One of the biggest challenges’ accountants face is trying to regularly attract new clients. If you are looking at how to grow your accounting practice, then it’s best to look at what worked for others. Here is a look at five of the most effective ways to grow an accounting business today.
1. Grow your presence on social media
More and more accounting firms are finding their clients on social media. Here’s a look at one accounting firm that has double its business with the help of social media marketing.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you have a robust social media presence. Now, there are many social media platforms out there. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are spending the right time on the right social media platforms.
The two top social media platforms for accounting firms are Facebook and LinkedIn.
Facebook is preferred for the following reasons:
- It is the world’s largest social media platform
- It can provide engagement
- It can provide lead generation LinkedIn is ideal for these reasons;
- Focuses on professional workers and businesses
- It can create a robust profile
- It can create credibility
- Connections can be messaged directly
Here are some of the best ways to grow your presence on social media platforms:
- Post blogs and videos regularly - You will want to post blogs and videos at least a couple of times a week. As an accounting firm, you can provide tips and expertise that help attract leads that can become clients.
- Interact with people in your comments section - Be sure to connect and comment with people who take the time to interact with your posts. These people are more likely to become your clients.
- Generate leads - Take advantage to generate leads on these platforms. You can take these leads and add them to your email list.
It will take time for your social media pages to get going. The key here is to be consistent. Be sure to post often. Over time, the social media’s site’s algorithm will begin to push your posts to new people. If you want to accelerate your social media pages, you can consider paid advertising to boost your posts. Bear in mind that paid advertising can get costly. Therefore, you will want to stick with a consistent posting strategy for the first year.
2. Get more reviews for your accounting practice
One of the most effective ways to grow your accounting business is to ensure that you have a robust review presence across various sites and platforms. Here are the top four places where you should have reviews:
- Facebook - Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform.
- LinkedIn - LinkedIn is the largest social media platform for professionals and businesses.
- Google - Google is the world’s largest search engine.
- Yelp! - Yelp! is the world largest review-based website
While there may be other review websites and platforms, these four sites and platforms will be the most critical for your accounting practice. Getting reviews may seem like a challenge at first. However, here are four steps that you can take that can allow you to boost your reviews across each of these sites and platforms.
- Solicit reviews from existing clients - You can use email, direct mail, and social media direct messaging to ask for reviews. Be sure to add a link to your review page on the email or the social media direct mail message. Also, be sure that you send the message during business hours when they are more likely to open the message and read it.
- Use surveys to get more reviews - One way that many businesses get reviews is by using surveys. You can use survey services such as Survey Monkey, TypeForm and Survey Sparrow to create reviews. Send a link to the review via email. At the end of the survey, provide a link to your firm’s review page.
- Put survey solicitation on your cards - More and more businesses are reminding their clients to leave reviews via their business cards. The message can be as simple as, “Be sure to rate us five stars on Google.” This simple message can help to greatly boost your review rate.
A word of caution: Social media sites do not like it if you ask for positive reviews in posts. Therefore, you want to have some discretion when you ask for a review. Be sure to keep your solicitations limited to private messages, emails, and direct mail.
3. Network on a local level
While social media platforms are important, you should also go out and make physical connections at the local level. Several opportunities will allow you to get in front of potential clients in your areas. Here are some avenues for you to consider:
- Sponsorships - Sponsorships are a great way to get your name out on a local level. Chances are there are local marathons, Little League sporting teams, tasting festivals, music festivals, and other events where you can purchase a sponsorship. When you sponsor certain events, you will also make connections with the organizations of those events which can lead to potential business.
- Local business clubs - Be sure to connect with your local business club. You can offer to speak at events, sharing your expertise on tax accounting, business accounting, or other subject matter. These speaking engagements not only establish your expertise but could also potentially gain new leads for you.
- Country clubs and social clubs - Finally, you should get to know local business leads on a social level. If there is a local golf club or yacht or tennis club in your area, then you should consider a membership.
Networking on a local level continues to show some great results for accounting firms in small, medium, and large markets. Be sure to try several different types of networking approaches to see which ones work best.
4. Get Referrals
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to grow your client base is by getting referrals from your existing clients. After all, your existing clients know, like, and trust you. They are likely to recommend your firm to someone that will want your services. Here’s a look at how one accounting firm grew its business by 50% with the help of referrals.
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The best time to ask for a referral is when you have successfully completed a project for your client. You can casually ask if the client knows anyone who could use your services. You can also email the client and ask for a referral. After you have received the referral, you will want to have a smart strategy on how to approach the potential client. It is recommended that you contact the referral by phone or by a personalized letter. In the communication, be sure to mention that you were referred by your existing client. If the referral is not interested in your services, be sure to ask if that person knows someone who may be interested in your service. That second referral could end up leading to a long-term client relationship.
5. Use Freelance Sites
Freelance sites are often used by people looking to earn some extra cash or for those looking to create a business of their own. However, these freelance sites can also lead to long-term client relationships.
In fact, sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer and WorkSome have several accountants who offer their services. Offering your services on these freelance sites can allow you to gain some extra income and also gain you client connections outside of your local area. If some of these clients like your work, then you can get some long-term working agreements that can make a material effect on your bottom line. Here are some tips that can allow you to gain top clients on freelance sites:
- Take any qualification tests - Some freelance sites will require qualification tests to ensure that a freelancer can provide specialized work. Take any accounting tests that will allow you to qualify for specific clients or services.
- Look at top accounting profiles - Be sure to check out the top accounting profiles on a freelance site like Fiverr. Check out the type of services that they offer, the pricing, the gig profile, and anything else that can help you set up your own profile, services, and prices.
- See what type of accounting work clients want - Be sure to check out what type of work is being sought on these sites. This will allow you to create services that are more likely to lead to client relationships.
Over time, you will find that more and more clients will discover you on these freelance sites.
How to grow accounting practice every day
If you want to continue to grow your accounting business, be sure to follow the five steps above. Over time, you will want to grow your accounting business with your larger social media presence, high review scores, and consistent flow of referrals. Before you know it, you can be one of the top accounting firms in your area.