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Why Content Marketing Services are a MUST for Your CPA Firm
Lucas HamonMar 18, 2015 4:30:00 AM8 min read

Why Content Marketing Services are a MUST for Your CPA Firm

Alright, it's 3/18 and you have a few days to get your heads together before the big crunch.

It's the 7th inning stretch, if you will.

So, as you inhale your first breath of fresh air for the first time in weeks, and shudder at the thought of what's next on the to-do list, let's talk about ways to minimize the 4/15 crunch AND deliver valuable off-season project work through a new-found approach to marketing for accountanting firms.

Here are 10 reasons why your firm will thank you for deploying these services instead of relying on tactics that are yielding diminishing returns.

Selling is already hard enough... When it's tax or audit services, selling is REALLY hard:

Employing content marketing services will make it easier.

I don't want to beat around the bush - In the eyes of business owners everywhere you are a conduit to a necessary, unavoidable evil. You are associated with two of our least favorite aspects of business - nay, you represent them. Tax & Audit. They're right there in your company taglines, mission statements, and job titles, and it's almost as if there is no way to paint yourself in a better light.

Almost... but not quite. With content (the engine for inbound) it is entirely possible to change the way your clients see you and the role you play in their ultimate success. And, if you can do this in the eyes of your existing clients, can you imagine the impact it will have on those target/project accounts still sitting with your biggest competitors?

Believe me, they're NOT solving this problem any time soon, so if you find the right path, there will be very little resistance to your client plundering.

So, what is content marketing? Simple - it's providing something of value for the end user in order to position your brand in front of prospective buyers. With inbound marketing, it's often found in the form of gated ebooks, whitepapers, or other downloadable items.



1. Make you more approachable

When you give stuff away for free, you position yourself 1 step ahead of everybody else. But be careful in WHAT you give away, because if it's a cleverly (or not so-cleverly) disguised ad for your firm, it's likely to backfire.

Provide something of value, like an easy to use questionnaire or Excel cacluator that will help your visitors determine if they may qualify for certain tax incentives. People want to self-diagnose before calling a specialist, and if you can provide an honest "test-strip" assessment, they will thank you with that precious call when the time comes to take action.

2. Give your clients reasons to connect throughout the year

One of the things you should be doing to distribute your content is blogging about it. No, you're not advertising it, but you're getting granular with certain topics, and positioning the content at the end when their interest is piqued.

Now, if your blog ideas are around simple hacks that Architectural firms can be doing in the summer to make tax time a breeze, you may just get some readers in July... around the time they're dealing with painful audits or project work that cannot wait any longer.

3. Generate organic traffic to your website

If you don't know anything about SEO, that's fine.

If you're giving away content and really want it to move as opposed to gathering dust, you need to blog about it and populate calls-to-action (CTAs) in the appropriate places, so people go to it. Well, good blogging strategy is more than just telling stories; it's following protocol that boosts your rank with the search engines. By linking to your content, you boost it even more.

If the search engines love you, they WILL deliver visitors to your website.

4. Help you capture website leads

Wanting to "generate more visitors" is a losing bet if you're trying to get your website to actually work for you, and that's one of the biggest reasons why your content is so important - because it helps you actually  convert those visitors into leads.

Gate your content, people. Put it behind a form. If it's compelling enough, people will download it, and when they do, you get a new contact in exchange. 

5. Simplify your prospecting

With inbound, we can take it to the next level, because we're always gathering small bits of information with each form submission. Certain software platforms, like Hubspot, offer dynamic "smart" forms, which means they change every time somebody submits them.

So, if I were to line a bunch of queued up questions around entity type, filing dates, income projections, and challenges they are facing with their current tax and/or audit providers, well I imagine that would help surface some pretty awesome leads and position myself quite favorably in the process.

6. Surface project opportunities

Remember earlier how I mentioned that you could provide content that helps your clients self-diagnose whether they may qualify for certain tax incentives? Well, if you frame this content around project work that your firm does, perhaps cost seg or R&D studies, then you'll attract those that fit the mold AND provide segway into working on those types of deals - with clients AND targeted prospects.

By the way, I'm not suggesting you put your firm at risk by telling people they qualify for something they may not, or by providing calculations so they can do it on their own. Careful planning is important here, so make sure you don't cross any lines or give away too much.

7. Position you as an authority & thought leader

Your face is on the blog. Your firm authored the content. You're able to share bits and pieces with contacts on social media and in-person. Before you know it you'll be famous - for an accountant. People are going to know who you are before you even call. They'll respect your position because they'll understand you AND the law better.

This will help on all fronts - clients, prospects, project accounts, and even recruiting

8. Provide topics for conversion with clients & prospects

"Hi mr. client/prospect, happy July. Did you have any project work you'd like us to take a look at?"


Hello Mr. Client/prospect. I noticed that you were looking into the R&D credit. I know that in regards to utilization, there's a great opportunity here, which we can talk about if you're interested. First, how did the assessment pan out?"

It doesn't matter how that assessment pans out or even if utilization is an issue. It's a talking point, and you can pivot to other areas where you might be able to help, and they are much more likely to let you steer in this scenario.

9. Get THEM to call YOU

How nice would it be to not have to chase your clients when you need something for their returns or have a project to pitch? By providing content that helps them get their arms around their finances, they are more likely to identify the appropriate times to connecting with you, which means that YOUR phone might be the one doing the ringing for once.

10. Make your competitors look bad by making yourself look so good

Coming in second on a conversation about tax savings that could drive tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in benefits is enough to lose that client's faith for good, and quite possibly, their business overnight.

I know this one firsthand because I cold-called businesses and pitched tax credits & deductions based on industry and certain factors like company size. Invariably, when my pitch would land, their first question was, "Why wouldn't my accountant bring this to me?"

Luckily for MY clients' accountants, I was working for a firm that served as back-office support, so I wasn't in the business of poaching from CPAs, and it was actually beneficial to me to paint them in a positive light. Unfortunately, a lot of the regional firms that ARE interested in poaching your clients, well.. they don't care to paint you so positively when when that question pops up.

But you can turn the tables on your competitors with effective content marketing delivered by way of inbound. If your prospects are seeing you as the authority because you keep surfacing powerful bottom-line opportunities, it's only a matter of time before they start asking themselves why they aren't working with you full-time. And if your clients see you doing this, they're going to feel confident that you're the best firm out there, and that they'd the stupid to leave.

It's organic and real, which is why it's so effective:

Put down the phone and stop cold calling. Don't waste your summer trying to squeeze blood from a stone, and try something a little different this year.

Doing this the inbound way isn't going to generate an avalanche of opportunities overnight, because like anything worthwhile, it takes work and time. But if you start today, and stay the course, you'll have a machine that churns out revenue-generating opportunities better than attending trade-shows, cold-calling, or crossing your fingers combined. You'll surface more project work, and may even start seeing new clients by summer.

It takes a bit of a leap of faith, but if you find the right partners to shepherd you through the initial stages, it may end up being one of the least riskiest marketing investments you've made in a long, long time.

Interested in learning more about how inbound can help your firm from a full-suite content marketing agency? Schedule a free inbound marketing assessment today!


Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.