Grow Your Firm

Marketing Tactics to Generate Leads for Your Accounting Firm

Gusto Editors  
Female accountant working on lead generation.

Do you know how to market your firm effectively?

Introduce your clients to payroll they’ll actually love.

Enhancing your firm’s marketing tactics is critical for generating new leads and gaining new clients. You need to use various tools and strategies to optimize your firm’s ability to reach new customers. 

Here at Gusto, we aim to empower accountants and give them essential tools for winning new business so that they can expand their firms. That’s why Gusto, along with our partners at CPA Academy, presented a webinar all about generating leads and improving your firm’s marketing tactics. 

The full webinar presentation for “Practical Guide to Lead Generation for Accountants,” can be watched here. It featured the marketing expertise of Matt Wilkinson, the founder and CEO of Bizink.  

In this article, you’re going to learn all about different marketing strategies, including upgrading your website, using lead magnets, managing leads with customer relationship management tools, and contacting potential clients directly. 

Improving your marketing tactics by upgrading your website

When generating new leads, it’s critical that your firm takes the time to work on marketing tactics to increase your marketing conversion rate. An essential step towards raising your market conversion rate is through improving your website. Your website can help you generate new leads while also convincing potential customers to use your services:

“Websites [are] still, in my opinion, the center of most firms’ marketing world. … [When] you get a new lead or a referral, one of the first things they’re going to do is … they’re going to come and check out your website. Even if your website is just there to seal the [deal] … with referrals, … it’s really important to make sure that you’ve got a good website.”

Matt Wilkinson

You need a quality website to generate leads and convince referrals to use your accounting firm. Your website acts as an online brochure, so it’s important that you design it well and include certain features. It needs to be mobile-friendly, include Hypertext Transfer Protocol Security (HTTPS), and you need to make it easy for people to contact your firm. In addition to including basic contact information, you should include a section for scheduling an appointment or live chatting with someone at your firm: 

“Appointment bookers … are really valuable. We added an appointment booker to our website in 2015, and the amount of … sales meetings went up by 30%.”

Matt Wilkinson

When you make it easy for potential clients to book an appointment with your firm, you’ll dramatically increase your interactions with leads. Once you come in contact with a potential customer, your chances of converting them into a client improve greatly.

Male accountant shaking hands with a potential client.

In addition to making it easy for potential clients to schedule appointments, your website should also include customer testimonials:

“The best copywriter in the world can’t write more convincing copy than what your own clients say about you. So I really believe in putting your clients front and center on your website.”

Matt Wilkinson 

Your website should focus heavily on highlighting customer experiences with your firm. You should include their testimonials as well as actual pictures of your clients rather than stock photos. 

Your firm needs to invest the time and money to optimize your website because a great website can generate new leads and convert current leads into clients. 

Using lead magnets and customer relationship management tools 

A critical step your firm can take in increasing the number of leads you can generate from your website is including lead magnets. A lead magnet is something that prompts your website’s visitors to engage with your business: 

“Lead magnets are really important because they are what turn website visitors into leads. … The reason why [lead magnets are] so important … is that, unfortunately, most people who visit accountants’ websites don’t get in touch with you. … For many firms, [the conversion rate is] less than 1%.”

Matt Wilkinson

Conversion rate is the number of people who visit your website who end up using your services. Because conversion rates for accountants are so low, you need something that will distinguish your website and initiate an interaction with potential customers. Some examples of lead magnets include business plan courses, templates, eBooks, and other helpful content that visitors can use. Offering useful content is especially important because your visitors usually research and compare different firms: 

“Most people visiting your site are perhaps in research mode. [They’re] not necessarily ready to engage you right there and then. But if you give them some valuable content … in exchange for their details, then they become a lead, and [you] can talk to them. … Timing is one of the most important things in marketing. It’s often not what we do — it’s more [about] the client’s circumstances.”

Matt Wilkinson

Another helpful way to generate leads from lead magnets is including niche content. For example, if your site includes a business plan for cafe owners, that target market is more likely to interact with your lead magnet because it’s a resource they can’t find elsewhere. 

You have a far better chance of converting someone if you’re able to get in contact with them. Once they supply their contact information in exchange for the helpful content on your website, you can reach out to them and schedule a meeting. 

After you turn a website visitor into a lead, you should consider utilizing a customer relationship management (CRM) tool for keeping track of your leads. CRMs offer invaluable tools that optimize your ability to interact with your potential customers: 

“[A dedicated CRM is] going to enable you to automatically store emails you’re sending to prospects and leads. It can automate follow-up tasks, … and it often can integrate with your other marketing tools.”

Matt Wilkinson

Your firm needs to utilize the best tools for keeping track of leads so that you can effortlessly manage communication with potential clients and automatically follow up with them. Once you offer lead magnets and find the best way to manage your leads, you’ll be able to convert leads into clients and expand your firm. 

Outbound marketing for lead generation

In addition to converting your website traffic into leads, you can also contact potential clients directly, which is known as “outbound marketing.” Matt explained the difference between “outbound” and “inbound” marketing and the necessity of using both tools: 

“There [are] basically two ways to get more leads. You can wait for clients to come for you, which is inbound marketing, so things like your social media or search engine optimization. You’re trying to get people to come to you. Or you can go out and get in front of people, [and] that’s outbound marketing. So [you’re] reaching out to them. … In my experience, we need both in a firm, but if we don’t have the outbound bit, the inbound bit doesn’t work that well. People generally need a bit of a nudge to take action.”

Matt Wilkinson

Using your website and lead magnets to generate leads is known as “inbound marketing.” Although inbound marketing is necessary for generating leads, you can make your inbound marketing tools more effective by incorporating outbound marketing into your firm’s strategy. 

Female accountant sitting at her desk calling leads.

There are many different methods of reaching out to potential customers, such as calling, emailing, or messaging them on LinkedIn. One effective way you can incorporate outbound marketing into your strategy is by contacting specific industry demographics: 

“[Outbound marketing] is one of the most effective ways that firms can do lead generation if it’s done right. … [I] recommend sending emails and LinkedIn messages, particularly when they’re targeted at certain niches or certain industries. So how do we do this? Well, first, I think you’ve got to go out and do the research on your target market [and] really understand what their pain points are.”

Matt Wilkinson

You need to understand the specific problems your target market faces. You also need to learn the best way to communicate with members of your target market, whether that means email, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other forms of social media. 

When you reach out directly to businesses, you’re unlikely to convince them to schedule a meeting through a single interaction, but you can continue engaging with them by offering helpful content so that you can eventually schedule a meeting. When you target a market and learn its pain points, you can send helpful niche content that encourages future interactions, such as eBooks or business plans that target a specific industry. 

Outbound marketing plays a critical role in generating leads. Your firm needs to utilize both inbound and outbound marketing strategies to generate more leads. 

Introduce your clients to payroll they’ll actually love.

Learn more marketing tactics for generating leads

You can improve your firm’s marketing tactics and gain more clients by enhancing your website, using lead magnets, managing potential leads through a customer relationship management tool, and contacting potential customers directly. Finding new clients can seem like a daunting task, but when you utilize inbound and outbound marketing strategies effectively, your firm will generate leads and eventually convert leads into clients. 

If you want to learn more about lead generation, make sure to check out Part One of this webinar article series. You can also watch the full presentation here

It’s often challenging for accountants to manage their clients and expand their firms. Fortunately, Gusto empowers accountants and gives them valuable tools for enhancing their firms. Our partner program supports accountants with payroll and HR tools, and we also offer firms a dedicated Gusto partner advisor. If you want to learn more about how Gusto can help you grow your firm, visit our Gusto for accountants page

Updated: September 7, 2021

Gusto Editors
Gusto Editors
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