One of the main issues that you as an accountant, lawyer, consultant, or financial adviser face is the constant flow of new quality leads.
This can be a complicated process and Your Voice can lead you through the process but here is a simple four step guide to how you can kick start the process.
Create a Lead Magnet.
The one thing that ties your website, newsletters, social media all together and will attract the type of client you want in your business is your lead magnet. This is where you need to start when developing your digital marketing strategy.
A lead magnet is a collection of information that describes a problem your ideal client is having and provides valued information about the solution. The lead magnet can come in the form of a short report, a white paper, an article, a video, an eBook, a podcast, an audio file, a slideshow, a webinar, a speech or an event. Lead magnets are generally free or very low cost, and easy for the prospect to reach out and get it. The best lead magnet attracts attention, engages a dialog, educates your prospect and provides a next step for the prospect to get to know you and your firm better. Once created, automate them and forget about them and they will continue to work for you in the background for as long as is needed.
Sample lead magnets in accounting could include:
* Report: Seven Issues for SME’s around Making Tax Digital
* Podcast: Eight Accounting Issues to Be Aware of When Starting a Home-Based Business
* Video: How to Select a Bookkeeper for Your Small Business
* Slideshow: four Ways Construction Companies Can Improve Their Cash Flow
* Article: VAT and the Small Business
* Class: How to Compute Your Profit Margin in Your New Business
You want your lead magnet to add value and show your expertise and at the end of every lead magnet, you should include a call to action, your contact information and the next step your prospect should take.
The first step and most important is to think about what service you want to market the most. Think about whether you want to sell more monthly bookkeeping services, tax services or cloud accounting consulting. Then, think about what your clients typically come to you to solve. After that, build your lead magnet around those ideas.
Once you have your service topic, decide on the medium, such as report/article, video or audio. Collect your tools, plan your content and then start to market.
Build a Landing Page
A landing page is a website page that will showcase the benefits of your lead magnet and allow prospects to opt in, leaving their name, email and possible phone number with you, in exchange for receiving your lead magnet. The components of a landing page include:
* A short description of the audience intended for the report – this can be placed at the top as a title.
* A great headline, very carefully worded, that will attract attention.
* What the prospect gets after they opt in – your lead magnet. Your landing page should contain enticing copy that describes the benefits of receiving your lead magnet.
* Create credibility and include press logos, certifications, awards and testimonials.
* Your opt-in form with a large “Subscribe” or “Register Now” button. This form should ask for at least the name and email address.
There is software that can help you build landing pages such as those on MailChimp and if you use wordpress for your website there is a plug-in for landing pages: https://wordpress.org/plugins/landing-pages/
As prospects read the materials you send them over time, they build trust in you, without you having to do much, except continue to send them newsletters. They warm up slowly and become clients in time.
Drive Traffic to Your Landing page.
You have something valuable to share with prospects, and hopefully future clients, it’s time to start marketing.
Increasing traffic to your landing page:
* By doing organic SEO work
* By placing ads
Sending traffic via:
* Social media posts
* Social media group notifications
* Encouraging social media sharing
* Speaking to groups
Being newsworthy by:
* Submitting articles to news sites, blogs, magazines, and more
* Being mentioned by name in an article
* Posting a press release
Partnering with others who can send traffic to you:
* Building partnerships and affiliates
What does this mean in a bit more detail:
Organic SEO work. Your landing page should be optimized so that when people enter certain words in a search engine, your site will be more likely to appear in search results. This is called SEO (search engine optimization), and the organic part of it means it’s done without paying for ads.
Paid Ads. You can bring in traffic by placing an ad, either in Google, Facebook, Instagram or others. Make sure you have an enticing headline and description and that you use your landing page, and not your home page as your destination URL. Graphics can make a big difference.
Social media posts. Share your landing page link with your social media connections by posting about your free offer. Social posts also boost search engine rankings, so it’s a double win. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are some of the best social media apps on which to have a presence.
Social media group notifications. Start joining groups in social media and you may be able to post your free offer in the groups but be careful, though; some groups ban advertisements, so check with the guidelines before you post.
Social media sharing. Encourage sharing by simply including, “Please share this,” in your posts.
Speaking to groups. This method combines offline and online marketing. If you give presentations to prospects, be sure to invite them to sign up for your free offer.
Submitting articles to news sites, blogs, magazines and more. If you write articles, submit them to local or national news sites, or sites that have the same audience of prospects, that you are trying to attract as clients.
Being mentioned by name in an article. Be available for reporters who are writing about your area of expertise, so that they will quote you and mention your business in the article. You don’t have much control in this case, but the exposure can be worth it.
Posting a press release. If you have business news or tips, you can write a formal press release about your free offer and post it to your website. You may also want to pay to have it distributed on a wire service, such as prweb.com or prnewswire.com.
Building partnerships and affiliates. Do you have peers with a different expertise from you and that have a large list of clients? If so, you may be able to partner with them for mutual benefit.
Nurture and Pitch to your New Leads.
We need to move the leads you have created into being a client. Staying in touch with them on a regular basis will help them stay engaged with you. One way to do that is to send a newsletter via email use a service such as MailChimp or Constant Contact and write a couple of greeting paragraphs, mainly introducing today’s article. Then, I write an article that is 300-500 words. After the article, I have an announcement area, sharing any upcoming courses or other deadline. At the end have a brief bio, no more than two paragraphs, in case your followers forward the email to a friend. The format of the newsletter should be one column. Don’t spend too much time selecting a template – find the simplest template you can and use it. You can include a banner header graphic if you wish but remember to model it after your website design and brand. It can then be inserted at the top of your email.
Consistency is the one of the most important aspects to nurturing your list. Your newsletter articles should contain business or accounting (if you are an accountant) tips. Sending the newsletter via email twice a month, or every two weeks, is ideal.
We recommend setting up an editorial calendar with the dates your newsletter will be delivered, and write in topics next to each date. You should then set aside two days and write six or seven articles at the same time which will give you a quarter’s worth of articles, and you only need to sit down four times a year to write. You can then publish them as and when or schedule them in your CRM, social media listing tool or blogging software. How often and what to post can vary but for every three to four value pieces (the newsletter articles), send one pitch piece.
A pitch piece is an email that asks for business. There is no article in this email; the email is dedicated to pitching only. This is important because it’s far more effective this way. The content of your pitch should include what you’re selling, the benefits, who will benefit from the service and, possibly, why you offer the service.
Hopefully this simple process will provide you and your professional practise a framework to start the process of generating quality leads. Using CRM software can help automate and manage the flow of leads and SWC can help you out in setting this up.