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The Best Ways to Promote Your Advisory Services
Posted on 10th August 2017 in Advisory
Written by Freya Hughes
The British seem to have a reputation for assuming business will come piling in through the doors just because we’ve bothered opening up shop. While we’re not sure where this reputation has come from, we all know this isn’t the case. Tempting as it may be, you’ve got to work out your USP and make the most of it. We recommend you work out your strengths and weaknesses, and build on the assets you already have. Marketing your firm isn’t like reinventing the wheel, it’s simply getting your message out there. We’ve put together the best ways to attract new clients to your firm so you can implement some changes, and get on with servicing your new leads.
Never stop marketing. The best firms are constantly drip-feeding their branding into their clients’ and prospective clients’ subconsciouses. For example, some of our partners have white labelled the FUTRLI platform, so every time their clients check in with their figures, they’re being shown that firm’s branding. Reinforcing your brand is something you must do, or you may get forgotten and fall by the wayside.
Undoubtedly the most common means of signing up new clients, referrals are not to be shied away from. A recent study from Bill.com (download here) looked into what millennial clients look for in an accountant, and it found referrals from peers, friends and family came in as 64% of the respondents’ preferred marketing. Of course, this is down to trust and reputation.
If you’re not sure how to ask your clients to recommend you to their peers, consider putting up a post on your website, a button on your email sign off and even just simply asking, ‘would you mind referring us?’. If you go for the latter, perhaps give your existing client two of your business cards and asking if there are two business owners they know who might benefit from your services. Being transparent with clients is the only way to work, so ask them where you could improve and what you should do for them to want to refer you. Track referrals as a KPI, and try to build on your results each period.
“Business owners 30 and younger display a greater diversification amongst information resources. After referrals from peers, friends and family (64%), they value internet searches (23%), advertising (18%), and referrals from technology partners (14%). Social media, such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, aid the accounting firm hunt for 14% of those 30 and younger—nearly five times as much when compared to those aged 31-39 (3%).”
– Millennial Business Owner-Accounting Firm Survey Special Report
While referrals are steaming ahead as the favourite way of drumming up business, social media is a popular way of finding an accountant for those 30 years and younger. While it’s not for everyone, it’s important to have an online presence, as it works as your face to a segment of your potential clients. Use your social media channels to post about events you attend, such as Accountex or Xerocon, and you’ll likely get some love and support from your peers. This opens up conversations between you and the owners of other firms, and you could end up helping one another to grow your reputations.
If clients see you’re active on social media, they’re likely to follow you. When you’ve got a good sized audience, consider running one-off deals and offers to those who apply for them via your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. LinkedIn is obviously an extremely valuable tool, and when used right can get you some great business and will up your reputation. If you’re the owner, use your position to share blogs and advice. Your name holds weight to it, and you’ll soon position yourself as a leader in your space.
Blogging adds personality to your firm. Even if you’re not going to be the next bestselling author, your wisdom is going to shine through. Clients should be coming to you for your expertise, and if they can see proof of it online they’ll soon be knocking on your door. Now you’re selling strategic services and have embraced advisory, your blog is a great place to tempt in clients who are looking for more from their accountant.
The way we’ve approached this at FUTRLI is to release a steady stream of in-depth blog posts, designed to answer any questions you may have about our platform, business and advisory services. Converting these readers into customers is our goal, so consider doing the same.
Your blog is a window into your firm and you need to utilise it. You can position yourself as an expert while keeping your audience entertained. And if you have time to write up a blog a week (or similar), you don’t have to spend any of your firm’s cash on it.
Use your website as your shop window
Similar to your social media, this is the world’s window into your firm – but your website is likely to get a lot more eyes on it that your Facebook page. Ensure you’ve listed out all of your services clearly and boldly on your home page. Get rid of all your compliance promotional gear, and focus on your advisory services. This is what prospective clients are looking for, for the most part, so get the word out there.
Attracting a younger generation of business owners via your site is a great way to boost your firm. Millennials will run the world soon enough, so speak their language. Feed your branding through each and every page, as it’ll look professional and up your brand awareness – which usually turns into brand loyalty!
We put together our ‘Best of the Blog’ mailers to deliver the blogs you can’t afford to miss straight into your inbox. We know not everyone has time to read all of them, but giving each person who has signed up a regular dose of FUTRLI news and advice is a great way for us to remind people who we are and what we’re all about. Your firm should be taking advantage of this type of promotion, as it’s simple and digestible for your clients. For any news you may have you can start a buzz before announcing, or even surprise your subscribers with prizes and offers. Case studies are interesting and will show people you’ve done great work with businesses already, so don’t be afraid to shout about it!
It’s been proven that business owners prefer emails when a subject isn’t too pressing, so it’s clearly a nice way to get in touch without seeming too pushy. Think of a snappy and engaging subject line, and get those eyes on your emails. I hope I don’t need to say this, but just in case: get your branding all over those emails!
Raise your community profile
Getting involved in the community will set your firm apart from your competitors. If you’re seen as a company that cares about their surroundings, local business owners will see you as the go-to firm. Sponsoring events, like parades and gatherings, will really build your brand and show that the firm is actually run by human beings, not just a money-hungry enterprise. Charity events are a great pace to be seen and have your branding. You’ll be shining a beacon of light to a brilliant cause and will then have some interesting photos and news to share.
Caring for existing clients
Never underestimate the power of nurturing clients. You should be checking in with your existing clients at least monthly, so next time you see them offer them a deal. Upselling is an efficient way of gaining more revenue as you’ve already won the client. If a client has a very basic package with you, gently suggest they could improve and grow with a little more guidance. If they want it and think it’s worth it, they will buy it. Simple suggestions can make a client start thinking about how they would like to get more out of you. If your advisors are well versed in your services, this won’t be a challenge at all. Your team can mix and match their services and price it out in the best way for your firm.
If you need a little extra support with this, have a look into the FUTRLI Certification course. We’ll take you through how to be an advisor, right from the basics all the way to promoting your new services, and pricing it all out. Interested? Click here for further information.