Accounting: Sales & Marketing
With nearly every industry or business touched by the realities of accounting and finance, it may seem that the accounting profession offers perpetual job security. Not always so. Like other professionals, accountants must also continually prospect and attract new clients. This means marketing and advertising.
Many in the industry still turn to the old fail-safe techniques – a sleek brochure, colorful advertisements in a local publication, a 30-second spot on radio or television. While these are all proven methods, today’s technology opens the doors for more original, farther-reaching marketing strategies.
Drumming up Sales in Cyberspace
Many accountants quickly learn that the Internet reigns supreme when establishing a network of customers beyond the local scene. Certain Web-solution companies offer site designs specifically geared toward boosting business for CPA firms. Aside from posting information such as the accountant’s bio and services, the latest website packages usually offer a bevy of lead generation perks.
One feature common in website plans is the email marketing system, which provides accounting firms the ability to send digital newsletters and tax due date reminders.
In some cases, accounting firms post monthly financial tips on their websites, giving potential clients incentive to frequently return to the firm for assistance. Certain website plans include a function that automatically emails this advice to every registered visitor. These routine follow-ups help to brand the accounting firm’s name, likely making it the first place the recipient heads to if they need money management.
Marketing research groups stress that trust plays a large part in drawing people to an accountant. Websites allow professionals in the industry to start molding the foundation of that relationship. By setting up reference pages that discuss subjects like IRS auditing and how to address tax troubles, CPAs reach the real target market: those in immediate need of financial guidance.
Search engine optimization (SEO) represents a viable way to enhance the chances those target clients arrive at one accountant’s site versus a competitor’s site. This technique – available with most website design packages – codes the site with keywords, phrases and meta tags, leading to higher placement on search result lists. Nonetheless, online marketing is not confined merely to websites.
Webinars represent a good way to network to multiple people at once. Accountants often use these virtual meetings to teach prospective business clients about available financial services in relation to tax requirements. The typical webinar broadcast consists of a PowerPoint presentation accompanied by a speaker’s voice.
Online IT companies offer a variety of webinar packages. Some plans include unlimited Internet broadcasts to hundreds of viewers, with features like advanced email invitations and reminders, attendee polling and surveys, participant satisfaction lists, real-time Q&A, etc.
In With a Click
During the past two decades, the Internet has become intertwined with people’s daily lives. Instead of riffling through the phonebook in search of services, more and more folks turn to the Web for help. This has led to significant growth in online advertising, according to several industry research groups. Inspired by the record-setting use of the Internet, more accountants are running digital ads on websites to promote their practice.
Putting a Face with the Name
When it comes to spreading the word about a practice’s services, some accountants prefer a more personal approach. Seminars allow CPAs to work in an intimate setting, fielding questions face-to-face with potential clients and gaining their confidence.
A fair share of marketing firms offer logistical planning for such financial sessions. These services usually include invitation creation and distribution, strategic planning, copywriting and graphic design services for exhibit materials, and more. Seminars help accountants teach prospective customers about the importance of good financial tracking. It allows the speaker to enlighten listeners on a subject that intimidates most – fiscal management. In addition, accounting seminars convey the importance of responsible financial tracking.
Outside of setting up appointments and encouraging referrals, CPAs often use seminars to hand deliver promotional advertising products. Whether it’s a company logo displayed on a mouse pad or an accountant’s contact information on a desktop clock, these products represent effective marketing tools to brand the CPA’s services.