Are you struggling to get more clients for your accounting business?
You’re not alone.
A study by Hinge Marketing found accounting and financial service firms were the slowest-growing of all professions studied.
While the tech sector grows at a 15 percent median rate, the accounting business slogs behind with a growth rate of 11 percent. Hinge Marketing’s survey also discovered that accounting and financial services firms generate the least amount of leads from digital sources—an important factor in business growth and success.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Hinge also found the difference between high-growth and medium-growth accounting firm businesses comes down to one thing: marketing. High-growth accountants invest more time and money in their marketing efforts.
Marketing for accountants is what develops the all-important know, like, and trust factor. Clients can find you through social media or blog posts, learn more about you, and decide you’re the best accountant for the job.
In short, the better you get at your accounting firm marketing, the more you can squash industry-standard growth rates and boost your profitability.
Ready to hear about some marketing strategies for accounting firms? Then let’s get going.
Key Takeaways: Marketing for Accountants
- The difference between high-growth and medium-growth accounting firm businesses comes down to one thing: marketing.
- Marketing for accountants is what develops the all-important know, like, and trust factor. It fuels growth, and helps them stand out from the competition.
- Effective marketing for accountants has benefits like instilling trust, building brand awareness, making better first impressions, growth, and helping accountants stand out from competitors.
- CPA marketing is unique. Marketing efforts highlight CPAs’ ethical standards and integrity, and CPAs must stay up-to-date with changing accounting standards, tax regulations, and industry-specific compliance requirements.
- Local SEO should be an integral part of your online marketing as a CPA.
Why Do CPAs Need Marketing?
Shopping online isn’t only for e-commerce businesses.
Fifty-five percent of consumers conduct online research before making a purchasing decision. If you don’t have a digital presence, you’re leaving money on the table and creating a barrier between you and your potential clients.
With 2.14 billion digital buyers, there’s a massive pool of people you could tap into by introducing CPA marketing.
Besides the earning potential, effective marketing for accountants has other benefits like:
- Instilling trust: You establish yourself as an authority and expert by having a professional website with sales pages and blog posts. Almost 92 percent of people use Google to answer their most pressing questions.
- Brand awareness: By investing in CPA marketing and getting your CPA business on the first page of search results, you can grow your brand awareness without a huge paid ad budget.
- Making better first impressions: In the digital age, your website is your first impression to potential clients. If it’s slow, outdated, or uninspiring, your site visitors will leave, and you’ll lose the sale.
- Growth: No one goes into business just to stand still. CPA marketing is imperative for click-throughs to your website, eyeballs on your page, and conversions.
- Standing out from competitors: Why should leads use your accountancy services above others? Marketing for accountants is your opportunity to explain your unique selling proposition.
What Makes CPA Marketing Unique?
Of course, establishing trust and credibility should be the focal point of any business, but as a CPA accountant, there’s a stronger emphasis on this.
Other factors make marketing for accountants unique:
Emphasis on Ethics and Integrity: Marketing efforts highlight CPAs’ ethical standards and integrity. Messaging around ethical conduct and a commitment to maintaining the highest standards helps build confidence.
Compliance and Regulation Awareness: CPAs must stay up-to-date with changing accounting standards, tax regulations, and industry-specific compliance requirements. Marketing efforts may focus on how CPAs can help businesses navigate complex regulatory landscapes and ensure compliance with the latest financial reporting standards.
Niche Focus: CPA marketing often targets specific niches or industries. CPAs may specialize in tax planning, forensic accounting, auditing, or financial consulting, as a small sampling. As a CPA accountant, you can tailor your marketing efforts to highlight expertise in a particular niche to attract clients with specific needs.
Educational Content: Given the complexity of accounting and financial matters, CPA marketing often involves educational content. This can include blog posts, webinars, or whitepapers that explain accounting principles, tax changes, and financial planning strategies—providing valuable information that positions the CPA as an expert in their field.
Networking and Referral Marketing: Building a solid professional network is crucial in CPA marketing. Word-of-mouth referrals and networking within business and professional communities can be significant sources of clients. Establishing a positive reputation and maintaining relationships with other professionals can lead to more referral business.
10 Marketing Tips for CPAs
Ready to take your CPA marketing to the next level? Here are some of the best marketing for accountants strategies to grow your brand awareness, attract the right customers, and scale your business.
1. Create an SEO-Friendly Website With a Strong CTA
Because so many buyers go online to conduct online research before purchasing, a website is no longer a “nice to have.”
It’s a must.
An SEO-optimized website does three things:
Helps Search Engines to Send Organic Traffic
Sick of cold emailing tactics or leads without intent on opting in for your services?
By going all-in on SEO and targeting keywords your potential clients are using, you can attract the right customers (who are ready to sign a contract) straight to your website.
Not sure what SEO is or how to do keyword research? Check out my ultimate SEO guide, which takes you through absolutely everything you need to know for effective CPA marketing and (hopefully) gets you to the front page of Google.
Turns Visitors Into Leads
When someone is knee-deep in research mode, a professional-looking website goes a long way in the decision-making process.
With a strong call-to-action (CTA) on your homepage, you can stop people from leaving your site without scheduling a call or filling out a form to find out more.
Here’s a good example:
Notice the “Schedule A Call” button. It’s above the fold (meaning you don’t have to scroll to see it), and it encourages visitors to take action.
If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see another CTA to schedule a call.
Want help setting up a CTA? Use one of my eight foolproof CTA tactics.
Sets You Up as the Go-To Expert
Marketing for accountants starts with a robust website that builds your reputation.
Once your website ranks for the right keywords on Google (i.e., words and phrases your customers are using), it tells the user you’re an expert and creates brand awareness.
When someone sees you as an industry thought leader, it establishes trust. This sets up one of the natural laws of business: People do business with those they know, like, and trust.
2. Create a Blog for Your Website
When it comes to marketing for accountants, creating a blog is an incredibly effective tactic.
Your blog posts rank in the search results.
When you’re ranking on the first page of Google, you get more visibility, website traffic, and qualified leads. For your customers, blogging is beneficial because it answers their questions, gives them quick wins, and helps them find solutions to their problems.
It’s a win/win for everyone.
How do you start writing blog posts that end up on the first page of search results?
First, you need to do keyword research to understand what problems your audience is trying to solve. By answering these key questions, you can identify your clients’ challenges, create added value for your site, and convert visitors into clients.
Keyword Research Resources:
Next, you need to write your blog post and optimize it for search.. By following basic on-page SEO principles, you can optimize your blogs for ranking on the first page of Google.
SEO Blogging Resources:
3. Start Using Social Media
Do you have a social media presence?
Research from the data-driven portfolio website Visual Objects shows that 67 percent of small businesses use social media tools, and 25 percent count it among their top three digital marketing strategies.
You need to be out there and active on social media because that’s where many of your leads will find you.
Fortunately, many accountants have picked up on this, and they’re using sites like LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to lift their businesses to the max.
Want some examples? OK then. Take a look at the following profiles on YouTube and LinkedIn.
First, there’s James Hearle. With almost 700k subscribers and over 25 million views of his channel since 2018, this accounting influencer has made the most of social media to build his brand and authority by providing free tutorials for small businesses, bookkeepers, and students.
Next, we have Tom Hood, who has over 700k followers on LinkedIn. He is well-established as an expert within the LinkedIn community by regularly contributing to the “Top Voices” program.
A strong, regularly updated social media presence builds brand awareness, creates more leads, establishes your credibility and expertise, builds community, and shows you’re on the ball with industry trends.
Whether it’s status updates, sharing business news, or writing thought pieces, creating content for social media is a powerful lead generation tool.
You can tag your posts with hashtags to boost your reach, and the more engagement it gets, the more the algorithm pushes your content out to a larger audience.
By increasing the number of eyes on your posts, you increase your chances of leads finding your profile and reaching out.
Here’s another example from LinkedIn:
These LinkedIn users keep their pages full of their latest achievements and career history snippets demonstrating their expertise. They also use hashtags for extra visibility on the platform and help prospects find them.
Social Media Marketing Resources:
- 9 Powerful LinkedIn Marketing Tips (That Actually Work)
- How to Make Social Media Work For Your Business
- What Is Social Media Marketing
4. Create YouTube Videos
If you’re confident on camera, why not add YouTube to your CPA marketing plan?
After all, research shows that 83 percent of small and medium business owners say YouTube has helped them grow their customer base. Eighty-three percent of businesses with a YouTube channel say it’s increased their local visibility.
Consider creating a marketing strategy around YouTube. People come to the platform to learn, get inspired, or have fun. YouTube is such a lucrative platform for accountants because the content is searchable on Google.
Like Google, SEO also plays a part on YouTube.
To see success on the platform, you need to use the same keywords your audience uses to search for you. Consider using keywords in these places:
- Your speech (YouTube scans your words)
- Video title
- Video description
These views turn into leads and are an excellent way to grow your brand awareness and YouTube Resources:
5. Claim Your Google Business Page
Google Business Profile can help your marketing for accountants plan by increasing visibility in local search results.
That’s a lot of opportunities for your next client to find you. Let’s say someone searches “CPA in New York.” If you’ve set up your Google Business Profile page correctly, it shows up in search results like this:
These cards make it easy for people in your area to find you, contact you, and become your next customer.
You only need a business name, location, and category to set up your profile. Once Google authorizes it, you’ll start appearing on local search and Google Maps.
Your customers can leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, save your listing, and see important information like your contact details.
Again, this is SEO. These keywords help Google understand and show your listing for the correct search results.
To learn how to set up your Google Business Profile account, optimize it for local SEO, and what mistakes to avoid, check out these resources:
- How to Optimize Google My Business and Leverage It for More Sales
- How to Own Your Google My Business Rankings
6. Build Your Email List
While building a presence on YouTube and LinkedIn are solid marketing strategies for accounting firms, those platforms could close down tomorrow.
If that happens, you’ll lose access to your audience.
The solution? Building your email list.
One simple way to do this is by adding a sign-up form on your website, like in this example from Healthy Taxes, to drive subscribers.
Once a prospect subscribes, you can seal the deal with a special discount and a call to action.
To encourage sign-ups, create a lead magnet and use it to entice your website visitors to subscribe. Your lead magnet should focus on a problem your audience wants to overcome and present a quick win.
For example, if you help freelancers with their taxes, you could make a checklist for preparing for tax season. At the end of your lead magnet, include a call-to-action to hire you for those who want to skip the admin and let someone else handle it.
Other types of lead magnet ideas include:
- Case studies
- Cheat sheets
Once you have people on your email list, you can nurture the relationship and promote your offers and tips via a weekly or monthly newsletter.
Yup, I’m talking about newsletters, and why not? People love them!
Why the surge in popularity?
Personalization has a lot to do with it. After all, many other forms of online marketing, like social media, lack a personal touch.
Newsletters are also great for nurturing relationships with existing customers and those not ready to make their first purchase.
Another reason a newsletter can be such an effective form of CPA marketing is segmentation.
By segmenting according to demographics, behavior, or interest, you can target your subscribers with specific content and offers and boost your ROI.
All you need to do is set up a newsletter, write valuable content, track your results, and tweak tIll you get the results you want.
7. Get Reviews for Your Firm
It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in. You can benefit from the power of a review.
When consumers are looking for a product or service, they nearly always go online first. Before buying anything, they want to know what other people say.
That’s why reviews are an essential part of marketing for accountants.
Reviews also offer your business a valuable learning experience. Negative comments can give you feedback about areas where you can improve your accounting business.
Finally, if you want another reason to work on attracting great reviews, here it is: you can use them in your marketing materials (with the reviewer’s permission, of course).
See how DeBlanc and Murphy display their stellar reviews on their website? It’s an effortless piece of marketing for accounting and gives prospects the confidence to choose them.
8. Host a Webinar
Do you want an easy way to share industry insights and trends while offering practical advice and establishing expertise? Why not host a webinar?
Here’s how the CPA Practice Advisor advertises theirs:
This type of marketing for accountants can boost your business by allowing you to build trust further. The personalized approach can be an excellent selling point, too.
When you’re presenting and answering specific questions, you create connections with your audience, which can convert them into clients.
Once your webinar is over, you can redistribute it in other formats like PowerPoint presentations, blog articles, and email newsletters as part of your larger CPA marketing plan.
9. Consider Paid Advertising
Paid advertising, like pay-per-click, can provide effective marketing for accountants.
There are many advantages to using this method. For instance, PPC ads attract targeted leads by tailoring your ads to leads who are searching for accounting services. In addition, PPC ads are affordable, so even if you don’t have a massive budget, you could still get positive results.
The most popular options are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
One of the most vital parts of PPC ads is choosing the right keywords, so ensure you spend enough time on this part first. You can use my Ubersuggest tool to get some ideas.
Once you run your first paid advertising campaign, you’ll have solid data to measure crucial metrics like conversion, click-through rates, and ROI. This info will help inform your next campaign as you continue marketing and refining your ads.
Just a side note, though: I can’t guarantee you’ll get a return, and the cost of PPC ads can quickly add up if you don’t get it right.
10. Provide Free Tools or Templates
Most people love a freebie, right? Potential customers for your CPA firm are no different.
If you want customers to part with the contact details, you must give them something worthwhile. Typically, this means giving users a free product, like a tool or templates they’ll find helpful.
As well as getting subscribers, you can also use freebies as a chance to offer paid subscriptions or tools.
Templates and tools you could give away include:
- Financial templates (budgeting, expense tracking, invoice templates, etc.)
- Tax calculator tools
- Tax deduction guides
- Business plan templates
- Financial checklists
Local SEO and CPA Businesses
The CPA industry is, by and large, built by region. A given CPA will largely build their customer base from local individuals, making local SEO a critical tool to build up potential prospects.
Want local prospects to find your site online? Then, you need local SEO to rank higher in local search searches.
Here are some steps you can introduce today:
Google Business Profile (GBP): We discussed this earlier, but filling out your free profile is hands down one of the best ways to get your site noticed by local prospects. For additional visibility, be sure to add relevant keywords throughout your profile.
Once you complete and publish your profile, it should look something like this listing from AMLON CPA P.C.
Use local keywords: Add relevant local keywords to your website, blog posts, URLs, tags, headers, and other core areas of your website. My keyword tool, Ubersuggest, will help you find suitable keywords. You can also do keyword analysis to find the keywords your competitors are targeting.
Build local citations: In addition to GBP, register with other sites like Facebook, Bing Places, Nextdoor, and a ton of others. For more options, BrightLocal has a detailed list, and I’ve published a list of 50 citation sites.
Marketing for Accountants Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to market your CPA business is to start by optimizing your website for SEO and curating local SEO through reviews.
If you don’t have the time to manage marketing for your accounting firm, yes. A marketing firm can help save time and tweak your marketing efforts to improve ROI.
Yes! With most people turning to Google to answer their questions and find companies to solve their problems, a digital presence is necessary.
It depends on the size of your firm, location, and how much money you can allow for your marketing, as well as what platforms you want to use and the results you want to achieve. You can do it yourself and spend very little or invest thousands (which may generate more revenue).
By following the marketing strategies for accounting firms detailed in this article, you’ll learn how to create content that attracts your ideal clients, creates value in their lives, and sets your firm up as the go-to expert.
However, if you still need help with accounting firm marketing, contact a digital strategy agency.
Which of these marketing tips for accountants will you implement in your business?
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