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How Can Inbound Marketing Benefit CPA and Other Professional Service Firm Partners?

Posted by Alan Vitberg on Dec 23, 2013 9:11:00 AM

10 Solid Reasons Why 2014 Should be the Year of a New Marketing Strategy for Your Firm

Nobody Said Anything About Ignoring Your Networking and Referral Activities!!

A want to be perfectly clear about one thing: I am not suggesting that inbound marketing is a replacement for any of the 1:1 personal marketing activities you do. Networking and referrals will still account for most of the new business you’ll generate in 2014.

But…..

Depending solely on building personal relationships to build your book of business isn’t the only answer, and in fact, if that’s all you’re doing, then you’re a few beats behind the measure (as my violin teacher Mr. Woody would often say to me). Anyone who isn’t aware of the reach of the Internet, the dramatic rise in the use of mobile devices,  and the incredible treasure trove of powerful new marketing technologies and tools needs to take a breath and open their eyes and minds.

I think that depending solely on referrals to build your business is kind of like a boxer who only has a jab, or playing a round of golf with just a driver, or having a toolbox full of nothing more than a variety of hammers – sure they’re powerful but they can’t always do the job alone.

It’s Time to Add an Inbound Marketing Strategy to Your Marketing Mix

How inbound marketing benefits CPA firm partnersIn 2104, doing more and better marketing doesn’t mean adding more dollars into your budget for traditional marketing activities like paid media advertising or direct mail or telemarketing. These tactics just don’t work very well anymore in an era where people first turn to the web to find information or answers to questions they have. Plus, who wants to get interrupted with these intrusive tactics? You?

Hmmm… thought not.

Instead, it may be time for an inbound marketing strategy. In a nutshell, inbound marketing is all about using digital media like eNewsletters, LinkedIn, and email; and search optimization strategies to bring prospects to your website where they become leads by requesting information like a whitepaper. Once they’re a lead, an inbound marketing strategy calls for nurturing that prospect over time, perhaps using marketing automation, until they are sales ready.

Need more info? To request a copy of our #1 most popular eBook, The Partner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing.

I’m a Partner … What’s In It For Me?

Getting into and maintaining an inbound marketing strategy is not a zero cost tactic. It takes commitment – time, money and resources – in order to be effective, and for many partners, making this commitment just isn’t the easiest thing to do. It is, however, the right thing to do.

Here are 10 solid reasons why you need an inbound marketing strategy:

  1. More money to the bottom line – direct out of pocket costs for inbound marketing are far, far less than for traditional marketing tactics. Less direct cost means more drop to the bottom line which means you’re one step closer to buying a personal jet.
  2. More opportunities to build your personal brand – inbound marketing is built on publishing and promoting thought leadership, and building opportunities though search optimization strategies to get your thought leadership found first.
  3. Medicine to calm the nerves of reluctant rainmakers– if you hate sales but love the thought of contributing more to the firm’s new business efforts, then inbound marketing is the perfect strategy. It provides a forum for showcasing your personal thought leadership while at the same time serving as a means for generating new leads.
  4. inbound marketing for CPA firmsNo more interrupting prospects – the beauty of inbounding is that you’ll be able to stop sending out unsolicited mail or doing ineffective advertising, and instead, get prospects working to find you.
  5. A bigger, better, and measurable ROI on your investment in marketing – if you’re a numbers person, the don’t you want to know if your marketing is effective or whether or not you’re getting a return on the investment you’re making in marketing? If so, then inbound marketing is for you.
  6. More leads in a shorter period of  time than you’ve ever seen before – by publishing and promoting your individual, personalized thought leadership in packages like whitepapers or eBooks or blog posts, you’ll see more leads come in in a month than you probably got all of last year combined.
  7. Hands free nurturing with marketing automation – inbound marketing means the end of one and done lead nurturing. Now, you can set up automated marketing campaigns, monitor the results, and decide when your prospects are ready to be called upon for a meeting.
  8. More traffic to your web bio and niche practice webpages – getting more traffic to your website is one of the key parts of inbound marketing. More traffic means more opportunities to generate leads.
  9. More credibility vis a vis high search engine rankings – everyone knows that the higher you rank on a –age of search results, the more likely it will be that your website will be visited. Why not have a strategy that is organized and executed to deliver this result?
  10. Differentiate thyself with thought leadership – I can’t say this enough… your personal brand in an inbound marketing world is all about differentiating yourself with thought leadership. Today, inbound marketing weaves websites, social media, email and eNewsletters together to provide forums for publishing and promoting your thought leadership.

How Do You Get Started With Inbound Marketing?

Installing an inbound marketing strategy starts with education and a frank discussion with your other partners. You need to collectively decide if inbound marketing is the right strategy for your firm. So here’s a handful of questions you can bring to the table at you next partner meeting:

  • Are we getting a return on our marketing investment in terms of more site traffic, more leads and more new business?
  • Are our search engine rankings where they need to be in order to get found first?
  • Are we dropping the ball on nurturing our leads?
  • How can we get the reluctant rainmakers in the firm to step up and take on more marketing responsibilities?
  • Are we measuring results from our marketing strategies and tactics, or just getting anecdotes?

If you’re looking for resources to bring you up to speed, in addition of our comprehensive eBook, check out these websites: HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Last but not least, consider giving us a call (585-425-2552)  and spending a few minutes where I’ll talk to frankly about the pros, cons and costs of inbound marketing. It’s a great strategy, but it might not be a fit for your firm.

After all, you can triple the number of prospect lunches you’ll do in 2014 as your key business building tactic, but that just means more time at the gym getting off those excess calories … and that’s time better spent at writing a blog post!

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VitbergLLC is a marketing agency specializing in online marketing for CPA, consulting and other professional services firms. Contact us here or call us at 585-425-2552 to talk about improving your digital marketing program.

 


 

VitbergLLC is a marketing agency specializing in online marketing for CPA, consulting and other professional services firms. Contact us here or call us at 585-425-2552 to talk about improving your digital marketing program.