Before the Internet, accountants scheduled networking meeting after networking meeting to get new business. Chamber of Commerce meetings, Rotary Club, and appointments with lawyers, bankers and financial planners were considered essential to get and keep your name in front of potential clients. While grip and grin, meet and greets are still worthwhile, they can take a lot of time away from day-to-day business and are not useful unless you meet someone with mutual interests.
Now that the Internet has made networking virtual, you can focus more on your business by having an online strategy to secure referral sources and get warm, and hopefully hot, leads.
Luke Gheen, a CPA with offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, started his business in 2010 when he decided to leave corporate finance to work directly with small- and mid-sized businesses. When he committed to make the leap from corporate paycheck to hanging out his own shingle, Luke completed his CPA training before leaving his job, but also attended a seminar to learn how to acquire small business clients.
“At the time, I didn’t know anything about marketing,” says Luke. “So I watched the videos on Build Your Firm’s website, went to their practice development program, and thought, ‘I can do this.’
In order to attract as much new business as possible, Luke’s strategy was to have more than one website for his firm. Currently, he has three. Two are geography-based – one for his Colorado Springs office and another for his satellite office in Denver. His third website is niche targeted to small businesses that use QuickBooks.
“My leads come primarily from my websites, so having more than one website has been vital to my business,” he says. “I exceeded both my year-one and year-two business goals. I’m a small shop and people are shocked that I have three websites, but having three websites makes me looks like a bigger firm than I am and allows me to get the type of clients I want and attract clients from a broader geographic area in Denver and Colorado Springs.”
By using Google AdWords and search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, Luke has made a significant monthly investment in ensuring his three websites get top search engine placement. “And while I occasionally get heartburn about the investment, I realize I get it all back in new clients and I keep those clients for years. If you invest heavily, you will reap heavily!”
Multiple Website Strategy
The reason you should consider more than one website is to differentiate yourself from your competitors and help potential clients find you through online resources. I can practically guarantee very few of your competitors ever think about creating an online presence over and above their main website.
How do you determine what additional websites you might add? Determine whether you want to target market by location, services, or the type of clients you want to serve.
- Start with your geography. Do a quick search to see what comes up by using your city and/or state. For example, results could be your city accounting firm and/or your city CPA firm.
- Take a look at your clients. What industries do the bulk of your clients come from?
- Evaluate your services. What specialties do you offer and what differentiates you from the guy and gal down the street?
Take a look at the list below and consider where your firm might fit:
Service Specific Niches