Every accountant dreams of a practice full of the right clients. But how – and where – can you find ideal clients for your accounting firm?
What can you do to posture yourself in such a way so that your ideal client comes to YOU and asks YOU to work with them?
That’s what Hugh Duffy, founder of Build Your Firm, is about to share with you!
Hugh specializes in helping accountants leverage marketing tactics to improve the quality of their practice, make more money, and act like a business, rather than just a job.
The end goal is that your accounting firm doesn’t end up a proverbial “jacks of all trades,” but that you leverage marketing as a vehicle to find ideal clients for your accounting firm that you want to work with for the long term.
Marketing vs. Sales
But first, let’s take a moment to talk about marketing versus sales. A lot of accountants don’t realize that marketing and sales are totally different.
Marketing and sales act like the Ying and the Yang – they work together to bring completion. In this instance, they work together to bring you an abundance of the perfect clients to work with.
In fact, when you market yourself well, you’ll have clients coming to you saying “YOU are the kind of person I want to work with! You know the answers to my problems!”
From there, you can qualifying that prospect to see if they are worth your time and then transition into a pitch. It’s moving from marketing – or matchmaking – to the sales process.
So we all want to know:
How can I leverage marketing tactics to have a total stranger contact me to get the services I provide?How can I drum up more high-quality leads for my firm? How do I even start? What can I do?
Know Your Ideal Client
The first and most important step to find ideal clients for your accounting firm..is to know who that ideal client is!
What type of clients do you want, and what type of clients do you want to avoid?
If you’re having trouble, think of it as kind of like dating. When you’re looking for someone, folks will often ask, “What are you looking for?”
Often, the answer is, “I’ll know it when I see it.”
That’s not an answer that will help you move forward in finding that person.
Instead, reverse engineer it. Make your list of automatic disqualifiers and deal breakers.
If we go back to the dating example, maybe they have too much body art for your taste. Maybe they smoke and you don’t. Maybe they don’t want kids or marriage, and you’ve been dreaming of these things your whole life! These disqualifiers can be seen up front and automatically eliminate that person from the running. This helps you know who doesn’t fit, so then you can find the person who DOES!
Apply this same process when determining the type of client you want to serve effectively. Reverse engineer the process.
For example: I only want to work with retail store owners. I only want someone who nets more than X amount of money per year.
Side note: an answer to avoid is “I want someone who is going to pay me on time.” We all want that; be more specific.
You can then intellectually figure out what kind of person you will work best with, and that your firm can best serve. Once you figure out that profile, you can develop a process so that you can be the firm that takes care of their needs. You’ll be anticipating how you can serve them effectively before they even ask!
This is also called a niche. It’s simply narrowing the range so you’re dealing with fewer types of industries or types of clients, and can start charging premium prices.
Now that you’ve figured out who your ideal client is, what is the best way for you to find those leads?
How to Attract Your Niche
First, you need to create a system designed to attract those people. You also need to have the inside knowledge to meet your client’s needs.
Here’s the reality: most accountants do not think of having a niche or specialty. It’s not a tradition that is taught like it is in the legal or medical professions. A person with a medical problem will look for a specialist: not a general practitioner. They want to work with the BEST, the one who KNOWS their needs specifically.
Accountants don’t typically have specialties – but can set themselves apart by finding a niche or an industry they are an expert in!
Once you find a niche, you can easily exceed the expectations of those working in that industry. Marketing specifically to your niche will show prospects that you are used to working with people just like them. They have a chance to know that YOU are the one who can solve their exact problems the best.
At the end of the day, people want to work with someone who understands them, their industry and their needs. Show them that YOU are that person.
Your website is the best way to be able to attract those specialty clients. It’s one of the most powerful tools to show a client that you’re the expert they are looking for. They are inexpensive and you can have more than one!
Multiple websites can be a way to speak out of both sides of your mouth, with each site targeting a particular niche audience. Having separate websites can also help avoid confusion for you and your potential client. You’ll be able to target more effectively and speaking the language of your ideal client. You’ll also quickly know what services a potential client is looking for based on which website or niche they’re coming from. Niche websites are a win-win!
These sites bring high-quality leads because you have shown them that you meet their specific needs. If you paint yourself as a specialist, you’d better get to know that industry: there is a sense of faking it, but you have to LEARN so that you can empower your clients. You learn more than the generalist down the street and can offer superior service for that particular client.
Use your website like a magnet to pull people towards you: they are the ones most inclined to pick up the phone and call you and say YOU are the person I have been looking for. If your website is truly effective, you won’t even need to find ideal clients for your accounting firm because they’ll be able to find you first!
Using Social Media to Connect
Social media can be a confusing topic. How can accountants use social media? What is the best social media platform for leads?
Unfortunately, there’s not one answer. Different niches or areas of expertise work differently. Some platforms are more or less effective. At the end of the day, you have to be willing to try different things to find out what works best for you. If you’re not willing to write and nurture it, a blog won’t be successful. If you can’t be consistent on a platform, it will be harder to bring in conversions.
LinkedIn can be great for targeting people in a specific industry. A blog can be great for building authority and positioning yourself as an expert. Yelp is perfect for social proof and building trust. The best ones for you really depends on your practice.
Video can also be a powerful social tool to help you engage with people. You can strategically place video on your website to help your ideal clients get to know you, and see you as the expert they are looking for. Use video in your niche websites and on social media. You can even include a video gallery so that clients can get to know you personally.
Most accountants don’t do video – so creating video content for your clients can give you an edge and potentially attract your ideal clients clients. Video also creates a relationship by making people feel like they know you, so get out of your comfort zone and give it a try!
The best way to find ideal clients for your accounting firm is to know exactly who that person is, and then put yourself out there to attract them!
Like your ideal date, who is the person you want to pick up over and over and over again? You typically get one client at a time, so it’s easiest if you figure out the type of person you want to attract, and keep finding that same type of person over again so you don’t have to stop at 1 or 2 – just keep going!
Update your website (or websites) so you show yourself off as the BEST in your industry and niche of expertise! Get out there on social media components to help you stand out among the competition. Most people “drive by” several times before they call you – they need multiple ways of being persuaded that you are the best solution.
I’d like to challenge you to take these suggestions and put them into action today. Adding some simple marketing tactics to your business will help you find ideal clients for your accounting firm so you can start having the business and life you’ve always wanted!
Tell me in the comments: have you defined your ideal client? If yes, is it easier to define them by the things you want in a client, or by the things you don’t want?
PS. Do You want to MAKE MORE MONEY, WORK LESS HOURS?
Join me so you can unlock the secrets to growing a profitable accounting firm with less stress by joining our upcoming Abundant Accountants Masterclass!
You will learn:
• The easiest ways to sift through clients and get to the RIGHT ideal clients!
• Proven tactics to actually get paid instead of giving away FREE advice!
• How to stop competing on price FOREVER!