Too often, tax professionals have a “need to have” mentality when it comes to clients and though it’s true that firm survival depends on clientele, successful firms employ a healthy dose of discernment.
Ultimately, the key is to realize that not all revenue is created equal and, moreover there is such a thing as “bad revenue.” But, as with most things, there’s a shade of grey involved and only you can determine the acceptable level of opaqueness.
Start by looking at your current client base to get a clear idea of which clients are helping your firm and which are hurting it. The Personality/Profitability Matrix is a tool used to segment clients into four quadrants – see below for the breakdown:
Quadrant One is comprised of clients that don’t pay well, and generally make you want to pull your hair out (“bad revenue” makes sense now, right?).
Quadrant Two is made up of clients that are enjoyable to work with, but don’t pay well.
Quadrant Three clients are not enjoyable to work with, but do pay well.
Quadrant Four is reserved for those superstar clients that are a joy to work with and pay well.
When you see your clients plotted along the Personality/Profitability Matrix, it will be apparent which you need more of and which need to be transitioned. Putting your clients in the appropriate quadrant could be the start of your most stress-free year ever.
Once identified, the next step is to look at ways to attract the right clientele to your firm. Below are a few core elements of an online target marketing strategy to help you get started:
You must make the right first impression with an up-to-date website that communicates professionalism and expertise. Everything about an accounting firm’s website – from the imagery to the copy – sends a message to prospective clients. Ensure that it’s mobile-friendly and easy to navigate – 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to being found when your target audience searches online for services you provide. Successful SEO incorporates strategies that take place both on and off a website to help the firm appear higher in relevant searches.
According to Adweek, nearly 50% of people seek financial advice through Facebook, so creating a strong social media presence helps build trust and increase visibility to new clients.
A great way to reach specific audiences is with pay-per-click (PPC) ads that target queries searchers are likely to use (e.g. Complex Tax Issues). Couple these ads with blog posts that address common concerns like “accounting for sole proprietors and freelancers” to further communicate your topical expertise.
Creating a solid strategy that helps attract and retain the right clientele to your firm may seem overwhelming, but neglecting it can be hazardous to your professional health. A good place to start is by downloading the FREE whitepaper, How Accountants Can Grow Year-Round Business and Increase Client Loyalty. Written specifically for accounting professionals, this whitepaper walks you through identifying, attracting and retaining loyal clients
Heather Frechette-Crowley is Director of Product Marketing at CPA Site Solutions where she regularly blogs on all things accountant marketing related. She has over 18 years of experience in online marketing, product marketing and corporate communications across financial services and healthcare industries