If your accountancy firm is to grow, obviously, itwill need to attract more clients (probably, many more). And no matter what youdo for them, some will go elsewhere or decide to do their own accounting andtax returns. Customer churn is a challenge for all accountancy firms. So whatcan you do to attract more clients?
1. Get referrals from your existing clients
Word of mouth marketing can be a cheap yet effective way to attract new clients. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, because there’s nothing more convincing than existing customers singing your praises and recommending your services to others.
Include client case studies with plenty of quotes on your website and open up a review platform on Trustpilot. Ask your clients to leave reviews and be sure to reply(don’t ignore negative reviews). Publicise your Trustpilot rating on your website. You could create a referral scheme for clients, giving them a discount or free extra services when they refer you to those who sign up as new clients.
2. Offer introductory discounts
Giving new clients a 10% discount for their first year with you could convince them to choose you and not one of your competitors. Alternatively, you could offer a free 30-minute consultation (video, telephone or face to face) each year to review their business and tax situation, with free tips on cash flow management, reducing their costs and paying less tax.
3. Strengthen your brand
Are you proud of your brand or embarrassed by it? Is it out of date? Do you even have a brand? Your brand is much more than the typeface on your business stationery or colours on your website. Your brand is the perception people are left with after coming into contact with your business, while your brand values are what you stand for.
Things that communicate your brand, such as your logo, house colours, type faces, imagery, strap line, etc, make up your brand identity. Does this still communicate what your firm is or does it look old-fashioned, amateurish and ordinary? Does your brand set you apart? Do you need to get outside help to redefine your brand and create a better and more attractive brand identity? It could prove a wise investment.
4. Create a winning website
Before anything else, prospective clients will check out your website to find out more about your accountancy firm. Your website should be a key marketing tool, an engaging, attractive, convincing shop window that attracts potential customers and encourages them to contact you to find out more about how you can help them.
If you do carry out surgery on your brand and brand identity, you’ll need to enhance, refresh or completely redo your website. You might use a superior website-building platform that guarantees that your website works well and looks fantastic whichever device it’s viewed on. Your website should be opitmised for Google and be accessible. Again, budget permitting, bringing in an experienced outside agency or freelancer can deliver the best results.
5. Become a blogger
Well-written blogs too can be a highly effective marketing tool. They’re relatively cheap to produce, even if you get someone else to write them, and you can publish them on your own website and others.
Blogging provides the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and experience. If you can explain complex information in an accessible way, your blogs will offer great value. Help your readers to save time and money and be more successful and they’ll soon get to know, like and trust your brand.
Blogging can raise your firm’s profile and if you optimise the copy for Google, it can attract many more website visitors. The quality of your blogs should be very high. Engage and inform your readers; never bore them with dull copy. And don’t just produce thinly disguised adverts for your services. Blog regularly (once or twice a month), come up with good titles and subheadings. Make it easy for your readers to share your blogs with others.
6. Put yourself out there more
If you’re not already doing so, become active on the right social media platforms(ie the ones your current and prospective clients use). Follow others; join groups; start conversations and get involved in others; answer questions and be as helpful as possible (time permitting). Showing your expertise and willingness to help can be a great way to grow your social media following.
Also get involved in offline networking. Join local, regional and national associations and organisations; go to networking events. If it’s something you’re good at, offer your services as a speaker. Reach out to journalists as an expert on accounting, tax and small-business matters. The right media appearance or quote in a newspaper, magazine or website article can boost your profile and your website traffic.
7. Send out your own e-newsletter
E-newsletters can also enable you to attract and retain clients. Sending out e-newsletters enables you to add value to your client relationships and encourage greater customer loyalty by delivering free content that informs recipients, boosts their knowledge and enables them to be more successful, while saving time and money.
You can ask people to sign up to your e-newsletter via your website and other communications you send. If you include a good mix of high-quality, relevant, timely content that offers genuine value, your e-newsletter click-through rates can be high. An e-newsletter can make a smaller accountancy firm appear bigger and more interested in its clients, which can really set you apart. E-newsletters can be a great way to remind recipients of key dates such as the31 January Self Assessment online-filing deadline. E-newsletters can be remarkably easy and cheap to produce, which is why they can offer such a great return on investment.