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A short guide to web and social media Practice essentials

Launching a Practice in the 21st century can be a challenge.

Along with the usual Practice set up requirements of money laundering, ICO registration, PII and so on, important decisions on what you need on your web site and which of the many social media tools you are going to use need to be made.

Can you really afford not to have a web or social media presence?

In this day and age, a web site and social media presence of your choice are, in my opinion, essential tools of the trade.

So what are the basics must haves for any 21st century Practice?

Let's start with the web site.

It doesn't have to be flashy or expensive to create. In fact these days you could set up a free Word Press site. There are some great templates around to get you started and you don't need much in the way of technical skills to use them.

The key is to make sure that you are not tied into high costs for updates to your web site as your site should be refreshed and updated regularly.

Key content

The following should be prominent on your web site:

  • How to contact you
  • Who you are – include photos
  • What you offer
  • Areas (geographical) that you cover
  • Fees or how a quotation can be obtained

Photos

There seems to some research to suggest that a photo works well – people buy from people. So I do think it is worth while spending a little bit of money to get a good photo taken. A local photographer should be able to do a reasonably priced photo session for you.

Social Media

There are many tools around and it is tempting to jump in and try to do all of them.

Unless you have a huge marketing department behind you then you will fail!

It is better to do one thing well rather than many things poorly.

Choose your tools and use them well. Do not try to use them all. There are just far too many to use all of them. Doing one thing well is much better than failing at many things!

Which one(s) should you use?

The key question – where does your target audience hang out? That should lead you to your tools of choice.

The internet is a great place for free articles and primers on all of the social media terms. For example check out these free resources:

How to use social media to market your business — for free

This article has great links to guides to each of the main social media tools to help you get started.

http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/internet-marketing/social-media-and-online-networking/how-to-use-social-media-to-market-your-business-for-free

How to find people on social media:

http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/internet-marketing/social-media-and-online-networking/finding-your-audiences-on-social-media

Blogs

Don't forget about a blog.

Blogs are a great method of showing your knowledge and building a reputation in your field. Set out a calendar of blogs, post regularly and consistently so that viewers know when to expect a post from you.

And there's more

There are of course many other tings you could do e.g. post on a business forum. There are many tools out there to use. The important thing to do is to set your marketing strategy and stick to it balancing the investment of time & cost against the results that you want to achieve.

 

 

Once last thing ...

Legal information on a web site

Don't forget that you are legally required to have certain information on your web site.

The main one to remember is that if you are a limited company you must display your company details on your web site.

More details on what you need to display can be found on this blog ....

Information required by law on UK websites

http://www.cheapaccounting.co.uk/blog/index.php/information-required-by-law-on-uk-websites

In a short article it is almost impossible to cover everything you should have in your Practice tool kit but hopefully this gives you just a few little pointers.

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Back in 2010 AccountingWEB teamed up with CCH in search of the UK's most innovative practice. After a long-fought contest and spirited campaign, CheapAccounting.co.uk was crowned the winner.

In this blog, CheapAccounting.co.uk managing director Elaine Clark writes about the many issues faced by those in smaller Accountancy Practices.

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Elaine Clark is Managing Director of the Award Winning national accountancy firm, CheapAccounting.co.uk.

She was named Woman in Finance by the Network of Aspiring Women in 2011. She has made several appearances on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box with Paul Lewis and is frequently asked by newspapers, magazines and websites to provide expert comment about tax, finance and other issues relevant to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK.

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