Accounting Website Marketing
Most accountants tend to think of reputation management as crisis management. In other words, it’s reactive and only done after a terrible review is posted. This is the wrong position to take…
Reputation marketing is proactive and done consistently over time. In the world of small business, there is no JD Power or Consumer Reports to tell the marketplace who is the best lawyer, doctor or accountant in town. By default, your local reputation is the culmination of online reviews posted into Google, Yelp, Intuit’s Find-a-ProAdvisor and maybe a couple other websites.
We all use online reviews to make purchase decisions and avoid bad experiences. Whether it’s selecting a movie to watch, book to buy, stay at a hotel, or eat at a restaurant on the road. Some of us look at the absolute number of reviews, some look at the score, and some take the time to read the actual reviews. In today’s economy, the sum total of these reviews paint a picture about your accounting practice. It is what it is…
For accountants, you need to focus on the top two or three. Ignore the smaller players.
- Intuit Find-a-ProAdvisor
Google is a math oriented company so they push for the absolute number of reviews and score. If you do a great job obtaining Google reviews, it will make it easier to acquire new clients, reinforce your reputation with existing clients, and make it easier to hire new staff members. Yes, your reputation cuts across prospects, clients and staff members.
Yelp is more qualitative and community oriented. They are looking for passionate Yelpers to post online and share their experience and treats Yelpers like a food or movie critic. The longer and more descriptive the write up, the better.
The third player to consider is Intuit’s Find-a-ProAdvisor which is designed to help small business owner’s locate certified QuickBooks accountant.
The combination of these three reputation tools will have a huge impact on the community at large.
Here are three examples of accountants who use reputation marketing to support their accounting practice.
Chahal & Associates – 53 Yelp reviews in Northern California (East Bay) – 29 in Yelp’s filter
James Castaldo CPA & Associates – 21 Google reviews in Lake Grove NY – 15 Google reviews in Melville (two offices)
Over the past two years, there has been an emerging growth of accounting firms developing an expertise amongst the real estate industry. By real estate, I am referring to accountants who want to service:
- Real Estate Property Management
- Real Estate Developers and Investor Groups
- Commercial Real Estate Owner/Operators
- Architects and Structural Engineers
- Commercial Real Estate Agencies
- Real Estate Investment Trust Companies
- Non-Resident Property Owners
- Condo and HOA Boards
Here are several worth exploring:
- Florida Real Estate CPA Accounting – Pensacola – Tallahassee
- Real Estate Accounting – Jacksonville – Gainesville
- Real Estate Accounting – Miami – South Florida
- Real Estate Accounting – Atlanta
- Real Estate Accounting – Raleigh North Carolina
- Real Estate Accounting – Los Angeles – Orange County CA
- Real Estate Accounting – Austin Texas
- Real Estate Accounting – Condominiums – Louisville Kentucky
- Real Estate Accounting – New York City
- Real Estate Accounting – Salt Lake City
- Real Estate Accounting – Baltimore MD
Here are a couple myths that we commonly hear:
- If I market our practice towards a particular niche, won’t that alienate my existing clients which are in many industries?
- How will narrowing my target audience help me grow my practice? It seems counter-intuitive….
- I don’t have enough clients in that area to create a niche.
First, pursuing a niche does not mean that you will walk away from your bread and butter generalist clients. It means that in addition to your generalist clientele, you will slowly start to acquire a tighter pattern of clients so you can demand higher pricing, reduce the number of viable competitors, provide a higher level of expertise, and after you acquire enough, it will be easier for your staff to process a particular client.
The reality is that serving all types of clients (generalist) is the hardest type of practice to operate. A generalist marketing approach yields a lower fee because you are in competition with nearly all firms in the local marketplace. And, the complexity of tax and compliance issues make it very challenging to provide a high quality of service because there are virtually no economies of scale. A generalist practice approach is analogous to using a shotgun and the pricing is a function of local market conditions.
Conversely, narrowing your marketing to a niche is analogous to using a laser, rather than a shotgun, and enables you to make your marketing message more compelling, thus making it easier to close prospects. Here are the benefits of developing a niche:
- You attract prospects from a wider geographic area. The more unique the niche, the wider the radius.
- Your marketing message becomes more compelling and higher quality prospects call your office. The dialogue is now consultative and you are viewed as a subject matter expert.
- Your pricing goes up because there are fewer competitors and the prospect is willing to pay extra because they think their situation is complicated.
- Your close ratio goes up.
- And after you acquire enough of these clients, it becomes easier to process that type of client. The economies of servicing the same type of client are huge for you, and your staff.
- Your retention rate becomes longer (years longer) because the prospect thinks their situation is complicated and could never be addressed by a generalist.
Gradually, you start to add new twists to your niche expertise which make your offering more attractive, and possibly more expensive. And after this niche becomes mature and easy to master for your practice, another niche is created to create another feeder system of high paying clients.
Embarking on a Niche
If you are tired of competing in a commodity type fashion on price, Build Your Firm can help. Watch a short video to illustrate examples of niche marketing opportunities. Today, Build Your Firm has over 35 niches to make this transition easy for you. The risk is nothing and you’ll wonder why you did not do this earlier.
In fact, Build Your Firm provides a 1 year money back guarantee so it’s a no risk offer.
– Accounting niches by industry (AgriBusiness to Non-Profit to Transportation)
– Accounting niches by service (Cross Border Tax to International Tax to QuickBooks Accounting)
Here’s one last short video and then call 888-999-9800 x1 with your questions.
Here are three compelling reasons why you can no longer ignore this tidal wave…
- While we all know the Latino population has doubled in size over the past 15 years, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses has quadrupled in the same period.
- Over 30% of Hispanic-owned businesses have incomes higher than $100k – placing them in the top 20% of U.S. households.
- Approximately 75% of Hispanic businesses are bilingual. That’s right, they speak your language.
- The 50M Hispanic market is expected to grow to 130M in 2050.
- 6 out of 10 Latinos are U.S. born.
Here are a few numbers that illustrate the need to provide a multi-lingual website:
- The U.S. Census Bureau projects the Hispanic population to grow by 57% from 2015 to 2050.
- The Hispanic community will grow from 18% of the U.S. population to 28% in 2050.
- The Hispanic community will be more than twice the size of the African-American community in 2050.
And in some cities, Hispanics represent the majority of the population. Here are several large cities with high concentrations of Hispanics:
- El Paso – 80% hispanic
- Miami – 69%
- San Antonio – 61%
- Anaheim – 52%
- Los Angeles – 48%
- Dallas – 43%
- Phoenix – 42%
- Hartford – 41%
Is it time to embrace this community by having English and Spanish on your website?
Below are several examples of accounting firms who are extending an olive branch by providing a bilingual website.
- IRS Problem Resolution website – Miami FL – English and Spanish
- Fort Lauderdale FL CPA website – entire website converts from English to Spanish (see tool in upper right corner)
- International Tax – Dallas TX – English and Spanish
- International Taxation – Dallas CPA Firm – English and Spanish
At Build Your Firm, we’ve been doing bilingual marketing for over ten years. We encourage you to embrace an emerging audience which is probably right in your neighborhood.
With the power of the internet, building a bridge to multiple communities can be an effective marketing tactic to pull in a large and emerging market that may be under-served in your local community.
To walk both sides of the aisle, here is a CPA Firm in Orlando FL that is proactively marketing it’s firm to English and Spanish speaking business owners. If large utilities can become multi-lingual, isn’t time for you to consider embracing the broader community and making this a marketing point of difference. In other words, take a lesson from Donald Trump’s campaign and embrace this audience into your practice.
You might be surprised how much opportunity exists out there for your practice by removing the blinders.
In today’s marketplace, there are plenty of competitors within a 5 mile radius of your office location. That’s why it’s so important to identify what types of businesses are best for your practice.
And after you strategically identify who they are, the next challenge is to differentiate your practice and stand out. Below is a great example of how Graber & Associates is targeting the transportation industry to better service that needs of:
- Maritime Accounting for marinas, boat yards, private boat charters and ferry services
- Trucking Accounting for fleet owners, freight forwarders, and trucking companies
- Warehouse Accounting for storage facilities, logistics, and warehouses of all kinds
- Transportation Accounting for taxi services, limousines, and Uber drivers
- Import Export Accounting for manufacturing companies
To truly stand out and captivate these type of businesses, you need to visit the website at www.transportationcpa.com.
Given the role that QuickBooks plays in today’s accounting practices, we will be heading out to Scaling New Heights from May 22 to May 25 to stay updated on Intuit’s new plans and all of the technology tools that dovetail nicely with QuickBooks to make your practice operate effectively.
If you are planning to attend, let me know in advance and I just might have a gift for you. Build Your Firm will be in booth #88. Again, let me know in advance if you are attending so I can set it aside.
On Sunday, May 22nd at 4pm, Build Your Firm will be hosting a panel discussion on Outsourced Marketing and Lead Generation. In this session, we will be joined by three distinguished accountants who will share their experiences and answer questions from the audience. Below are the panelists:
Tom Palm Jr – Tom has been outsourcing his marketing since 2008 and operates a tax practice in Baltimore. He has three office locations, two vibrant niches and is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. His topline and bottomline results have been impressive. Tom operates the practice with his dad and the practice has operated since 1973 (43 years in business).
Mike Manoloff – Mike has been outsourcing his marketing since 2008 and operates a tax practice in Houston as a CPA. His practice has operated since 1992 (24 years in business). He has three healthy niches and is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. His practice has grown over $100k for the past eight years and his profit margins have improved by over 25 points.
Luke Gheen – Luke has been outsourcing his marketing since 2011 and operates a tax practice in Colorado. He has two office locations, two niches and is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. He started from scratch in 2011 and engaged Build Your Firm before opening shop. His practice operates in the cloud and is paperless. Each summer, he enjoys a six week vacation with his family. Despite this, his topline grows $160k annually, profit margins are well above industry average, and his accounts receivable is $0.
Hope you can join our session on Sunday, May 22nd at 4pm. If not, we will record the panel discussion and you can request it.
For CPA Firms interested in dental practice accounting, there is a new association called Dental Accounting Association.
The association consists of dental accountants in North America focusing on all types of dentists:
– General practice dentistry
– Pediatric dentistry
– Oral Surgeons
– Periodontists, Endodontists, etc.
For more information, visit www.dentalaccounting.org.
In uncertain economic times, every advantage counts.
That’s why savvy farmers are searching to work with CPA Firms that specialize within the dairy farm industry ensuring they get the best possible tax advice rather than continuing to work with a nearby CPA Firm. With cloud computing and legislative changes, it pays to align yourself with the best regional CPA Firm that focuses on dairy farm accounting rather than working with a local yocal.
Here are two regional CPA Firms that truly understand farm accounting.
- Dairy Farm Accounting in Midwest– Gatlin CPA Group is a regional CPA Firm that works with crop farms, dairy farms, livestock farms, organic farms and nurseries across the Midwestern region. To learn more, call 219-462-7544 and ask for Harold Gatlin.
- Dairy Farm Accounting in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas– McKinnon Patten CPA is a regional CPA Firm that understands the complexity of operating a family farm, particularly in a soft oil market. They work with dairy farms, organic farms, cattle ranches and crop farms. At the same time, they also specialize in oil in gas accounting which is key to operating a family farm in the southwest region. They have operated for over 40 years. To learn more, simply call 214-696-1922 and ask for Mark Patten.