The Internet can provide you with inexpensive ways to market your small business. If you do it right, many potential clients will be driven to your website(s) and will, consequently, contact you to do their accounting. But where should you start? Here are just four ways you can promote your business with an inexpensive online presence.
Create a website
If you don’t already have one, you need to build one. Whether you do it yourself with user-friendly software or hire someone else to do it for you, it’s important that your business has an electronic presence in the form of a website. A good website will speak directly to your target audience and let them know how you can make their lives better. It will represent you well and increase your clientele while working for you 24/7 as a virtual receptionist, getting the word out about your business while you spend your time doing what you do best: accounting.
Send out electronic newsletters
Give website visitors the option of subscribing to a free newsletter. We suggest starting with a monthly newsletter that offers practical accounting tips for small business owners. While it will take some time to compose these newsletters, they act as a monthly reminder of the stellar services you offer, so the next time one of the recipients needs accounting services who do you think will be the first person they consider? That’s right. YOU!
Build a blog
Short for “weblog,” a blog is a journal or newsletter intended for public consumption. Updated frequently, they consist of posts listed in chronological order, and they generally represent the personality of an author or organization. And they’re everywhere these days. People have personal blogs, political blogs, travel blogs, health blogs, corporate and small business blogs, etc. They’re a great form of marketing. If you make the website practical and interesting to your target market, they will return often, again reminding themselves of the most helpful accountant they know.
A podcast makes a nice accessory to your website or blog. Fairly easy and inexpensive to create, a podcast uses voice (your own or someone else’s) to communicate the emotion that is often lost in promotional text. It allows the listener to better connect with you and your business. And all you need to create a podcast are a microphone, a digital recorder, and some editing software.
5 Tips on Promoting Your Online Presence
Once it’s online, you can begin promoting it. Here are four practical tips on generating more Internet traffic to your website or blog.
1. Be sure your domain name and page titles include key words relevant to your businessThat’s the best way for Google and other search engines to display your website or blog when users type in a corresponding search. Also, picking a memorable domain name enables visitors to easily return to your site.2. Include the URL’s in your email signature and on your business cardOnce you do that, everyone you contact will have access to your online resources.3. Offer special promotions through your websiteBy offering promotions only available through your website you are encouraging visitors to take advantage of your services (and continue visiting your site).4. Participate in link exchangeWhen you find websites with complimentary services that draw in your target market, see if they would willing to add a link to your site if you add a link to theirs. It’s a great form of sharing and generates more traffic on your site.5. Keep your content currentInternet users are generally impatient and expect to get updated information regularly. So if your blog becomes dated, visitors tend to think you’ve stopped writing, and as a result, they’ll stop visiting. Keep your content current so that no one is tempted to stop dropping by.
These simple online marketing techniques can get you more attention with less cost. Tackle one at a time to see how these practices improve your business and get the word out about your services. Allen Bostrom, President and CEO of Universal Accounting Center, has a blog that offers practical advice to other accountants and tax professionals. Take a look to see what you can learn from Allen’s Blog.