Three low-cost ways for accountants to generate the leads
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This guest post was written by ‘Matt Wilkinson, who is the founder and CEO of BizInk. He makes websites, online tools, and online marketing for accountants. Matt is here today to talk about how accountants generate the leads
Most accounting firms want to get bigger. But to grow, you have to find new customers, which is the most challenging part of running a business. In the past, it was expensive for accountants to find new clients. Direct mail and hosting events were common ways to do this.
But in our online world, getting leads doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Most of the time, the only thing you’ll need to invest is time. Here are three ways your business can get leads without spending much money on marketing.
- Give something away:
In modern marketing, it’s more important to pull than to push. Some call it “inbound marketing,” while others call it “content marketing.”
No matter what you call it, it’s an excellent way to get people interested in your services. The key is to change how you think about online marketing. Instead of yelling about your services, show how good you are at what you do. You can do this by giving prospects something they will find helpful. It could be as simple as advice: an accountant I know wrote a blog post about GST on used goods.
This is a great topic that many small business owners would like to learn more about. If someone didn’t know the answer, they could type the question into Google. Every month, it brings him three or four calls.
Share your freebie online, and you can get leads by giving information. If you have more time, you could host a webinar, write a report or white paper, or use Excel to make a financial tool. This kind of interesting content makes website visitors want to talk to you, which can lead to them becoming clients. And remember to tell people about your freebie.
We suggest that you spend 20% of your time making the content and 80% of your time promoting it. Download BizInk’s Ultimate Content Marketing Kit if you want to try content marketing but need help knowing where to start. It was made just for accountants and had the guides, tools, and content you need to start getting inbound leads.
2. Network on LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is a great way to connect online with people who might become clients.
LinkedIn is a social network for people who work in businesses. It’s a great place to find leads. The first step is to make an interesting profile with a good photo. Here is a guide on how to do that:
Once you have done that, make a Company Page for your business. Then, as a way to start networking, ask your clients to connect with you. You can also ask them to give you good reviews.
Also, try to connect with everyone you have a meaningful business connection with, like people at your local chamber of commerce group, but only connect with people you know. Quantity is not nearly as important as quality which will help accountants to generate the leads.
LinkedIn’s contact list is always up-to-date, which is a huge plus. Most of the time, you will know when someone changes jobs or changes their contact information when you try to find them and can’t. But they will change what they say on LinkedIn. So if you’re connected, you’ll be able to give them the correct information.
Next, try to show how knowledgeable and skilled you are. You could do this in two ways:
Post to your profile:
It adds new, helpful information to your profile. Post the profile can be something you made or something someone else shared. Don’t share content just for the sake of sharing it. LinkedIn is full of people who post “great” content that is boring or unimportant. But, again, quality is better than quantity.
Get active in groups:
LinkedIn groups are very effective because they are full of people who want to find answers.
Find groups where you are an expert and become known as a good source of information.
Don’t try to sell what you can do. If you give detailed advice, people will be interested in what else you have to offer. Instead, you should join local business groups or groups that focus on the industries or vertical markets you want to reach. You could also take a look at the programs you use.
As soon as you start sharing content and taking part in group discussions, people will start to notice you and your practice. That might bring in some leads, but you can speed up the process with small changes. Of course, people will only want to work with you if you post an update directly, asking for more clients. But it’s okay to let people know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. For example, say you run a firm of accountants in Newcastle.
The following would work:
This month, we helped ABC Widgets in Newcastle, Australia, move to zero, which will save them $600 a year and hours of data entry. Send me a message if we can do the same for your business. Don’t spam or post too many of these kinds of updates; LinkedIn can be a great way to find new business.
3. Build a targeted mailing list:
The best way to market something is to build a mailing list.
Email is the best way to market online, and research shows that it beats everything else by a long shot. Many businesses send out email newsletters because they know this, but not many send out the targeted emails that bring in new business. An email is a powerful tool. To use it to its full potential, start by building a list of people who are interested in the same things you are.
It could be about accounting for rental properties, adding nothing extra, or pricing strategies.
Try to do a little. There are thousands of people with good general business advice.
You shouldn’t try to be as good as them. So, be specific. It’s better to have 100 readers who care about what you have to say than 1000 who don’t read your emails.
This could mean a focus on a small area. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if most of your customers are local. Now that you know what to write about, it’s time to make your list. First, create a sign-up form and put it in a prominent place on your website.
You need to choose a mailing list of companies. There are many to choose from, but many like Hubspot, Aweber, or Mailchimp. You could also ask people to sign up with a pop-up on your website. Pop-ups work, even though many people say they hate them.
Next, promote your email signup in all of your other marketing. Make sure there’s a link to sign up in your email signature and LinkedIn profile. Your list will grow, but you can jumpstart it by asking clients to sign up. Now is the time to start sending emails to the list.
It is better to consider your list as an audience. They’re not just names in a database; they’re real people. Imagine you were writing an email to a client you knew well to tell them something. Your emails will work if you try to use that tone and style. Send emails once a week. Or at least once a month. People will forget about you if you do more than that.
Some email marketers send out emails daily, but to do that, you need to be a great writer with a lot to say and a lot of time.
Your main job is to get people interested. But you can still sell something.
Including links to your website and the occasional advertisement in your email template is acceptable. But always remember that your readers have signed up to hear from you because they trust you. So if you do that, people will be sure to get in touch with you about business opportunities in the future.