But no matter their specialty, one undeniable fact is true in every case: just as with any business that offers goods and services, professional accountants must have clients. It doesn’t matter how competent or client-centered a CPA is – without an adequate number of new clients to provide revenue and keep the doors open, his business will cease to be.
Therefore, one of the first and most important question any accountant can ask is, How do I get my clients?
It may sound prosaic, but it’s true: having really great accountant websites are the key to any successful accounting business.
These days, you have to have an online presence, or your marketing efforts will fall flat.
This won’t change in the future, either. With thousands of students studying accounting, coupled with one of the most challenging of economies, finding clients is becoming a very competitive endeavor. Having a website will remain critical.
Here are 10 tips for how to use accounting websites to find accounting clients:
1. Make sure your website looks professional. Creating a website is no longer a rarefied craft. Plenty of options exist for you to not only get a web address, but also pick a professional design that’s targeted exclusively to the clients you want to attract.
2. Don’t try to do it yourself – use a web designer. While your strength is with numbers, a professional web designer knows how to make your site look great and run smoothly.
The trick is to not just attract visitors to your site, but also keep them once they arrive. To that end, your site should be both lovely to look at and chock full of helpful info.
3. Don’t overlook the importance of social media sites for getting the word out. The simple act – which takes all of half an hour – of creating profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is enough to gain exposure.
Facebook is the most important of these. To get started on this popular social sharing platform, simply create a personal profile and then create a “fan” page for your business. Get your friends to “like” your page, and soon their friends and their friends’ friends will be seeing your business’s name and a link to it. Then, use Facebook (and the others) to keep your clients informed about tax season and other financial matters.
4. Links are vital to generating traffic – so, on your website, be sure to post links to your social media pages. If someone visits your site and likes what they see, this will be an easy way for them to help you spread the word. A “like me on Facebook” or “follow me on Twitter” link will expose you to even more potential clients.
5. Post links to the websites of your notable clients. When folks see your client list, and maybe even click through to your clients’ websites, it acts as that all-important “social proof” that helps you appear trustworthy.
6. Useful websites for generating leads are online merchant sites such as eBay and Craigslist. These, and other similar sites, have extremely high traffic rates and are designed with classified sections that advertise services. You typically won’t be charged to advertise your firm; advertising with these sites will expand your reach to well outside your local client base.
7. Traditional advertising on newspaper websites can generate significant traffic to your homepage and physical office. Take a look at your local papers. You might be able to also get in their online edition, where you could either be listed in their “marketplace” or be featured in a banner ad. In addition, seek out papers and local publications in surrounding towns that aren’t too far for a new client to travel from.
8. Hike it up a notch; look for websites that advertise specifically for accountants. There are lots of websites like Accountant Finder that list accountants for a small fee, making it that much easier for leads to find you.
9. Bid system and lead generating websites such as adknowledge.com are plentiful online. These services, when used properly, can get you in contact with the clients you want and who need what you have to offer.
Do your homework here and ensure that you investigate the site before you join it. Some have fees involved and some are fly-by-night operations. If you want quality clients, use a quality lead generation site.
10. Finally, seek out and listen to experts in your field and take the time to learn from their mistakes and successes. Using Internet resources such as Websites 4 Accountants is a great way to learn new tricks and tips that can greatly improve your lead generation, which will then increase your sales.
Obtaining clients for your accounting business can be a challenge. But when you utilize a high-quality accounting website as your start point, your marketing efforts can be very successful – and more than worth the hard work.