online directories and sites, from Bing to Foursquare, and will tell you exactly where you have complete information and where you’re missing info. And then they’ll automatically complete that info for you everywhere, and provide great reporting to boot. If you’re OK with spending $84 to get listed everywhere, go to Moz. Otherwise, you can do it for free manually.
2. Get authentic client reviews
It’s a great idea to ask your satisfied clients to write an online review about you on Yelp or Angie’s List. However, it’s NOT OK to tell them what to say. Both of these sites have sophisticated algorithms to detect when multiple reviews are using exactly the same language. Encourage your clients to describe your service in their own authentic words.
3. Revamp your printed materials
Business cards and brochures serve a different purpose than your website.
Business cards are most often being given to existing clients, or to other people who already have had a conversation with you. So you want to use them to extend your reach. Your cards should include a referral request – something along the lines of “If you love our service, please tell your network. Then tell us!”. Also make sure to list all of your social media accounts on your card.
As far as card printing services, I use MOO for my own business, because their card stock and print quality are superb. (People comment frequently on how nice my cards are, which seems like a great way to start a conversation.) Vistaprint is also a solid option – it’s less expensive, and still pretty good quality.
Brochures are different, because they are often being read by people who don’t necessarily know much about you yet. Two tips for brochures:
- List the benefits offered by your firm first, and the specific functions you provide second. This approach builds trust more quickly.
- Have a clear call to action. Whether it’s your phone number, website, or social media page, make it clear what you would like people to do after reading your brochure.
Ready to see the remaining tips to market your practice efficiently, including email newsletters, your website, and the most important source for paid leads? Click here for the full recording.