Back in the "simple days" (if those ever actually existed), it was easier for professional service providers to understand the trajectory of the client lifecycle within their industry. Pros just had to figure out how to attract prospects--usually by building up their referral pipeline--and from there the process was fairly linear.
We know that, at this point, the prospect was already at the "intent stage" within the marketing funnel since they were actively seeking recommendations. The service provider then needed to engage in a conversation, qualify the lead, present how they could help solve the prospect's problems, address any objections, and "close the deal."
While the client lifecycle is still a relevant representation of the process you must engage in with each prospect, there's a key difference these days: The first two stages have become a mini-cycle on their own. Rather than just attracting a lead (whether through a referral or some other method) and moving on to the next steps, the digital age has made it a necessity for professionals to always be attracting prospects and always be engaging in the conversation. No longer is this a case of just conversing with individual leads--look at it as needing to become a part of the public dialogue for your industry. How can accounting and tax pros drive meaningful client engagements in the digital age? Here's the thing: most of the lead nurturing done by brands now occurs online before anyone ever reaches out to you directly. With a majority of searches for tax and accounting help starting online, your presence on the web has never been more important. Without a strong digital footprint, your practice isn't even a part of the conversation. And worse yet, you don't even realize you are out of the game.There are many ways to improve your practice's online presence and ensure you're attracting prospects, but one of the most important for a long-term lead generation strategy is content creation. Since the mini-cycle of attracting prospects and engaging in conversation is always ongoing, it's imperative that your practice establishes itself as a thought leader. Some stats show that blogging consistently has led B2B marketers (i.e. your practice trying to reach SMB owners) to generate 67% more leads than marketers who do not. Here's the trick that many pros don't realize: the best way to sell is to not try to sell. Not every post should focus on a service you provide or a reason why somebody should hire you. Some can, of course, but it's mostly important to show that you are a helpful source of information and not just a sales machine. Great content--whether it be evergreen, "how-to" pieces, updates on the latest regulatory changes, or even your reviews--should inspire action in your readers. You won't have to tell them to hire you, because being a part of the public conversation will showcase your expertise all on its own. Over 50% of our growth level subscribers' website traffic comes from their blog and social content. You're playing the long game here. Focus on building up your content over time, and your practice will have a solid foundation for lead generation strategy that lasts.If you have any questions about meaningful content creation or how to start finding more web referrals, contact us today at 1-800-442-2477 x3 or set up some time to speak with one of our digital marketing experts. We're here to help!
See the insights of this article summarized in a video by our CEO and founder, Lee Reams II: