Lack of referrals and a stiff competitive landscape may deny you the clients you need to scale your accounting firm. But not as much as your lack of authority in your niche.
There are more than enough clients for you. But when imagining how to get clients, don’t expect prospects to choose you when your competitor has earned their trust by sharing knowledge to help them solve their business challenges, which is an important part of marketing for accountants.
Brand authority measures whether your target audience trusts your information. Helping them solve their problems is the quickest way to establish authority. And it’s not hard to see why.
Clients usually get help only if they pay for bookkeeping services. So sharing free content that helps them solve their problems will make them love your brand.
They are sure that
Trust is crucial to converting bookkeeping leads into paying clients. Once they become confident in your expertise, they will soon start patronizing you.
The thing is that clients do not look for bookkeepers for the fun of it. For all they care, they can do their books by themselves to reduce costs. What they don’t get enough of is valuable advice that helps them solve their bookkeeping problems.
That is why sharing your knowledge can never go wrong. It makes you their go-to person for all their bookkeeping challenges.
They’ll soon realize that they can no longer manage their books by themselves. And when they do, they’re many times more likely to use your bookkeeping services.
To succeed at building authority and trust, you can’t just throw darts at the wall to see what sticks.
Here are a few things to do to increase your chances of success.
Communication is central to building trust in your target audience. Saying the right thing to the wrong person is a waste of time.
Understanding your prospects’ needs increases your capacity to solve their challenges.
If you’re unsure, audience research will help you understand them inside out.
The kind of bookkeeping problems they have. The places they hang out. And the time they hang out in those places is part of what you’ll understand with good audience research.
If you are serving everybody, you’re serving nobody. You know that much about business already. It applies to building brand authority online as well.
Your content has to be hyper-targeted to be valuable. That will enable you to zero in on the unique challenges of the niche.
Imagine discussing a bookkeeping topic one day. Then you address political issues the next time. And personal finance after that. It will take a long time to be helpful enough to the right people.
Similarly, if you choose a niche that is too narrow, you wouldn’t have enough people to engage.
A rule of thumb when choosing the right niche for your ideal customer is to look to the people your firm serves. This is particularly important if you want to become a progressive accounting firm.
There are more channels to promote your expertise than you can use.
Select some of the channels where your target audience likes to hang out. Once you do that, consider the way they work.
Some of the most common channels include
to engage your potential clients with long-form posts, images, and videos. You can publish ads (for a wider reach).
enables you to nurture potential clients with email content.
allows you to share your knowledge with bite-sized messages (below 140 characters).
is a professional networking platform. It is helpful for bookkeepers who need to share their content with business owners.
allows you to explain more complex topics with recorded or live streams.
As you start to share your knowledge online, generating content ideas can become difficult. Here’s how you can go from firing blank to never running out of things to share so you continue to attract new bookkeeping clients to your firm:
Creating content to help them solve their problems and achieve goals will make them trust and value the information you provide.
From your experience, what are their bookkeeping struggles? What goals do they want to achieve in their life and business? Take a few hours to write the answers down.
If you can’t think up enough content ideas, who better to ask than your existing clients?
Ask them what they find challenging in achieving their bookkeeping-related business goals.
Their answers could save you the time and resources you would have wasted discussing what your target audience doesn’t care about.
The comments people make on your blog or social media posts are a treasure trove of content ideas. They help you see what prospects want, and how you can help them clarify their thoughts or take the right action.
If you don’t have comments to draw on, check out the comment sections of the blogs, social media pages, and YouTube channels of other brands in your niche.
You can find the terms your prospects are searching for and create content around them. Popular keyword research tools include Google keyword planner, Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool, and Google search suggestions.
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When you have generated the ideas your audience needs, it’s time to transform them into content that your audience will find engaging.
You can turn your ideas into:
Polls are a big deal on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. They help you see what people think about two or more alternatives. Audiences also find them engaging because it piques their curiosity. Apart from voting, they want to know what other people are thinking about their preferences.
Polls take you and your audiences a short time to create and respond to, making it easy to get the best results.
Telling your audience what to do is easy. Showing how to do it is where the work is. It takes expertise to show people how to do what you’re talking about.
For example, show your audience better ways to perform bookkeeping tasks, like receivables and payables. It will help their business more than beating around the bush.
Build credibility by sharing what people like them think of your brand. That is the power of user-generated content.
What’s better, user-generated content is easy to create, since your users have done the heavy lifting for you.
You shouldn’t be too promotional with your content. But sharing the good things your clients and other people are saying about your brand helps to build trust in your brand.
As important as they are, statistical data can be boring to consume. Except they are too negative to ignore.
You can help your audience understand current trends in bookkeeping by presenting statistics in a way they can relate with.
What do the current trends in bookkeeping mean for your target audience? What can they do about it?
Once you have created your posts, it’s time to start sharing. There are several tips and tricks to sharing your content efficiently, but you’ll only truly understand what suits your brands by doing.
However, it helps to keep it simple.
The internet is full of noise. Consuming so much information within a short time can be overwhelming.
Share too much or too frequently, you may overload them and cause them to lose interest.
Share too little or too scantily, and you’ll struggle with getting enough attention from your target audience.
So, whether you choose to share daily, weekly, or monthly depends on your audience’s need for the information. But don’t be afraid to experiment at first to see what works best.
You can begin shoring up trust in your industry on your own today. You can also collaborate with other thought leaders in the industry to make your growth faster. Here are ways you can use both strategies:
Podcasts allow you to create audio content for your target audience. It is a great means of building authority because voice communication is more personal and easier to understand than text. That is why 62% of Americans listen to podcasts.
Kimberli Stephenson has a podcast called The Bookkeeper Basecamp. She invites expert bookkeepers to share the strategies that help businesses achieve their dreams.
Setting up your podcast is not rocket science. The major work in setting up your podcast is:
The good thing about podcasts is that your audience can listen to your podcast whether they are cooking, exercising, or doing their laundry.
YouTube gives you access to over 2.6 billion monthly users, many of whom need your bookkeeping content to lead better lives and businesses.
YouTube is arguably the best way to showcase your personality, thanks to its visual component. Its long-form video format allows you to explain ideas in more detail.
It is free for you and your audience (unless they chose the premium service), making it easier for your audience to consume your content.
Take Accounting Stuff’s James Hearle For example. James uses his YouTube channel to share knowledge—which is helping his 470,000+ subscribers learn accounting principles.
To start a YouTube channel, you’ll need
YouTube allows you to earn money from your videos when you get monetized.
Newsletters help you to connect with people who already know about you enough to subscribe. Whoever makes it to your newsletter has found enough value in your content to open their inbox to you.
Your newsletter wouldn’t have to operate in a silo. You can round up your blog posts, podcast episodes, and YouTube videos for your readers to consume. You can even search online to find and share other people’s content that will be of value to your subscribers.
Marcum LLP does this well. Their core business is providing accounting services to businesses across several industries. The “Beyond the Numbers” Newsletter is a roundup of business and tax planning ideas that help their audience thrive in business.
To build your authority with a newsletter, you need to:
Webinars give you the chance to teach and interact with your audience in real time. You can address any topic, question, or observation in your webinar to give your audience clarity and improve your credibility.
Be strategic with your webinar topics. For example, you can host a webinar to discuss account reconciliation before the end of the fiscal month or quarter. More people will be interested in it because they are preparing to do it at the time.
Barnes Dennig provides tax, advisory, and other tax services to its clients. They host several webinars where they share insights that help accountants succeed.
Twitter allows you to build a following by publishing short messages. It is not enough to have a Twitter account where you send out one-way messages. Your content has to be engaging. Sharing your thoughts on other people’s tweets is also a good way to publicize your expertise.
Twitter Spaces is an open platform that allows you to join others to discuss current issues and spread your influence.
Like Eva Rosenberg of TaxMama. Eva shares tax and other accounting insights on her Twitter page, @TaxMama. It seems to be working well for her so far as she has close to 14,000 followers on the platform.
LinkedIn is a perfect place to network with business owners—your ideal clients. Apart from the regular sharing features, LinkedIn offers written, audio, and video features. You can choose whichever suits you best to engage your audience and build trust.
Jodi Padar uses her LinkedIn page to share her knowledge of accounting. With 651,500 followers, she encourages accounting professionals to use tech for better client results.
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Apart from hosting your webinar, joining other industry leaders to host some is just as effective. it shows you’re recognized in the industry, not to mention the access you get to other thought leaders’ audiences. All these strengthen your authority.
You can also collect their emails to add them to your mailing list by offering them downloadable materials if you have some.
Getting on other brands’ podcasts also helps you connect to other thought leaders and their audiences.
You can pitch to hosts of relevant podcasts in your industry. Or they can even invite you if you make yourself noticeable enough by engaging with their content.
***Pro Tip: before pitching any podcast, be sure to subscribe first to see if you’ll be a good fit.
Like guest podcasting, you get to also join relevant thought leaders to discuss the topics your audience cares about.
All these efforts will help your firm:
Your prospects will begin to notice you as your brand receives attention from every relevant corner of the internet.
And the algorithms will most likely recommend your brand to your ideal clients.
The crème of the accounting industry will notice you if you publish quality content. They will want you to appear on their podcasts, YouTube, or webinar.
And because they have a large following, they will boost your recognition among their audiences. In return, they will leverage your brand to extend their influence.
Sharing your knowledge online helps you pre-qualify your clients. Your content will reflect your value system and will help filter out clients who are not a good fit for your brand.
On the flip side, it also helps you draw in your ideal clients faster because they already have a sense of your work.
Quality services plus brand trust will make your existing clients keep coming back. The more of you they see online, the safer they will feel about working with you.
And they will stay with your brands for as long as you keep satisfying them. They will also refer their friends to your brand.
Your clients will be more than happy to recommend you to their friends. But besides that, some prospects may never use your services even though they are your ideal client.
But by consistently sharing your knowledge, they will take note of you. Whenever someone they know needs your services, they will refer them to you.
Your brand awareness is crucial to your success as a bookkeeping practice. People will not trust their finances with bookkeepers they do not know.
So, taking every chance you get to share your knowledge and promote your brand is well worth it.
Your ideal clients are looking for answers to their problems online. You don’t want to be missing in action when they need your ideas.
The best time to start sharing your knowledge was yesterday. The next best time is now. If you start creating and building your influence online today, your practice will be in a better position a few years from now.