Create Online Content that Has Impact for Your Accounting Practice
Make a personal connection and clients will come to you
Through all the numbers, charts, and projections, accounting at its essence is about personal connections. Your clients have a financial vision for their lives and you are there to help make it a reality. Your website and social media footprint are direct extensions of this relationship – often the first impression potential clients get of your firm.
An effective online presence can at once seem both naively simple and completely daunting. Keep the following tips in mind and take your digital content to the next level.
Content is king
People may come to your website initially to hire an accountant, but they will stay and maybe even share it if your site is bursting with compelling content that draws them in and shows your expertise in the industry. It will also improve your SEO results, attracting even more potential clients.
Examples of effective content abound and a handful of time-tested examples include:
- Long-form blog posts that provide solutions to common bookkeeping or accounting problems
- Details of (and your personal commentary on) the latest industry news
- Tips and tricks that will save your potential clients money, time, and lost sleep
- FAQs on a wide-ranging array of financial topics
Solutions, not pitches
You don’t sell widgets or coffee; you provide expertise on what can be a very stressful subject. As such, your potential customers are on the hunt for a reliable, trustworthy source of information to guide them along the path to financial health. The more your content provides solutions and avoids direct pitches, the more likely your visitors are to return and become viable leads.
Consider the following examples, and many more solutions, to tell your firm’s story clearly and with flair:
- eBooks. This is a great opportunity to delve deeply into one topic and to keep a visitor’s attention. Focus on a subject that fits your firm’s expertise, or taps into your own personal obsession. The content needs to be unique and something they can’t find anywhere else.
- Client interviews. Your clients are your biggest fans, and you’ll be surprised how willing they are to sing your praises. They may just have never been asked. Let them tell their story and yours will come across loud and clear.
- Market analysis. Show your expertise in the field. Talk about what’s new, trending, and of primary concern to your possible customers (and their wallets). Regulations are constantly in flux, and it can be difficult for the average customer to keep track. Become their trusted source of news, and they will bookmark your site in a heartbeat.
- Business templates. Templates can be a godsend to stressed clients and fellow accountants who may not know their way around a business plan, client pitch, or investment proposal. This type of content can be especially potent, as it will be an evergreen solution to problems faced by nearly everyone who would consider hiring your firm. Give the little things away for free and visitors will remember you when they need help with the big stuff.
- Online training. This is where video is your friend. A brief primer that demystifies common accounting problems – accurate invoicing, payroll management, etc. – will draw in viewers and keep them returning for more. Platforms like YouTube are essential for delivering your expertise to the wider world. Be sure to practice in front of the camera and make sure you can be clearly seen and heard.
- Infographics. Sometimes images can tell stories far better than a wordy blog post. You’ll need someone with design experience for this one, but it will pay off with an easily shareable post that draws eyeballs.
- Live events and webinars. Blogs, eBooks, and videos are all valuable and useful, but nothing beats the opportunity to interact face-to-face, be it in-person or virtual. Embrace your local market with a free reception/presentation or go global with an interactive webinar. When people have the opportunity to interact with you in real-time, they will come away with a more visceral impression of the value you provide.
A robust website is only as good as its traffic, and social media is a necessary, affordable tool to engage with the world and eventually bring people to your business. It functions today as a virtual networking event, where you have direct, person-to-person connections with like-minded folks who could become future clients. It’s also a very fast way to keep up on news and what’s on the top of people’s minds.
Before you dive head-first into the social pool, be sure to know the difference between networks and where to best spend your time.
- Facebook. The 900-pound gorilla of social networks. A quarter of the world’s population (and many businesses) have at least a nominal presence on the network. It’s ideal for growing a community, with photos, videos, and links.
- Twitter. Brevity is the soul of this social network, with 280 characters being the limit for any single tweet. It’s a great opportunity to simplify your message, engage in direct conversation, and provide timely customer service.
- LinkedIn. Ideal for connecting with other firms and professionals in the field. A great platform for publishing your own content and engaging with that of other companies. This is the place to go to get advice, discuss best practices, and generally talk shop.
- Instagram and YouTube. The cornerstone of photo and video, respectively. Instagram is a great way to show snapshots of your firm in action as real people – eschew photos of your conference room in favor of team members volunteering or otherwise contributing to society. YouTube is your personal TV channel, the place where people will flock for your explainers, tutorials, and other bits of wisdom that only you can provide.
It’s about them, not you
Online content is about engaging an audience where they are – understanding your ideal customer’s wants and needs, then providing content to meet them. The more you create, the more they can commit to you, and the more likely they are to give something in return (i.e., their contact information). Only bring the focus back to your firm after you provide something they can use, that improves their life.
9Sail stands ready as a valuable partner in curating your killer online content. Contact us today to learn more.