I’ve heard that online marketing for accountants is very difficult and it is hard to get your message across in a marketplace where the cheapest provider of tax services often shouts the loudest. One way to showcase your business is to be aware of your online reputation and work to strengthen it.
Reputation management will enable your business to achieve success beyond word-of-mouth marketing and help you win new business from a simple Google search. Below are some tips on how to manage your online reputation and find online marketing success.
1. Read online reviews. Not just of yourself, but of your competitors, too. Check out Yelp.com, AngiesList.com, and Citysearch.com to see what your customers are saying about you. Are the reviews positive? Great, you know you’re on the right track in providing excellent service to your clients. And if you see any negative reviews, use them as an opportunity to better yourself in a particular area. Reply to the negative reviews (some sites allow you to do this privately, which is always preferred, or you can do it publicly) and respond directly to the negative feedback. Work with the customer to get them to give you another chance to make it right. Even if you’re not given the chance, demonstrating your willingness to face the problem head-on will give you credibility in the online world.
2. Ask clients to give you an online review. To ensure that there are more positive reviews than negative, ask your clients to review your services online. But, don’t proactively offer this option to every single client; rather, ask those with whom you’ve developed a great rapport and who was really happy with your work. The positive reviews will attract new clients.
3. Network via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Start a Facebook page just for your business and use it to engage with your clients. Offer incentives to your clients, like early bird discounts during tax season, and deals if you’re retained for multiple projects. Social media management services are also available to help busy professionals. To prevent your clients from learning too much about your personal life, be sure to set your personal Facebook account settings to private.
4. Start an accounting blog. Use this as an opportunity to educate your audience and gain new clients. Corporate reputation management experts have been using blog marketing to help clients spread their message and build a loyal following. Offer troubleshooting tips, from how to file your taxes to taking advantage of deductions and credit available to the small business owner to how to set up your payroll system. Don’t give away all your secrets, but give enough information to make yourself stand out as a credible industry expert.
5. Hire an online reputation management firm. When in doubt, ask for expert help. A top-rated online reputation management firm can help you push positive mentions of you to the first page of a Google search, while burying any negative mentions.