There are fewer things worse about social media than being stalked by sales people. I suppose being stalked by in real life might be worse, but I digress.
More and more, social platforms are being bombarded with people trying to sell products or services we ain’t buying. And why aren’t we buying? Because we don’t know them. There’s no relationship.
Don’t be one of those people.
The immense value your services provide is worth far more than that. And people will pass you by, simply because you sound too salesy- even if your intentions are well meaning.
Think about it like this- you’d never ask a person you just met to marry you (unless you’re Ana from Frozen and we all know how that turned out). It’s the same way with your accounting firm. You need to build a relationship with a prospect before you ask them to buy your services. You need to establish trust.
Build trust through sharing knowledge.
You don’t need to be afraid to give away too much information. As a rule of thumb, if someone can get an answer to their question by doing a Google search, you need to be giving that information away free of charge.
If you’re worried about losing out on clients by giving away all your “trade secrets” let me set your mind at ease. Your potential clients will realize one of two things-
- They are in way over their heads and they need you to help them right away.
- They can indeed figure something out for themselves and they’re thankful for the help you provided. When they find themselves in a situation they can’t resolve on their own, they will come to you for help.
Either way you win.
Give away information until the cows come home. When those clients come to you with all their questions, give away information, charge for implementation.
Do the work first.
Have something to share.
Start by holding a TAYA session by yourself or with your team. Figure out what questions people are asking you. This will give you a list of topics to film video content for or to write about on your blog.
Show your value by giving them what they want and selling them what they need.
As you well know, most clients come to you with what they think is the problem- and it’s almost never the actual problem. Use your social media, blogs and other content to answer the questions they are asking.
Be as predictive as Facebook. You know the deal- you start thinking about getting a new car and instantly your feed is filled with cars and car products. Do that! I don’t mean put a bunch of ads out there on Facebook (you can read about how you know you are ready for that here).
I do mean making them think “Hey that’s me!” when they see the title of a blog post you’ve shared or a comment you’ve made on a social media post.
Show your value by:
- Using your blog to answer the questions they are asking
- Talk about the main points of your blog in a short 1-3 minute video.
- Post the video to your social media channels and send viewers to the blog link to learn more.
When clients search for something they ought to be able to find the answer and if they can’t find it on your website or socials, they’ll find it somewhere else.
Once you’ve shown the plethora of knowledge around what they think they need, start posting about what they actually need.
Refer to previous blog posts or videos you’ve shared on socials that have answered questions and take those to the next level. Go deeper about the root issues they are facing. Those issues that might not be so easily seen at the surface level.
For example, if they asked you why they have no money in the bank account but sold a bunch of products, answer that question first (for free). Then delve deeper. Show them what it looks like to have a cash flow process and how you help them implement those strategies (as a paid service).
Share more of what they actually need by:
- Creating a high level PDF guide on a topic important to their industry
- Pull quotes from the guide that give the reader intrigue (usually something that is surprising or that they wouldn’t typically know).
- Design quote images in Canva
- Post quote images to social media channels and link to the guide on your website.
Mention your services.
If a client or potential client has a problem and you are answering their question in a blog post or a social media inquiry, it’s okay to mention that you have a paid service that will fix their problem.
It’s not THAT you say it, it’s the WAY you say it.
Don’t put all your eggs in the basket of one sales comment. If there’s no pressure from you to push them to buy, they’ll actually be more likely to consider because they feel they are being helped, not sold to.
Mention your services by:
- Giving them a brief answer to their question
- Letting them know what service you offer that solves their problem
- Send them a link to the page where they can learn more
- Let them know you’ll send them any free resources you have available to help them
- Remind them if at any point they’d like to learn more about your services they can always reach out.
Put it out there and if the client is ready, they will ask more questions. Every time.
Address their doubts, annoyances and fears.
Many people looking for a new accountant-
- Have been burned by a previous accountant
- Found themselves overwhelmed by trying to DIY
- Don’t know where to start or who to trust
Create content around each of these areas.
Use those predictive Facebook skills so they go “Hey that’s me!” It may feel like the aforementioned stalker, but really it’s building trust and relationship. Letting your target market know you understand them, you care and you can help with their problems.
Address their doubts, annoyances and fears by:
- Writing a blog post on why they are worried, doubtful or annoyed about having to find a new accountant.
- Create a video highlighting the main points of the blog post.
- Share the video on your social media channels and point them to your blog to read the full version.
Share all the amazing content you’ve created on your social channels.
If you’ve done all of the above, you’ll have plenty of content to share on your socials without sounding like a broken record. You’ll be able to give both what they want, and what they need. You’ll also be able to supplement these posts with more regular, everyday things.
Be human by sharing personal experiences.
Social media was created inherently for the purpose of interacting with other human beings.
When it comes to your business, you are your biggest asset. There is no one other business in the world that is just like yours- because it doesn’t have you.
Oftentimes accountants don’t think they are interesting, they don’t do anything out of the ordinary- at least nothing worth sharing about. Guess what? That’s exactly what your clients and potential clients want to know. They want to know their accountant likes to have a craft beer sitting on the back patio on a warm summer evening. They want to know what amazing book you just read or the restaurant you went to or the bike ride you just took with your family.
Your clients and potential clients don’t just want to know what you can DO for them. They want to know what it might be LIKE doing business with you. They want to know you are a human just like them.
If you’re feeling a little challenged with figuring out exactly what this means, ask yourself if it fits within the values you stand for. If it does, you’re okay to share it. If it doesn’t, it’s worth reconsidering why you would share that particular post at all.
Use the 80/20 rule.
This is helpful to make certain you aren’t posting too much direct content about your business. 80% of your content needs to be about things your clients are interested in- everything we’ve mentioned above- and 20% about the services you offer.
More often than not, your potential client has done their research. They’ve checked out your social platforms and pursued your website- probably looked at some Google reviews. It might be they’ve come to your Twitter profile for the 5th time and are finally ready to buy- in which case you want to make it easy for them.
The 20% of direct content needs to link to your blogs, services, contact or get started pages. It needs to share about what your processes look like, what tech you use and the way you do things. You can also share things about yourself or the team and what part they play in your business.
Take the pressure off by remembering this is just one piece of the marketing puzzle.
Rome wasn’t built in a day (I know, I know, pick a better cliche)- but it’s true. The same stands for your social media and all your content for that matter. Each individual tweet, blog post, Insta-story, is a small piece of the full picture.
Every interaction a prospect has is slowly drawing them in or pushing them away. By focusing on helping them, building trust and being human, you’ll be sure to attract only the prospects you want and turn them into the clients that you need.