If you want to do something quick, easy and practical to promote your accounting business but you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve put together 13 great marketing ideas for accountants to help you out.
As specialists in marketing for accountants, we’ve written comprehensive guides on marketing strategy for accountants in the past.
This post is something different.
What we want to do here is inspire you to do one single thing today, right now.
With that in mind, these are easy marketing ideas and tips. Hopefully, you’ll look at each one and think, “Yes, I can do that.”
And if you do another tomorrow, and another the day after that, you’ll be on your way.
1. Write a blog post
If you have a spare hour, you can write a blog post. We suggested some ideas for content topics a while ago, such as Making Tax Digital for income tax. Pick one from that list and use this method to structure and write your post. Think about what your ideal client would find genuinely useful – answer one question, or provide a solution to a single problem. Aim for around 500 words. There are also several useful tools out there to help you gauge if there’s enough interest around the topic to warrant writing about; our usual go-to is Google Trends.
2. Make a video
Your videos don’t have to be masterpieces. Film them on your phone if you like – or even while you’re on the school run, or making dinner. Tell people something they might not know, or that you’ve found particularly interesting. Again, the content ideas list above is a good starting point. Don’t waste lots of time on it, just get it done in two or three takes, and share it wherever you can. Aim for about a minute in length.
3. Pitch to an industry publication
You need to write to editors of major accounting blogs and introduce yourself, explain your credentials, and suggest something you’d like to write for them. Set out the proposed article in a few bullet points and underline why you’re the best person to write it.
4. Invite yourself onto a podcast
As above, you’ll probably wait a long time to be asked onto a podcast but you’d be surprised how often their hosts are scrambling around looking for decent guests. Drop the host or producer of a relevant podcast a line showing that (a) you’ve listened and know the podcast well; (b) you’ve got something relevant to talk about, and (c) that you’re available for a chat.
5. Send out an email newsletter
If you’re not already sending out a regular email newsletter to clients and/or prospects, there’s nothing to stop you from sending a one-off. You might want to write to a broad swathe of clients with a need-to-know update on upcoming tax issues, reminding them you exist. Or you might want to contact a targeted group of prospects in a particular sector. Keep it short, clear and engaging – and always make sure people have opted into receiving communications before messaging them.
6. Tidy up your social profiles
If you haven’t logged into your social media profiles for a while, do the rounds and make sure that your contact information, website links and branding (colour, header, logo) is up to date. Consider pinning a post to the top of your profile (you can do this on most platforms) pushing the service or content you most want people to know about.
7. Post on LinkedIn
If you don’t use LinkedIn, or only lurk, why not stick your head over the parapet and say something? It doesn’t have to be profound or earth-shattering – just share some news about your firm, a client success story, or a link to your latest blog post. One post won’t achieve much but it’s a start. Some people make pledges to post every day for a year and that can be a good motivator.
8. Follow, share, comment
Draw up a list of five local businesses you’d like to have as clients. Then, on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter (wherever you think they’re most active) (a) follow them and (b) share or comment on one of their most recent posts, if you’ve got something useful to say. Don’t go for the hard sell or act like a stalker – it’s just about saying hello and sparking a connection. They’ll see your face and/or the firm’s logo and might follow back.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
9. Rewrite your website headers
This is something that really is best left to an SEO expert but sometimes there are easy fixes you can make. For example, we’ve seen accountancy firms whose H1 – the big header at the top of their website homepage – doesn’t mention accountancy, or where they are. You don’t have to do those things if it’s about building your brand, but for a lot of smaller firms something like ‘Accountants in Oldham’ will help you get a higher position in the Google rankings. That’s because that’s what people tend to type into the search box. You can do similar for other pages, e.g. ‘Accountants for construction’ on your construction sector page.
10. Add internal links to your website
Let’s say you want to attract traffic to the page on your website promoting your VAT returns service. With that in mind, you want every instance of the phrase ‘VAT returns’ on your website, in blog posts or in other service pages, to link back to that main VAT returns page. If you sit down for 10 minutes and add five links along those lines, you’ll make a small but potentially helpful contribution to your website’s search performance.
11. Fix your Google My Business listing
Google My Business (GMB) is the service that powers the info box that appears at the top of results when you search for a business on Google. It includes contact details, customer reviews, opening hours and so on. Take some time to claim your account and update the information Google has, in as much detail as you can provide. Make sure your contact information is identical to that displayed on your website. This will help your search ranking and may draw in leads directly via the GMB info box.
12. Get a client to write a review
Even your happiest clients probably won’t think to leave you a five-star rating on Google, Trustpilot or similar unless you ask them. Send five or six personalised emails to clients you know to be the biggest fans asking if they’d consider taking a few minutes to rate and review your service. Encourage them to be honest and tell them why – it will help you find more clients like them and grow the practice. They’re business people, they’ll get it.
13. Request a testimonial
On a similar note, it’s always good to have fresh testimonials on your website. Think of a recent customer success story in which you played a part and ask if they’d mind you writing it up. If you ask them to write something, you’ll probably never get it, but if you draft it and send it over for them to sign off, you’re more than likely to get the copy you need. Set out the problem (cash flow was poor), what you did (improved their invoice chasing process) and the result (enabled them to take on more work).