One of the areas of greatest opportunity for accountancy firms (and, indeed, any professional service firm) is that of blogging. Fortunately many of you are starting to realise this, and even if you aren’t doing it yet you know that you should be.
In a previous post, we’ve already mentioned some statistics about how blogging can bring you more leads.
Here is a little more education for you about why blogging is so critical for your accountancy firm, and how it can help you get more leads.
(Next week we’ll talk about the pros and cons of having a ghost writer for your blog – but feel free to ask us whether this could be helpful for you. It’s not for everyone.)
1. Blogging provides fresh content for your website.
This means you get found more quickly in the search engines. Google wants to return search results to its users that are relevant, recent, and ethical. So, if someone searches for “construction tax issues”, which is something mentioned on your accountancy firm’s website, but you haven’t produced any new content relating to these keywords in the past five years, you’ll be passed by for the new accountant on the block who has been blogging on tax issues for the construction industry every week for the past few months.
2. Regular blog posts give you something to share on social media engines.
We are constantly being asked whether we help accountancy firms with their social media. We do, but not in the way you might expect. We’ll first encourage you to develop a content marketing plan, or redesign your website so that it is focused on the visitor and not on you and your services. (To do this, we help you identify your niche or focus areas, even if you think you don’t have any.) Once you have the bigger picture in place as to what you want to focus on, you can start blogging about those areas, those topics, those niches, and now you’ll have something to share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and any other social media engines appropriate to your firm. And the more you share, the more people visit your site….which takes us to our next point. Read on.
3. Blogging encourages people to visit your website more often.
That is, if you direct them to it. This is the reason you need to have a blog built-in to your website, not an addendum or a separate site. Once you are posting regularly to this blog (and you can post as often as you like, the more the better), you tell the world about it. Not just social media, but by email. Have a regular email update that gives just the highlights of the blog posts – the title and the first sentence or two – and encourages people to go from the email to your website – which brings us to our next point. Or send out weekly or monthly tips and include a link to your site. Or consider vlogs (video blogging), which we’ll talk about next week.
4. Regular blogging helps draw in the kind of clients you want to work with.
The more you blog about your areas of expertise, the more you will draw in the kind of people you want to work with. One of the challenges many accountancy firms face is that of having to ‘weed out’ the prospects who are not the kind they want to work with. This is different for every firm: for example, one of our clients in London love startups. They’ve got a great little package that startup companies love, and the firm has things so systemised that it is profitable for them. Another firm we’re working with wouldn’t touch startups with a barge pole. And that is fine! To each their own. But if you are blogging on the right kind of topics, then the right kind of people will find you (and the wrong kind will, hopefully, either not find you or will just drift away). And if the prospects you want like what you write, they will engage with you more (see the next point).
5. Blogging encourages people to engage with your website.
If your website is constructed properly, then you will have clear and simple calls to action, and visitors will engage with you and your firm. This is something many accountancy firm websites are still missing – even when they’re modern and fresh and clean and simple, with good images, it’s still all about you and your services. The point of your website is not to share your services. Fact is, most businesses have a pretty good idea of what an accountancy firm does, and what they need. They don’t want to read a list of things like accounts, tax, payroll, VAT, management consultancy, exit strategy. They want to know that you understand their problems and their issues, and then they want to take a tiny little action to test the waters. Things like an email signup, weekly tips, how-to videos, a webinar replay, live chat. (I’ll do another marketing tip soon on the tiny little calls to action you can use.)
6. Blogging establishes you as an expert.
Most accountants are experts in helping businesses grow, but many have expertise in particular niche or industry areas. (You may not even realise this.) Ask yourself, what are you constantly telling clients and prospects to be careful of, to consider, to do in their business? What hot topics are you reading about? What are you talking to your colleagues about on a regular basis? What problems have you been solving lately? Blog about those, and the world will not only want to read about it, but will trust you as a thought leader in this area.