If you want your accounting firm to be more than last year’s news, you need to retain existing customers and attract new clients. The only way to do that is by generating accounting leads. Maybe this wasn’t the first thing you wanted to work on when you opened your doors, but it will keep your firm viable for the future.
The big question is: What do I need to do to generate leads?
Glad you asked.
What you don’t need more of is the traditional lead generation strategies that are causing firms to fall behind. You know what we’re talking about. The cold calls, endless networking events, attending seminars, emailing and begging for referrals.
In this article, we will cover the best ways for you to generate high-quality leads using online marketing to your advantage.
Use Lead Generation Services
Lead generation is the art of captivating and converting prospects into potential clients. A lead generation company gathers consumer and business data and offers it to businesses needing new accounting leads.
They use their expansive reach to target marketing campaigns and drive traffic toward SEO-optimized websites. They then nurture the leads looking for your firm’s accounting services and pass them on to you as potential customers.
Lead generation services can be tricky unless you do this: Before you sign up with a lead provider, ask whether the leads will be exclusive. Why?
Exclusive leads mean no one else gets to see them and they’ve been qualified. So the lead will not get a flurry of calls within 1 or 2 days as the leads go to 3 or 4 buyers at a time. You don’t want lead conversion to become a race against other buyers.
Accounting leads cost up to $150 a lead. Exclusive leads up to $1000 a month, so while these companies do a lot of the hard work for you, you must watch the ROI carefully and don’t be afraid to change providers if their campaigns aren’t yielding results.
Perhaps a lead generation company has quite won you over and you’re wondering if there are any alternatives. Yes, there are!
Below are some suggestions you can implement alongside or as an alternative to a lead generation company.
Use Search Engine Optimization to your advantage
This is a big deal because if you have a website, you’ve got lead generation gold. But maybe your website is more like a lump of coal at the moment.
You’ve probably spent time and money developing a website showcasing your services. But what have been the payoffs of spending money on a website?
Have you been able to drive the right traffic to your site? Have you been able to convert leads into new clients?
Without the optimization of your website, even the most expensive and well-developed site means very little.
Type in ‘accounting firms in the US’, and you will receive 141 000 000 search results. That means that your website is competing against millions of other accounting sites. It may be valuable to educate your existing clients, but without SEO, it serves no other purpose.
SEO Services – the secret weapon for getting quality accounting leads
You want to include your website as part of an effective lead generation strategy; the only way to do that is to use SEO services.
The AccountantSEO team did some research on the return on investment of SEO, and this is what we found:
- You would get an estimated 1,000 organic visitors.
- This traffic average would remain for 30 months.
- You would have invested $2,000 x 6 months = $12,000 into SEO.
So by investing $12,000, we’d assume you get 30,000 organic visitors.
The article further shows that this number of organic visitors would translate into $198 000 ROI. Not bad for a small investment!
But don’t just take our word for it. Go and scrutinize the numbers for yourself.
SEO services are usually offered as a package deal. These packages may include optimizations, blog articles and backlinks. An agency like AccountantSEO will include an initial SEO audit and monthly progress reports as part of their services.
Next up is paid advertising or pay-per-click (PPC). This is one avenue of getting more leads to your doorstep (or at least back to your website, which is really your virtual office)
Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook all realized they could make a lot of money from collecting consumer data and providing a way for businesses to use their platforms for advertising services.
– Types of PPC ads
These platforms allow you to reach your target audience by placing ads for your services directly in front of accounting clients. In this category, there are two main options:
- Search ads – triggered by someone searching keywords in a search engine. This kind of ad will appear as an answer a person’s question.
- Display ads – triggered by someone who fits a profile. Normally disruptive in nature, it appears wherever the person is looking for information..
A benefit of PPC is that you can measure the performance of your ads. You will be able to see whether new leads clicked on your website and became paying clients.
Platforms that offer PPC know how to reach potential clients online. They have made it a huge part of their business model to get this right, so PPC is a good partner alongside SEO services.
– Budget Demands
According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn , small business owners can spend up to $10 000 on PPC campaigns before they yield high-quality leads.
The good news is you can control your PPC budget since paid advertising platforms allow you to set a maximum spend per day. That means you can decide how much money you’ll spend before you decide that it has, or hasn’t worked to get the leads you want.
Social Media Marketing
Along with SEO and PPC, social media marketing is another option for high quality accounting leads generation. We will discuss some of your accounting firm’s best content marketing options.
– Why use social media to get exclusive accounting leads?
Accounting firm leads come from a concerted effort to build a reputable brand. Potential customers want to know who they are dealing with, and they want to establish a trust relationship long before they even meet you.
How can this be done? It seems crazy that someone can build a relationship with you without meeting you. But this is how business works in a digital world – relationships are built through social media accounts.
Let’s make this very practical. We all have our favorite content creators that we follow on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Linkedin or whatever platform you’re attracted to.
We’ve never met them in real life, but they have captured our imaginations and our attention with their stories and their lives. The same will go for your ideal clients. You will capture and hold their attention, and when you do, they will begin their relationship with your business through social media.
Here are the most effective platforms for accounting firms:
A platform well equipped to deal with professional services such as those provided by your firm, LinkedIn has a strong presence in the marketplace.
A big advantage of LinkedIn is to form professional connections within the accounting industry. This in itself can drive high-quality leads your way. We could say LinkedIn is the alternative to networking events, and you don’t even have to leave your office
A helpful 20-step guide for getting the most out of a LinkedIn profile can be found here.
– Blog Posts
Referring back to our section on SEO, blog posts form part of your website. The reason we are placing them under social media marketing is that blog post content, can also be used as a basis for social media posts. This way, you don’t have to keep generating fresh content for each platform.
For example, you will write a blog post for your website, but you will post it on your LinkedIn account and also use it as the script for your YouTube videos (which we will discuss next).
A well-written blog post placed on other social media platforms can greatly increase your lead volume. The more clients find you writing valuable content across platforms, the more trust they place in your abilities and services.
One of the big benefits of a blog post is establishing your authority across the accounting industry. If you don’t have a blog as part of the website, we invite you to use our blog writing services. We have a group of skilled writers obsessed with blogs and all things creative – we’ll get you going while you think about our next suggestion.
Not only will your own blog help you with lead generation but other accounting blogs can also help. Opportunities to appear as a guest writer on industry blogs such as the accounting web and the journal of accountancy will increase your exposure across platforms.
These blogs already have a huge following and credibility on their side, so appearing as a guest writer will cement your position as an industry expert.
We wrote an article on the top 7 accounting blogs for you to follow in 2023 and learned a lot about accounting in the process. Why not take a look for yourself? You can only get good ideas!
– Presentation videos, tutorials and webinars
Business professionals should use a platform like YouTube to generate videos that educate potential clients about things that matter to them. Seeing someone in a video, listening to how they speak and watching them present their ideas goes a long way to establishing credibility.
I don’t know about you, but the minute I listen to someone speak, I can discern whether or not they’re really an expert or just bluffing their way through things. Accounting services are one of those professions where trust and expertise can never be overstated.
Video is a great way to build rapport if you’re not meeting your clients face to face initially.
But don’t imagine that videos need to be fussy and too professional. You can also make some videos showing your clients ‘a day in the life of an accountant. This acts as a disruptor to your usual content and allows the client insight into how your accounting firm works.
Webinars are another great way to connect with prospective clients. Advertise Webinars on social media or run an ad to attract your target audience. The value of this is that prospective clients see you in action.
– Podcasts and industry interviews
Similar to video content, podcasts are focused on audio. Some of the most influential accounting firms have dedicated podcasts covering various topics. PwC has a dedicated podcast section on their website. Take a listen here for some ideas.
Podcasts can also be used to cross-populate your social media accounts, ensuring that a maximum number of accounting leads are generated from your efforts.
Platforms such as Spotify, Audible and Google Podcasts will help you to create high quality podcasts for potential clients.
– Answer questions on forums
This is a bit of a freebie. Coming across as an expert on forums will get your name noticed and if you really give good answers, you will generate leads. Everyone who answers the questions of others on forums knows they are doing it because they want to get noticed. It’s ok.
Take a bit of a break during lunch and take five minutes to help someone who is really struggling to solve a problem. If it’s a complex accounting problem, you’ll have no problem convincing readers that you know your stuff and are worth contacting.
Maybe you’re wondering right now where you’re going to find the time or resources to implement these strategies. But you don’t have to do this all at once. Draw up a marketing plan and implement it systematically. Get help from experts that you can afford and make changes as you go along.
Let’s consolidate what we’ve learned so far
Right. So far, we’ve shared with you the four giants of lead generation. Lead generation companies, SEO, PPC and social media marketing.
We’ve told you the inside secrets without overwhelming you with too much information – you can thank us later…
We’ve provided you with some useful tips to get all these strategies off the ground in the near future and if you stop reading now, you can generate quality accounting leads using this information.
But if you continue reading, we’ll get really specific about some tips that will give you a competitive edge.
Make a video that tells your clients why they need you
We don’t tell this to everyone – only our friends, and because accountants are our friends, we’ll tell you this for free.
Instead of having a contact form, embed a video about your key services on your contact page and tell potential clients why they will benefit from using your services.
At the end of the video, place a direct call button or an appointment scheduling link or provide them with a way to message you directly. The advantage this has over a contact form is that your client reaches you directly – before they have a chance to try another firm. Also, a video is engaging and personal. They see what you’re about from the start and this will instill trust in them.
Use landing pages to increase leads
Research has shown that companies that increase their landing pages see a 55% spike in leads. When a business has 40 landing pages, that number increases. 
The reason for these results lies in the tailored approach to landing pages. Each page is designed to meet the specific needs of a customer. It persuades clients to take ONE specific action.
How do most people find landing pages? From paid advertising. This brings us full circle in your lead generation strategy.
Landing pages are great for:
- Getting details for newsletter signups
- Selling a product or service
- Distributing an e-book or information brochure
- Registering clients for a webinar
They are not for:
- Presenting a lot of information or several services at once
- Linking other pages on your website
- Telling your business vision or story
It’s a Wrap
There it is. The whole enchilada. All that’s left now is for you to pick the strategies you want to implement, and in less time than you imagined, you will increase your customer base.
If you need help getting started, contact us. We’ve been dreaming up great SEO strategies for accountants since we started our agency and can’t wait to see them work for our clients.