Testimonials: Why and How

Woman winking and holding thumb upThese pay off HUGE.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

A testimonial is a short written recommendation from a past or current client. Most accountants I talk to hate testimonials and don’t use them. But here’s what they don’t realize: Other people love them, and they really make a difference.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 10 Marketing Materials You Need | Make Direct Mail Work for You | Write Your Way to Expert Status | Make Newsletters Work for You | How to Schedule Social Media Content | The 5 C’s of Successful Websites | Speaking: How, Where and Getting Leads from It | The A-B-C’s of Getting Started with Advisory Services
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If you don’t have any, a prospect could assume that you don’t have any clients either. Get rid of that objection easily by posting testimonials so prospects know you’re not just starting out.
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First, You Need Clients

Small potted plant fertilized with coinsApply systems to your sales funnel.

By Jassen Bowman
Tax Resolution Systems

If your experience is primarily in the tax return preparation arena, then you are most likely used to the service being what is referred to as a “lay down” sale, meaning you really don’t have to sell.

MORE: Tax Resolution: A Lucrative Opportunity | 4 Problems with the Tax Resolution Industry | When Tax Filing Season Is Over, What’s Next? | How to End the Tax Revenue Roller Coaster with a Four-Season Practice Model
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As an optional service that many people just aren’t familiar with as an option, tax resolution actually requires a little bit of sales skills. I think it’s important for you to have a handle on the key benefits that you bring to the table for potential clients.
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Why Choose a Marketplace Orientation?

Smiling businesswoman offering a handshake5 basic principles to follow.

By August J. Aquila

Let’s look at the different focuses or orientations that firms can take toward managing and running their practices and see which ones the traditional pricing methods encourage.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: How Traditional Fee Methods Hurt Firms | Price to Get the Maximum Fee | 7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning | Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup? | 13 Points of a Good Compensation Plan | 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | The Toughest Job in the World: Managing an Accounting Practice | How to Become the Firm of Choice
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Any organization, whether an accounting firm or not, usually tends to have one of four focuses. They are either selling-oriented, product-oriented, production-oriented or marketing-oriented.
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Create Your Marketing Plan

Sandi Leyva: "If the trust isn’t there, neither is the sale."The 13 channels you have … but you won’t need all of them.

By Sandi Leyva

Once you know the type of client you want to go after and the number of new clients you need to get, you can begin on your marketing plan.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: How to Determine Your Ideal Client | Build Your Revenue Plan in Reverse | 5 Fast, Easy Ways to Turn Annual Clients into Year-Round Clients | How to Teach Financial Literacy | How to Keep Current | 10 Easy Tips to Boost Your Business Cash Flow | How to Fire a Client | How to Manage Client Expectations
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There are simply two steps:

  • Deciding which channels you’ll be using, then seeing how many clients you can get per channel
  • Converting the number of clients you need into the number of leads you need in order to close the correct number of clients. You won’t get a “yes” for every lead you attract, so you’ll need more leads than clients to make your number. The difference is your close ratio. And it varies for each channel you use.

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Marketing Objectives Determine Marketing Amount

Ring engraved with words marketing, strategy, profitBONUS: A chart of growth rate to double revenue.

By Rob Nixon

I get asked all the time, “How much marketing should I do?” Or, “When should I hire a marketing person?”

MORE ON STRATEGY: Marketing Must Be About Sales | 8 Questions for Product Creation | How to Deliver Wow! Every Day | Communicate Until It Hurts | Why a Virtual Team Makes Sense | 14 Ways to Leverage Client Data for New Billings | What It Means to Be a Real-Time Accountant
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My answer is always the same: It depends what your objectives are.
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Marketing Must Be About Sales

Businessman and businesswoman shaking hands in office hallway“The message you need to be selling is social proof and the results I get when I use you.”

By Rob Nixon

What’s the point of having a great service offering, fantastic client results, great people and an inspiring vision if only you and your team know about it?

MORE ON STRATEGY: 8 Questions for Product Creation | What Products Should You Create? | Keep a Watchful Eye on Clients | Rewards Go Far Beyond Money | People Still Needed, But In Different Ways | Don’t Let Technology Make You Dumber | Are Your Goals Big Enough? | Finding New Opportunity in Compliance Services | How Offshoring Is Shaking Up Accounting
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Your business might be a finely tuned instrument but if it is not played in the orchestra then no one will hear it.
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Digital Marketing Isn’t ‘Set It and Forget It’

Woman outside jogging in morningThis should be a strategic priority or you’ll be left behind.

By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook

As the state of the profession continues to embrace social and digital marketing, keep in mind that your firm needs to keep up with the changes as well.

MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: How to Engage with Social Media Influencers | Marketing for Mobile | How to Listen on Social Media | How Social Media Affects SEO | Social Media Campaign 101 | Why Use Social Media for Marketing? | Who Is Your Customer? | What to Say on Social Media | Determine Your Target Audience
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For example, in an effort to support partners, today’s exit strategy may include increased efforts to generate leads, while maintaining a consistent presence among clients. It may also include emerging technology that aligns with your firm’s sales efforts, such as email drip campaigns, lead generation forms and social media engagement.
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What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Practice

Word "MARKETING" highlighted above other wordsThey are skills you can learn. Accountants are good at that, right?

By Sandi Leyva and Michelle Long
The Ultimate Accounting Virtual Conference

One thing I like to focus on is just letting people understand that they do need additional skills.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Best Practices for Growth: Network, Specialize, Share | Reconnect with Your Why | Use Payroll to Grow Client Retention | 3 Ways to Work Less and Earn More | What to Do When a Client Doesn’t Pay | How to Handle Price Sensitivity | How to Find Hidden Money for Your Clients | How Small Firms Can Use Value Pricing | 3 Killer Lead Generation Channels
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We already come with the accounting because that’s our background. So we come with accounting, bookkeeping, tax or whatever it is in our background and so we have that part down.
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Marketing for Mobile

Becky Livingston: The more precisely you state your goal, the more likely you are to end up where you want to be.Best practices for reaching people on the go, including goal setting, advertising, tailoring ads and KPIs.

By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook

With the rapid increase in mobile use, it can be challenging for CPA firm owners to reach their audience.

MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: How to Use Social Media Analytics | What ‘Social Sentiment’ Is and Why You Should Care | What a ‘Community Manager’ Does | How to Build a Strong Landing Page for an Accounting Firm | How to Set Up a Social Media Plan | DIY Design for Social Media | Tailor Content to Social Media Platform | How to Track Who’s Clicking Your Links | Which Social Media Should You Use? | How Social Media Works with Accountants’ Top 5 Marketing Goals
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The first step any firm needs to take is to make sure their website is mobile-ready and responsive. In doing so, your search on mobile will be easier to find and will state it’s a “mobile-friendly” site, which encourages mobile and tablet searchers to click.
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