When it comes to supporting accounting, bookkeeping, and small business professionals, one of the top-requested topics from our customers is how to better market a business or practice to attract new customers. When I have these conversations, I always encourage people to start small, understand what their growth goals are, and keep things simple. By doing this, a business can successfully grow, without having to spend outside their budget.
Tip #1 – Understand your business goals
Before diving into marketing headfirst, consider setting business goals that can help you define your marketing goals. Many firms think you have to spend big dollars on marketing to get noticed, when in fact if you do a few things well, it can be game-changing.
Your business goals could be to:
- Increase revenue per existing client
- Service a specific vertical or industry
- To be known for your advisory services
Once you have set the above, it will help shape what your marketing goals should be. I suggest starting simple, for example:
- Increase website traffic
- Boost your social media followers
- Become a thought-leader in the accounting space
- Target specific verticals based on experience of which generate more revenue
- Whatever you decide, try to follow the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound).
Tip #2 – Keep your website up-to-date
With the business world changing due to COVID-19, now is a great time to adjust your website to reflect any changes to your firm. Perhaps your services have changed because you’re getting more requests for help with PPP loans, cash flow reporting or business continuity or your working hours have changed. With this, it is absolutely essential that your website is up-to-date. It’s also important that your website provides all of the above information clearly and in an accessible format.
Your website is often a potential customer’s first impression of your business. A website should not just provide endless information, it should have all the key pieces required for a decision-maker to want to learn more. Use the requests you receive from existing/new clients to your advantage by showcasing that you offer this service on your website.
I’d also recommend injecting your personality into your website. The marketplace is saturated so clients want to be able to connect with you on a personal level, and choose you over competitors because they resonate with your value and story.
A great website should have the following:
- An ‘About Us’ section to show off your values and your story. Include team pictures and bios.
- A clear description of your services and your areas of specialty, be it a vertical you focus on or COVID-19 specific advisory services.
- List any certifications or awards you hold – highlight what you excel at.
- Share customer stories and testimonials – prospects love to read about people’s successes and experiences with a firm.
- Include links to your social media accounts.
- Make sure your contact details are clear and accessible across the site.
We know that there are many accountants and bookkeepers out there, so it’s important to make sure your website shows your potential customers what’s unique about you and your service offering. Stand out from the crowd.
Tip #3 – Get social with great content
Social media is a must in today’s digital world. The one network I strongly encourage you to build your presence on is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 706+ million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. A LinkedIn company page helps you network and prospect for quality sales leads. It can also help to establishes your public image on a global scale as a reputable and trustworthy organisation.
Among the advantages of using LinkedIn for business, a company page provides your business with the opportunity to tell your company’s story. You can also engage with followers, share career opportunities, and scale your word-of-mouth marketing.
Create shareable content that benefits your audience. By producing content that your viewers want to see and share with others, your viewers become engaged advocates of your company. This helps to expand your global reach and influence. Make your content available in different formats such as blog posts, infographics, webinars, podcasts, and videos to suit the viewing preferences of your target audience.
Have you ever heard an author speak about a book or watched a behind-the-scenes concert tour video? After that, did you enjoy the artist’s work more, especially after seeing all that went into it? The answer is more than likely “yes”. Share things that your business does well. Letting people know how you do what you do makes them more invested in your service or product.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis, digital marketing expert.
Social media is a huge platform in which you can use to amplify any message. The power of social media is such a force, get it right and clients will flock to you.
Tip #4 – Get creative with virtual events
“What is she even suggesting?” I hear you ask. I know you are accountants or bookkeepers who look for anomalies in numbers, and are experts at number crunching but here’s the twist – you don’t need to be a marketer to be creative. You just need to think outside the box and create your own way of doing things.
Our team has also been forced to rethink how we engage with our partners and small businesses when we host virtual events, and it’s our goal to support you the same way we did before this pandemic.
Virtual events don’t need to be fancy online events. They can simply be an opportunity to connect and engage with your clients to provide them with valuable information about your practice. This might include how you are pivoting in current circumstances and what you can do to help them.
Create a beautiful online experience that matches the values of your practice, provide that human touch, and be closer to your clients than ever before. Master the above and watch your business grow.
The power of the Xero community
A benefit of being a Xero partner is you have access to a whole range of tools to help grow your practice, including access to funds to help with your marketing. Speak to your account manager to find out more. If you’re excited to get started, we have some short courses available in Xero Central to take a deeper dive into marketing.
If you are not a current Xero partner – there’s no better time to join. Click here to learn more.
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