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4 strategies for generating new clients during EOFY
accountants and bookkeepers

4 strategies for generating new clients during EOFY

Tax time is typically the busiest time of the year for accountants and bookkeepers, with many firms needing accountants to work 9-10 hours a day, 5-7 days a week. With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) accepting tax returns starting 1 July, with a deadline for filing on 31 October, the busy season is usually just that – busy.

Naturally, during this period you're probably more concerned with handling your current clientele than you are with acquiring new tax clients. However, this is also the peak period in the year where businesses and people are actively looking for your services. This is the perfect time to generate new tax and bookkeeping clients. Who knows, these clients may be looking for other services as well.

Here is a crash course on how you can find and convert new clients during tax time.

1. Know your target audience and plan accordingly

Before diving into the different strategies for finding and converting new tax clients, it's important to understand that your marketing language and tactics will need to be adjusted based on the type of tax client you are targeting. There are major differences in personal and business tax clients, so it's important to understand those differences and tailor the strategies below based on your unique target audience.

Take your time fine-tuning the desired audience. If you're targeting companies, think about any specialisations or niches with which your team has experience. Don't move forward with any customer acquisition strategy until you've narrowed down your target audience. Remember, your goal here should be to attract more of your ideal clients, rather than driving enquiries from businesses or individuals who don’t suit match your goals in growing your firm.

2. Start with arm's length marketing

Many accountants and bookkeepers don't know where to begin when it comes to recruiting new clients. Well, the best place to start is with your sphere of influence. These individuals are you and your company's direct network, including friends, family, business contacts, and current and previous clients.

Taking an arm’s length approach to marketing is an excellent way to generate new tax clients, especially during the busy season. Because everyone needs to file taxes, you can easily work probing questions into a conversation. Consider emailing previous clients or business contacts to check in and see if they are interested in learning more about your tax services. Be willing to ask for new business; it's an important step for generating new clients.

3. Creating a referral program

Similar to arm's length marketing, another great way to generate new tax business is to develop a client referral program. Word-of-mouth advertising, or referrals, are two of the most effective strategies for drumming up new business. The reason referrals work so well is because the person or company giving the referral has already developed trust with the lead. When they refer your firm, they are transferring that trust to your company. Referrals provide peace of mind to the lead and break down a lot of the reservations that come with new relationships.

A referral program is a great way to perpetuate word-of-mouth advertising and referrals. Because you're currently in the midst of tax time, now is the perfect time to push referrals from your current client base. Be creative and find unique and desirable incentives to elicit referrals. A key part of your referral program is sourcing client reviews, that you can use on your website or on directories like Find a ProAdvisor.

Take the stress out of managing your firm

4. Use digital marketing

If you want to create a scalable approach to tax client recruiting and conversion, you need to be using digital marketing. Digital marketing is an excellent tool for generating traffic to your website and communicating your value proposition. Not only can you reach a larger audience, but it's also available 24 hours a day and provides evergreen marketing communication that will live long after the tax filing deadline of 31 October.

Some of the best strategies for generating clients online include the following:

Optimising your website for conversions 

If you're a tax agent or a bookkeeper who wants to generate more clients online, you should optimise your website to increase your conversion rate. A ‘conversion’ takes place when someone visits your website and takes some additional action, such as calling you, completing a lead form, asking a question or some other step that expresses intent or interest. 

There are several ways to increase web conversions, but some basics are:

  1. Adding an opt-in form with minimal entry fields
  2. Creating a pop-up highlighting your tax services
  3. Adding actionable language and guarantees

Try local PPC 

PPC is pay-per-click marketing. This type of digital marketing lets you target specific search terms and pay to have your website pages show up at the top of organic results. If you've ever searched Google for a term such as ‘local tax agent’, you'll see the PPC results marked with a green ‘Ad’ tag. Using Google AdWords, you can find opportunities and search terms for local phrases that will help increase your qualified traffic. Use the AdWords keyword planner tool to find highly used phrases that have relatively low competition.

Use social media to find and retain clients

A social media presence plays a major role in your lead generation. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are powerful platforms that can be used to generate tax clients, handle customer service and increase brand awareness. For instance, LinkedIn is an excellent way to facilitate B2B lead generation. Because most employees have a LinkedIn account, you can easily find and connect with contacts from companies or industries for which you specialise.

Focus your content on EOFY

Tax-themed content is extremely important during tax time. You want a heavy dose of tax articles on your website, in your newsletters and on your social channels. Customers are searching for tax help, and if your blog and social channels aren't covering tax and other EOFY topics, they'll go elsewhere for that information and, ultimately, that business. During tax time, you should be publishing tax-themed content on your blog, social channels and email newsletters.

Don't forget email marketing

Effective email marketing is becoming a lost art. With so many new flashy toys in the digital marketing arsenal, email marketing can be neglected. However, email is still one of the most effective ways to convert leads. Always segment your email lists. Try segmenting based on current customers, past customers and leads; this will help you customise and frame your conversations.

EOFY is in full swing, and most tax agents and bookkeepers are up to their necks in work. However, that doesn't mean you should stop trying to attract and convert new clients. In fact, during the busy season is the perfect time to find new tax clients. These potential clients are attentive to tax information and have their eyes and ears open. Try the online and offline strategies above to grow your tax clientele this year. 

Whether you’re looking to find new clients as a ProAdvisor, add new revenue streams through Payroll, or build a cloud-enabled practice, the QuickBooks team can help. Whatever growth means to you, we're here to support you in achieving your goals. Our guides can help you find more clients, add new revenue sources, and build a future-fit business. Visit the Growth Hub now.

Read more with our guide on tax season for accountants.

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