In today’s competitive landscape, counting numbers is no longer enough. 72% of businesses change their accountant because they don’t receive proactive advice. But there is also a silver lining: a huge pool of potential clients is waiting to be reached.
Whether you are just starting or a seasoned professional, learning the art of lead generation is crucial to ensure your business survives and thrives. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to turn those first calls into loyal customers, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s look at how to generate more leads and turn them into customers.
What Does Lead Generation Mean?
Lead generation is the procedure of acquiring potential customers. These clients are individuals or businesses that may be interested in your accounting services but haven’t yet made the step to becoming an actual client.
For accountants, lead generation is a little different than for other businesses. It’s not just about getting people’s attention but also about building trust and highlighting the unique value you bring. After all, you’re not selling a one-off product; you’re offering a service that requires a deeper understanding and a closer relationship.
Why Does Knowing Your Audience Matter for Getting Quality Leads?
Understanding who you’re talking to can make all the difference in attracting the right customers.
Imagine you’re at a party. If you start a conversation without knowing anything about the person you’re talking to, you might be talking about football with someone who is into classical music. You might get a polite nod, but there’s no real connection.
The same goes for your professional world. If you understand your potential clients’ concerns at night and what they want from an accountant, you can tailor your process to resonate with them.
Knowing your audience means you can:
- Address their specific needs, showing you’re in tune with their concerns.
- Offer solutions that genuinely help, proving your worth as a trusted advisor.
- Use language and methods that appeal to them, ensuring your messages are not lost in translation.
If you understand your target group, you will gain more leads and the right ones. Now that we’ve discussed lead generation and why it’s essential to know your audience, let’s move on to the best strategies you can use to attract quality leads to your accounting firm.
Traditional Strategies for Lead Generation
Before digital strategies came to the fore, accountants relied on tried and tested traditional strategies to reach potential clients. These old-fashioned tactics, while sometimes overlooked, still have their charm. They can be as effective today as before, especially with modern approaches.
Cold calling is about making an initial, direct human connection. There’s no flashy advertising, no email trail, just your voice and a potential customer on the other end of the line. It offers an immediacy that few other methods can match.
When done right, it provides a platform to listen, understand the potential client’s needs and present your services to them in a tailored way. But preparation is vital when it comes to cold calling. Before you pick up the phone:
- Know your script, but let it not control you. It’s there to guide you, not dictate the conversation.
- Anticipate questions and concerns that may arise and make sure you have the right answers ready.
- Stay patient and positive. Not every call will lead to a result, but every call is a learning experience.
Cold calling may seem challenging initially, but it’s your chance to build a relationship and leave a lasting impression.
Networking events have an enduring charm where a simple handshake or exchange of business cards can lay the foundation for meaningful professional connections. For accountants, these meetings offer the opportunity to make more contacts.
In the crowd, some potential clients or referrals are looking for accounting expertise. And that’s where you come in.
When attending these events:
- Be prepared: Have a brief introduction about yourself and your services ready, but remain conversational. You don’t want to make a sales pitch; just make a new acquaintance.
- Stay genuinely curious: Ask open questions and listen actively. It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person’s business needs in a short conversation.
- Remember to follow up: When you meet someone interesting, a polite follow-up email or phone call can make all the difference. Not only will it refresh the memory of your conversation, but it’ll also show your genuine interest.
Networking events offer the invaluable advantage of face-to-face interaction to make contacts.
Referrals are one of the most authentic methods of lead generation and have some of the highest conversion rates. When one of your satisfied customers recommends you to a colleague, friend or family member, they’re putting their reputation for your competence and reliability on the line. This personal recommendation builds trust and lays the foundation for a productive business relationship.
When you ask for referrals, be sure to do so:
- Provide excellent service: This might sound obvious, but the basis for referrals is impeccable service. If customers are satisfied, they’re more likely to recommend you.
- Don’t be shy to ask: If you’ve had a good working relationship with a client, it doesn’t hurt to ask them if they know anyone else who could benefit from your expertise. A gentle nudge often works wonders.
- Acknowledge and show appreciation: When a client refers someone to you, a simple thank you can go a long way. It shows that you value their trust and strengthens the bond.
The humble recommendation stands out in a world bombarded with advertising, flashy campaigns and endless promotions. It’s personal, direct and based on real experiences.
Digital Strategies for Lead Generation
While traditional lead generation methods remain valuable, it is equally important to leverage digital strategies. Gone are the days when a book and a pen were the only tools. Today, a well-crafted Tweet or an engaging LinkedIn post can open doors you didn’t even know existed.
Building a User-Friendly Website
Your website is often the crucial first impression for potential clients. As an accountant, it’s essential to recognise the importance of a user-friendly website in the digital age.
Imagine a potential client looking for tax advice. They’ve entered a search query on their preferred search engine and come across your website. If they’re greeted with a clunky design, slow-loading pages or confusing navigation, they’ll likely click away, and you’ll lose a potential client.
On the other hand, a clear, easy-to-navigate website with clear calls to action and valuable content can retain visitors and make them want to inquire or book a consultation.
You need to consider a few factors to generate quality leads with a user-friendly website.
- Mobile Responsiveness: Today, people don’t just browse on desktops. Your website should look and function seamlessly whether viewed on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
- Clear Calls to Action: Whether it’s a ‘contact us” button or a downloadable tax guide, make it easy for visitors to know what to do next.
- Relevant Content: From blog posts about the latest tax regulations to client testimonials, your content should offer value and demonstrate your expertise.
- Easy Navigation: Potential clients shouldn’t need a map to find important information. Keep menus straightforward and intuitive.
- Speed: A slow website can deter visitors. Make sure your site loads quickly for an improved user experience.
Lead Generation Services
There are so many tactics to employ when bringing in leads but not enough hours in a day. Particularly with a job as demanding as accountancy. Hence, a lot of the time marketing for accountants can fall by the wayside. Luckily, there are companies dedicated to bringing in the leads for you. Saving you both time and money.
At Compare the Accountant we use various different methods to target and attract potential customers in need of an accountant. Users on our site will fill out their financial information, what kind of accounting services they need, any additional details and most importantly their contact information. This, dear accountants, is a valuable lead looking to talk to a skilled advisor and develop a working relationship.
The best part about using lead generation services is good quality leads will already have interest and intent for an accountant. This makes the process of converting the lead much easier and saves time getting turned away on cold calls. Our best advice for converting leads from lead generation sites is to call as soon as possible. The quicker you get down the phone and make contact, the less time you allow them to lose interest or find another accountant.
Content marketing is about sharing valuable, relevant information to help your audience – in this case, potential clients looking for accounting insights. Instead of directly promoting your services, you showcase your expertise and build trust.
By regularly publishing insightful articles or guides, you strengthen your position as an expert in the field of accounting. This helps to build your authority in the field. Also, providing helpful and accurate content gives readers confidence in your abilities. Quality content can also help improve your site’s search ranking, making it convenient for potential clients to find you.
The first steps can feel a little daunting. What topics should you cover? How often should you post?
Here’s a simple tip: Think about the questions your customers often ask you. These can be a treasure trove of content ideas. You can cover many topics, from tax deadlines to the finer points of small business financial planning.
Aside from blog posts, you can use several content formats for your content marketing. These include videos, infographics, podcasts, e-books or whitepapers.
Search Engine Optimisation
You’ve invested much time and energy into creating a sleek, user-friendly website for your accounting firm. But what if, despite all that effort, your website remains on the fifth page of search results? This is where search engine optimisation steps into the limelight.
SEO is about improving your website & its content so that search engines like Bing or Google recognise its value and relevance to users. Your goal is to have your website appear at the top of searches for accounting services. This way, more people will visit your website, and you’ll probably get more leads.
Here are some essential things you need to know about SEO:
- Keyword Research: It starts with finding out what your potential customers might be looking for. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush can help you find keywords that are relevant to your accounts.
- Quality Content: It’s not just about placing keywords. If you create informative, well-structured content that answers users’ questions, you can establish your firm as an authority in the field.
- Local SEO: Let’s say you’re based in London. If you optimise your website for local search, you can appear in searches for “accountants in London”. This is important because many individuals and businesses prefer local service providers.
- Backlinks: These are like recommendations from other websites. When reputable websites link to yours, search engines consider your website more trustworthy and authoritative. They’re tricky to acquire but can massively boost your rankings if you do. So take some time to reach out to other websites in the accounting niche to see if you can collaborate.
- On-page Optimisation: This includes factors such as your website’s loading speed, URL structure, meta descriptions and making sure your website is mobile-friendly. All these elements signal to search engines that your website is user-friendly.
Investing a little in SEO or working with an expert in this field can increase your digital visibility and attract clients actively looking for accounting expertise.
Social Media Engagement
Social media engagement refers to the interactions that take place on social media platforms between users and the content posted. It’s not just about posting updates about your company’s achievements or successes but also about fostering and maintaining a two-way conversation with your online community.
You need to think about where your potential customers might spend their time. With its professional touch, LinkedIn is the best choice for sharing industry knowledge. On the other hand, Twitter can be a place for quick updates and sharing the latest industry news. It’s about understanding where your message will resonate best.
It’s not enough to post on social media and then move on to resonate with your audience and make good connections. You should actively engage in comments, participate in industry-specific conversations and respond to direct messages.
Simply put, a webinar is an online seminar. Your audience does not gather in a physical room but tunes in from their computers or mobile devices. This way, you are not tied to a specific location and can connect with potential clients worldwide.
Hosting webinars on tax regulations, financial planning, or even accounting software basics positions you as an accounting expert. Plus, the live nature of webinars allows you to interact with your participants. This two-way interaction creates a bond and makes converting participants into potential clients easier.
When you host a webinar, participants sign up. This means that you get their contact details. This list is handy to contact them again to keep in touch with interested people.
Hosting a webinar may sound daunting, but there are a few things you can do to ensure success:
- Promote in Advance: Use your social media channels, email lists, and even partnerships with other firms to spread the word.
- Practise Before Going Live: A dry run can help you get comfortable with the platform and iron out any glitches.
- Engage and Interact: You need to remember this isn’t a lecture. Encourage participation, ask for feedback, and make it a two-way conversation.
- Follow Up: After the webinar, reach out to attendees with a thank you note, additional resources, or even an offer for a one-on-one consultation.
Email marketing may sound like an old strategy, but it needs to be updated. Participants will go home with new knowledge and perhaps a business card if they’ve recently held a seminar or workshop. But how do you keep the conversation going? This is where email marketing can make all the difference.
You create a direct line of communication by building a list of interested clients or companies. It’s not about flooding the inbox with endless promotional messages. Email marketing is about providing valuable insights, reminders of tax deadlines or tips to help businesses overcome financial challenges. It’s a way to showcase your expertise.
Email marketing is more about quality than quantity. You should design your content to address the needs and questions of your target audience. This is how you stand out from other accounting firms. Sending mail blasts to lists of clients is easier now more than ever using platforms such as MailChimp, Brevo and Mailjet. They allow the easy import of contact lists, simple drag-and-drop email template customisation and analytics to track how your emails are performing.
We highly recommend using mailing services as they massively help to find out what your readers like so you can send better emails in the future.
Paid Advertising for Lead Generation
You’ve probably seen the ads that pop up when surfing the internet or scrolling through social media. That’s paid advertising in action. That’s what paid advertising is.
Word-of-mouth and organic reach are great, but a small investment can sometimes put you in the spotlight and reach potential clients who might not otherwise discover your services.
PPC is as simple as the name suggests. You pay every time someone clicks on your ad. But where should these ads appear, and what should they look like? Well, they usually appear in search engines like Google or Bing. When potential clients look for accounting, bookkeeping or tax services terms, your ad might be the first thing they see.
But how do you ensure you get clicks and valuable leads? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keyword Research: Before you start your paid campaigns, you need to find out what words your potential customers use when they search online. You should do the same for your ads just as you choose specific keywords for articles.
- Craft the Right Message: Your ad copy needs to come across well. You need to make sure it highlights what makes your firm stand out – perhaps it’s your unrivalled tax expertise or your commitment to personal client relationships.
- Set a budget: You’ve always advised your clients on budgeting. Now it’s your turn. You must decide how much you’ll spend per click, per day. It’s not about spending more money, it’s about spending it wisely.
- Analyse and Refine: Platforms like Google Ads offer a wealth of analytics. You need to analyse them closely to understand what works and what doesn’t. Is a certain keyword generating more high-quality leads? Maybe another isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped. You need to use these insights to improve your campaigns continuously.
Social Media Advertising
Social media marketing uses social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and others to promote services, connect with potential customers and generate quality leads.
Before you can place your ads, you need to choose your platform. Platforms like LinkedIn are great for B2B contacts and ideal for accountants seeking partnerships or corporate clients. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, offer large audiences and targeted advertising options that allow you to target specific demographics or interests.
One of the advantages of social media advertising is its scalability. You don’t have to break the bank to get started. You can set a budget you’re comfortable with and later adjust it based on the results. Over time, you can improve your strategy to get the most bang for your buck.
Even if it’s a paid ad, the content must be compelling. Think about sharing helpful tax tips, financial planning insights, or client success stories. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise and make potential clients curious about your offer.
You receive more data in return when you use social media to promote your services. Social media platforms provide detailed insights into who views your ads, when they engage with them, and what actions they take. You can use this data to target future campaigns and refine your approach for better results.
How to Nurture Your Leads and Turn Them into Clients?
Getting the attention of potential customers is a good start. But as I’m sure you know, collecting leads is just the tip of the iceberg. The real task is to convert those leads into loyal customers. Here are some tips to help you nurture your leads and turn them into customers.
- Understand Their Needs: Every business and every person has unique financial needs. Maybe they’re looking for tax advice or are overwhelmed with their bookkeeping. You can tailor your communications to your needs if you know what they’re looking for.
- Keep in Touch: It’s not enough to just send a welcome email and fade into the background. Consistency is key. You should consider sending them regular newsletters with valuable financial tips or news from the accounting world. This will keep you in their mind and show your expertise.
- Offer Value: Why should they choose you over another accountant? In addition to your expertise, you should also offer webinars, e-books or free initial consultations. This shows not only your knowledge but also your commitment to helping them succeed.
- Personalise Your Approach: No two customers are the same. You should personalise your communication by addressing them by name and referring to previous interactions or discussions. This makes them feel important and shows that you’re genuinely interested in their financial well-being.
- Ask for Feedback: You shouldn’t fear asking how you’re doing. Feedback can tell you which areas you can improve and which areas you’re doing particularly well. By responding to this feedback, you show that you value their opinion and thus foster trust.
- Stay Updated: The world of finance and accounting is constantly evolving. By keeping up to date with the latest trends and changes, you improve your services and provide the best advice to your clients.
Nurturing leads isn’t about bombarding them with sales pitches. It’s about building a relationship with them, understanding their needs and positioning yourself as the expert they can trust. If you stay in touch with them and give them helpful advice, many of these leads can soon become your most loyal customers.
Generating quality leads is critical to the success of your business. Regardless of your approach, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about getting noticed. It’s about making real contacts and demonstrating your expertise. So, take a step back and consider what methods work best for you.