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Strategies for Growing Your Accounting Client Base

February 15, 2022

Business growth is vital to all organizations, large and small. It is how a company can diversify and increase profits. It leads to new opportunities and experiences. It is key to attracting and retaining strong employees. The accounting industry continues to grow, and is expected to exceed $735 billion globally by 2025, a substantial increase from its $544 billion level in 2020. With this in mind, we sat down with WealthCo Marketing Consultant Bryton Udy to pick his brain on a few strategies that accounting firms can use to help set themselves apart from the competition and gain a higher percentage of that coveted market share.

Live your brand

Bryton was instrumental in WealthCo’s 2021 rebrand and shared his thoughts on some of the misconceptions that exist around branding.

“Branding is so much more than just a logo. It is extremely foundational – it is the spirit and personality of your organization, it speaks to who is your ideal customer, it is your story, it is your voice. Your brand should put your client in the centre of your story, with your organization playing the role of guide and trusted advisor.”

Being clear on who your perfect client is, and what your business is all about, is key to developing your organizational brand and story. With this clarity around messaging firmly in hand, communicating it in a consistent manner will help to build an emotional connection with your existing, and prospective, clients. Usage of a uniform colour palette and imagery that is similar across a medium of tools and platforms both help to support this organizational brand.

A website is a must-have

Here are a few website stats that reinforce that in 2022 having a clear and effective website truly is a must-have, not a nice-to-have:

  • Upwards of 80% of consumers will review an organization’s website prior to making a purchase;
  • Businesses that do not have a website risk losing 70% - 80% of their potential customers;
  • There are nearly 2 billion websites on the worldwide web; and
  • Of the 35% of small business owners who don’t have a website, almost a fifth of them believe their business would grow by 25% in less than three years by building a website.

As Bryton points out, “websites absolutely act as a credibility check for new prospective clients and will be the first place they go when deciding whether to proceed with a new firm.”

How does your organization’s website measure up? Is it mobile-friendly? Is it easy to navigate with a logical flow? Is the loading speed appropriate for today’s on-demand consumer? Is it thorough and informative?

Search engine marketing can be a gamechanger when done right

With your website in good shape and easy to navigate with clear calls to action, search engine marketing may be well-worth exploring. When you consider that Google has become a verb synonymous with searching up something on the web, the power of search engines in marketing becomes quite apparent.

This is especially true for accounting firms that may be looking to increase their business in a specific area, say bookkeeping support or year-end tax returns.

“As long as there is an efficient strategy in place for capturing lead information once a user lands on a page,” Bryton explains, “search engine marketing can be a fantastic tool.”

A lead capture page is just what it sounds like – a web page designed to capture contact information from the leads who visit the page. Contact information that can then be used to communicate further with these potential customers and establish a relationship.

And why would a visitor to your website part with their valuable contact information? In exchange for a digital carrot, which could include:

  • A desirable resource, also known in marketing circles as gated content (say, an e-book, a worksheet, or a white paper);
  • A discount (join our newsletter and get 5% off your first visit);
  • A contest (share your email address and get entered in for box seats to the next ‘insert local favourite sports team here’ game); or
  • An event (perhaps a webinar, workshop, or lunch ‘n’ learn).

Communicate, communicate, communicate

More than anything though, Bryton advises that consistent and compelling communication with current and prospective customers is the best route to business growth.

“There is a significant missed opportunity around consistent communication. Our Integrated Advisory accountant partners are thought leaders, and there are a ton of ways they can share their knowledge and, in the process, make their clients lives easier. It could be a short newsletter with tax tips, an annual email with year-end strategies for business owners, an article on pending policy changes coming from the CRA, a webinar on retirement planning…all these things that the client isn’t thinking about on a daily basis, but that their trusted accountant is.”

This strategy of anticipating and proactively delivering on a client’s future needs and goals, as opposed to taking strictly a rear-view approach, is a key component of WealthCo’s Integrated Advisory model. As is leveraging the accountant’s trusted advisor status to elevate and improve the client experience through the delivery of a more holistic and comprehensive wealth planning model. Learn more about our Integrated Advisory approach and how it can transform your firm.