You probably put a lot of work into building your practice’s online presence, and for that I give you all the kudos you deserve. However, I must also caution you against resting too long on your laurels. Your digital presence isn’t something you create once and then you’re done. It’s something that requires revisiting and refreshing periodically, perhaps every six months to a year.
Salim Omar will present the session, Designing Your “Ultimate Lifestyle” Accounting Practice at Accountex USA 2017.
Is your online presence getting stale? When was the last time you looked at your own website, visited your Facebook page, or googled your practice? It may be time to breathe new life into your digital channels.
As a practitioner you often get bogged down working in your practice and don’t get the opportunity to step back and view your online presence from a prospective client’s viewpoint.
Here are several actions you can take today to start turning that around.
Get Consistent in Your Branding
Take a look at all of your digital channels. They should have a similar “look and feel.” You should be able to tell at a glance that the page you’re looking at belongs to your practice. For example, if you use a logo in your practice, make sure you’re displaying the same logo on every channel.
Choose a color scheme to represent your practice and stick with it. Some channels allow you to create some kind of rectangular header image at the top of your page (such as on Facebook, Twitter). Use the same images, fonts, messages, and colors in every header.
Update Your Practice Description
Most channels provide an opportunity to describe your practice, just as you would provide a bio on a personal channel. Is it time to update your description? Have you changed your focus? Are you catering to a different demographic than when you first established your channels? Do you have new things to brag about, like awards, published works, etc?
Polish up your description, and then, as recommended above, make sure it is consistent across all channels as part of your branding.
Get Consistent in Your Posting
Has it been forever since you’ve tweeted? Do you tweet, but forget to post a similar message on Facebook? Are you publishing blog posts, but failing to promote them on your channels? Are your postings inconsistent? Now is the time to create an editorial calendar. Decide on a social and content strategy, then schedule your posts and publications in advance. Keep to a content creation and social posting schedule.
There are great tools out there that allow you to manage all of your channels on one dashboard and schedule posts as far in advance as you like. Try Hootsuite, Sprout Social or TweetDeck. Take control and avoid having your channels look abandoned. Instead, make them vibrant. Get them working to attract the new business you want.
You might come across a page you created some time ago and forgot about (such as your practice’s Yelp listing). Make necessary updates. If you find unflattering reviews on your practice, see how you might be able to reach out and make the situation right. Mount a campaign to encourage happy clients to post positive reviews in these same places to create more balance and clean up your image.
Also, note that some review sites automatically generate pages for existing businesses, which you can then claim and refine. Take control of any such pages and optimize them in any way possible.
Check Your Website Analytics
Which pages on your site perform better than others? One way to do this is to look at the time spent on each page and bounce rates. Edit the pages with highest bounce rates to clearly state your practice’s marketing message and create a call to action to prompt them to the desired next step.
Make sure that your pages achieve what they should be achieving. Additionally, see which social channels bring in the most business and which ones the least. Decide whether you want to spend your efforts on the networks that don’t perform well.
Could it be the lack of effort and erratic posting? Could it be a mismatch between your target clientele and a channel? Whatever the reason, either create a strategy you will follow or delete the account. The latter might be better if you have accounts on all major networks.
Get Fresh Images
Have you been using the same headshots, the same stock imagery on your website and other channels? It might be time to sweep out the cobwebs. Hire a photographer to take new photos of you and your team. If your previous headshots were more traditional, consider going more informal and friendly.
Get group shots and action shots of your team at work and play to replace dull stock photos of strangers. Authenticity is far more compelling. Show your prospects who they’ll be working with. You can use the photos on your website, on your social channels, in print brochures, on holiday cards, in new client packets, and elsewhere.
Whether you give your online presence an annual Spring cleaning, a twice-yearly review, or a monthly check-up, it’s the ongoing monitoring and improvement that’s important. If it’s been a while for you, or if you don’t know where to start, I have hand selected an all-star line-up of speakers to address this very topic at my upcoming SuperConference June 9-11 in St. Louis, MO. For more info, visit: www.cpaliveevent.com.