If you’re like most accounting or law firms, you don’t have a systematic stream of clients coming to you online. Most firms’ sales process is outdated and inefficient. Usually, it comes from a hodgepodge of word-of-mouth and Google search. Occasionally, static mailing lists are used and they’re propped up by inefficient manual data entry. Streamlining your inbound marketing will save your firm a lot of labour while winning you more business.
At FirmChecker, we specialise in helping firms gather and use client feedback to win new business. In this post, we’ll suggest cost-effective resources you can use to grow.
Inbound marketing involves earning the attention of customers and making your customers easily found. Crucially, it’s not going out and proactively seeking clients through personal effort. Marketo outlines why strong inbound marketing is so important. In short, it helps you to:
You can win clients with a smaller budget and with less labour, both while you’re working and while you’re asleep. Techniques include infographics, blogs, events, SEO and social media.
Practice Ignition’s Head of Growth, Christian Sculthorp, provides an awesome flow-chart showing an efficient client onboarding journey using a variety of inexpensive inbound marketing software. It tracks the client journey from hitting your website through to matter closure. His process is a good example of how you can improve conversion rates and reduce manual data entry (which is labour intensive and prone to human error).
Using this process, your website should take your prospects through a journey which:
If you’re not doing any of this, don’t be intimidated! There are many cheap, easy tools that automate most aspects of inbound marketing.
You can save time on your firm’s social media accounts by managing and scheduling posts ahead of time, all from one place.
Forms should be used to capture key information from prospects when they land on your site. This helps you provide them with valuable content that’s relevant to them, and tailor their experience of your firm without having to do hours of work.
Most people prefer to book online now. You should have digital appointment booking options so you don’t miss out on leads.
Save everyone time and money by having your meetings virtually where possible.
You can automate your proposals process using Practice Ignition if you’re an accountant, which integrates with accounting software such as Xero. For lawyers, there are a lot of options, with LawGro being just one. It’s worth researching.
This can be done by an email marketing tool such as MailChimp or a fully-fledged CRM like InfusionSoft, Zoho or Hubspot. All are worth investigating.
At this point, you should be considering how you can collect feedback from your clients in a frictionless way – when they’re most likely to respond, and when you can action it in a timely way. You can substantially automate your invoicing with products like Xero, which is a good point at which to include requests for feedback. Additionally, you can put requests for feedback in you email signatures, and direct your clients to them when you ‘informally’ close matters by email. This will maximise your feedback collection at minimum inconvenience to you and the client – which is crucial to closing the loop on your inbound marketing and improving. FirmChecker Premium gives your firm a unique survey link you can easily integrate into your processes.
To bring it all together, check out Zapier, which helps many of these apps ‘talk to’ each other with APIs. This massively reduces the need for manual data entry.
Spend more time on your areas of expertise and let the software grow your business for you!
Ben Farrow is the Managing Director of FirmChecker consults with Beaton Research + Consulting, the leading management consultants to professional services firms in Asia-Pacific. He holds commerce and law degrees from the University of Melbourne and digital marketing certifications from Northwestern University.