Accountants - do you stand out from the crowd

There is a common misconception about accountants that their only concern is with compliance. Many accountants’ websites lead with compliance work and that feeds this perception.

With the increasingly crowded marketplace that is the internet and a whole host of accountants, even in your local area, how is a prospective client to choose from the wide range out there?

Businesses often tell tales of poor experiences of accountants. They say that they ‘paid a fortune and never saw their accountant from one year to the next,’ or they had lots of surprise bills or they didn’t really understand the value their accountant provided.

So, with all this in mind, how do you stand out in a crowded and busy space? How do you reach and persuade prospective clients of your unique selling points?

It all begins with your website.

The answer is simplicity itself – literally!

Often websites have too much information in one place. Yes, accountancy is all about the detail, but is that what makes you the best choice for someone visiting your website? You don’t need all that detail on the website.

Plus, the more pages you have on your site, the harder it is to keep it updated – and out of date information (especially facts and figures) is so much worse than not providing it at all.

Your website’s main purpose is to make it easy for potential customers to learn about you and your services. Then they will feel at ease contacting you.

So, spend a bit of time thinking about what purpose your website plays in your customer journey (do they come to your website via Google? Will they have been recommended by word of mouth, so know a bit about you? Are you ‘introduction only’ so they’ll only take a look once you’ve met and discussed their needs?) and focus on that. Just because another local accountant has pages of articles and blogs doesn’t mean you need to if your clients aren’t going to be interested.

Write to your ideal client

Having a client in mind in every part of your website is an important factor in getting your content to the right people. The range of client is vast, as is the range of accountants.

Your expertise may be with entrepreneurs, or your sights might be set on large corporations. You may well focus on personal affairs rather than businesses. Whatever you client base is, they need to feel that you are the right fit.

And the easiest way to do this?

Say so – on the front page of your website.

We are specialists in providing accounting for manufacturing businesses.

It is that simple. When someone searches on ‘accounting for manufacturing’ in Google, guess what? Your website is going to pop up!

And someone looking for an accountant to work with medical professionals will see that you aren’t for them and you won’t waste their time (or yours)!

Speak to your audience

One of the most common features on any website – not just the accountancy profession – is that they ‘we’ all over the place (!!).

  • We do tax returns
  • We provide accountancy services
  • We are experts in tax planning
  • We take your bookkeeping into the cloud.

You do all these things – of course you do – but if I’m a potential customer (a property developer for example) I’m going to contact the accountant whose website says:

Everything the property developer needs to grow a successful business and then goes on to prove that they really understand the challenges that industry faces.

Go and count the number of paragraphs that start with ‘we’ on your own home page (hint, if it is more than one, it is probably too many).

Who are you?

Something like 85% of people make a buying decision based on the values of an organisation. Cost is not the number one factor – so a list of service and prices really isn’t needed[1].

Put your values, front and centre on your website – and everywhere else. Say what is important to you, how you operate, the vision you have for your business and the future. People who recognise and appreciate those values will want to know more. People who don’t (you know, the ones who end up being nightmare clients!) will go elsewhere.

Understanding what it is that attracts people to your accountancy helps build upon those factors. The way you showcase your products and services is central to this, as is how you appear as a business owner.

Given the vast range of your knowledge and expertise, it is key to be clear and precise. Creating a clear message that speaks directly to your ideal client should lead with phrases such as “I am an expert in…” and follow up with highlighting how your clients’ experience will benefit from your relationship.

Focussing on how you are of benefit as well as what you know makes you stick in people’s minds over and above other businesses. It communicates your value much more than a simple menu of work you do. To find out more about how we can work with to create a solid strategy to turn your material into content gold, click here to book our free content review.

You and your website will be judged on your effective communication and the trust that can be put in you.

Mind your language

No, seriously.

Being bombarded by too much information on a website is a pain point, second only to the way you present it. I’ve seen too many accountancy websites that use language only other accountants would use and understand. Remember, for many prospective clients, money, numbers and finances are a point of stress and worry. They might not know much, if anything, about accountancy, so keep it simple and reassuring.

When it comes to attraction, in any area of life, people are
usually drawn to those they can relate to. The way you showcase your products
and services is central to this, as is how you appear as a business owner. 
Given the vast range of your knowledge and expertise, it is
key to be clear and precise. Creating a clear message that speaks directly to
your ideal client should lead with phrases such as “I am an expert in…” and
follow up with highlighting how your clients’ experience will benefit from your
relationship.

Focussing on how you are of benefit as well as what you know
makes you stick in people’s minds over and above other businesses. It
communicates your value much more than a simple menu of work you do or trying to get into too much detail.

Put your most distinctive feature first

In other words, have them on the home page.

Most impressions are taken from this very first page – industry standards for website engagement suggest you’ve got about seven seconds, in fact. So make your point clearly and concisely by telling clients what you specialise in, who your existing clients are and who you want to work with.

I’ve seen so many websites where the home page is just like everyone else’s and the unique parts of the business are buried someone on a page called ‘Work with us’ or something similar. Most visitors won’t even get to that page. They’ll take on look at your home page, not find what they are looking for and head for the next website that popped up on Google. 

Not just your website

Remember also that content isn’t just your website. There are so many ways to add value to reach prospects and retain customers.

Your knowledge and experience can be converted into blogs, newsletters, downloadable tools and emails. It can broaden to include networking, presentations, seminars, training and more.

If you want to know more about how you can bring all these elements together to create and enhance content for your business, book a free content review with us and begin to attract, engage and retain your ideal clients.

[1] unless you declare yourself as ’lowest cost’ or  ‘affordable’ – in which case it is worth proving it.

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