Today, I’m going to share with you how to get more accounting clients.
If your accounting firm has been relying on word of mouth and print advertising to acquire new customers, it is time to modernize your marketing strategy and use new techniques to acquire high-quality leads.
By far the easiest and most cost-effective way to target a specific audience and turn leads into new accounts is by establishing a blog. An accounting blog will provide an excellent way to reach out to and connect with potential customers and build a loyal following of readers.
What Makes a Successful Accounting Blog?
The key to creating a successful accounting blog that serves as a marketing tool is to provide readers with something of value and a clear call-to-action in each post. Not sure how to make those things happen?
Read on to learn 15 simple ways to get more accounting clients just by starting a blog.
How to get more accounting clients with a blog
1. Offer Employee Incentives
Perhaps the first step in starting an accounting blog is to get your staff on board. A blog will require regular posts so that new content is continually being published. Set up a rotating schedule so that each person at the company has a chance to publish a blog post. This will give employees an opportunity to share information about professional development, write about industry trends and establish themselves as a trustworthy authority on accounting related issues. If you want to make things interesting, offer incentives. You can reward the author of the article that receives the most views each quarter or recognize who was able to turn the most readers into new clients.
2. Free Samples
An accounting blog provides a way to nurture relationships with potential clients. Not every first-time visitor is going to be ready to set up an account with you, but they may be mulling over the idea and gearing up to hiring an accountant. Offering freebies is a great way to make sure that you stand out in the reader’s mind and to keep them coming back to your site. Think about offering a free evaluation or ebook that explains a difficult financial concept. Any free sample will work in your favor and help turn potential customers into long-term clients.
3. Have Patience
Modern marketing practices focus more on quality over quantity. There is no point in attracting 1,000 visitors to your accounting blog if only two of your visitors are even remotely interested in your services. With the Internet, most businesses are competing on a global scale. Customers have many options, and it may take a while to win them over, especially with so many competitors out there vying for their business. The truth is that most customers will probably visit your site dozen times before actually reaching out to you about working together. This means that you must continue to post quality content on your site and do your best to make sure that they continue to visit your site during their decision-making process.
When readers and potential clients do reach out to you, be sure to follow up promptly. If someone adds a comment to your blog post or asks a question through social media, take the time to offer a thorough and specific response. This is an excellent way to connect with customers and make your company seem more approachable. People like to see that there is someone on the other side of the computer screen willing to interact with them.
5. Customize Offers
Another great way to connect with readers and take the concept of free offers to a whole new level is to customize each offer to meet individual needs. Instead of advertising the same offer across the board on every post on your accounting blog, you should consider creating a free offer that is specific to the subject matter covered in every post. For example, if you publish an article about new tax incentives for businesses, create an offer that directly ties to that subject. You already know that anyone reading that article is interested in the subject being covered, which gives you a leg up on understanding your audience, so why not increase your chances of getting their attention by providing a free offer that you know directly addresses their interests?
Use your accounting blog to up-sell your services. If you know that particular services have been performing well over the last couple months and you have acquired a lot of new accounts that are all looking for the same type of service, write a blog post that explains how investing a little more money in an even more in-depth service would benefit them in the long run. If you weren’t able to grab their attention with an up-sell strategy when you first signed them up, providing an informational post that appeals to their more practical side may provide just the low-pressure sale pitch they need to commit to moving up to the next tier of available services.
On that same token, your accounting blog can also provide the perfect opportunity to cross-sell services. You already have a customer, so use your blog to advertise gently other available services. A well-crafted blog post can be informational and persuasive without making the reader feel like they are just reading a sales pitch.
8. Inbound Marketing
The days of outbound marketing, when businesses would purchase links and email addresses, are long gone. Inbound marketing requires you to earn quality links and voluntarily acquire addresses. A blog provides a great tool to help meet both these inbound marketing goals. If you are publishing high quality and informative posts that your readers like and share, other websites will start linking to your blog. These links will help you establish yourself as a reputable source and increase your search engine rankings.
Also, a blog provides the ideal way to acquire email addresses from potential clients. You can include a pop-up window that asks readers to subscribe to your blog and insert a subscribe form in the sidebar of your blog. This allows interested readers to opt voluntarily to receive email updates from your company. They can be notified when you publish a new post and receive periodic newsletters that you design.
9. Loyalty Rewards
Everyone wants to feel like a valued customer. Part of your job is to make sure that every client feels appreciated. Loyalty Rewards programs are a simple way to connect with past customers and encourage them to continue to work with your company. Also, your blog provides an ideal place to advertise this program and help clients be more aware of all the special perks you offer.
10.Create the Need
Sometimes potential customers aren’t even sure if or why they need your services. They may not even understand how you can help. Your accounting blog is the perfect forum to explain exactly what you can do for them. Essentially, you are creating a need for your goods and services. The point isn’t to use scare tactics to make them see problems where none exists, but to help them become more aware of areas for improvement and offer solutions that they can understand.
11. Cultivate Referrals
In addition to making it easy for readers to subscribe, you should also set up your blog in a way that makes it easy for people to share your blog with their friends and family. Again, this could be in the form of a pop-up window that shows the message: “Like this article? Share it with a friend!” The reader can then enter an email address where the article can be forwarded. This provides your company with another potential lead and an expanding list of addresses for targeted email campaigns.
You might also consider rewarding loyal customers who provide referrals. Everybody loves a good coupon. Even the prospect of 10% off their next transaction with your company could be enough to build a list of referrals and gain quality leads.
12. Get Seasonal
An accounting blog will only serve as a useful tool if you are able to attract readers. One of the best ways to make sure that people are being directed to your site is to write articles that are seasonal. Readers are looking for timely information, opportunities to incorporate seasonal events into your articles in order to increase readership. For example, write a guide to smart holiday budgeting or how to start the new year with a fiscal strategy. Seasonal topics always perform better and attract more readers.
13. Eliminate Obstacles
Typically, when we think about a sales pitch, we think about what sales people say and do in order to close a deal. It is easy to forget that in the world of online marketing, the user experience is also a key component of whether or not customers are persuaded to do business with your company. Your website and your blog need to make a good first impression. Make sure that the design and navigation of your site are as intuitive and user friendly as possible. The last thing you want it for visitors to get frustrated trying to find the information they need and end up leaving your site altogether.
Eliminating obstacles also means making it as easy as possible to contact you with any questions or to get a quote on services. Instead of advertising specific prices on your website, have potential clients call or email to get a better idea of cost. This will prevent any initial sticker shock that may send them looking elsewhere. You have a much better chance of closing a deal if you can explain the reasoning behind your prices and give them a detailed breakdown of everything they will receive for their money.
14. Give Away Knowledge
You are the expert and readers are visiting your accounting blog to learn more so that they can make informed decisions. Be generous with sharing your knowledge. Help them learn more about your industry. It will make them feel empowered and more inclined to trust your guidance and advice. Infographics, slideshows, how-to guides, ebooks, podcasts and all kinds of other content provide many ways to share your knowledge and provide customers with something of value before they even spend a dime. All of these different types of information sharing also make great blog posts. Don’t get too stuck on the idea that a blog should only be text. Make each post a multimedia experience. Typically, people are more apt to share information that is visually appealing. This form of content tend to perform better on social media sites.
15. Ask for the Sale
Sure, you want each post on your accounting blog to provide information, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to directly ask for their business. Often the conclusion provides the perfect place to encourage readers to contact your directly and learn even more about what you can do for them. As long as you have written a quality article that includes plenty of useful information and insights, adding a very direct call to action at the end of your post won’t detract from the overall credibility of your post.
Many people assume that their industry simply isn’t blog friendly. They are convinced that no one wants to read about accounting or financial issues, but the truth is that if you demand for your services, then you also have an audience for your blog. The key is to identify the kinds of issues that are important to your target audience and write engaging articles. Sure, not everyone is going to read a write-up on tax laws, but they will read “Top 10 Ways to Pay Less Taxes.”
The key is to know your audience and write about a variety of issues that they are interested in. Provide them with something of value, include a clear call to action and an easy way to contact your company and you will quickly start turning blog readers into loyal customers.