As a busy business owner, you know you need to market your tax and accounting practice, but finding the time isn’t easy. On top of that, it’s tough to know where to begin. If you follow all of the advice out there, you’d spend your time marketing your firm and very little on actual client work.
The reality is that while marketing is important, it doesn’t need to be a headache. In just one hour per week, you can strategically and consistently market your business without letting social media rabbit holes take over your life.
Why this time is different
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, email marketing, blogs … you’ve tried it all. With your busy schedule, it just wasn’t worth the effort for the little engagement and traction you were getting. However, as an accountant, you’re focused on the numbers, so when you don’t see instant and direct results, you hit pause. The truth is that marketing is a little more nuanced than the black and white numbers you’re used to. It’s about visibility, consistency, and engagement.
Now is a great time to reflect on what didn’t work. What were your expectations? What didn’t give you results? How did you deliver your message? This time will be different. This time, you’ll know what doesn’t work, and I’m going to tell you what does work. There’s one secret that many people miss when it comes to their social media – one that is a crucial factor in engagement. The secret sauce for successful marketing is consistency.
Consistency is everything
You can have the most fantastic content that anyone has ever seen, but none of that will matter if your posting isn’t consistent. The key to keeping an audience engaged (and master that pesky algorithm) is by posting regularly. Forget about quantity – it’s about quality and consistency. Instead of focusing your energy on posting as much content as possible, focus on making it the best quality possible. Posting regularly and consistently builds trust with your audience.
How to market effectively in an hour per week
Now that you understand the importance of consistency, it’s time to build a game plan! Block out some time each week to focus on your marketing by using the following tips. You’ll be a pro before you know it.
Schedule social media posts. Spend an hour each month scheduling social media posts. You don’t need more than a few per week, as long as your scheduling is consistent. Use a scheduling app, such as Hootsuite or Planoly, so that you can set it and forget it.
Social media posts can be as easy as sharing tips and important deadlines. You can create simple images on Canva or use stock photos. Spend a few minutes searching for tax and accounting hashtags, and gather a list that you can rotate. Using the same combination of hashtags each time can prevent you from being visible in the algorithm.
Send regular email updates. Spending an hour each month writing just one email can help nurture your email list. It keeps you top of mind with your audience, builds credibility, and can lead to more website engagement. Email is an incredibly effective marketing tool, and generally has a higher conversion rate than social media.
Email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Although newsletters aren’t frequently read, single emails with simple updates often are. Take key deadlines, for example. Key deadlines can be a great way to keep your clients in the loop and stay in front of them. Make sure you include a call to action in each one – that’s the key to success! Email marketing software, such as MailerLite, can help you reach your email list in just a few clicks.
Optimize your profiles. An easy way to increase your marketing presence is through social media and ProAdvisor® profile optimization. The good news is that you can do it in an hour or less, and you’ll only have to do it once a year or if there are any big business changes. Here are a few ways to optimize your profile:
- Find a few SEO-friendly keywords that describe your business, and add them throughout the description in your “about” sections.
- Keep your business description consistent across all platforms.
- Link your website in your “about/bio”section, and double-check that the link works.
- Add social media icons and links to your website and email signature.
- Use branded background images and cover photos (you can easily create these in Canva).
- Use the same profile picture on every platform.
- Make sure all your images are cropped correctly on your social media profiles, so that your face is centered.
- Review your profiles for typos, inconsistencies, or for anything that needs updating. Do you have more skills or accomplishments to add?
Engage. If you want to gain followers and conquer the algorithm, spend time engaging with your followers and colleagues on social media. Respond to any comments on your posts. Share posts you think might benefit your audience. Choose a few hashtags relevant to your business. Like, comment, and follow other people posting under those hashtags.
While using accounting hashtags is important, you’ll primarily connect more with others accountants if you only use those. Instead, think about hashtags that are important to your clients and the industry you serve, and engage with them. Engagement is an activity that’s best done weekly in smaller chunks, rather than a single one-hour block each month.
One of the most important parts of engagement is reviews! Reviews are your social proof, and are often the deciding factor for potential clients. If someone leaves you a review, make sure you respond to it. Take time to leave reviews for other people, when applicable. If your social media lacks testimonials, don’t be afraid to ask others to leave you a review. LinkedIn makes it especially easy to request a recommendation, but you can also personally reach out to past and current clients to ask them to leave you a testimonial.
Curating content. Curating content is one of the easiest things you can do to boost your marketing presence. Spend time finding articles that are meaningful to share with your audience. Or, better yet, save articles as you come across them. Add them to your social media scheduler or share them as you find them. Be sure to add a comment about why you’re sharing each article, and tag the author in the post, if possible. If you think anyone will find it particularly valuable, you can tag them in the comments.
Write a blog post. Did you know that writing just one blog post a month can skyrocket your visibility and SEO? Consider making time to share what you’ve learned with your audience. It’s a great way to build relationships and position yourself as an authority. While it might take you more than an hour, the time investment is worth the huge rewards.
Ready, set, market!
While focusing an hour each week won’t net you instant fame and fortune, breaking marketing down into a manageable chunk makes it easier to stay focused, which is more effective long term. You’ll start to see results through better engagement, as well as a slow and steady build to success. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see significant results right away. A smaller following with an engaged audience is better than a larger following with little engagement. Even if you can’t see immediate results, these tips will help you be more visible.
Growing your marketing presence will help increase the “know, trust, and like” factor that’s essential to your success. Spending a little bit of time on all the right things will get you the big results you deserve!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Firm of the Future. Quasar Cowboy Founder & CEO Richard Roppa-Roberts and CopySnacks Founder Erin Pennings can talk marketing and strategy for accountants all day long. Together, they host the Not the Only Marketer Roundtable where they talk through marketing questions and solve real-world dilemmas for accountants. See www.roundtablelab.com for more information.