Accountants Marketing: Free and Low cost Client Winning Resources for Accountants
By Patrick McLoughlin - Accountants Marketing
It's so easy for accountants to spend money on marketing. Yet even that's no guarantee they'll actually win any new business. As a sole practitioner said to me recently: "every time I spend money on marketing, it feels like I'm rolling the dice."
When I first started helping accountants to work with more of their ideal clients, back in the late 90s, it was difficult to expand my knowledge. There were a few books about, not half as many as today though. But as the internet has expanded there are now so many free, quality resources available to make your efforts successful.
The biggest problem though is there's also an awful lot of rubbish out there. So here's my guide to the best stuff around to help sole practitioners to make the breakthrough in quality new business.
Online Accountants Marketing
1) Claim your practice on-line with Google My Business.
In the UK Google still dominates the search market. So it’s important that you claim and control your presence on Google. If you haven’t already claimed your account click on the link now.
Put yourself on Google's accountancy marketing map and make it easier for potential clients to find you.
2) Pride of ownership can lead us all to have a slightly inflated opinion of our website. But if you want a free and considered appraisal of you must try out Hubspot’s Marketing Grader.
A while back Hubspot changed the name from Website Grader to reflect the in-depth feedback it gives you on your websites social media and lead generation performance.
3) If you’re not already using email as an accountancy marketing tool you should give it some thought. It’s a no cost and effective route to reach potential clients and start building trust and confidence.
Although there are many options available Mailchimp is still the easiest and most comprehensive platform I’ve come across. As long as you emailing a list of less than 1,000 it’s entirely free and you can use the auto-responder to plan out a series of messages in advance.
So just write your emails in advance and schedule them for mailing in the days and weeks ahead.
4) When we approach business owners on behalf of our accountancy clients there are two things many do instantly. Firstly they’ll search for your website to help decide if this is the type of adviser they want to work with. A bad website soon ends the telephone call.
If you pass the website test they’ll check out the partners’ profiles on LinkedIn. If the profile/s don’t match the claims made over the telephone the opportunity usually ends there.
LinkedIn shows no signs of disappearing, especially after Microsoft paid over $26 for the platform earlier this month. A threadbare or vague profile will cost you business. A detailed profile consistent with your claims and your ideal clients’ needs will bring you premium fees.
So write or re-write your profile from your clients perspective, not yours. Search for the groups your ideal clients join and are active in. Contribute to discussions with helpful advice and don't post promotional / salesy material, it will only put them of.
Inspiration and Practical Tips
5) Steve Pipe’s latest book, ‘The world’s most inspirational accountants’ explains 57 case studies of accountants transforming their clients’ lives and finances. Each chapter starts by explaining the situation the client was in, the steps taken by the accountant to transform their circumstances and the impact it had on the client.
He focuses not just on the practical advice and support given, showing you ways to make a similar impact for your clients, but also on how it made the client feel. Steve has kindly made the pdf of the book available for free download.
6) The Incomparable Expert is a daily newsletter by Jason Lester from the ‘Desert in Arizona.’ The report focuses on one of the major challenges sole practitioners face: standing out from the crowd.
It’s always beautifully written, insightful and supportive and he’s not afraid to give you a poke from time to time either. Sign up today and check out his free training too.
7) Ian Brodie
Ian focuses on helping consultants attract more and better quality clients. Again his content is always well written and considered and he always writes with the perfect pitch for his market.
His content is delivered through emails, videos and webinars and he often interviews experts in niche areas of business development and marketing. Sign up for his blogs and you won’t be disappointed.
8) Mark Lee
I don't think Mark really needs an introduction. If you are struggling to stand out from the crowd Mark is your man. Mark's regular 'Stand Out' blog focuses on different ways accountants can, you guessed it, stand out. His experience of supporting sole practitioners is unrivalled. Mark's content is always well written and direct, sign up to challenge your thinking.
Well you're reading it, so I hope you're finding it helpful. Again written purely for accountants my blog focus on every aspect of growing your practice by attracting more of your Ideal clients.
When you work with your ideal clients they tend to pay premium fees and work with you for longer increasing their lifetime value. Just as importantly they're much more fun to work with.
All the best. Patrick.