Why Marketing for Accountants is now More Important Than Ever and What to do
“The importance of Marketing for accountants is rapidly growing in Australia.”
– Australian Financial Review, 2021.
If you’re an accounting firm looking to grow your business, it’s time to start marketing like crazy! In this article, we’ll discuss the different methods and strategies that will help you generate more targeted leads for your firm. We’ll talk about SEO, copywriting, paid advertising – everything a modern-day accountant needs to know about marketing their business effectively.
How do I market an accounting firm in the digital age? 8 Methods
The best way for accounting firms to present their expertise is through their website. 85% of consumers use websites before they make a decision about a purchase. With the advent of these new digital tools, there are now more varieties and avenues that online advertising services can take advantage of, with a cost-effective return on investment for accountants as well.
In this article we’re going to discuss:
What Marketing Tools can I use to Market as an Accountant? 8 Critical Tools
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization, or how to get your website on top of the search engine rankings when people search things like “Brisbane Accountant” or “Adelaide Accountant” – you get the drift.. Check out our guide answering the important questions about SEO for Accountants here.
- Copywriting: The art and science of good communication with customers. It is a means by which advertising messages are created in order to provoke an emotional response from consumers for accountants and accounting firms.
- Paid Advertising: When you can’t rank higher than your competitors through organic methods alone – this usually involves paying money upfront (sometimes huge sums) so that a different company’s campaign ranks better. This has its own advantages but risks as well – the main one being not knowing what kind of traffic will be generated until it’s too late!
- Seminars: Getting to know your potential client better, and providing them with helpful advice they might not have heard before.
- Networking events: Building relationships in person can significantly increase referral rates for accountants – you never know who you’ll meet at a networking event!
- Specialisations: It’s important to have specialisations for particular industries and attend those industry events.
- Marketing New Business Development Services: When you need to create a new service or product for your firm and want it out there quickly.
- Free Courses & Free Accounting Software Training: A great way to showcase your expertise if there’s something specific that sets you apart from other accounting firms. Then people will be able to sign up easily without having to give their email or phone number away right off the bat!
If these methods need a little more explanation, don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of content coming soon on this subject area so keep checking back here regularly!
What research shows clients really want from their accounting firm
This is based off research from Xero client surveys, and the answer is very simple, and something you can easily market on your website! Read on where we group what clients have said together, and provide the answer you’re looking for to improve lead generation and appeal to your potential client group better.
The Importance of Creating a Marketing Plan on One Page
We’ll give you a brief rundown on why it is not just paramount, but tantamount to your marketing efforts to group your ideas onto one page in order to form a succinct plan that WILL be followed. This will mean you appeal to your local audience and local clients much better – who are the most likely to take up your services.
So Let’s Get Into It: 8 Critical Marketing Tools for Accountants:
Affordable SEO for Accountants
Once you have developed some positive Google Reviews and video reviews, and put them on the front page of your website. You are ready to start driving traffic to your site so that you can generate more enquiries.
One of the best ways to get traffic is through SEO, and there are a number of things you need to know about this subject before getting started on it:
- What does SEO stand for? – Search Engine Optimization. This refers to efforts to improve content visibility in search engine results pages.
- What are the top two factors that contribute to SEO? – The relevance of content and links from other websites or blogs that link back to your website.
- How does Google determine what is relevant for a search query? – By analysing keywords in documents, looking at metadata tags like title and description, crawling the page’s links, parsing out outbound links, and of course looking at the user’s geographic location.
- How can you optimize your website for SEO? – You need to focus on keyword research so that you know what search queries people are using when they enter Google. This is so that you can rank higher in those searches by optimizing your content with appropriate keywords.
- Understand the importance of your keyword choices. You can also research competitors to see the types of results that appear at the top of Google Search, and use these as inspiration for your own content and keywords.
- Once you have done the initial research into keywords, it’s time to start optimizing your website.
For an Accountant – what this means is that you should know what keywords people are using when they search for Accountants in your area. You should target that audience by looking at those Accounting related keywords. For example “Accountant in Brisbane” might be the target for your firm in Brisbane. When it comes to digital marketing, SEO is a crucial part of the process. Then, you need to optimise your website for those keywords, making sure that you have your keyword in the title, text, and headings. See our full guide on Accountant SEO here.
This may seem like a daunting task at first – but if you follow the step by step guide to SEO for Accountants from Better Marketing Results, then it won’t be long until Google is bringing all those enquiries right through your front door! Download the guide below:
What are some other tactics for SEO? – You can also try link-building, which is a process that involves getting links from websites and blogs in order to rank higher in search engines like Google or Yahoo! Finance. It’s worth mentioning that these should be relevant sites such as local newspapers or industry-specific information. Link building is an advanced tactic where it really pays off to have processes and contact in place to help you. This is where Better Marketing results can be really helpful!
Paid Advertising can also be a good method for generating leads. If you are looking to target specific people, this is the way to go – and it is a quick and easy option if you don’t have time or knowledge in SEO but still want some enquiries coming your way without too much of an effort on your website. So more on that now…
Copywriting for Accounting Firms
Copywriting for accounting firms is a way to convey the information about your firm in an engaging and informative manner that will help potential clients understand what you offer. Use blogs and other forms of content as part of your marketing strategy to highlight the value your firm brings to clients by highlighting what you do and how you can help.
Copywriting encompasses email marketing, online marketing, writing blog posts – so what’s the goal?
The aim of copywriting is to write content for different target audience areas, which allows accountants to bring out their expertise, experience, credibility and trustworthiness so they can provide all the necessary advice on how they might be able to solve a client.
The goal is to get personal with the client & prospect and make them feel comfortable that they can trust this firm with their money.
- The tone should be informative, serious but also personable to show a deeper understanding of your potential clients’ personal circumstances.
It is a good idea to include your expertise in copywriting for accountants, as well as the range of services you provide so that potential clients can see that there will be someone who has experience with their particular needs and requirements.
This way they know upfront if this accounting service provider is the right one for them.
Content should be professional but also personable so they feel comfortable with the information provided and confident about their decision.
Copywriting Tips for Accounting Firms:
- Be clear about the services you provide
- Make sure to include information about your experience in copywriting for accountants.
- Include information on how they can contact you, such as an email address and phone number.
- Try not to use jargon or acronyms that apply only in accounting circles because this will confuse potential clients who are outside of that
Finding the perfect words to use on the web to convey a message is both an art and science. Beautifully crafted copy can lead readers through your content, informing them of your value proposition with language that inspires action. From crafting compelling headlines to writing persuasive sales pages, top copywriters are experts in using just enough words to get the point across without sacrificing clarity.
How much does copywriting services cost for professional services firms?
For blog posts, many accounting firms find themselves paying around $50 to $150 per post.
The price for copywriting services will depend on how much time the writer needs to spend researching your company, what type of content you are looking for and whether or not they have experience in accounting copywriting. Another good guide is to pay $1 per word, for high quality content, and 5c per word for outsourced broken English copy (who would want that! Not good for your brand and bottom line..)
Paid Advertising for Accountants (Adwords, Facebook Ads) in the Digital Business Age:
When it comes to Marketing for accountants, the options are endless. One of these is Paid Advertising on Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.
What are some advantages of advertising with paid ads?
- You will get a guaranteed result because you pay per click or cost-per-thousand impressions.
- It’s quick and easy, so you don’t need to worry about a lot of time or technical know-how. You can target specific people, so it’s very effective for generating qualified leads if you want them in particular segments and are looking at demographics such as age, gender, location – pretty much anything!
What is the disadvantage?
- The cost per click may be more expensive than other forms of marketing, and it can be difficult to measure the return on investment.
- Further, this method normally appeals to finding new clients who are just looking for tax returns for $80-$100.
- They’re normally price-sensitive, and unless this is your target audience, you’ll be better off spending your money in another way.
How Much Does Paid Advertising Cost for Accounting Firms?
Between $700-1500 of management fees, and that’s with a minimum spend of $1,000 on Ads each month. Paying less than this, and you will likely not be paid much attention.
What kind of ROI can Accountants expect from this?
That really depends on how many clicks you get, and what your conversions are. For example – if you spent $1000 per month for 12 months at a conversion rate of 50% and 15 click-throughs – then you could look at the fee per client and calculate your ROI.
But again, you can end up easily paying $2,000 per month, to pick up 10 tax return clients who absorb more of your time than you actually make off them.
In any case, don’t forget to have a process in place for new business development and marketing services. If you spend money on marketing strategies, and your online presence, then it’s important you get a return for that time and effort. Bookkeeping firms can use these same tactics – so stay tuned!
– What is the difference between SEO, SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SMO? – These are three different terms that all refer to marketing efforts on search engines like Google or Yahoo! Finance. However, there are some differences in what these entail:
– Search engine marketing (SEM) involves bidding for higher rankings by paying for ads.
– SEO is the process of ranking higher in search engines like Google or Yahoo! Finance with a focus on organic (or natural) rankings, which are achieved through such things as link-building and keyword optimization. Again, our guide on SEO for Accountants can be found here.
– Social Media Optimization (SMO) involves using social media platforms to promote your business, products or services – and the more likes and shares you get, the higher your rankings.
The big question is – which should accountants focus on for their Marketing strategy?
It depends on what services they offer! But it’s important to be knowledgeable in all three methods of marketing online so that you can target different audiences accordingly.
For example, if you are a CPA starting out on your own, then you might be more interested in SEM (paid advertising on Google, Facebook, or Linkedin) as your digital strategy because it’s an excellent way to get your professional services in front of price-sensitive audiences looking for accounting providers.
But, if you are a $3-$50m firm in public practice, you will likely just want businesses as clients who are $1m+ turnover and a pleasure to deal with. This is when you’ll focus on SEO and Social Media.
Hosting Seminars for Clients and Prospects
Hosting seminars is a good way to establish yourself as a thought leader in front of your target audience and market to potential clients. Outside of digital Marketing, hosting seminars can be a good way to generate leads. You should aim to have 20-40 people at your seminar to get the maximum benefit. This is a good opportunity to showcase your firm to prospects, and how you partner with clients for growth. Focus on non-traditional services that you offer such as business planning, coaching, or software training. These can help you stand out from the crowd.
– Consider hosting a free webinar that is open to anyone, and then offer prospects an opportunity for live Q&A at the end of the event on things like tax accounting or bookkeeping software.
– If you’re looking for more business development clients, consider offering workshops where your potential client can learn more about your services and get a better feel for what you offer.
Seminars for Existing Clients
Hosting seminars for existing Accounting clients will allow you to show them what other services you provide and how it can help them grow. These seminars are a great way to open up potential revenue streams for your firm, as well as keep existing clients happy with recent changes in the market. You can use social media to advertise these semianrs, as well as email marketing. We have a template plan to has helped deliver countless webinars and seminars sold out for Accounting practices with their clients.
– Consider hosting an event where you showcase new services or training that is available like bookkeeping software courses or business planning workshops.
You might even show them how to help grow their business. This is also a good time to collect video reviews, testimonials, and thank you cards from your attendees.
This also works for attracting new junior accountants or other staff:
For example, if you are looking to hire new accountants or bookkeepers, hosting workshops at universities would be helpful because it shows that you have been involved with academia over the years.
But, you can also Market at conferences where your target clients are at:
How does this work?
This is one of the most effective strategies for accounting firms, but also one of the hardest to achieve.
First, you need to identify your target audience and the industries they’re in – then find out when their next conference is coming up where they’ll be gathering as a group.
Second, contact the organizer of that event and offer them an opportunity
Another way to host seminars is by partnering with a trade group. For instance, if you’re an accountant in Australia you could partner with the Australian Accountants Association and speak at their annual conference.
This might be difficult for accountants who work mostly online or have clients around the world, but it’s still worth considering this option.
At Better Marketing Results, we have helped accounting firms go digital with webinars, but also hosted over 60 seminars with Accounting firms, with over 700 attendees all up. We can help you host a seminar too.
Contact us now for more information!
The Importance of Video Reviews
Video reviews are a great way for firms to showcase their expertise and establish credibility.
The best videos will be between one minute long, with the focus on your company’s services rather than you as an individual. Have clients on camera with you, so that they can talk about their experience with you and your company.
Keep the video short, clear, sharp and concise for maximum impact.
Your videos will be more successful if they are on YouTube or Vimeo rather than a website blog post such as this one. The reason is that it’s easier to find them when someone searches for them on YouTube or Vimeo. Check out an example of a great video review we secured and filmed for a client here.
Networking Events for an Accounting Firm
There are a number of important networking events for accountants, such as the Institute of Management Accountants Annual Meeting. These meetings allow for accountants to share their best practices, which in turn benefits both the individual audit firms and the industry as a whole. They also allow accounting staff to speak to others in their field and find out about upcoming trends that are related to them.
But the most important events are industry events where you can display your Accounting services. These might be a manufacturing conference (for Accountants that work with manufacturing businesses) or a conference for Insurance firms.
For example, at the Large Manufacturing Conference last year we were able to present on Agile Accounting and have speakers from some of Australia’s top accountancy firms speak about how they use this new methodology in their practice.
This is one way to Market an accounting firm, by speaking at industry events. But this takes time!
When at Networking Events make sure you use social media:
When at networking events, make sure you and your staff use social media to document what you do there. This will make it easier for people to find and follow your company on social media, which is often the first step in getting them more invested in you as a brand.
If they like some of your photos or content from an event, then they might be enticed into following you online – meaning that soon enough they’ll be a customer.
So make sure you post pictures of your networking event – or any events where there’s an opportunity to Market yourself and your company!
Contact us now for more information on how to get the most out of Networking Events like these ones.
Attract relevant new clients based on your firm’s specialisations
There’s no better target market to direct your marketing efforts to than those who are in need of your specialist tax strategies for their particular industry. People will gladly change Accounting firms if they think you are better suited for their specific industry.
So how do you show your industry specialisations in your Digital Marketing strategy?
Consider writing blogs and articles on your specialisations then posting these on your website.
For example, if you are appealing to a manufacturing client, you might incorporate blogs about specific tax strategies and accounting services for manufacturers. Or you might write an article on how to use a particular accounting software for manufacturing businesses. Look at Servicem8 for example, this is software that is specifically designed for the service industry with contractors moving around the city. It allows contractors and staff to bill on the spot, and connects this to Xero. So you could write a blog on your website, about how to use Servicem8 to manage service-based clients and how to connect it all up to your accounting software.
Another strategy is to show your specialisations with videos filmed of your specialist staff. Here’s an example of a video we filmed showing the specialisations of staff at one accounting firm, as part of their Marketing strategy.
By making videos of your specialist staff and posting these on your website, you’ll be able to show potential clients what they are missing out on if they don’t work with an Accounting firm that specialises in their industry. More than that, you will also show the personal side of your Accounting firm and how you are invested in their success.
In a world of more noise and spam than ever, strategies that involve video content in posts and as part of your online presence, attract a lot more clients. People want to see genuine content and video content is a great way to showcase your expertise and build your personal and firm brand without any of the hard work. This is guaranteed to help your conversion rate and bring in more customers. Don’t forget to post these genuine videos on social media and on your website to increase your digital presence! You could even boost a facebook ad with your industry specialisation video so you could put your firm in front of your specific target market.
Digital Marketing for Accountants when it comes to Business Development Services
Your Marketing strategy should attract leads based on your business development services. Then new leads are interested based on your BD offerings, instead of adding those value add services added later on, which is much harder.
You can do this easily with online marketing through blogs, social media content, search engine optimisation and other local marketing methods.
So if you offer business plans, you could write a blog post on how to create the perfect business plan. If you offer financial advice, this might be something like “How to Create Your Financial Plan”. You can go through each step of the process and include your own tips and tricks for creating an effective one.
Or if you are working with entrepreneurs in Australia who need help with accounting software for their situation, you could write about how to choose the right accounting software.
By creating these blog posts and articles, it becomes easy for potential leads to find your value add services when they are looking online. You will also be able to attract more of those new prospects who have been searching directly on Google or social media platforms like LinkedIn for your specific type of business development service. It shows that you are a local expert that doesn’t just help with tax, but instead will research client industries, and create effective business development plans.
So you simply need to show your work, on the web! So many Accountantin practices out there already do this for their clients, but so few market it in real time through a blog or social media post!
This is a great way to attract more leads and prospects, as it allows you to be seen by the exact people who are looking for what you have on offer without any extra marketing efforts needed!
Marketing to EXISTING clients to show them your Business development program and other growth strategy assistance
Many Accountants are worried that their existing clients see their brand as ‘tax experts’ and not someone who can help with a business development program. When Marketing for Accountants, we make sure that we change your brand perception with existing clients.
This is how we do it.
Email Marketing to existing clients to your business development services and growth strategy assistance.
You could use a newsletter or an email checklist system to create automated emails with specific content about how to achieve business growth through a structured program.
You might email clients about new tools they can use to enhance their business growth. New software, calculators, templates they can use to help with their company’s growth.
Follow up those emails by adding a blog post that talks about the same topic as your email and include an offer on your website for anyone who signs up at the end of it.
This is one of the best digital marketing strategies an accounting firm can use, and definitely helps to convert clients! They will see how you are providing value to them by not only doing their taxes but also assisting with a business development program.
There’s low hanging fruit in digital marketing for accountants here!
We often come across a firm with lots of clients, but not many who take up all their services.
This is because they don’t have a marketing strategy in place, or it’s not working.
You need to be able to capture all those clients that you didn’t get the chance to work with on different matters yet! And this is done through digital Marketing for Accountants!
Time after time, we start working with a firm and achieve growth immediately simply by educating their clients about what other services they offer. We put content up on their blog page about the other services the firm offers outside of just tax (be it legal, bookkeeping, outsourced CFO, etc) and use email marketing to put this content in front of the right clients in their database (which we have researched extensively). The bottom line is that almost every firm we encounter isn’t making the most of their audience (current clients) with the cross-pollination of their other services.
Using your website to encourage uptake of your practices other services:
When you create content that highlights the services your practice offers, get that on to every media platform! Especially your website.
Free Courses & Free Accounting Software Training:
Offering free software training for Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB on your website can really increase the traffic to your main website training page. This will act as a lead magnet and bring new potential clients in, in real-time. You gain an asset out of it and build an audience of interested customers. This strategy will then increase where your website stands on google rankings and organic traffic. But make sure you do your research first, and make your training look professional by using a video or some kind of animation. A good example, is Marsh Tincknell, who is a firm we work with (one of many accounting firms) and we made videos of their staff discussing MYOB training and posted that on their website, as well as organised MYOB training videos and posted them on the website too. This effectively uses their website to appeal to their target audience, and as a marketing strategy, their firm now shows up in search results for “How to use MYOB” and brings in a whole audience each month. This is a well-used lead magnet, and you will see it’s personalised with a web video of staff discussing how they help clients, as well as a group of MYOB training videos.
The 3 Things Clients Really Want From Their Accountant:
- Time dedicated to them from the partners
- High uptake of technology & online accounting
- Value for money
This information came from the Xero customer survey asking what clients want from their Accountants. So it’s important you customise your marketing to hit these three points.
Create a Marketing Plan on One Page
It’s important to make a marketing plan that puts your clients into 4 categories, being A, B, C or “Not a Client.”
The plan will also include the % of your time you should spend marketing to each category. It will also mention what methods you plan on using being:
- Paid Advertising (both Google Ads and Bing Ads)
- Content Writing/Copywriting
- …and so on with other methods.
Your plan should discuss what % of services you offer to what % of clients (creating opportunities)
It should mention your internal referral rate.
Definitely, it should have your marketing budget in there.
There should also be meeting minutes recorded from your session, which detail who will do what, by when.
At Better Marketing results, we lead these Marketing planning sessions and help you produce the one-page plan. Chat to us if you need help!
In Closing – Summary of the best Accounting Marketing Methods
Marketing is a necessity for accounting firms in Australia. If you own an accounting firm, it’s important to understand that marketing is not just about attracting new customers, but about retaining existing ones and adding value to them, too. With the following guidelines, you will be on your way to creating a successful marketing campaign that improves customer retention and attracts new prospects.
– Create content for your blog and get it to your audience of the target market (current clients)
– Keep in mind that any strategy should focus on the needs of the 4 categories of clients: A, B, C or “Not a Client.”
– Use SEO and content writing/copywriting to reach all 4 groups as needed
– Consider using paid advertising with Google Ads and Bing Ads
– Create a marketing plan on one page, which includes what % of your time you should spend marketing to each category. It will also mention the methods you plan on using being: SEO, paid advertising (both google ads and bing ads), content writing/copywriting and so on with other methods.
But what is important for your firm and your target clients, might not be important for another firm.
Call Tom on 0407 600 838 or email email@example.com today to talk through the best marketing methods for your accounting practice today.
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