If you’re like 70% of accounting firms, attracting new business is an ongoing struggle for you.
But what if it wasn’t? What if you had a sophisticated, completely automated online marketing strategy in place, reeling in new clientele for you while you focused on the important stuff (like actually running your business)?
Most firms aren’t even aware that this is a possibility. They’re clinging to the same clunky marketing tactics they’ve used for the past 20 years, while completely ignoring the reality that things have changed. A LOT.
What many call the “Googlization” of the internet has transformed how prospects find and hire firms. People who would once simply find the closest firm with the most reasonable prices are now seeking out highly specialized experts, uniquely positioned to help them solve their specific problems. Thanks to the internet, both are equally accessible.
The undifferentiated “full service” marketing strategy, where firms try to be all things to all people, is no longer a viable marketing strategy. A new website with some fresh messaging is always nice, but it will NOT change your business.
If you want to survive (and thrive) in the modern market, you need to specialize your services and automate your marketing.
For a winning accounting firm marketing strategy, focus on these four priorities:
- Focused Positioning
- Valuable Content
- A Conversion Focused Website
- Contacts & Nurturing
1. Focused Positioning
What’s your specialty, as a firm? What’s your niche in your market?
Positioning is no longer a nice-to-have marketing strategy. It’s a necessity, and it should be the foundation of your entire marketing strategy.
If you describe yourself as a “full service firm offering a wide variety of services to a diverse audience,” you’ll attract small, lower budget clients in your immediate area. If you market yourself around a specific niche, you’ll open yourself up to clients across the country (even the world) with more specific needs (that align perfectly with your firm’s strengths) and much bigger budgets.
Prospects are looking for firms that can do specific things very well, not firms that can do everything moderately well. Stop wasting your time competing for business based on location and price, and start building loyal clientele who are willing to pay for your unique expertise. The difference will absolutely revolutionize your firm.
Your goal: Reduce the number of viable alternatives to hiring your firm down to twenty or fewer direct competitors, nationwide.
2. Valuable Content
These days, almost every firm is creating some kind of content online, but few are actually getting value from it. Most of the time, they’re creating completely generic content in their attempt to touch on 20-30 services and appeal to 8-15 industries at the same time.
When your marketing plan is built around a focused niche, you can create focused content that speaks directly to your ideal clientele. Your firm will quickly become recognized as an industry leader in your niche, if only because few others are claiming it. This gives you an unfair advantage over your competitors, since as you know, name recognition is everything.
Only a handful of firms are regarded as true experts in their specialty areas. An even smaller amount of accounting marketing teams have the required skills to take insights from the firm’s leaders and translate them into useful online content.
We’re seeing 300% increases in search traffic when firms introduce smart content strategies to their websites.
Your goal: Add at least 2,000 words of valuable content to your website each month.
3. A Conversion Focused Website
When was the last time you paid someone to audit your website?
Has your marketing team documented their website strategy? Do they refer to this document every time a change request comes in?
Most accounting firm websites have great design, but little strategic focus. In fact, less than 10% of CPA websites offer any kind of unique value at all to site visitors.
One of the biggest problems is that most firm websites live in complete isolation from the marketing team. The website sits there for years, being passively supported and starved of any resources that could add real value.
A conversion focused website should include:
- Content that fuels your sales funnel
- Clearly defined and differentiated service offerings
- Proof of positioning (like case studies and testimonials that prove you’re an expert in your niche)
- High quality offers (like downloadable freebies)
Your goal: Generate at least 20 – 40 conversions per month through your website.
Get started with our mini website audit to see how you’re doing.
4. Contacts & Nurturing
The first task in online marketing is to create a solid contact list. The second is to nurture that list.
If your website generates 1,000 visitors a month at a 1% conversion rate, it would take 25 years to accumulate 3,000 contacts (the minimum we recommend). Most firms don’t have 25 years to sit around and wait for business. If you’re struggling at building a prospect list we highly recommend you consider purchasing a list of prospects to help kick start your marketing.
Gathering ideal prospects for your email marketing list is critical, but nurturing those prospects once you have them is possibly even more so. Contact nurturing has an astounding 4300% ROI, and yet most CPA firm marketing strategies aren’t doing it.
The best firms are utilizing marketing automation and lead scoring to understand which prospects are most interested in their offerings. They’re then translating these insights into marketing messages that resonate with their prospects on a personal level.
Your goal: Target 2,000 visitors a month, working to grow a healthy list of at least 3,000 contacts in your email database.
If you’re ready to get serious about your firm’s marketing strategy, here are your Top 5 action items:
- Start a conversation with the firm’s leadership about your current positioning. Who are you, as a company? What is your niche? How could you deepen your expertise in that area?
- Commit to writing at least 2,000 words a month for your website.
- Do a thorough marketing audit (ideally, hire a third party to offer an outside perspective on this), looking for dead-end pages, generic content, off-brand messaging, long blocks of text, and other performance killers.
- Create a document that outlines the complete strategy of your website.
- Consider investing in a marketing automation solution to help free up your marketing resources and to turn your website into a lead generating machine.