The basics of marketing your accountancy firm in 2021
Accountants who want to win more clients can’t just wait for them to come along – they have to take action. But what exactly should they be doing? Well, for starters...
Get an up-to-date website.
Fill it with engaging, search-friendly copy targeted at their ideal clients.
Produce regular, relevant, targeted blog content.
Get active on social media – engaging, not just broadcasting.
Of course there’s a lot more you could be doing, from systematic search engine optimisation to video, but without the basics above, you’re essentially making yourself invisible.
You’ll notice that those essentials I’ve suggested all use digital channels and in 2021, that’s about right. The fact is, it’s more efficient, more flexible and more effective than any other medium.
Research shows that consumers and business-to-business (B2B) buyers increasingly research decisions online. Even if they’re acting on a referral, they’ll generally want to see supporting evidence. These days, that means Googling your name, or that of your practice.
Alternatively, they might search for ‘accountants in Shropshire’ (location) or ‘accountants for builders’ (sector specialism) or some combination of the above.
If they find and click through to your website, what they find should help them decide to buy from you:
service pages that set out what you do
case studies, testimonials and team profiles
sector pages, indicating your specialisms
information on how and what you charge.
When it comes to convincing potential clients that you know their industry and have professional credibility, your blog is also vital.
If you claim to specialise in working with charities, for example, someone looking at the most recent posts on the blog should easily be able to pick out at least one relevant piece of content on that subject. The headline should make them want to click. And, finally, the body of the post should deliver on the promise, answering their questions and needs.
You can have vast swathes of amazing content but if it isn’t getting found in search, you’ve got a problem. That’s where search-engine optimisation (SEO) comes in.
SEO requires patience and the investment of time, energy and money in ongoing technical fixes, like tuning an engine; the creation of keyword-targeted content; and the improvement of existing content to better meet the quality standards set by the Google algorithm.
If you’re not sure how your firm is performing in search, here’s a quick test.
In your chosen web browser, select incognito or private mode.
Search your firm’s name.
Search your specialism, eg ‘accountants for construction’
Search your region, eg ‘accountants in Chippenham’.
Finally, search, eg ‘accountants for construction in Chippenham’.
If you’re not on the first page of results for some or all of those terms, your website might benefit from some love and care from an experienced SEO expert.
As for social media, that’s appealing because the entry costs are low and it takes relatively less time to produce 280 characters than the 1,000+ words Google’s algorithm currently prefers. Or to share an animated GIF of a cat.
In 2021, an accountancy firm that isn’t active on social media almost seems suspicious. People will expect to find your brand on Twitter and Facebook, and to find your partners being the best version of themselves on LinkedIn.
In fact, social media isn’t easy – you have to stick at it to build a following and it doesn’t necessarily suit thoughtful, introverted personalities. (Of course, I wouldn’t dare generalise about accountants.) That’s why for most firms, it will just be one part of the mix – and an up-to-date profile and three or four posts a week is better than nothing.