Seven website promotion tips

Establishing your web site is merely the beginning of your e-marketing project — you need visitors and to achieve visitors you will need to promote the site.

As search engine listings are not likely to produce clients, it’s prudent to explore other more basic and inexpensive offline methods of promoting your web address.

Here are seven web site promotion strategies — most of which you should be able to easily implement:

  • Treat your web address as you would treat any other component of your address — it should appear on all business stationery, promotional material and advertising.
  • Include your web address in your e-mail signature message. This will encourage your e-mail recipients to check out your web site. As a result they may discover some of your business activities of which they were previously unaware.
  • Include your web address in your “30 second networking commercial” when you meet people and you have an opportunity to talk about your business.
  • Publish an e-mail newsletter regularly regarding business aspects they might find interesting and valuable such as payroll deadlines, financial statement tips, events in the news, etc. Where appropriate point them back to your web site. Send this email letter to clients, and contacts/prospects at least once a month.
  • Feature your web address along with the corporate logo on corporate apparel — e.g. shirts or caps.
  • If you don’t mind the possibility of being described as “crass”, promote your web address on your car — this will give other drivers in traffic something to focus on, while in traffic.
  • Incorporate your web address in your on hold telephone message.

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

Finding Clients near home

Find leads at networking events

Promote your website

The best marketing strategy: word of mouth

Get a new client every week

Trade shows can be a gold mine!

Eating Out – A Marketing Strategy

Marketing your business is a contact sport which necessitates you being out of your office, on a regular basis, rubbing shoulders with clients, referrers and prospective clients.

There is no better method of implementing this strategy than taking a guest out for lunch. Of course I don’t mean every lunchtime but maybe once a month it’s time to venture into the outside world.

Before you begin to enjoy this pursuit to the extent that you invite luncheon guests with whom you only have a vague relationship, at best, it’s prudent to consider a few ground rules:

Inexpensive Marketing

This strategy need not be a wildly expensive one – there is no need to take your guest to a really pricey restaurant. At the same time, while McDonalds can be ideal for a quick family meal, it probably doesn’t offer the ambience which you are seeking and may say something to your guest about the way you operate your business.

Only Market to Those Likely to Buy

Be selective with the guests you invite to lunch. This might seem simple, but many invite those to lunch that are unlikely to make a purchase. They should be either existing or potential clients and existing and potential referrers. A luncheon is an excellent way to solidify the relationship, which will, needless to say, lead to more business.

Keep Existing Clients By Showing Interest In Them

People like to do business with friends. Taking a client to lunch and showing interest in them in a casual atmosphere creates a feel of friendship as long as you don’t push the sale too hard. If you are not comfortable with small talk, it’s time to become comfortable as the luncheon should not represent 100% business and offers a perfect opportunity to get to know your guest on a personal basis. After the lunch make sure to write down what you learned about your contact so that you’ll remember more about him or her. If you hear that a client’s son is in a ball league, ask how he is doing the next time you meet. Friends remember that kind of thing. Be seen as a friend, not a business acquaintance.

Keep Clients Sober and Don’t Drain Your Wallet

A juice, soft drink or mineral water is the correct luncheon beverage. Liquor should be avoided at all costs as it doesn’t create the right impression and could create problems later in the day. Also, just a couple of drinks can greatly increase the cost of the lunch and just make it too costly to be useful.

Dress Appropriately for the Situation

While considering first impressions, dress is also an important factor. You need to dress in a manner that is appropriate for the restaurant at lunchtime. You shouldn’t overlook the fact that you will see a range of other contacts at the restaurant, many of whom you will have the opportunity to speak to.

Turn Prospects Into Clients

If you are lunching with someone you don’t know well you will, no doubt, have the chance to introduce your ’30 second networking commercial into the conversation and therefore it makes sense to rehearse it before leaving for the luncheon.

To Sum It Up

Taking a client or a prospective client out to lunch is a great way to pitch your services in a casual atmosphere without costing too much. Because both you and your client are in neutral territory, it is one of the most non-threatening venues for introducing your services to potential clients. If you give your pitch at their office, they feel in power. At a restaurant, clients feel more at ease and you will get a better chance to sell yourself effectively.

More Marketing Tips

Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches a step-by-step approach to learning how to market your own successful Accounting and Bookkeeping service.

Learn How Professional Bookkeeper Training Teaches You to Market Your Skills and Get Top Dollar

You Can Do This!

So what are you waiting for? Your financial future is in your own hands. When you start your own successful Accounting service, your success is your own. If you can find the courage to take the first step, we will give you the tools, support, and training you need to start your own profitable accounting and bookkeeping service.

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Promote Your Business Inexpensively

A "no-cost" way to promote your freelance accounting/bookkeeping business (except for a little postage, anyway)? – I want to see that. This technique is particularly powerful when you’re opening your new service.

Press Releases

Press releases offer an opportunity to promote your business and you as a local accounting and bookkeeping expert. Once people begin reading or hearing about you and your business their perception of you changes. They figure that if the newspaper or radio station is focusing on you and your activities you must have expertise.

What is a press release? A press release is a method of communicating to a journalist or radio presenter some information about you and your business which will highlight the fact that you are an expert on some subject — in your case, accounting and bookkeeping.

What Do You Include?

What do you include in a press release? The contents of a press release can be distilled down to the 5 "w’s" – who, what, why, where and when.

It’s really obvious that you are the "who." The remaining "w’s" relate to the thrust of the press release. The issues which could be the subject of a press release may include:

· You have commenced business – include your photo
· You have a comment regarding a tax decision or new legislation
· You have a comment on a systems development issue or new accounting software
· You and your client have enjoyed success on a particular matter
· You are doing some pro bono work for a charity or other community group

The Headline

It’s the headline which grabs the attention of the journalist or radio presenter/producer and thus you should spend some time to come up with something which will tickle their fancy.

Form and Length of Press Releases

For every expert on public relations there is a different theory about the ideal form and length of a press release. Use the form and length which you feel comfortable with and check with your media contacts, when you have them, about what they prefer.

Who To Send Press Releases To

To whom do you send your press release? You will need to do some homework and discover the names of the newspaper journalists and radio presenters responsible for business reporting. Most libraries have lists available of media contacts in your area.

You should call the business editors and let them know that you will be sending them releases as issues arise. It’s a good time to ask about the form in which they prefer their press release to be sent – by facsimile or e-mail and if by e-mail if they are happy with the use of attachments. A radio station with a music only format will only cover business activities in their news bulletins and therefore it’s prudent to make contact with their news editor or journalists.

The Best Time to Send Press Releases

As I mentioned above, a great time to start using this technique is when you first start your freelance service. Below is a template of a short press release you may want to consider using for announcing your new business. This should be typed professionally with NO SPELLING ERRORS.

Basic Press Release Information to Include

Headline: Experienced Accountant Opens New Firm in (Your City)

(Your name) an accountant with (previous employer) for (number of years), has opened a new accounting firm named (name of your firm).

Based in (your city), (firm name) provides accounting, bookkeeping and tax preparation services for individuals and businesses.

(Provide a two or three paragraph summary of your past accounting work experience)

(End with one paragraph providing any credentials you may have such as professional designations, membership in business organizations, civic organizations, etc.)

How to Measure if a Press Release is a Success

You will know that your public relations campaign has been a raging success when journalists or radio presenters take the initiative and contact you for your comment on an issue they feel has local importance.

Make sure you copy any press release on nice paper and send it to your contacts. It will give you more credibility than virtually anything else you could do.

One final point to remember – local newspapers and radio stations are always looking for news pieces which cover local issues. Capitalize on this fact.

Learn to Take Your Skills to Market

With the best accounting and bookkeeping skills, you only make money once you find paying clients. Most accountants don’t have a lot of sales experience. The great thing is that you don’t need to be a great salesperson to find enough clients to make a great living. Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you how to quickly find more clients than you can handle on a shoestring budget.

Learn How the Marketing Method Taught the Professional Bookkeeper Program Gets You Clients Fast!

Developing Your Marketing Niche

Specialist or Generalist?

One important marketing issue you should decide upon is whether your accounting service is going to attract clients right across the business spectrum or if you are going specialize in particular industries or client groups from where you will obtain your client base.

If you do decide to specialize, it’s imperative that you develop your own niche in the market.

Why Develop Your Own Niche Market?

Why would you want to limit your marketing to a specific niche? This may seem counter-productive, since you have less clients to market to. The reality is that when you become well-known as the expert in your niche market, you will get many more referrals. For example, one accountant placed their marketing focus on independent truck drivers. He advertised on a highway billboard where truckers frequently passed. Within a few months, he had more clients than he could handle, and had to take down the sign.

When someone reaches out to you with a specialty service that applies better to what you do than does their competition, you are more likely to use their service.

Also, there is great operational value to working primarily with one segment of the market. You become more efficient at what you do. The more that you work within a specific industry, the more familiar that you become with the issues specific to that market. When clients ask you questions about their business, your prior experience makes the answers much more intuitive, because you have answered the same questions before. You become the expert, and clients pass on referrals to their colleagues when they see you as the authority in their field. This gives you a unique marketing advantage over your competition.

How To Develop Your Own Niche Market

Needless to say, there are some marketing strategies which you can pursue to achieve this objective:

Work In a Market You Enjoy

Select an industry or client group which really appeals to you. It’s not necessary for you to be a fervent disciple of the industry but it helps if you have more than a passing interest in it and already know some of the personalities involved and industry trends.

Do Market Research

Conduct as much research as you can about the industry or client group you have selected. The internet should be of enormous assistance in this project. Some of the kinds of information that you are looking for is how large the industry is in your area and how profitable those businesses tend to be. You need to know if it is even worth going after a market before you begin to focus on it. If there is not enough specialized businesses in your target market, it is probably not worth the effort to specialize in that case. Find another niche market that will give you the benefits of capturing a specialty industry.

Be Seen As the Leader In Your Market

Begin to identify yourself with that industry or client group by attending industry association functions and making yourself known to the decision makers of the group. Person-to-person, or "viral" marketing is the cheapest kind. When friends refer friends, it costs you basically nothing to get new clients.

Keep Up With Your Market Trends

Start reading all the relevant trade magazines to become aware of the latest industry news and developments. When you are in touch with your target market, you can talk the talk. You are then seen as an insider by your industry. Being seen as one of the group breaks down walls and makes marketing much easier. You are seen more as a peer than as an outside vendor, which can make all the difference when working with potential clients. Their guard is down because you are seen as one of the group.

Share What You Know With Your Industry

Once you have become familiar with the content of the trade magazines, offer to contribute articles to them. Writing articles for trade magazines is a largely untapped advertising resource that puts your name in front of thousands of potential clients as an expert in their field. What’s more, it won’t cost you a dime. Trade magazines are glad to get free content, and you will love the benefit to your reputation as the expert in your market.

Press Releases

Prepare and distribute press releases regarding the accounting and computer related issues for the industry or client group you have selected. Press releases are news announcements to newspapers and other media sources. By preparing press releases, you make yourself "news worthy".

Get Many Clients From One

Once you have acquired a satisfied client from the industry, ensure that you obtain a testimonial and thoroughly promote it to other members of the industry.

Remind Your Contacts of Your Industry Affiliation

Consider using special stationery and a Web site which highlight your affiliation with the industry. A Web site is an inexpensive way to get your message out in detail without costing much more than your time. Many internet service providers provide tools to help you get a Web site up quickly and easily.

Focus Or Specialization Depends On You

There is no correct decision to make regarding a market niche. Many accounting services have succeeded by working with a wide range of clients while others have focused on particular groups. It’s up to you!

Learn To Market Your Business With Low-Pressure Techniques

The fourth module of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you to find clients with little effort and even less out-of-pocket expense. You will learn to take advantage of your unique marketing advantages that you didn’t even know you had. With little effort on your part, you will quickly learn to find more paying clients than you can handle!

Learn More About the Step-By-Step Marketing Techniques Taught In the Professional Bookkeeper Course

 

More Marketing Tips

Learn More Ways to Market Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Skills

Create Your Own Marketing Roundtable

In the course of business we’ve all heard of the networking groups who meet on a regular basis with the sole objective of referring business to each other.

Rather than hope that they will have a vacancy for an
accounting service member at some stage in the not too distant future, give some consideration to establishing your own networking group – your own marketing round table.

Sounds difficult to implement?

Actually it’s not! However you do need to approach the task systematically by using the following steps:

How to Create a Marketing Group that Gets You Clients


* Reflect on those types of businesses who can send you referrals and for whom you can reciprocate. Professionals in the insurance, real estate, legal, and medical industries, just to name a few, are a great place to start.

* Prepare a list of business operators whom you feel would thrive on this concept and who own and operate the types of suitable business which you have already identified. It’s prudent to have more than one person in each business category on your shortlist as it’s not out of the question that some may decline your offer. You don’t need to already know the people you’ve shortlisted as this is an exercise to cast out your networking further than its present reach.

* Select a suitable venue (restaurant) for a breakfast meeting. The venue owner may also become an informal member of the group as he or she is definitely in a position to refer business to your network members.

* Contact your prime candidates for round table membership, discuss the concept and invite them to the initial breakfast meeting.

* At the initial meeting outline the concept in detail and propose to meet on a regular monthly basis and at the same venue if everyone is happy with it. Emphasize that the success of the group will depend upon the number of referrals each person generates — to get leads, a person must be willing to give leads.

Starting Your Own Marketing Group Gives You an Edge Over Joining an Existing One


The major advantage in establishing your own group is that you are the natural chairperson of the group. With only a minor administrative workload you are perceived as a leader and ‘mover and shaker’ in the business community and, along with other round table members, benefit from the mutual referrals.

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