Since the very beginning of our modern tax system and business economy, there has been a market for tax and accounting professionals to match up with individuals and business owners who need their help.The leads are out there, but just because those people exist (and may even be aware of you) doesn’t mean they’ll automatically convert to become paying clients. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Yes, it means more work for anyone doing the “selling” side of a transaction — but awareness simply isn’t enough anymore. Competition is high, and if you don’t nurture your leads all the way through the referral process, then they will likely turn to someone who does put that extra effort in.Below are five of the traits you must have in order to consistently convert your web referrals into clients for your practice.
1. An impressive online presence
Web referrals are essentially “visitors that come to your website from sites other than the major search engines.” For example, if you were to click this link to TaxBuzz (one of our marketplace sites), you would be considered a web referral to TaxBuzz since you visited the page via a link on this blog rather than through Google, Bing, or others.If referrals are brought directly to your website via a third party, will they be impressed?This online interaction may be a prospect’s first impression of your practice, so make sure it’s a good one. Build your website to be professional, modern, user-friendly, and authoritative on topics that are important to your prospects. Use copy that shows your target audiences you understand their pain points and can bring value to make their lives better. Not sure where to start with your practice’s online presence? Talk to one of our digital marketing experts about getting a custom-built, SEO-dominating website.
2. Social proof
The more evidence a web referral sees of you engaging in the public conversation surrounding your industry, the more likely they are to see you as a trustworthy advisor.Without trust, it is highly unlikely that a referral will want to convert to become a client.Knowing this, try to prioritize building social proof as part of your long-term lead generation and nurturing strategy. Ways to do this: maintain active social media profiles, engage with other professionals and influencers online (e.g. join our monthly #TaxBuzzChat on Twitter), and write guest posts for other reputable sites. If you have ever bought something based on a recommendation from someone else, that is social proof in action. Use it as a tool for your practice.
3. High ratings on marketplace sites
Did you know 90% of prospects read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about the business? It is vitally important for your practice to have as many five-star reviews as possible across various channels, from Google My Business to marketplaces like TaxBuzz and CountingWorks.You can even embed these ratings directly into your website so that every web referral will see them displayed when they end up on your page. What better way of convincing prospects to become clients than to show them raving reviews from your current clients? No one sells you better than your highly satisfied client base.
4. A solid lead nurturing strategy
If you don’t have a way of capturing contact information from people who visit your website, you should set that up immediately. Whether it’s a pop-up window after the visitor has been on a page for X number of seconds, a “get more info” form or some other medium, you need to get at least an email address so you or someone on your team can nurture the lead.After all, even a lukewarm lead is still a lead. Prioritize following up with your leads. Make it a requirement—not an option—to reach out within a certain (short) length of time after they initially visited your site. You can even set their contact information in an automated email campaign service that will send them follow up emails at pre specified intervals. However you may choose to nurture your leads, just remember that timing is essential and excellent follow-up skills are a necessity.
5. A solid answer to the question “Why you?”
As we mentioned earlier, increased competition in the digital age means that awareness isn’t enough to drive conversions on its own. The one thing that should be the backing for all of your messaging is knowing your “why.”Why do you do what you do, and why should people choose to work with you over someone else?If you can concisely define your purpose as a practice and use it to differentiate your work from competitors, it will come across in every bit of communication you put out into the world.When web referrals end up at your site, it will shine through in the copy you’ve written and the stories you share. When you follow up with them for the first time, it will be evident in the email or through what you say over the phone. Know your “why,” have it in the back of your mind every time you speak to a referral, and watch the conversions roll in.If you have questions about how to translate more of your web referrals into clients, we’re here to help! Contact us today at 1-800-442-2477 x3 or set up some time to speak with one of our digital marketing experts.
See the insights of this article summarized in a video by our CEO and founder, Lee Reams II: