Tag: marketing plan

Your Website – Hub of Your Marketing

You’ve heard the statistic. Your website visitor gives it only 3 seconds to answer these questions:

Who is this?  What do they do?  Am I in the right place?

If the visitor can’t find these answers, your site isn’t doing its job!

(And as for that visitor? He’s . . . GONE!  Likely never to be seen again.)

As a professional seeking new clients, the 3 second test is even more important, since 83% of people check your website first before ever taking another step. That means —

Your website is at the center of all your marketing!

In fact, your website serves as the hub of your marketing. Take a look at some of these common lead generation situations for professionals where your website would be involved:

  • You are interviewed at a convention. Your website address is flashed across the bottom of the screen. Will it reflect the impression you’re making in the interview?
  • A potential client gets one of your business cards. She immediately checks out your website from her phone. Is the site mobile enabled?
  • Someone seeking the answer to a thorny problem looks on Google. Will your website article – that provides the perfect answer — show up in the search?
  • Your name comes up on someone’s LinkedIn search. They immediately check your site to see if you have the credentials they’re looking for. They also check the sites of the other names that came up. How well will your site compete?
  • You want to add names to your mailing list. Do visitors to your site have a way to sign up?

Is your website well designed?

The situations described above are individual, and not every website will hold up well in every circumstance. But if your site is well designed, it should.

“So how do I know it’s well designed?”

Start by asking yourself: “Does the designer of the site understand marketing?”

Here are three simple steps to a professionally-designed marketing website. How well do you think your site rates today?

  1. The site is built around your marketing plan. The plan has identified your own lead generation activities and shows how the website relates to them.
  2. Appropriate copy has been written for each individual page. Different pages have different purposes and thus require different marketing language. (If you’re not comfortable writing it, get a professional copywriter.)
  3. The design displays the marketing messages to their best advantage.

Can an old website be updated?

Absolutely. Websites, unlike printed brochures, can be updated and published quickly!

But analyze what you have before throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Do you have an established “brand” that includes a logo, colors, a typestyle (font), a particular “attitude?” If you’re well known, you don’t want old friends to land at your new site and think they’re in the wrong place!

And just as you are cautious about falling for the latest advertising gimmick, watch out for the latest trends in website design. The flashy “look and feel” of a high-tech retail site probably won’t work for your professional site. At the other extreme, you can simplify and streamline so much that in those first 3 seconds the visitor can’t find a single answer!

So again, while your website can be updated, you may want to do it gradually. (And regularly.) And, as we said before, with the help of a designer who understands marketing.

What’s your next step?

From our perspective, a good website has four foundational pages plus some optional pages. Each page has its own purpose, and is integrated with and supports different  marketing efforts – speeches, networking, referrals, direct mail campaigns, advertising, social media, etc.

If you’re interested in learning more about each of these elements, get a copy of The Marketing Machine guidebook: Website – The Hub of Your Marketing Plan.

It’s 50 pages of detail aimed specifically at the professional business owner. With it, you’ll have a much better understanding of how well your site is doing its job — bringing in more business!

Hiding Behind Your Accounting Credentials

Hoping they will bring you more clients?


In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?”

Accounting CertificationsIt’s a well-known “secret” that professional accountants find marketing something close to voodoo and often actually recoil from anything that smacks of sales.

At the same time, ambitious professionals of all sorts, including accountants, look proudly at their progress as measured by the designations that follow their names. They add them to business cards and on the letterhead of the company and even on the front door of the office – and consider them “marketing.”

The problem: unless you’re with the government (!) . . .

Prospects are not looking for accounting designations.

As you have surely discovered, most people outside the profession don’t even know what the various initials stand for!

What people are looking for is . . .

Someone to help them with their personal problems.

They know what their problems are, but most likely do not – in fact CAN not – describe them in professional accounting terms. So for them, the more “professional” you appear, the less secure they are about being able to get your help!

On the other hand, if your marketing makes it clear that you understand and solve problems just like theirs – your chances of landing new clients go way up!

The right marketing plan, systematically laid out and faithfully executed, helps define those problems, determine where people with those problems are to be found, and directs them to you.

How to build that marketing plan is a whole other topic. In this space, let’s stick with misconceptions.

Professional sales are subtle and conversational.

So, take professional sales. Professional sales are subtle. Far from anything resembling aggressive promotion, professional sales can be described as “consultative” and “solutions oriented.” Sometimes referred to as “question-based selling,” a professional sale for accountants is really a managed conversation that discovers the client’s perceived problems and finds solutions to them.

This can often be accomplished without any use of accounting jargon, and certainly without reference to any certifications!

Professional marketing is focused on the client, not on you as the accountant.

As for marketing, think of it as a magnet or “gravitational pull” that is designed to draw people to your business. The Marketing Plan begins with a careful analysis not of who you are, but of what kind of clients will make a good, long-term fit for the practice.

The strategy that results will be designed to locate and attract inquiries from these carefully-targeted prospects. The plan also includes the step-by-step communications designed to convert prospects into clients.

Throughout, the marketing plan focuses on the needs of the prospect or client.

If your plan has been focused on getting yet another set of initials after your name . . . it’s time to take another look.

Joe Krueger
The Marketing Machine®

P.S. How many of the designations in the graphic can you name?

P.P.S. If some of these observations make you wonder if your marketing plan is doing its job, take a look at what’s in Strategic Marketing Plan. We wrote this ebook for professionals like you who may have finished the first draft of their marketing plan but want to be sure it clearly promotes what makes the practice unique.   It has a companion book just on marketing tactics — to help you pick the tactics that complement your practice and are most likely to result in new business.