When you think of where to start with marketing, you might automatically start thinking about getting more leads. So you focus on sending emails, hosting an event, posting on social media, and/or running some paid ads. Things you can point to and say, “We did this and it delivered this many new leads”.
But doing one random action, or even several, and getting a result almost immediately is not how the best marketing works. These actions work best when done in tandem with solid marketing foundations, a structured plan, and consistency over a period of time. But starting with those actions is more likely to bring you frustration than relief. More leads, maybe, but not the good ones. Not the right ones.
Instead, you want consistent marketing built on good marketing rhythms that work together to make you more visible, present, and appealing to the right kind of clients. So when the people you love to work with find you, they’re not only ready to buy faster but they also have what they need to do so.
Here are four marketing actions you can take, that when done together, work towards building solid foundations for your marketing.
All these following actions have been considered with your audience, their motivations and fears in mind. So let's start off small by shifting the focus from you and onto your ideal client—learning more about their common pain points and objections, and then addressing them.
Maybe these activities don’t feel as exciting as social media ads, but they are far more likely to help one really high quality lead, paving the way for more and more.
Firstly, make a list of questions your clients ask that you and your team have answered more than three times in the past few months. (Tip: Make the list collaborative, so your team can add to it too.)
To this list, add the typical objections brought by your prospects, or questions they ask about what it’s like to work with you.
Choose the top question from clients, and the top objection or question from prospects. Record a video answering each of these, and put them on your website. When the next person asks these questions, you can refer them directly to your website. (Tip: Why not make the most out of your video content by getting it transcribed—that way you have both written and video content together, on your website’s blog section).
You can also add your videos to an email series you send to prospects, or to an onboarding process when clients first sign up with you. For example, you could record a video on ‘What are the first 3 things I need to do when I sign my proposal?’ This helps your clients be more prepared for when they start working with you.
Start a rhythm of either writing one blog post per week, or recording one video per week, answering these questions. Within the space of a year, you’ll have over 50 of these common questions answered, making it really easy for prospects to see the breadth of your experience and feel comfortable about the idea of working with you.
You can use the content from your blog posts to create short and punchy social media posts. This is your opportunity to have some fun with your content and try different things. Use the key points from your blog post and create social posts that will grab your audience’s attention and make them think, ‘That’s me! I can relate to that!’
Read through all the wording on your website’s home page and ‘About’ page. How much of the focus is on your ideal audience? Or is it all about you and your firm?
Both of these pages need to be at least 50% about your audience (not purely about you). If all your wording is about ‘How we can help’ and ‘Our services’ and ‘Our experience’, then your marketing is more about you than about them.
Update the wording to be more client-focused. For example:
‘You’re the kind of person who…’
‘You’re facing this problem…’
‘When you start working with us, you get these three things in the first month…’
Identify one clear CTA that anyone can take (whether they’re ready to do business with you or not), and then make it easy for them to see on every page of your website.
This may be a form to request a discovery call, booking a call directly, calling your firm, or downloading a helpful guide. Whatever it is, make sure it’s crystal clear and asks for enough information from them so you have some sense of what kind of person they are or what type of business they run.
Some examples from accounting firms who work with PF:
Paul at Red Earth invites you to connect with him by filling in a short form that helps him understand who you are and what you’re passionate about.
Kenny at Equibis encourages you to ‘get support’ by filling out a questionnaire detailing your industry, revenue, challenges and goals so he can quickly understand whether you’d be the right fit for his firm.
For James and his team at Thrive, ‘start here’ means sending a quick video sharing who you are and what you’re struggling with most right now.
Make sure the action button is specific. Be clear with them about what to expect once they click it. For example, ‘Book a 15 minute discovery call’ is much more specific than ‘Read more’.
Your marketing is meant to build trust in you and your firm, and people are more likely to trust you if they can put a face to a name.
But if you literally have no real photos of you, your team, your offices, or anything related to your firm (even on your phone), then at least find stock photos that look as realistic as possible that also match your brand.
Here are some website and social media image no-nos:
No tax forms
No bland computers
No generic office buildings
No stock images of imaginary people who don’t exist at your firm and no one visiting your website will ever meet (if you want to include people in your images, use images of your actual team. If you don’t have any of those yet, use stock images that don’t include people.)
“Your marketing helps you build trust with your buyer faster and helps them feel more comfortable getting in touch with you.”
Begin with an experience that will be perfectly matched by the conversations and meetings they have with you and your team.
No matter where you are in your firm’s journey or your marketing journey, starting here will be more practically helpful to your prospects, and will remind them that they are your focus.
Even the smallest changes help clarify questions before they’ve even asked them, helping them along the buyer's journey faster (making life easier for you and your team).
Owner & Managing Director, We are PF
Karen's skills of creativity and CPA qualification work together in the creation and success of PF, the creative agency working exclusively for and with accountants. Karen leads a creative team working from locations all over the world, including South Africa, Argentina, UK and the USA. Karen’s speaking engagements cover accounting-focused audiences of Xero, Institute of Chartered Accountants, BKR International, Thriveal and Accountex.