With tax season behind you, now is a great time of the year to get more online reviews in Google, Intuit’s Find-a-QuickBooks ProAdvisor directory, and maybe even Yelp. By all means, I understand Yelp is extremely difficult but here are the steps you should take to obtain at least 10-15 online reviews over the next three months.
- Sign up with Google+
- Select your business on Google Places and complete profile FULLY – you will need to validate as well (PIN verification)
- Select your business on Yelp and complete profile FULLY – validate as well
- Create a profile for yourself on Yelp so you can review clients of yours
- Create a list of business clients that you genuinely support and patronize their business. To help them, write several glowing reviews online for them in Google Places and/or Yelp. Pay the compliment forward.
- Create a list of businesses that are not clients of yours that you patronize. This can range from your favorite restaurants, coffee shop, auto repair shop, electrician, contractor, doctor, favorite place for lunch, and insurance agent. Write them glowing reviews in Google Places and/or Yelp. Pay the compliment forward. Become an active Yelper. Each of these businesses have the potential to refer business to you, even if they are not an active client of yours. I’m sure you’ve referred friends to restaurants, realtors and lawyers who you’ve never used before but know their reputation locally. Use this to your benefit.
- After paying the compliments forward and establishing yourself as someone who provides online reviews, now is the time to ask for reviews in return. Start with your business clients.
- Use the “Request a Review” tool to solicit online reviews in Google and Intuit’s directory. The Build Your Firm website has a application within the email newsletter tool to make requesting reviews painless. Google has about 75% market share for online searches so start there. You will want to secure 3-5 per month over the next few months. You will want the online reviews posted over a period of time rather than having all of them posted in one month.
- If you use Facebook or LinkedIn, ask your network of friends if they are active Yelpers. Only active Yelpers will get past the Yelp filter. Develop a short list of friends and professional peers who are willing to reciprocally review each other.
- If you have a network group like BNI or have some cohorts in the local Chamber, repeat this entire process with a small portion of them.
Get the ball rolling now so by Labor Day, your flow of new leads coming from the internet will become a steady flow of pre-sold clients that have read these reviews online. The hardest part is taking the initial action. Just do it!!
With busy season behind you, now is the time to update your marketing and practice development system. Yes, I totally understand that you have plenty of clients on extension but it’s time to learn how to modernize your lead generation system and improve the profitability of your accounting practice.
During the busy season, Build Your Firm (BYF) totally overhauled their Accounting Marketing Program. This practice development system is delivered online so you do NOT have to travel. Below are the upcoming programs:
This accounting practice development system enables you to:
- market your practice using inbound marketing and avoid old school marketing (e.g, no cold call telemarketing)
- realize higher hourly fees (earn $200 – $300 per hour, not $100 – $150 per hour)
- close business clients with less effort
- acquire higher quality clients
With the right practice development system, growing your accounting practice is not that hard. Take a proactive step to improve your accounting practice today.
If you want to generate more leads from the internet and aggressively grow your accounting practice, I highly recommend you sign up for Google+. Plain and simple.
Yes, I sat on the sidelines hoping this social platform would fail because I did not want another social media tool. While I am an advocate of LinkedIn for professional marketing and business-to-business communication, I did not want to succumb to Google’s pressure to join. In other words, if you want top placement in Google, you have to sign up for Google+. And, future tools that they launch will be connected to Google+ as well.
Higher Search Engine Placement – Like any other business, Google gives credit to people who embrace more of their tools and products. Or said another way, they give preferential treatment in Google Places and organic search engine listings to businesses that have Google+ accounts. And higher placement in Google Places combined with higher organic Google placement means more traffic to your websites.
Online Reviews – If you want reviews for your business in Google, you must have a Google+ account. Online reviews are becoming a key ingredient for managing your local reputation. Google is making a huge financial investment in online reviews with the purchase of Zagat and Frommers. Yes, they tried to purchase Yelp a couple of times.
Google Authorship – If you want to have your listing stand out on Google’s search engine results pages, then Google Authorship will place your picture next to the results. Below are some examples of how Authorship can help you generate higher click through rates and add a personal connection.
If you haven’t done so already, sign up for Google+ and organize your contacts into circles, as Google calls them. Yes, you can organize your contacts (clients, friends, professional peers, family, etc.).
In today’s online world, reputation management has become another important part of operating an accounting practice. In other words, one negative review posted online can damage your local reputation and remain online for years.
Learn how you should proactively manage your reputation and properly ask your existing clients for online reviews in Google+, Intuit’s Find-a-QuickBooks ProAdvisor directory, Yelp, and other online yellow page websites.
We all use online reviews to lower our risk of a bad experience. If you frequently find yourself looking at reviews for restaurants, hotels, movies or even which book to purchase, then learn how protect yourself from one flaming review. Doctors, lawyers and even accountants are becoming more proactive about managing their reputation online.
To give you a sense of how important reviews are, Google has purchased Zagat and Frommers, after being turned down by Yelp. Intuit has purchased Demandforce, which is a reputation management SaaS application, for over $423 million. Online reputation management will become more important going forward, even for accounting firms.
Attend today’s webinar, May 15, 2013, and earn 1 CPE credit, free of charge.
While accountants were busy with tax season, we were overhauling our email newsletter tool so that it can become an accounting client communication system to help you operate your practice more efficiently. In plain-English, we have dramatically enhanced our email newsletter tool so that it can help you better communicate with your clients.
Over the years as your practice has grown, it becomes harder and harder to reach out to all of your clients and maintain that “trusted” advisor status that you’ve earned. Making phone calls and/or meeting in person with your clients becomes more challenging each year. To maintain that one-to-one relationship, the email newsletter and communication system now becomes a vital time management tool that can save you tons of time and generate more referrals. It’s now a killer app for marketing and managing your accounting practice. Below are some examples of how to use this new communication tool.
Frequency of Communication
Schedule Routine Emails in Advance – Each practitioner has routine emails that are repeated each year. These emails range from year-end tax planning to tax organizers to happy holidays to routine deadlines. This communication system allows you to schedule these events in advance.
Send a Birthday Wish – All accountants have the birth dates of their existing clients. We have created email greetings that allow you to send out birthday greetings to your clients on the week of their special day. It’s a small way to connect and remember your clients.
Send Email Now – In addition to the routine emails, there are unique reasons to send out emails as well. These might be proactive or reactive in nature. On the proactive side, you might want to send an email to all business clients that if your complete paperwork was not delivered to our office by March 1st, they will automatically be placed on extension and that some paperwork would be coming to file for an extension.
Types of Pre-Written Messages
New Client Welcome Letter
Leave us a review on Google or Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro Advisory Directory
Tax Extension (Business and Personal)
Tax time (organizer, process for this season, encourage them to engage virtually)
Seasonal (Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Thanksgiving, etc.)
Online Reputation Management
To generate more favorable buzz online, this communication system will also help you secure more online reviews and better insulate your practice from a negative review. Rather than wait for a scathing review to be posted about your accounting practice, we recommend some proactive work be done to gather online reviews from your happy clients and create some position mojo in your local market.
We have focused the system on Google and Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro Advisor for the time being.
If you’d like to learn more about asking for client reviews, we have a free webinar scheduled for May 15th. The webinar also provides you with 1 CPE credit.
How to Get Started
If you do not have a website from Build Your Firm but would like to learn more, visit our new website dedicated to accounting website development. There is no set-up fee for a Premier website, the first 60 days are free of charge, and the website includes this communication system along with search engine optimization. If you would like to speak with us, simply call 888-999-9800 x1.
Accountants, register now for this free webinar on May 14th and learn how to “Earn Profits at TWICE the Industry Average.” The webinar provides CPA’s with 1 CPE credit, free of charge. No travel required.
The average accounting practice operates at profit margins of 25% to 40%. This webinar will provide you with the fundamental steps to operate your accounting practice at profit margins of 50% to 70%. This informative webinar will be delivered by Allan Ratafia, who uses this system to operate his own accounting practice at a profit margin slightly above 70%.
Make a paradigm shift with your accounting practice and learn how others are operating at dramatically higher profit margins. Learn how you can “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”
CPA’s and Enrolled Agents can now earn up to 24 hours of free continuing education credits with the purchase of Build Your Firm’s website service. This offer is for the Premier and/or Niche websites.
The free CPE courses are offered by WiseGuides. All of the courses are online, so no travel required, and the number of courses offered is extensive.
The incentive is extremely aggressive for accountants who do not already have a Build Your Firm Website. Below is the incentive:
- earn up to 24 hours of CPE or CE credit for CPA’s and Enrolled Agents
- 60 day free trial
- no annual commitment (cancel at any time if not satisfied)
- SEO included – no extra fees
- includes email newsletter, portal, 134 calculators, client center and hosting
Check out examples of Build Your Firm websites for the following types of accounting firms:
Call us at 888-999-9800 x1 to discuss your online marketing needs.
While you were busy servicing clients, we managed to update our website presence. This was a huge undertaking and we’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Good, bad and indifferent.
Check out our new look at:
Let us know your thoughts on both websites. Thanks!!