There are a lot of fish in the accounting and bookkeeping sea right now. Business owners everywhere are searching to and fro for an advisor they can lean on to guide them through the veritable minefield that is the business world right now.
So why can’t you get any on the hook?
Well, it usually boils down to one important thing: your marketing plan. It isn’t just the what of your plan that needs some revamping… it’s really about what you’re NOT doing and working it into your plan.
After numerous years in the industry, I have found that companies on the marketing struggle bus are usually making one (or more) of these common mistakes.
Not emailing existing clients
Emailing prospects is a no-brainer. Reaching out to a prospect once you’ve had an initial contact is an essential part of your follow-up system and a key to conversion.
But one mistake I’ve seen industry professionals make over and over… and over again is failing to send regular, rhythmic email content to their existing client database. Most people are so focused on ranking in Google and getting the phone to ring that they miss the opportunity to build that relational equity and be a trustworthy, authoritative source for their clients.
I hear comments like these in my work all the time:
“My clients don’t want to see emails from me.”
“They don’t care what I have to say in an email.”
“They don’t want emails from ME. What’s the point?”
Anyone on this train of thought is dead wrong.
Email nurture is fundamental to getting and keeping clients (and the data behind this doesn’t lie). When you write warm, relational, authoritative emails that open the door for conversation, people will WANT to read them and they’ll respond.
This kind of communication keeps you from being a commodity. Email marketing positions you as an expert your clients can trust all year long. When someone gets in the door, this is your opportunity to stay in front of them… even get referrals.
Test it out – send some relational emails over the next month to your clients. You’ll be shocked by just how much your clients appreciate what you have to say.
The fortune is in the follow-up.
Not utilizing texting to communicate with clients
People, it’s 2022. Texting is a staple form of communication and has been for the past 10 years. You’ve got to embrace it as a quick and easy form of communication with prospects and clients.
Now, I’m not talking about using your personal phone to send direct texts. There are lots of phone tool software programs out there (and you can use that software to ditch the landline if you’re still using one).
With texting tools, you can send text blasts, set up appointments, ask for reviews, send follow-ups for missed calls, and send quick answers to easy client questions. This is a true time-saver. More than that, it’s extremely effective for client connection.
Just make sure you have someone savvy and friendly monitoring this communication channel.
Not asking clients for reviews
Maybe you don’t know to ask for reviews. Or maybe you don’t know just how important this one simple thing is (though it’s likely you’ve used reviews to help you purchase a product or service).
Well, if there’s one thing that has an immediate effect on your search engine ranking and determines whether prospects find you… and CHOOSE you, it is reviews.
Google is constantly considering what people say about your business. They’re looking at your star rating. They’re considering how many reviews you have. How frequently you’re getting reviews. What the sentiment of those reviews is (yes, Google can measure sentiment).
So, create a system for getting reviews (ahem… remember that email marketing thing I mentioned – an excellent place to do this).
And don’t just ask for reviews, RESPOND to them too – good or bad. Engagement from the business owner is tracked in Google’s ranking algorithm.
You might be wondering, Will I get one-star (bad) reviews? Most likely yes. Especially the longer your business is around and the more it grows. But if you respond well to them, people will see the difference… and so will Google.
No need to start a comment battle (FB thread flashbacks). Just be an adult and respond professionally – and if you can take that conversation offline to email, even better. If push comes to shove, you can always flag unwarranted bad reviews for removal.
The important thing here is to get those reviews and respond to them, and you’ll make the Google algorithm love you.
Don’t put out a website or ad campaign in a timely way
One *huge* hang-up for a lot of people in the accounting world when it comes to websites and ad campaigns is obsessing over the details. Believe me, I get it. That’s kind of what you do and that’s important in your line of work. But for the sake of marketing, until your site is live, you won’t see results. Here, perfect is the enemy of the good.
So, ship it, take it live, put it in the wild - that’s where the real benefit is. You can always fix the about page, tweak your logo, or change a few lines of content later.
Most of the time, no one is going to even see the deeper pages of your website when you’re first getting it out there. So, don’t miss opportunities to reel in some of those fish by delaying over minutia.
Don’t engage website leads or schedule appointments with them
Let me tell you, I see this all too often. A website goes live, the lead capture tool on the homepage starts bringing in leads… and then… nothing. The momentum halts. Why? Because there’s no immediate follow-up.
Here again, time is the name of the game. When you get a potential prospect on the line but don’t engage them right away, you often end up losing the opportunity to convert them.
An easy solution here is to create an email campaign follow-up system that confirms your lead’s interest and gives them expectations for what comes next in the process. And make sure that follow-up includes a scheduling link… you want them to set up an appointment.
Whatever you do, DON’T let those leads sit in the repository gathering dust.
Create a system for responding to leads. This is the pathway to closing the sale. And, while you’re at it, don’t treat it like an intake process at the doctor’s office either – start a real conversation. Build that trust.
Get a shared calendar and then use it for scheduling appointments… and put that scheduling link into your follow-up communications.
Don’t make a lead close themselves. Prospects shouldn’t have to follow up with you. It’s your job to seal the deal.
All the small things
Besides cleaning up problem areas, there are a bunch of little things you can do to boost visibility:
- Send custom email broadcasts
- Add photos of your clients and office to your Google Business Profile
- Upload video testimonials on social media platforms
- Send a thank you series to your clients once the work is done
- Create phone scripts and processes for intake
- Do case study interviews with clients
- Implement personal productivity practices to free up your time
- Take advantage of local networking opportunities
- Contact former clients
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a great start.
The very good news I have for you today is that if you start adjusting your strategy, you will see a shift.
You don’t have to get distracted by the shiny stuff — big ad campaigns, cutting edge websites, a slew of social media campaigns.
Utilizing the marketing tools already at your fingertips is the pathway to real results.