Marketing can have a bad rap, purely because much of what is taught is about throwing out content or running social media accounts hoping that the leads will roll in.
Done well, the right marketing strategy and actions can yield incredible results for your accounting firm.
In all honesty you can’t attract new clients without using the right strategy.
If you are dabbling in social media, or writing a few blogs and seeing no results, it’s time to go back to basics and be strategic.
To be strategic, use this blueprint and watch as your leads grow and your firm becomes remembered, recommended and referred.
Lead Nurture Blueprint
Having worked with over 500 businesses since 2009 I have analysed, measured and tested each approach that was undertaken, and I have come to a conclusion.
Business is about relationships.
Which is why the old model of referrals has done so well. People need to know, like and trust you when they engage your services. Successful marketing isn’t about having a Facebook advert, or having thousands of people visiting your website every week.
The Prospect Nurture Blueprint is about attracting the right leads to your accounting firm and then nurturing them along the customer journey. The aim is to have the right information available to your leads, at the right time, to enable them to build the know, like, trust factor with you.
The Prospect Nurture Blueprint is split into 4 stages which I outline below:
The first thing you need to do is be seen by your ideal client and attract their attention.
This means that you need to understand who your ideal client is for your accounting firm, know where they are “hanging out” online, and present them with content that attracts their attention.
For example, maybe the perfect client for your accounting firm is Web Design companies.
If this were the case you would need to invest your time in getting the attention of Web Design companies, your target audience. This means using compelling content in the form of blogging/articles (such as this one you are reading now) videos, podcasts and images.
Once you have created this compelling content you can feed it to social media channels, upload it to your website to be optimised and found via search engines, and share it with people who are being referred to you, or with those you meet at networking events.
The objective of the attract stage is to do just that, attract people to your insights, teachings and information to position you in their mind as someone who can help them.
Once you have attracted visitors to your website then you need to put in place a mechanism to convert them into a lead. The way we do this is through what we call a “call-to-action”.
This call-to-action typically asks them for an email address and in return you will provide something of value to your website visitor (Client/Lead Magnet). This could be an ebook, whitepaper, webinar or top tips. The best conversion tools are unique and informative; if the offer isn’t attractive enough (i.e. valuable), then you won’t convert the visitor to a lead.
This convert stage is something that 99% of accountants don’t do. If you decide to follow the Lead Nurture Blueprint you will have an advantage over your competitors when it comes to converting prospects to work with you, and also enhancing your reputation.
If you have a look at this diagram you can see at any one time only 3% of people are looking to buy from you “right now”. The other 97% are not in the market for buying your services at this present time.
Research further concludes that 7% of the population are open to the idea of buying your services. These 7% may be dissatisfied with their current accountant and are not opposed to changing their supplier. They may not be “buying now” but they are very much open to it.
The next segment are the 40% of people who “think they are not interested” so these people will have come across your website but their pain is not prevelant at the moment. These people will download your Client/Lead Magent but will take up to 2 years to buy from you – if you nurture and build a relationship with them. I have seen these potential clients so fearful to change supplier that it can take 5 or more years to get them to become your client. It is these people that most accountants never purposefully market to, and subsequently lose potential profit and revenue in the process.
And finally, the bottom half of the pyramid where 50% of people will never buy from you. However, just because they will never buy (maybe they don’t need an accountant, or their Dad is an accountant) doesn’t mean you won’t get remembered and referred new leads by them. Many of these people will still appreciate your blogs, will follow you on social media and will download your lead magnet.
Closing a converted lead can be a long, delicate process. It typically takes from 7 to 13 touches to convert a lead to a sale.
And not only do you have to make sure that your prospect hears from you enough, you need to make sure they are consuming the right content from you to nurture them through to the sale.
Back in 2011 Google ran a report and concluded that the average person needs to consume 7 hours of content, 11 times and across 4 different mediums (for example – youtube, social media, email, face to face) before they feel confident to buy from you.
This report backs up the fact that getting ideal clients is all about nurturing your prospects. It takes time, care and consideration to build the know, like, trust factor.
You can use certain tools like CRM platforms to make this process smoother. Your processes will build over time, and your prospects will be quick to inform you what was missing in the buying process so you need to measure and test this stage too.
The Prospect Nurture Blueprint doesn’t end once you have made the sale. You now need to nurture the client; reassuring them they made the right decision when they decided to engage your accounting practice.
During this stage you need to continue to offer superior content. Your clients will need to be nurtured as much as a prospect. You will need to create content for clients so that you stay front of mind and to help them feel loved and cared for. The worst thing that can happen is they suffer “buyers remorse” after engaging your services, simply because they feel ignored.
Delighting customers is the best way to get you referred, and have your customers becoming evangelists for your services. Evangelists that will spread the word on how great your customer service is, how much you care for your clients, and highly recommend you to their friends, peers, family and associates.
Being a smart marketer will enable your accounting firm to have a consistent flow of leads which you can then nurture to become clients. It will attract opportunities into your accounting firm that will open new doors and position your firm as one they can trust.
About The Author
Amanda is a start-up mentor for Virgin and an award-winning amazon best-selling author with 24 years experience in marketing. She is a passionate branding and positioning consultant that believes that prospect and customer nurturing and experience is the secret to being remembered, recommend and referred. Her Digital Marketing Agency www.twentytwo.agency specialises in helping accountants and other service professionals with Web Design, social media management, article writing, email marketing and SEO. To read more of Amanda’s content click here. To attend one of Amanda’s webinars click here. To pick Amanda’s brain email Amanda@twentytwo.agency.