Leveraging online tools, social media and creative design can turn a droll website into profit-making centres for your accounting practice, says Hugh Duffy.
What most accountants really want to know, first and foremost, is how their investment in a website can be used to recruit new clients. After all, at the end of the day, every expenditure needs to have some payback to justify itself.
During the last decade, most accounting firms residing in a competitive market location created websites that were little more than online brochures. Calling cards, if you will. These types of websites would be nothing more than text on a page with no photography and poorly written content, not pleasing on the eye.
Higher connection speeds and increased familiarity with the internet gradually introduced us to websites rich in content, photography and graphic designs and pleasing to the eye. Today, maximising your online potential can help attract new clients. Whether you decide to design (or redesign) a website yourself or use an external resource to create one for you, you’ll want to concentrate on several key components.
Leverage complementary tools such as newsletters and social media. Again, thanks to advanced technologies, there are many tools that can complement your website; the key is to use these tools to drive traffic to your site. Here are a few ideas:
Distribute an e-mail newsletter: If you think a newsletter is just about content, think again. The real value to an e-mail newsletter is the referral base it generates through existing relationships. The best way to do this is encourage clients and friends to pass your newsletters along to their friends, colleagues and even family – anyone who may qualify as a referral source.
Integrate social media into your website: Your website should integrate with social media applications such as LinkedIn. Something as simple as incorporating an icon button for LinkedIn on your home page increases the likelihood that a prospect will find you.
Hugh Duffy is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Build Your Firm.