Do you want to grow your accounting firm this year? If so, you’ll need a solid marketing plan that not only attracts new potential clients but also converts and retains them. But how do you achieve that? What’s the recipe for success?
Accounting firm marketing is multi-faceted, but there are a few essential ingredients that every plan should have.
5 Ingredients Your Accounting Firm Marketing Plan Needs in 2022
Marketing plans have many moving parts, but these five ingredients are some of the most important.
For your marketing plan to be successful, you need to attract prospects and reach the right people. How exactly do you do that? Here are two important questions to consider:
- Are you generating leads?
- Is your brand communicating who you are and what you do?
Lead generation is a key ingredient in any marketing plan. If you aren’t bringing in new leads regularly, it can stagnate your firm’s growth.
There are several ways to generate leads, but some of the most effective are:
- Social and Search Ads: Create ads that speak your audience’s language and touch on their pain points.
- SEO-Optimized Website: Make sure your website is SEO-optimized and includes clear calls to action (CTAs) to encourage prospects to take the next step (i.e. schedule an appointment on your calendar, contact your firm).
- Third Part Content: Use third-party content to attract leads to your firm, such as guest blogging or being a guest expert on a podcast that targets your audience.
- Social Media Marketing: Connect with your ideal clients online and build relationships until they’re ready to become clients.
- Cold Calls and Emails: People may say cold calling and cold emailing is dead… but it’s not! Reach out to potential prospects you don’t have relationships with through cold calls and emails.
- Referrals: Establish a referral exchange program with other firms or implement a referral incentive program. Ensuring your clients are happy is a simple way to generate referrals naturally.
- Direct Mail: Use automated tools to streamline the process. Advertise special offers, include testimonials, highlight your services and include your firm’s contact information.
- Conferences and Events: Attend conferences and events, or even host events to attract leads and build brand awareness.
Establishing Your Brand
If you want to attract the right clients, your brand needs to clearly communicate who you are, what you stand for and what you do. It’s important to be clear and consistent in your message across all social platforms and marketing in general, including on:
- Social Media
- Your Firm’s Website
- Industry Directories
- Review Sites
- Search Engine Profiles
Establishing your brand’s identity will help you naturally attract the right people who are looking for your services.
You now have a way to attract leads, but are you capturing them? Do you have a way to organize your captured leads?
Capturing leads allows you to keep in touch and market to prospects in the future. Let’s say that someone visits your firm’s website but aren’t quite ready to book a call or use your services. Capturing their information gives you another opportunity to promote your firm’s services through email.
Here are some of the most effective ways to capture leads:
- Gated content. Visitors provide their contact information in exchange for an eBook or some other piece of valuable content.
- Forms. When visitors fill out forms on your website, landing page or funnel, you can capture their information for future use.
- Inbound messages. When prospects reach out through email, over the phone or on social media, you can capture their information.
- Chatbots. Along with answering questions and helping visitors find what they’re looking for, chatbots can also capture lead information.
- Walk-ins. When prospects visit your office to learn more about your services or ask questions, ask for their contact information.
Once you start capturing leads, you need to have a system to organize them. There are multiple applications that can do this for you. Another option is to use an all-in-one marketing system, which is what we use and recommend for our clients.
Organizing your leads allows you to segment (organize) them into groups based on buyer personas, web analytics, and other parameters. By grouping leads with similar characteristics together, you can send more personalized messages for a more effective email marketing campaign.
Segmentation is so effective that marketers say it can increase revenue from email marketing campaigns by 760%.
Attracting, capturing, and organizing leads is important. But most leads won’t convert without a little nurturing.
When you nurture leads, you build relationships and trust with potential clients. Establishing credibility and demonstrating your firm’s value will help convert these leads.
Here are some effective ways to nurture leads:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Website content, including your blog
- Retargeting ads (showing targeted ads to people who visited your website)
- Database reactivation (reaching out to dormant contacts)
- Using behavior-based marketing automation
To succeed with lead nurturing, take the time to create content that’s relevant, personal and valuable to the leads in each segment.
Lead nurturing is an important step in any marketing plan. In fact, companies that have mastered it generate 50% more sales-ready leads at one-third the cost.
Once you’ve nurtured your leads, you need a way to close them. The “close” is arguably the most important ingredient in your marketing plan. You can generate all the leads in the world, but if you don’t have a plan in place to convert your prospects… well, then you’re wasting your marketing budget and time.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Is it easy for leads to take the next step and book a call?
- Are you sending out reminders before these calls?
- Are you making sure that no lead slips through the cracks?
- Do you have a birds-eye view of your pipeline?
- How about your onboarding process? Is it simple to get started?
Make it as easy as possible for leads to book calls, and ensure that you’re following up. Having a birds-eye view of your pipeline and what’s ahead can help you avoid overbooking calls, taking more clients than you can handle or missing out on opportunities.
Several tools can help you close. Some must-haves include:
- Online calendar booking
- Text and email reminders for upcoming calls
- Automated follow-up and no-show tools
- Opportunity tracking
- Pipeline management
Leverage as many tools as you can to streamline this process so that your firm can stay focused on clients. You want to ensure that the entire close process and onboarding process isn’t just easy for you and your firm but also to your prospects.
You’re converting more leads into clients, but what are you doing to retain those clients? It’s important to make sure that your firm stays at the forefront of your clients’ minds.
After all, your current clients are your biggest asset. For most companies, 65% of their business comes from existing customers.
But how do you retain clients?
- Continue providing informative, valuable and relevant content through blog posts, newsletters, webinars, podcasts, social media and other platforms.
- Be proactive about communication. Check in with clients regularly.
- Don’t neglect reputation management.
Make sure that your clients know how much you value their business and provide that personalized attention they deserve. Loyal clients will help you weather the storm if you struggle to attract and convert new customers.
These five ingredients are essential to your firm’s marketing plan and will help you build a solid foundation for future marketing campaigns.
Creating a successful accounting firm marketing plan can be a challenge, especially if your firm already has a full plate. Hiring a professional can save you time that’s better spent on running your business and catering to clients. That’s where we can help.