How are accountants getting new business today?

  • Word of mouth
  • Referrals
  • Networking

Is there any other way?

Yes, according to Eric Majchrazak, Marketing Director at CPA powerhouse Freed Maxick. The firm derives 20 to 30 percent of its annual “new business” revenue from online sources including social media, search engines, mobile and its website. I caught up with Eric a few days ago in an attempt to understand how they are navigating the world of accounting marketing.

A Different Look on Social Marketing

Eric and his team have a solid understanding of search engine optimization, email marketing, and other online marketing fundamentals. But that’s not what impressed me. It’s the way the firm uses social media to attract prospects that really got me listening.

In a nutshell, Eric spends an hour or two per day scouring the net for relevant conversations. Using tools like Google Alerts and Twitter search, he is able to focus on targeted groups of people that may need his firm’s help. For example, he may search twitter for a relevant term such as “recommend accountant.”

Twitter search screen

The results lead him directly to real-time conversations between people using that phrase. Instantly, Eric will find himself standing next to (virtually of course) a potential client. From that point, he will jump into the discussion, add valuable comments, and begin a trusting relationship.

Building off of this idea, the Freed Maxick team will search for “trigger events” using these same tools. Examples of trigger events are a new product launch or the sale of a building. When these events happen, it’s typical that someone will need tax and accounting help. By tracking discussions on these topics, Eric and his team are constantly at the right place at the right time, ready to step in and offer a helping hand.

Think Social is a Joke? Think Again.

Most executives think social media is about updating status messages and pushing out content. While these activities can be important, it’s critical to recognize that there is so much more to social marketing.

Don’t turn your back on the online world. Between search and social, there is a tremendous opportunity to connect with your target audience — anywhere in the world. It’s a matter of figuring out the most effective ways to put these tools to work at your firm. Research on professional services firms shows that the fastest growing companies are leveraging a  mixture of traditional and digital marketing techniques. If you want to push your firm’s growth, take your cue from Freed Maxick and begin exploring the social side of accounting marketing.