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Accountants in Practice

Latest Lead Generation Techniques to Grow your Practice

By Insight Marketing

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Over the last decade or so accounting firms, as with many other professional services, have been forced to change the way they approach their marketing if they wish to stay ahead of the competition. The world, and technology in particular, has changed unrecognisably in this time and those who aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities now available are missing out.

The more traditional routes of generating business, such as having a half-decent website or exhibiting at a conference once a year, are no longer enough to provide sufficient volume or quality of leads to grow your firm’s business.

Let’s look at how things have changed and why it’s important to look beyond the traditional marketing techniques when it comes to growing your firm.

Be agile and take advantage of emerging technologies

Just decade or so ago organisations that didn’t have a website risked losing new business, and some would argue that it was the same for those who didn’t have social media channels a couple of years ago. Now it’s those who are failing to engage their mobile audience that are missing out… evidence that it’s more important than ever to remain agile.

The rapid adoption of mobile devices means that business owners are increasingly seeing practical (and financial) benefit from instant access to professional services while on the move. Apps for accountants are becoming very popular, and with good reason. For what can be a low level of investment they provide unique engagement opportunities for existing clients and can be a major attraction to new prospects, who are after all becoming increasingly mobile.

Content marketing is key

Content continues to be king when it comes to lead generation, but don’t go thinking that content marketing has to be a serious financial and time-consuming investment. If you’re an expert in your field then the chances are you already have content that could be re-purposed to engage prospects. Just think of the content you already have at your disposal in the form of presentations, project briefs, emails, training documents, meeting notes, etc; it can be surprisingly easy to adapt existing content into a blog, social media posts or even an expert guide that will act as an engaging thought-leadership piece with potential clients.

Email now provides even greater opportunity

Lead generation through email marketing continues to provide a great return on investment. This may be nothing new, but now that up to 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices the goal posts have changed – in fact you could say the goal has become significantly bigger! Reaching your prospects while they’re on the go provides firms with even greater opportunity for engagement, but there are some additional considerations to bear in mind. Is it worth sending emails outside of standard office hours (on the commute to work perhaps)? Should your copy be even more concise if it’s likely to be read on mobile devices? How will your emails render on such devices – will they be responsive to screen size or will the reader have to pinch and scroll?

Existing customers may be your greatest lead generation resource

One of the most profitable way of growing your firm is by developing business from your existing clients. Importantly, existing customers may also be your greatest resource for gaining new clients – via referrals. The chances are your clients like you, (which is why they remain your client!) and studies show that most satisfied customers will be happy to recommend their accountant to others. The good news is that leads generated from referrals convert very highly.

Take it offline

Whatever the format of your lead generation campaign, one of the ultimate goals should be to take it offline. The digital age may be providing a wealth of opportunity for practitioners looking to engage new prospects, but unless the conversation is taken offline it is unlikely to result in new business. Firms who really want to optimise their marketing ROI should look to have a follow up telephone call with each and every lead generated.

This post has scratched the surface of the best marketing techniques for accounting firms, but what are some of the other effective solutions and how can you implement these ideas as a part of your lead generation strategy?

Published June 2014