The majority of accounting firms in Australia are spinning on their wheels with a fee base that is flat lining or in decline. They have turned into ‘compliance sweatshops’ and are characterised by an ageing client base, no marketing plan, a website that is probably nothing more than an electronic billboard and they don't offer value added consulting services.
To rejuvenate their ageing client base and arrest the decline in fees, a large number of firms are looking to buy fees but the baby boomer principals and partners simply aren't selling. They are choosing to work beyond the conventional retirement age and in the process they are starving the market of buying opportunities. Having said that, the fees for sale are mainly baby boomer practices who have the same characteristics as those described above so they are investing in an aged client base which means their referral engines have stalled. It could be said they are buying 'double trouble' because they now have two fee bases in decline.
There is a better, more sustainable option ... marketing.
On the back of the GST compliance boom, a lot of firms experienced a decade of growth. However, they got very busy and in some cases, complacent. They took their foot off the marketing pedal and at the same time, their ageing clients starting to retire, sell their businesses and die. Put simply, the GST disguised the need for marketing and this coincided with the internet explosion.
In 2016, the vast majority of firms are at the crossroads. They have an ageing client base and they continue to rely on traditional marketing methods that have served them well in the past. Unfortunately, in the digital age, face-to-face networking, letter box drops, sponsorships and advertising in Yellow Pages and the local paper don’t produce the same results as they did five years ago. Radio, television and print advertising have also lost their marketing mojo while a client base full of 50 year olds don’t refer like a client base full of thirty year olds.
Consumer behaviour has changed courtesy of the internet. In the digital age, people buy most things online including accounting services. With more than forty percent of accounting firms still without a website it means we have a lot of firms in denial, however, firms that have shifted their marketing focus from offline methods to online tactics like online searches, content marketing and social media are growing at phenomenal rates. Members of our Accountants Accelerator Group are generating 6 figure returns from their website and at this seminar you’ll discover the breakthrough marketing strategies used by the fastest growing firms in the country. You’ll learn how to re-build your firm’s marketing engine to attract more of your ideal type of client and see what these firms have done to rejuvenate their ageing client base. You’ll also see first-hand the tools they are using to automate their marketing processes.
If you are serious about growing your practice we invite you to join us at the Accountants Accelerator Seminar on Monday 14th November in Sydney.
This seminar is not full of theory and hype, just proven marketing strategies supported by practical tools developed for accountants. It’s no ‘sun tan’ seminar where the ideas last a few days then fade because these strategies will keep generating new business for years to come. You’ll see how suburban firms are winning new business clients online every single day. You’ll hear from several sole practitioners who have generated more than $250k of new business online in the past two years plus get a look at the ‘back end’ of their websites.
This seminar is for committed, ambitious and pro-active accountants who want to BOOM and the content of this seminar has the potential to give you a serious competitive edge. You’ll walk away with the knowledge to build a marketing machine including the 7 ‘gears of growth’ that drive the machine. If you’re looking to accelerate your success in 2016 and beyond you can’t afford to miss this event. To register go to: www.acceleratorseminar.eventbrite.com.au
The introduction of GST in this country disguised the need for accountants to market their services. Looking back to the year 2000, the extra workload and fees associated with quarterly Business Activity Statements saw most firms grow by 30 percent almost overnight. The future looked bright but a lot of firms (both big and small) soon found themselves buried in compliance work. It’s fair to say that many of today’s ‘compliance sweatshops’ were fathered by the introduction of GST.
Fast forward to 2016 and the profession is littered with firms that still have a total focus on compliance services. They are buried in compliance and bookkeeping work and continue to fix their client’s ‘computerised shoebox’ records. As a consequence, they struggle to get work out the door and they are permanently under pressure to meet lodgement deadlines. They rely on referrals for their growth but with no real point of difference and an ageing client base their referrals have dried up. Globalisation and outsourcing have commoditised compliance work and a lot of firms are competing on price for ‘bread and butter’ compliance work which spells trouble. They are going to end up attracting nothing but ‘bottom feeders’ who further erode your profit margins.
The truth is, business owners today want and expect more from their accountant. Compliance is no longer the glue that binds you and your clients together. If you want referrals you need to help them grow their business, their profits and their wealth. At the Accountants Accelerator Seminar you’ll see what services these fast growing firms are offering their clients and how they are transitioning their practice from a compliance base to more of a consulting base. You’ll see why they are attracting record levels of referrals and building a younger client base that has guaranteed them sustained double digit growth for years to come.
Compliance work certainly made firms busy but a lot of firms stopped marketing. In a sense, GST disguised the need for marketing and some accountants became complacent. Thousands of accounting firms in this country have ignored the online marketing revolution and still don’t have a website. They have buried their head in the social media sand and it’s no coincidence that these firms are characterised by an ageing client base full of fifty and sixty year olds. Unfortunately, this demographic don’t refer like their 35 year old counterparts who are in the throes of starting businesses, buying investment properties and establishing their own self-managed super fund. Buyers will gravitate away from firms with an old client base because they fear the client base will disintegrate. Buyers will also shy away from firms who are in fee decline.
ARE YOU GROWING OR SLOWING?
Ask yourself this: How is it that some accounting firms are growing at phenomenal rates and others are on a slippery slope?
The firms that are booming have shifted their marketing focus from offline to online. They have embraced digital media and are targeting niche markets and their ideal type of client using a combination of online searches, content marketing and social media.
At the Accountants Accelerator Seminar we will reveal the 7 ‘Gears of Growth’ that are driving growth in these firms. We will show you the tools that have them firing on all cylinders.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a sole practitioner or a four partner firm, these strategies work. You’ll get to look under the bonnet of a suburban accountant’s website that is consistently generating more than $100k of new business each and every year.
Change in Consumer Behaviour
The internet has changed consumer behaviour and their buying habits. It has also changed the way we communicate with our clients. Accountants who keep doing things the same way and expect a different result should sell out now. The availability of free, high-quality information online means the majority of the population now buy their books, shoes and electronic goods online. Gen X and Y store their photos on Facebook and their music on iTunes. The big question is - Do business owners buy accounting services online? The answer is a resounding YES.
A recent survey of over 1,000 buyers of professional services confirmed that three of the top four most common ways buyers research firms is online.
The number one method was a review of the website followed by an online search then a referral from friends and colleagues. Social media rounds out the top four sources. All of these methods are now more widely used than formal references. In fact, the survey suggested that on average, buyers use 3.2 of these methods – so most of their focus is online.
The evidence is not circumstantial, it is conclusive - people ‘buy’ accounting services online. They start the process with a Google search on their computer, smart phone or tablet. They gather information and get educated online. Next, they use a search engine (89% use Google in Australia) to source firms that specialise in their industry or their problem area. Their search phrase could be ‘accountant for starting a business’, ‘starting a self-managed super fund’ or ‘accountant for musicians’. The local search (‘accountant suburb’) is very common and let me ask you this - Where do you appear in the search engine results in your suburb? If your website doesn’t appear on the first page of the results you’re not in the game and you’re missing a massive opportunity.
Once a consumer has gathered enough information they might seek a referral from a colleague or possibly post a question in an online forum. They build a short list of firms to investigate and then start a review of the candidate’s websites. First impressions count and sorry, without a website you look like a dinosaur. If your website simply lists the who, what and where of the firm then the prospect is not going to contact you. Studies suggest the average human attention span is just eight seconds which officially puts us on par with a goldfish. As such, your website must engage with the prospect quickly or they will move on to the next candidate’s website.
TIME TO REJUVENATE YOUR AGEING CLIENT BASE?
Younger business owners start their search for a new accountant online and they are ‘addicted’ to mobile devices and social media channels. To tap into this market you need a serious online presence not just a website that is an ‘electronic billboard’. If your practice is to reach its full profit potential you need a website that targets your ideal type of client and promotes your niche industries and services.
You need to view your website as an investment not a cost and it should be your silent ‘sales person’ working 24/7 to attract new business. Increasingly consumers are going online to validate your credentials and you need to make the right first impression. Unfortunately, if your website is a static billboard full of stale content then your practice could be ‘ripe and rotting’.
The primary purpose of your website should be to attract leads and win new clients. ‘Electronic billboards’ don’t do that because their content is largely irrelevant, lacks depth and is often copied from other sources. If you purchased an ‘off the shelf’ website then you’ll probably find 95% of the content appears on other sites. These websites don’t attract traffic and they rarely generate new business.
If your website is not delivering new clients you can’t afford to miss this half day seminar. You’ll get a ‘website master class’ and learn the online secrets of incredibly successful firms. You’ll walk away with a blueprint to transform your website into a marketing and lead magnet. We’ll equip you with the knowledge to build a website that resonates with 25 to 45 year old business owners. To register go to To register go to: www.acceleratorseminar.eventbrite.com.au
At this event we won’t just tell you what you “should do” because we will also show you “how to do it” with some real live client examples. You’ll get online demonstrations plus we’ll lift the lid on a high performing website to illustrate the must have features. Not only that, we’ll share with you our ‘website winning formula’ that is the secret behind the online success of some of the fastest growing firms in the country. You’ll hear in detail the ‘inbound marketing’ tactics these firms are using to draw traffic to their site, engage the search engines and drive their website to the number one position in the search engine rankings. You’ll then be taught how to nurture and convert these leads into appointments and new clients. You get to look under the bonnet of a suburban accountant’s website that is consistently generating more than $100k of new business each and every year.
Spend a morning with us working ON your practice at the Accountants Accelerator Seminar and shift your marketing into ‘top gear’. You’ll leave with a clear marketing action plan but don’t procrastinate. Seating at this event is strictly limited to the first 100 people to register. Prior year seminars have all been complete sell outs and once the last seat is sold via the online booking system, registrations will close. To register go to: www.acceleratorseminar.eventbrite.com.au
YouTube is now recognised as the second biggest search engine behind Google and to attract younger clients you need to incorporate video into your marketing. The demand for online video content has exploded and by 2018, video traffic will account for 79% of all consumer internet traffic according to Cisco's Visual Networking Index.
A recent report from Ooyala suggests mobile video viewing is up 400% from two years ago. The statistics around video support the fact that they are a big part of the marketing future. Seventy-eight percent of people watch video online at least once a week and fifty-five percent watch video online every day. Mobile video viewing was up 127% last year and accounted for 27% total of global online video views in June 2014.
Accountants need to embrace video and the good news is you don’t need the experience or budget of a Hollywood producer to create videos for your website. Digital video production is relatively simple thanks to modern day cameras (including mobile phones) and desktop editing software. At the Accountants Accelerator Seminar we will show you the equipment to use and the process to produce high impact videos.
If Your Practice has Stalled or Worse, Is In Reverse, You Can’t Afford to Miss this Event
According to serial entrepreneur Creel Price, “You are either green and growing or you are ripe and rotting.” A lot of accounting firms are standing still and are in denial about the marketing revolution but if you keep doing things the same way you will continue to get the same results (if you’re lucky). Spend a morning with us and shift your marketing into ‘TOP GEAR’.
Don’t procrastinate because seating at the venue is strictly limited to 100 people. Prior year seminars have been complete sell outs and once the last seat is sold via the online system, registrations will close. To register go to: www.acceleratorseminar.eventbrite.com.au
At this event you’ll get a marketing master class specifically for the accounting profession. You’ll hear the strategies and see the tools and techniques used by some of the fastest growing firms in the country. These firms are attracting their ideal type of client and it doesn’t matter if you’re a sole practitioner or a four partner firm, these strategies work.
If you’re flat lining, starting to leak clients or just can’t get traction with your ideal clients you can’t afford to miss this session. If you have an ageing client base and noticed referrals starting to dry up in recent years we’ll show you how to reignite your referral engines. It’s a practical session and you’ll be able to implement some of these ideas the moment you get back to the office.
If you’re chronically busy producing mediocre results or your practice has stalled join us for what we promise to be a ground breaking session. You’ll discover how to unlock the growth potential in your practice. We promise the content of this seminar is totally different to any other event you’ve ever attended in the past and if you’re an ambitious accounting looking to fast track your growth in 2017 … start with the Accountants Accelerator Seminar.