Traditionally, referral networking has been the most effective way for Certified Personal Accounts (CPA) to find new clients. However, with much of this networking happening online, CPA professionals must be proactive in their efforts to educate and engage prospects using the tools and platforms have prospects have become accustomed to using. For this reason, developing a strategic digital marketing plan that incorporates multiple channels will create be the most effective way to grow a practice and attract new clients.
Here are some important tools to use when creating a digital strategy to help grow your practice.
Create a website that sets you apart from the pack
Your website is an important part of building an online presence and to be successful in this space you have to set your firm apart from other firms. It is fair to say that there are other CPA firms offering the same types of services and expertise, so including some key features to your website can make a significant impact on the prospects online experience. When considering a design for your website be sure that it is straightforward, scalable, mobile friendly, and includes the following tools:
SEO Optimization- Make sure prospects can find you online using well-written, and unique content with keywords and backlinks
Proof - Show clients how you will deliver on the promise to solve their problem by providing as much specific information that a client may be looking for.
Associations - If you are a member of reputable accounting associations or groups, make it public knowledge. This adds credibility to your firm and again serves as proof that you are an expert in the field.
Testimonials – Whether written or in video form, testimonials have an important impact on your ability to acquire new clients and how potential clients perceive your business.
Social Media Networking
An effective way to create new leads and cultivate relationships while positioning yourself as an authority and thought leader is through social media. Create business profiles on the popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to showcase your services, develop relationships and engage with prospects. LinkedIn, is a particularly effective networking tool because it attracts professionals and decision makers from all industries. However, to maximize your opportunities prioritize your social media profiles based on your goals and the behaviors of your target audience. Finally, approach social media networking the same way you would when networking offline-be proactive, add value to every conversation, and be consistent.
Screenshot: The American Institute of CPAs LinkedIn group page
Measure your success
Now that you’ve taken steps to execute your digital strategy you need a way to measure your success. Google Analytics is a free tool that will measure the success of your marketing effort through detailed statistics. You can view the volume of traffic to your website, track where your prospects are coming from and where they are going, and gain insights into their behaviors and their needs. By tracking the way people reach you and the devices they use to get there, Google Analytics helps you provide a better online experience for your clients or help you reinvent your strategy if needed.
An important idea to remember about what drives potential clients is that people want to hire people not a firm. To that end, keep in mind that an effective digital strategy will go a long way to generate referrals, as well as, keep you present and informed about what your prospective clients are doing.
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