If you're changing up your service, moving from accountant to advisor, this might be a good time to shake up your marketing. Here's a primer.
Automation can change the conversation between accountants and their clients. With less time spent on data entry and getting to trial balance, you can focus on sharing your expertise and knowledge.
Once you’ve crafted your service offering, market your services to get the word out. This might mean pulling together compelling content and marketing materials such as flyers, brochures, videos and logos and publicizing these to your clients.
You can also become more ambitious, by branching out into digital marketing. Here’s how to get started...
If you don’t already have marketing or design support, websites like Fiverr or People Per Hour, connect you to freelance graphic designers who can create branded materials inexpensively, on a project basis.
You can also find support from agencies or freelancers in improving your search engine optimization (SEO), which will help your firm to rank highly in a Google search.
A big part of having good SEO is linking to other content and using the right keywords in the content you create. If you can’t afford to hire an SEO specialist or agency, you can take some simple steps towards optimization. For instance, search for what your business offers, look at what people also searched for in the results, and then include those phrases in your website. Linking to credible and/or useful other sites makes your own website user-friendly and more search-optimized.
Additionally, you can use these keywords as part of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, when you place ads to appear during a Google search. You’re only charged based on how many people click on this advert. This approach allows you to accurately measure engagement with your content as well as getting your message to the right audience quickly.
If you want to get a little more ambitious, create a PR-program to create extra buzz. For instance, as the owner of your accounting or bookkeeping practice, offer interviews to journalists at small business magazines on moving to the cloud, MTD (if you’re in the UK) or the benefits of working digitally.
Scour these titles for regular columns or comment opportunities. Ring the advertising team and see if there is any sponsored content or relevant campaigns you could publicize your service offering in.
Create or commission thought leadership content (i.e. insightful, unbiased content that isn’t directly plugging your firm) and pitch these articles to the publications your target audience is reading. If nobody publishes this content, put it on your own website.
Organize a breakfast briefing to educate businesses, whilst offering a special discount to attendees.
Be strategic with social media to connect with more businesses. As well as keeping your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts updated, consider how often and the time of day that you post, as users interact with these channels differently. For instance, you can post on Twitter several times a day but it’s better to share just one or two meaningful posts a week on LinkedIn, and from Tuesday to Friday for optimum visibility.
If you want to go deeper, use tools such as Hootsuite to help you schedule posts and keep track of keywords in relation to this topic, so you can join in with the conversation. Create different content to target different industries and customer types. Track engagement and visits to your website using analytics and encoded links (rather than through vanity metrics such as. likes and retweets). Join relevant groups and communities to connect with more businesses in your area.
When engaging with your target audience through content, focus on quality rather than quantity and maximising the reach of your existing content with a distribution strategy.
For instance, if you write a blog, share this via social media, include it as part of your
company newsletter, or email it to customers using an automated marketing tool such as MailChimp. You might even include a link to it in your email signature or turn the blog post into a video for your podcast or YouTube channel.
AutoEntry is in the business of making life easier for accountants, bookkeepers and their clients. With automated, cloud-based data entry, many accountants are changing conversations with clients for the better. Find out how with a free trial.