As we all begin to emerge from this pandemic, you may be thinking new client development is going to look completely different than it did two years ago. Although we may not have as many lunch meetings as we used to, and most of our days are now filled with Zoom meetings, one thing still holds true: the best way to consistently generate new business is by laying out a strategic, integrated approach to your marketing efforts. If you’re a motivated accountant looking to bring in new clients, leverage our top ten tips.
- Thank Your Top Referral Sources. Make a list of your top five referral sources and schedule lunch (or maybe a zoom meeting) with them to thank them for their referrals. You can also use this opportunity to tell them what your best clients look like- in order for people to give you a great referral, they need to know from you clearly and concisely what a good referral for you looks like. We have found that this strategy works extremely well in helping your referral sources remember who to refer to you.
- Develop Your Top “Thought Leadership Topics.” Use this summer to personally call your top (three) clients to ask them for ideas around what blogging or speaking topics they would find helpful for you to cover. Then brainstorm additional topics around the top ‘most frequently asked questions’ you get from your clients and prospects. These ideas can then be the foundation for the topics you will write and speak about for your business’ website. Plus adding blogs and videos to your website will help increase your SEO.
- Consider Creating an Editorial Calendar. Consistently communicating your thought leadership across a variety of channels is one of the top ways you can keep your expertise in front of your targeted audience of clients, prospects and referral sources. Start the summer off right by organizing your ideas on what we call an ‘editorial calendar.’ It can be as simple as taking one idea and aligning it for each month of the year as a blog topic and/or a speaking topic. Then discipline yourself on following through and creating the content for each topic. The more consistent you are with blogging/vlogging online, the more your SEO will increase and the more likely you are to increase your clientele.
- Create a Niche Marketing Plan. The more you are known for your expertise around a particular focus area, the easier it will be for people to remember to refer new business to you. Use this summer to set aside some time to create a marketing plan around your specific area of expertise. If you have not already identified a niche for your practice, watch this webinar for ideas on how to do that.
- Review Your Association Involvement. Involvement in the right association can definitely lead to new business. Are you currently involved in an association? How involved are you? Are you on a committee? We have found through our own personal experience and through our client’s experience that being involved in the right association can present incredible opportunities for meeting people who can refer you to new business and even possibly lead directly to new clients! We have a helpful blog post and recorded webinar on this topic for additional help.
- Create a Branded Electronic Newsletter Template. Consistently communicating with your contacts is essential. If you do not currently have a branded, electronic email communications system established yet for your practice, now is the time to get that established. We encourage our clients to create a branded email newsletter template through a system like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. By creating this type of newsletter template, you will now have an excellent system in place to push out your thought leadership content to your contacts. Be sure to have all of your contacts uploaded into the system.
- Audit and Increase Your Activity on Social Media. This is a great time of year to evaluate your activity on social media. Is your LinkedIn profile complete and up to date? Do you have a company LinkedIn page? Do you have or need a Facebook page? You can also spend some time creating a ‘Hootsuite’ account for yourself and your practice. This will assist you in pushing out content (your own and curated content) which will ultimately elevate your credibility in the eyes of your contacts. If you have questions about how to do this, here are two recorded webinars to help you. “How to Build Your Reputation Using Social Media” and “How to Develop, Find and Share Valuable Content on Social Media”
- Create or Update Your “Prospect Pipeline” System. Organizing your new business opportunities and consistently reviewing them on a regular basis with a colleague is an excellent way to bring more new business in the door. Statistically, those professionals that regularly review their potential new business opportunities (using what is generally referred to as a ‘pipeline system’) generate up to twice as much new business as those who do not track and review their prospects. Do you have your prospects recorded and are you reviewing them? If you need help with this, we have a blog post and a recorded webinar to help.
- Create a List of Your Potential Speaking Topics. Speaking is the number one way we can gain credibility. As the world begins to open up again, and you become more involved in an association and you are out networking more, you will potentially get asked to speak. Now is a great time to do your preparation for when you get asked to speak by taking some time to create a list of topics you have spoken on in the past – or topics you would be willing to speak on in the future. That way when you get asked if you would be willing to speak, you already have your topics pulled together and ready to go!
- Be a Good Loser. This may sound ridiculous, but connecting with prospects who may have chosen to go with a different provider over the last year or two can lead to excellent opportunities. When I’ve taken the time to just touch base with those people, I have more often than not found that they are unhappy with the professional they choose and are willing to have a second conversation with me. I have actually been able to close 50% of my ‘missed opportunities’ simply by keeping in touch with them and checking back in. Use this summer to consider placing a courtesy call or email to those opportunities you may have missed out on this year.
As we begin to resume somewhat normalcy, I hope you have found an idea or two from the above list to inspire you and help you keep the new business opportunities flowing into your practice!