Accountants no longer need marketing experts or dauting sales drives to generate new leads.
Implementing simple strategies can be just as effective when finding new clients – so here’s the insight into which options are best for you.
You could find enough new clients by referrals alone.
It sounds simple, but start by asking your happy clients to refer you. If they need an incentive, introducing a referral programme is an effective strategy to guarantee success.
Offering a voucher or bottle of wine will be enough to encourage a referral, and help engage your existing clients.
This engagement is key, as it takes a lot for satisfied clients to become advocates. Personalising how you provide your services to each client is the most effective way of ensuring advocacy.
If a client is more utilitarian, getting the job done with minimum interaction would be considered exceptional customer experience, leading to great reviews.
If the client prefers the personal touch, sending a Christmas card can turn a happy client into an advocating one, boosting your reputation.
This will also increase your retention, which minimises the pressures of searching for new clients.
If you want your firm’s brand to be the best choice for local people, perhaps somewhere not saturated with competing practices, then local advertising can be powerful and cost-effective.
Print off flyers promoting your business, and leave them in local libraries, appropriate shop windows, and co-working spaces – particularly those aimed at start-ups.
If you’re looking to invest further in your local advertising, opt for local press.
These regular, small adverts can keep your brand in the minds of local people, so when they need your services, you’re the person they’ll choose.
This is a longer-term brand awareness strategy, and less effective if you want a quick boost to your clients.
You can create strategic content which is optimised to rank highly on search engines.
This will be surfaced in the search results of your targeted clients, encouraging them to click through to your website organically.
If you’re not yet creating regular content, start by blogging about your professional experiences, and be sure to include relevant keywords.
Keywords are the terms prospective clients are searching for, and utilising them in your content will boost its SEO.
For example, to target innovative start-ups in London, blog about your experiences of handling ‘R & D claims in Canary Wharf’ - and use this phrase in your blog’s header. The specifics of ‘R & D’ over ‘tax’ and ‘Canary Wharf’ over ‘London’ will give your content an extra SEO edge.
If you’re generating new leads via your website, you can maximise this by investing in PPC.
Use analytics to understand where your clients are coming from and which ones are converting - allowing you to double down on successes, or improve areas that aren’t performing.
For example, you could target people searching for ‘accountants near me’ within your chosen radius, and your content will appear in these search results. Although your content’s ranking will be boosted through PPC, it’s important to optimise its ranking organically to avoid high costs.
Beyond the costs, PPC also requires some expertise to get right – so weighing up the cost-benefit ratio of this powerful tool is important.
Free to use and a great method to connect online, social media can be an effective tool for converting new accounting clients.
Rather than trying to target new clients directly, it pays to interact with other professionals to keep your social accounts active. Clients will more likely use your accounts as social proofing than as a means to discover your services.
But you can spend money to push your social presence further into new client bases. For example, if your existing clients follow you on Facebook, you can utilise Facebook analytics to find ‘lookalike’ audiences based on their demographics and interests.
You can then send your advert to the screens of these Facebook users, targeting new clients that are likely to convert.
And finally, if you want a way of cutting out the hard work, try an Unbiased Plan – which will do the marketing for you, and deliver new client enquiries, tailored to your needs, straight to your inbox.