Search our Blog
RSS feed
AccountantsWorld on Twitter (@PowerAccountant)

Entries in marketing (2)

Friday
Jan202017

How to Develop an Accounting Firm Marketing Message That (Really) Works

By Hitendra Patil

How do you develop a marketing message for your accounting firm that really works? Here's a hint: Ask Gillette!

According to CampaignLive, Gillette’s 2016 Father’s Day ad achieved an extremely rare 709 Ace Score. Less than 1% of ads receive an Ace Score over 700.

It further explains that the ad’s biggest strengths are:

  1. being liked, and
  2. being relevant.

Nearly 65% of the viewers thought the single best aspect of this ad was the “message”. Not the visuals, music, characters, etc.

Why? Because the message is completely relevant to what is going on in the world today.

Don’t believe me? Come back to the rest of this post after watching the ad.

(Welcome back!)

Inspired by this awesomely clever yet simple video ad, we have some ideas that you can use in your firm’s marketing plan.

 

1. Be relevant to your target clients.

The “message” you deliver to to attract your ideal clients needs to be relevant to their lives.

Question for you: 

What is really relevant to your target clients? (Hopefully, you have defined your target clients very precisely).

 

2. Compare to show wisdom and expertise.

Yes, accounting is a bit more (okay, a lot more) complex than shaving. But that's the point.

The key marketing principle here is contrast. When you show what is difficult, the easier option is understood better, in a comparative sense.

Question for you:

Which stressful results can you show your clients if, for instance, they did their own accounting and taxes? 

Now show them the results you can produce, without that stress.

 

3. Connect via context.

Some viewers felt that the story was great but the content was not that well related to the product.

When you deliver the context, your target audience should connect your story (message) with your services.

Question for you

Here's an example: Can you figure out the most common entries that go into “Ask My Accountant” and WHY? 

Answers to these WHYs can be your context that clients will quickly relate to.

 

So what's next?

Giant corporations can spend millions to do market research and demographic studies. They pay a lot to creative ad agencies and media producers to create such awesome ads. 

It is not easy for accounting firms to do the same. And it is rare to see mass video ads in the accounting profession.

But your message can still deliver the same type of impact - on your website, in your personal interactions with prospects, in your emails, perhaps via videos on your website. 

I look forward to your thoughts!

Hitendra Patil is director of practice development at AccountantsWorld. In this role, Hitendra helps accountants leverage AccountantsWorld's solutions more powerfully, advancing the company's leadership in cloud solutions for accountants. He can be reached at HPatil@accountantsworld.com.

Monday
Nov022015

Marketing Tips For the Busy Accountant

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.