Clients are the lifeblood of any business. But in the competitive accounting profession, winning new clients over a multitude of other firms can be a tough ask. So how can you get ahead of the pack?
Know your audience
Knowing who your ideal clients are is the first step to winning them. The better you know your target audience, the better you’ll be able to communicate and market to them. Plan out a long-term client journey with key milestones you want to achieve along the way. Use a SMART methodology to ensure you’re not too ambitious, but at the same time, take care not to under-sell yourself.
Drawing up customer personas can be really helpful in getting to know these target audiences. Define the industries and types of companies your firm wants to service. Then build unique offerings based around those areas.
You may want to refine your own offerings too. What software and services are you aiming to provide new clients? It may be traditional compliance services or innovative and complex advisory services that need to be tailored per client. Make sure these are mentioned in your marketing materials when you target these businesses.
Now you know your audience, you can start marketing to them. Profile and aim for the most valuable prospects. Using your client strategy as a guide, target your website, online presence, marketing, sales and lead generation activity at businesses that fit with your strategy, budget and capabilities.
Digital marketing, in particular, is measurable, meaning you can track your return on investment. Quick wins include updating your website to reflect the ideal clients and industries you’re targeting. In your website copy, weave in keywords relevant to your target audiences, their sectors and industries.
Set yourself up with appropriate social channels (or check your existing ones) and update them to reflect your new direction. Post on them regularly to share company news, industry insights, answers to frequently asked questions and anything else that might engage your target audiences. If you have a budget, investing in paid social media campaigns can produce great results and generate high quality leads.
Leverage existing clients
Word of mouth is still the most effective form of marketing. Having your current clients refer you to new businesses instills confidence in those prospects, warming them up to convert into paying customers.
Harnessing case studies and testimonials and using these on your website, social media and content marketing efforts is a great way to showcase your skills and experience to potential new clients.
Turning your clients into advocates is one of the most effective ways to market your firm and win new business. This means you’ll need to keep your current clients happy and well serviced. This may entail diversifying your services and moving into the advisory space, if you’re not already. You may also need to implement an incentivised client referral system so that customers are rewarded for bringing in new business.
Use technology to offer more value to clients
The issue for many accountants is that offering advisory services to every single one of their small business clients, is neither time nor cost effective. Unfortunately, of course, every small business client could benefit massively. No matter how small.
But businesses of this size aren’t necessarily out of reach. Thanks to cloud computing, automation, and software such as Futrli, providing advisory services to these wider clients is totally feasible. So firms can now roll out their advisory services to new prospects too.
Generating cash flow forecasts and reports can be done in a few clicks with Futrli, allowing accountants to diversify their services and offer more. You can even set up your clients with logins to the software so they can check the numbers themselves.
Providing value to existing and potential clients, marks your firm out as the obvious choice over more traditional accountants.