CPA - Accounting
Firm Marketing Newsletter:
Marketing accounting services on Internet
different from any other media on Earth in many aspects - but
in particular when it comes to marketing and advertising.
people invest in equipment and a broadband connection is to access
a gigantic source of FREE information.
pay in order to view adverts or sales messages... or really any
kind of "commercial message or presentation."
Thus the most
usual mistake a CPA firm makes is to assume that Internet works
the same way as any other medium in terms of marketing and presentation.
Off line media
works that way.
This is the
FIRST reason why the presentation of your accounting firm and
its services online brings NO RESULTS. If it is a traditional
presentation then chances are that there won't be any contacts
resulting from your online presence.
unless you're web pages have been OPTIMIZED for the most popular
(and accurate) search terms, and unless you have an active program
exchanging links with RELATED sites, it is not likely that you'll
receive many visitors as no one will FIND your web site from
among the perhaps 100 MILLION commercial web sites on the Internet.
But we'll discuss
these points later. For now, let's look at...
owners look for on the Internet and how can you attract them
on your accounting site
to online marketing starts with the general GOAL of people that
browse the Internet.
Why do people
pay good money to get connected to the Internet?
To view advertising?
for the equipment and connection for one reason only:
just like everyone else online, use the Internet because it is
the best, fastest, most accessible and convenient superhighway
of free information.
like a giant encyclopedia owned jointly by everyone browsing
the net. Whatever you want to find out about, you can find online.
business owner wants to know MORE about anything, wants to LEARN
how to do or acquire something or simply information regading
some issue or subject... he logs onto the Internet.
A couple of
clicks, a few seconds... and all the data is at his fingertips.
this information to be FREE.
the data to be EXTENSIVE. You know, the real thing, something
to bite into, not just some fancy and cleverly worded clichés
which are more or less meaningless to him.
Not only that
but he wants information that is UNBIASED.
He wants HELPFUL
information written without an ulterior motive of selling him
something. Something that shows by its example that it WANTS
TO GIVE KNOWLEDGE about the subject matter.
He is looking
for an information source which he can TRUST.
then give us the general concept of what's required to make your
web site inviting and interesting... and such that it can produce
a good number of results (prospective clients) continually.
marketing: Avoid appearing like a used car salesman
So, what happens
when a business owner is looking for information about an alternate
option for accounting services?
96 times out
of a hundred, he already HAS an accountant. So what is he looking
He is looking
for an accounting / CPA firm who is everything his current accountancy
service provider is NOT. He is looking for an easy-to-get-along-with
accounting professional, one who can communicate understandably,
one who is willing to give advice and help... that sort of thing.
Now he finds
web sites of CPA firms and accounting practice, sites with impressive
corporate looks and little text which (to him) is very commercial,
very stuffy and very un-enlightening.
Will he jump
to change accountants?
Look at it
with the eyes of a business owner. Would YOU believe the information
if it is given with a clear and open attempt to SELL something
Would you CHANGE
your service provider to someone whose site communicates just
as poorly as your accountant?
for information on how to evaluate accounting firms and services
or say you want to see whether your current accountant
is really giving you the kind of service you need... or at a
And then stumble
upon a CPA / Accounting firm web site. But all you see is their
self-praise on how great and experienced they are, how marvelous
their services are...
NOT what you were looking for, right?
How is that
going to help you to THINK with it?
How is that
going to create CHOICES for you?
It's not, is
So, you don't
stay more than a few seconds... you click the "back"
button on your browser... and you're GONE, never to return to
this same site if you can avoid it!
marketing: To achieve anything with your visitor, you must first
give free information
Lots of it.
That's the only way to open a line of communication with someone
whom you do not know and cannot talk to. Your web site CONTENT
must do the talking.
to face, you can get into the nitty gritty of it more or less
But on the
Internet, you're not really selling at all.
INTEREST toward your services and firm.
you need a more roundabout way to create interest.
To sell a service
or information, you must first give some FREE information.
Quite a bit
of it, in fact. Your site has to be a genuine free information
Oh, I well
know this flies in the teeth of all you've held sacred about
web sites and visual appearance. But I'm not talking about your
COMPANY web site here, the pages that are for your existing clients,
your networking partners, finance institutions and such.
about a PROSPECTING web site.
See, to have
any realistic chance of marketing accounting services on Internet,
you need to create a SEPARATE web site just for that purpose
alone as a free information source for businesses in your
area who are looking to understand accounting better and/or want
to learn to evaluate accounting services and compare CPA firms
with each other.
On this site,
you must first give your visitors loads of free information without
any catch or hidden agenda or obligations.
And only THEN
you can expect to create enough interest to get business owners
to CONTACT you.
advertising-type self-serving promotion or call it what
you like but I mean the way most companies present themselves
and would want others to see them is rejected on the Internet
without a second thought.
Immediately. It does NOT matter what you say on your web page
since the average visitor (who's not your client or associate)
won't ever get that fa.
the "browser's revenge" click the "back"
button... and he's off.
see that your site is clearly just SELLING a service, they will
simply go away and do so within 2-5 SECONDS.
marketing: Stay away from web site designers if you want prospective
If you want
an impressive web site for existing clients, networking associates
and such, turn to professional web site designers. They know
how to create formidable visual displays which impress most people.
But if you
want to to utilise the Internet for acquiring interested prospects
and new clients... steer clear of web designers.
Let me put
this in no uncertain way:
NO substitute to knowing how to market your own web site on the
Those who REALLY
know make a good living online... and they're not interested
in doing your net marketing for you.
Those who are
interested are usually not successful in it, for else they would
live on it, see?
But the KNOWLEDGE
of successful Internet marketers is out there and available.
So your choices are... acquire the knowledge to do it right...
Don't try the
"hit and hope" -method.
The fact is
that there's no way to acquire a results-producing web site without
having the knowlege of how to market online.
Take a tour
around the sites of your competitors on the Internet. See how
they present their services in the traditional way. Look at the
exquisite layouts to make their firm appea as one of the Big
Four (or is it Five?) although it's a small practice.
web designers do.
But only to
YOU. Only to the OWNER of the web site.
It won't impress
those whom it is INTENDED to impress IF you want to acquire
Read what their
web site offers in way of "content."
impressive and VERY short presentations... what they call "minimalistic"
(minimal effort I call it...). All very nice for the person whose
ego the site is built to boost...
...but a sad
sight for anyone proficient in Intenet marketing.
And if you
were a business owner wanting some unbiased and understandable
information on accounting services... do you feel that these
sites COMMUNICATE anything at all apart from their own grandeur?
I think you'll
see that they don't.
practitioners have paid an arm and a leg for their site. And
I'm not making fun of the, quite the contrary. Most of these
people were sold with empty promises of "Internet commerce"
that never materialized.
analysed quite a few such fancy sites in a service I offer called
Site Internet Marketing & Search Engine Optimization Analysis, and I tell you...
Most of these
fancy sites don't even have headlines for their web pages, no
page description, no key word optimization... nothing but the
Thus, if by
some miracle one of these web pages WAS listed among the first
few HUNDRED in any search, the page link on the search engine
would be headed "Untitled" and the "description"
under the heading would be pure gibberish.
pages won't rank within the first HALF MILLION usually, so in
that way it's perhaps a blessing.
But these appalling
flaps are very visible to anyone who understands Internet marketing.
So these practitioners were definitely duped if anything was
mentioned about "marketing" at all.
But let's get
back to our subject.
such a fancy site, the visiting business owner will catch on
within seconds that this is yet one more of those "clone"
sites cloned for the formidable corporate image appearance
and its content is all about "me-me-MEEE!"...
words, he grasps immediately that this web site is commercially
motivated and selling their own solution directly, so he KNOWS
their information is biased due to vested interest...
... and he
will go away.
marketing: A free information web site with matching appearance
You could create
a web site that achieves RESULTS.
A site that
offers lots of interesting content of the kind the average business
owner is looking for.
But I promise
you'll kick yourself if you try it without acquiring the knowledge
of web site you should set up to attract new clients
-how to optimize it for search engines... and
-how to market it on the Internet.
works and it works very well, but only if you apply the specific
methodology that's proven successful.
the Internet for the marketing of your accounting services is
of interest to you, we have a couple of manuals that give you
the knowledge required and even a turn-key service to set up
the whole web site for you along these principles.
To find out
more about creating your own prospecting web site, read the introduction
of the CPA
Web Content Guide.
marketing of accounting services is what you want, read about
Professionals Internet Marketing Guide. The presentation itself actually
offers a lot of information about Internet marketing of accounting
services, so it's well worth the read.
And if you
would prefer the full-service alternative, familiarize yourself
with our Accounting
Firm Prospecting Web Site Package.
Let me end
off by stating a few basic facts.
First of all,
the Internet has long since surpassed any other medium for data
gathering. Every office and every decision maker has a connection.
Every home has a computer with access to Internet.
For this reason,
Internet has become a truly viable option for marketing also
LOCALLY... and especially so if you live in a city or area with
at least half a million people.
two is that you CAN market your CPA firm and accounting services
on the Internet successfully. I know you can because I've done
it myself and so have a select number of my clients.
three is that Internet may well be "the final frontier"
today because so few in the accounting industry know how to utilize
it for client-acquisition.
4% of CPA & accounting firms actually KNOW how to do it effectively
and successfully. This means that whoever understands the potential
in your area may well be the ONLY firm online reaping the benefits.
And last but
not least, securing a web site of this kind with lots of free
and interesting content will also give you an advantage in all
other forms of local marketing, merely because you can direct
business owners to your site in on the phone, in your telemarketing,
direct mailing letters, listings, classifieds, ads, business
cards, flyers and whatever other media you use to promote your
It might not
seem like much but it is a HUGE advantage actually. People read
your articles and spend time on your site... and they begin to
AGREE with your views... and they start considering you as someone
they KNOW and respect.
This may be
the most important benefit of all because it can "mature"
prospects out of sight until they just show up at your doorstep
wanting to sign onto services, just like that.
it doesn't occur. It does. It happens to me quite frequently.
People call me up and act like we're old friends, which is GREAT
as we establish good communication immediately.
the start of any relationship, be it personal or commercial.
So give the
Internet some thought... and keep up the good work!
HDK Consultants U.S.A. Inc.
PMB 211, 411 Cleveland
Clearwater, FL 33755
Phone (727) 474 1206
Calls from outside USA: +1 727 474 1206