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2 Big Marketing Mistakes Professional Accounting Firms Make

March 28, 2023
Janel Sykora

Recently, I received a note from an accounting firm owner who said, “I’d like to talk to you about my marketing.” When we connected a short time later, I quickly realized that in his mind, marketing was SEO. And only SEO. 

Many firms I’ve worked with invest heavily in SEO to make sure they are appearing in the right searches and are ranked highly. This is a great strategy for driving traffic to your website, no doubt about it. 

But, the bigger question…a very important question…is what are you going to do with those eyeballs once they land on your site?

Mistake #1: If your homepage doesn’t capture a visitor’s attention immediately, they move on.

Did you know that people will spend an average of between 45 and 54 seconds on a website? Considering that the average human attention span is only 8.25 seconds, you have very little time to engage someone before they move on.

Without the ability to immediately draw someone into a story about your brand on your website, you become a casualty of the human attention span. And, all of the money you spent to get people to your website is lost.

Your brand must tell a story.

Which leads to mistake number 2…

Mistake #2: The story is about you.

As tempting as it is to want to tell people about who you are and what you do, they don’t care. 

But, wait, isn’t that why they went to your website to begin with? To learn about you? Of course. And what they see immediately will determine what they do next. People who are most likely to do business with you are really looking for a clear and compelling path to solve a problem they have. 

Your job is to draw those eyeballs that landed on your page (aka your ideal prospects and clients) into a story that recognizes their problem and positions you as a guide who is going to meet them where they are and help them get where they want to be.

You have to…

  • Understand their problem
  • Empathize with it
  • Show them how and why you are the person or firm to solve it and put them on a path to success
  • Give them an easy way to proceed and do business with you.
  • Call them to action repeatedly.

So. Your website isn’t really about you. It’s about the story you tell your clients that is about them. A story that is clear and demonstrates that you understand their problem, you can empathize with it, and you are the right person or firm to lead them to their vision of what success looks like in their eyes.

Empty words, and fluffy phrases don’t work.

“Our experienced team is ready to help.”

“We’ve been in business for XX years.”

“Our team of experienced professionals put our clients first.”

Not only is this all about you, but literally every firm could say any or all of these things. They are empty phrases that cost precious brain calories your readers are not willing to invest if you don’t draw them into a story. And, they don’t make you look any more qualified to solve your clients’ problems than everyone else who says the same thing.

So, what do you do?

Think about your brand’s story through a different lens. Put your ideal client at the center of your story. Focus your message around identifying their problem as it relates to your services and positioning you as the expert who is THE choice for taking them from where they are today to where they want to be. Cast a vision for what success looks like for them. And, above all, make sure your message is clear, concise, and compelling to your audience.

Finally, less really is more when it comes to copy on a homepage. Be sure your message is clear, compelling, able to be scanned quickly, and invites your audience into a story that will make them want to take the next step with you. Show them how to do business with you, and then guide them to take action.

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