Monthly Archives: June 2015
Inbound marketing has become the gold standard for marketing an accounting practice. The idea is simple – define your dream customer and then create content specifically designed to attract and delight your dream customer. The tactics are tougher than traditional direct response marketing (aka – outbound marketing) and take more time to create a head of steam but after it’s done properly, it’s so much easier to generate leads and sustain your marketing.
In today’s marketplace, the customer has so many more choices and is better informed about their purchase decisions. With the internet, today’s modern customer can research and vet the best accountants that suit their specific needs just like searching for a resort destination or selecting the best restaurant while on vacation. The same methods that they used to plan their summer vacation can now be applied to their search for a lawyer, doctor and accountant.
In years past, most accounting firms relied upon cold call telemarketing, door knocking and yellow page advertising to generate leads. Unfortunately, the intrusive nature of cold calling and door knocking have made these marketing tactics less desirable and harder to sustain. Think about it, when was the last time you purchased something from a cold call solicitor? Or took a door knocker seriously? In today’s world, the internet has replaced yellow page advertising as today’s customer wants more information at their fingertips before picking up the phone to call a business.
Here are some facts:
1. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. (Source – Hubspot).
2. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles rather than an advertisement. (Source – CMO.com).
3. 93% of buying processes start with an online search for information, options and best practices. This is why it is so important to be near the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo when your target audience is searching to hire an accountant. If people can’t find your firm, you will not be considered. (Source – Marketo).
4. Companies that blog 1-2 times per month generate up to 70% more leads than companies that don’t. (Source – Hubspot).
In short, inbound marketing is a magnetic marketing strategy that requires a proactive approach to pull prospects into your accounting practice instead of reactively interrupting them with annoying messages and praying for leads.
With social media, online review websites and endless news outlets, it is wise to be highly selective before you battle. As an owner of a public accounting firm, you are always on stage and periodically need to zip it.
Just this week, the infamous Donald Trump was stumping for his Presidential campaign and managed to “get fired”. That’s right, NBC has chosen to fire Donald from the long standing show called “The Apprentice” and will replace him. To boot, NBC also dumped both of the beauty pageants that Donald owns, Miss USA and Miss Universe. Also, Univision announced as well that it would no longer air the beauty pageants in Spanish because of Donald’s controversial statements towards Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
Learning first hand from Donald’s mistakes and the implications may save you tons of agony and grief at some point in your career and/or accounting practice.
Choose Your Battles
Choosing your battles is about being selective of the problems you take on, be it in the work place, with clients, at a membership club, or at a town meeting. When you choose your battles, you should:
1.) Evaluate the problem you are facing. Can it be fixed?
2.) Assess if the payoff of addressing the problem (or expressing your POV) outweighs the downside risk.
3.) Evaluate if the problem is going to recur and become bigger if left alone.
4.) If you ignore the problem, will it cause significant damage to your life?
5.) Can you live without addressing the problem?
For example, suppose you have an unruly client in your practice who will never be satisfied with the work product and makes several people in your firm miserable. If the problem can’t be fixed after remedial solutions are attempted, then it’s time to find this person a new home in a calm, cool manner. Simply, help to transition this client to another firm with absolutely no retribution and explain that this relationship is not working out for either party. Quite frankly, it is not worth losing a solid staff member over a crappy client. And continuing to service an unhappy client runs the risk of them telling friends about your practice and/or posting something online in Yelp, Google or another online review tool. Online reviews stay up for years and there is virtually nothing you can do to get it removed.
Learn from Donald Trump’s mistake. Pick your battles wisely.
For 2015, Build Your Firm is providing a one year money back guarantee on all new Platinum level websites. Essentially, we guarantee that you will acquire more new business within one year than your total investment with us. The more you do, the more we guarantee.
Build Your Firm is the only website developer within the accounting industry to provide this money back guarantee. And if you support your website with pay per click advertising, retargeting advertising, and a blog, we will add those elements to the guarantee as well.
All of Build Your Firm’s Platinum websites feature responsive web design, which is the new standard for web design. If your website is not generating enough new business, this risk free approach is exactly what you need to reinvigorate your marketing and lead generation.
If you are serious about growing your accounting practice, this one year ROI Guarantee is a no brainer.
Across all industries, about 2% of visitors to a website will make a purchase on their first visit. Retargeting focuses on the 98% that visit a website and then leave to shop elsewhere as part of their buying process.
Retargeting works by identifying people who visit a website. The process is anonymous but very effective. Essentially, a “cookie” is placed on the website browser after someone visits a website and this “cookie” triggers your ad to start popping up and seeks to pull them back to your website.
Retargeting is a cost effective tool to brand your accounting practice and pull motivated prospects back to your website. When done properly and professionally, it can be a wonderful tool for marketing your accounting practice online.
Build Your Firm uses search engine optimization in conjunction with pay per click advertising to drive higher levels of traffic to your website. And after the initial visit, retargeting advertising is used to remind prospects of their initial visit to your website and seeks to pull them back so they can become a genuine lead.
Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach which changes the website viewing experience to fit the viewer’s screen size. In other words, the website is designed so that your website is displayed properly to smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and future monitors (e.g., wrist watches, car monitors, Super Hi Definition TVs, etc) and it adjusts on the fly.
Smart phones and tablets are very different from desktop computers. If you’ve used your smart phone and stumbled upon a website designed only for desktop computers and had to scroll and expand the screen, then you know the issue.
Mobile traffic from smart phone and tablets is exploding. Last year, Americans spent more time online using a mobile app than PC’s. Granted, the typical viewing experience is different during daytime hours when your office is open, but the overall point is that the time spent accessing the internet from a mobile device has exceeded traditional PC usage and this trend will continue.
The original web design standard was to design one website for all types of monitors. In phase two, it shifted to one design for desktop computers and another layout for smart phone users. In phase three, web designers are evolving towards a standard that one website is designed but it will morph to the size of the device.
Here are the reasons why you should care?
- One Website, Many Devices – In today’s world, the customer is king and they expect you to deliver information on their terms using modern technology. And if you can’t meet their expectations, they will find another accounting firm that does understand they are using a smaller than normal device.
- Google Says – With about 67% market share, Google can move the market and typically has a strong rationale behind it. In this case, Google prefers responsive web design over mobile templates because it’s easier for their bot to crawl your website. And, it’s more efficient for Google’s bot to crawl one responsive website rather than a website with two formats (desktop and mobile).
- Adapts to Future Devices – While we don’t know what the next popular device size is, we do know that responsive design will display properly for that size in the future. Whether this is smart TV screens or watches or glasses or display monitors in your car.
If you would like a responsive website design for your accounting practice, call us and we’ll gladly develop one around your needs.