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5 Things CPA Can Do To Maximize Leads

     -     Oct 5th, 2011   -     Accounting Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing   -     0 Comments

Is your firm doing everything that it can right this moment to assure that the maximum number of leads are coming in? Have you exhausted every effort and still don’t know why the prospects aren’t banging down the front door? Check out the 5 tips below for maximizing lead generation and repeat business:

1. Be Visible.
Being visible means participating in the social web, becoming a sponsor or a speaker at an upcoming conference, and listing your firm in every relevant publication known to the industry.  Network, network, network, and not just with other people in the industry.  You need to be where your prospective clients are.  For example, if your firm targets tax planning for restaurants in the greater New York Area, consider attending the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York.  While your competitors are leaving voice mails, you could be shaking hands with the decision maker.  Do not under estimate the power of being where your prospective clients already are.

2. Branding Matters.
In the words of branding guru Jerome Smith, CEO of brandEvolve, “Branding is the art of incorporating your professional identity into how you sell yourself.”  Decide how you want to position your firm, and then work on your differentiators.  What makes you stand out? What are you doing bigger/better/bolder than your competition in the same area? It’s important to remember that brands do evolve – so your branding this year may not be exactly the same as next year.  This is especially true as your firm continues to grow its services.  To build your brand, you need a very firm grasp on the concept (what you do), the content (what you offer), the look (logo, letterhead, website, business card), and the ability to bring it all together as one cohesive plan.   The recognition of your brand is a very powerful tool- and bear in mind that the consumer is naturally more preferential to something aesthetically pleasing, so hire your designer with the same scrutiny as you would taking on another partner.

3. Your Website is Not Static.
Seriously, it is not a brochure.  This may have been true in 1998 – before all the moving parts and communication were really understood, but it’s 2011 and your website needs to work just as hard for you as the newest intern in the audit department does. Your website is a tool for lead generation – often times it is a prospect’s first and only impression of your business. Right now, take a look at your site, does it do these things;

  • Provide a visible and easy way (1 click max)  for the site visitor to contact you?
  • Offer a free consultation/white paper/e-book about a service your firm specializes in?
  • Illustrate in a beautiful and approachable way the culture and professional nature of your firm?
  • Offer intuitive navigation to access the different services of your firm?
  • Focus on what a potential client will want to see/know?

If the only thing your website is achieving is the ability to give you a seizure (Click here for an example!) you may want to consider getting a new website that will actually showcase the amazing firm that you really are.

4. SEO is NOT a Buzzword.
 SEO will help your firm generate meaningful, qualified leads.  It will bring the prospects you have been searching for directly to your front door.   It’s hard for some firms to justify hiring an outside provider for SEO, and many firms actually do their own SEO, check out this article about the trade offs between in-house and outsource to decide for yourself.  Regardless of the direction you decide, it’s important to make sure you are doing something in this area.  Keywords, search terms, and meta-data are the roadmaps of the internet and you don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere never to be found again. Recognize the importance of being found, and watch the leads pour in.

5. Follow Up and Follow Through
You might actually be amazed at how many firms out there bring people to the front door and then slam the door right in their face.  We might be e-mail junkies, but if someone calls you – return their call promptly.  If a lead comes through on your website, send an e-mail that immediately addresses their questions.  Set appointments and meetings during the first point of contact whenever possible.  Always make your prospects feel wanted, needed and important – and when they become clients – treat them the same way.  Follow through with promises and deadlines.  In marketing, word of mouth is still the best and most effective form of advertising – and bad news always travels faster and further than good; don’t fall into that trap.

So, if your inbox is not exactly flooded with leads and your voicemail isn’t full,  if you’re still not sure how or where you could use some improvement, send me an email and we can look into it together.  If you’re already thriving, share your tips in the comments.  How does your firm stack up?

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