‘Ask Me Anything’ Focusing on Marketing and Business Development

To kick of 2021 join Brad Turville, of Modern Firm Practices, and Charles Clark, Marketing Director of BOMA for a fun, informative and fast paced ‘Ask Me Anything' session focusing on Marketing & Business Development.

Some of the questions we cover include;

  • What are the top 2 marketing strategies being used heading into 2021?
  • What marketing channel would you recommend for a startup bookkeeping business?
  • What is your view on Google paid advertising?
  • Proven ways to promote webinars
  • How does re targeting work and what are some things you can do to retarget people?
  • Tips on how to make business content click worthy without being too ‘salesy'
  • How to get consistency in enquiries for Strategic Planning?
  • Best marketing KPI's to track and improve for Business growth?
  • How do you find more clients that you want to work with?
  • How do you sell more services to your existing clients?
  • When is the best time to do a client review for referrals or feedback?

 

NB: You can also read a full transcript of this session below.

 

 

 

 

‘Ask Me Anything' Focusing on Marketing and Business Development Transcript

 

Charles Clark:

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today. My name is Charles Clark, I'm the Marketing Director at BOMA, and I'm joined by Brad Turville. Hi Brad.

Brad Turville:

Hi Charles.

Charles Clark:

Oh, great. So today we are talking marketing and business development, and it's really an ‘Ask Me Anything’. So you guys have sent in a ton of questions, which is fantastic, but also we really encourage you to put any questions that you've got live. So Brad's run a lot more of these than I have. So for this first one, I'll hand them to you, Brad, in terms of housekeeping, and then we'll get on to the questions.

Brad Turville:

Great. Thanks Charles. I can see a lot of people piling in. Hello to all of you. Some of you might be seeing me for the first time. Some of you have maybe seen me speak before. So this is a topic and well, it's a topic Charles and I know a lot about and we love, but it's also a format, as Charles mentioned, that I've run a lot of the Ask Me Anything type format. So a little bit of housekeeping. I know people are still piling in. So follow along as you jump in. We've got a lot of questions that you've sent in. Thanks for that. Charles and I just actually had quite a good look at them. There's great, there's a lot of different questions, which is good.

Brad Turville:

Now, throughout the call, I'd like you to participate with any questions that you haven't sent in or questions that come to mind, or maybe by reading out the questions and answering them, which is how it works, it might trigger a bit of little blinding flash of the obvious for a different question that you hadn't thought to ask. So the way you do it is you can go down to the chat, that'll be down the bottom somewhere. I'm sure you're all familiar with Zoom by now. And you can put your question in.

Brad Turville:

Now, we'll do our best to get through as many questions as possible, the ones that have been sent in and the ones that come in. Just so we can check that the chat is working, Chelsea, if you're listening, can you just let us know in the chat that it's working? I'm not going to ask you all. Otherwise, I'll get 4,000 chat messages. Cool. Someone else has already done it. So it's already working. Thanks Chelsea. So when you type your question in, make sure it says, to the panelists, not to panelists and attendees, because you might not want everyone to see them. We'll ask the question out anyway.

Brad Turville:

If you want to keep it anonymous, just put it in there. Just say, “Hey, here's my question, but don't…” We'll do our best not to say anything about you. But if you put it in there, I'll say, “Hey, Chelsea asked this great question.” If you don't even want your first name read out, that's fine. We're obviously here to keep everything private, private. So there's a quick little bit of housekeeping. I'd say we've got most people in here now. Charles, we have 45 minutes on the clock, that leaves us with about 40 minutes now. So would you like to jump into some of the questions?

Charles Clark:

Fantastic. So I'll start with the first question. And it's a really interesting one and it's quite a good place to start because it's a very broad marketing question, but don't worry, there are lots of other questions which go into specifics. And the question is, what are the top two marketing strategies used heading into 2021? Which is a bit like asking how long a piece of stream, because really you have to know who are you targeting and where are they, where do they hang out? And then there's also questions along the lines of, are you a very small firm? Do you have the capacity to do a lot of marketing work or are you a one-man, one-person band? Or are you a large firm, which has maybe marketing resource?

Charles Clark:

So all of these strategies and tactics that we'll talk about today, really, to some extent, depend on your capabilities and where your ideal client is. The more capabilities you have, the more budget, the more resources you can throw at, the more strategies that you can embark on. The fewer that you have, then obviously you want to keep it simple and easier to keep on top of it, if you are going to be the person who's doing it all. Brad, what would you say, top two strategies?

Brad Turville:

Yeah, I agree with that. Who's your ideal client? What are their problems and where do they hang out? That's going to help dictate your marketing strategies. But two that I really like, especially in this sort of… I'm not going to call it post-COVID, sort of COVID settled a little bit type world. I still love collaborations and partnerships. A lot of people are trying to find new ways to work together. And then they're open to maybe doing something with you or open to exploring that idea. So a great example there would be, if you work with a particular niche or there's a niche you like, you could go to maybe the association for that niche, or Facebook groups for that niche, or different suppliers to that particular niche and have a chat to them about doing something together. You've probably got clients they would like, they've got clients that you would like and so on.

Brad Turville:

The other one there would be, which flows on from that, is running a client events. I know we're all a bit zoomed out at the moment, but that's just reality. I think as soon as we can get back to face to face, running some face-to-face events, people are going to be rushing in the door for them. So partnering with those that are complimentary to the client you would like. And secondly, running events like this online, or even running something like this offline, there's two ideas that I see being between 2021.

Charles Clark:

Great. So next question is, tips on how to make business content worthy without being too salesy. So a great question. In my experience, it's always good to think about the value that you can offer to the [inaudible]. So think about what's in it for them. So if you make the content useful, insightful, educational, then people are more likely to engage with it. So that's key. And if it is all those things that even if you do have a subtle sales message in there, they usually won't mind because you've helped them with a problem where you've helped educate them. One thing to note, you obviously have to get the person to click on the email, to go through to the blog or to click on the blog or the social post. So you have to have a good title.

Charles Clark:

So think about something catchy that is going to leave the reader wanting to learn more. If you ever want to see someone who does it really well, go to the dailymail.com, they are past masters at writing clickbaity titles. So the point I'm making is, you don't need to make yours clickbaity, but they're very good at making the reader think, oh, that title, I want to learn more about what it's about. So just think about what is the one key thing that your audience could learn about from the piece of content? And then you could build a title around that.

Brad Turville:

Cool. I'll jump in there, Charles. Make sure the content is speaking to your ideal client. What I see with a lot of accountants, which is a big mistake, is the content's actually for other accountants. It's either way too technical or it's way too much about tax or it's in a certain language that your peers would resonate with, but your average small business owner or maybe mom and dad type client, they're maybe not going to understand it or resonate with them, or it's not going to speak to them. So just do a little check there. If you're putting it on social media and you're seeing the only people that like, and comment and share it, are other accountants, it's probably speaking a bit too much accounting right there. And I'm honest, I see this one all the time. So who is your client and speak their language and try and make it as simple as possible.

Brad Turville:

And remember, accountants love tax, not every small business owner loves it, wants to talk about it every day. So what are their problems specifically on their level? And there's probably two good ideas that you could run. Actually, one more I'll add is in regards to not salesy, but having a call to action. It flows into my last point, which was, if you are running online or offline events and your content could be specific to it, you might run an event around how to maybe grow your business and you are putting content there around different strategies on growth, average transaction value, more often opening new partnerships and so on. You might be able to say, “We're actually running a more extended event on this particular topic. Why don't you come along?” It's not salesy, it's an invitation. Everyone loves being invited to things. So going from content into an event is much more softer than going from content to buy from me now. So there's a little idea.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. That's a great point. Another question is, obviously you need an email list, from Mark in Alabama, what if you don't have a list, just starting out or only have a LinkedIn list? So we've often heard that people don't have an email list. And then they say, “Well, I do have clients and I obviously email my clients.” So if that's you, then that could be the start of your list. If you're just starting out or just have a LinkedIn list, maybe you could get in touch with them on LinkedIn, send them a message and ask them for their email. If you feel a bit uncomfortable with that ask, you could then wrap it up as Brad was just alluding to, with a value exchange. So you could offer them something in return. So it could be something like we're doing today, like a webinar or an Ask Me Anything, or it could be a lead magnet.

Charles Clark:

So you might offer them the ability to download a really interesting PDF that applies to their vertical, to their sector. And in reply, they can give you their contact details. The great thing about this is that you can do this across all the social media channels that you might have. You can put it on your website as well. So even late in the night when you've knocked off for the day and people are searching social media or they're coming on to your website, there's the ability for them to start making that connection with you by accessing or downloading that piece of content or registering.

Charles Clark:

Just other things in terms of making sure that you start capturing emails on your website, make sure that you always have the contact desk page that ask for their email, maybe a quick message about what they'd like to talk about. A newsletter sign up form is always great. And again, that lead magnet that we talked about on social media, you could also, as we said, put it onto your website and then have it nice and central on your homepage or some of your key product or service pages. With BOMA, you were asking in terms of an email list for marketing on BOMA. If you use the BOMA lead capture forms, they'll actually pull that contact into BOMA and then they'll tag them, like newsletter or contact us form, however you've decided to tag them. And then once they're in BOMA, you can then email them using that tag. Brad, what's your experience in sort of, if you're starting out building a list from nothing, an email list?

Brad Turville:

Yep. Cool. Good question, something I've got a lot of experience with. The easy way is to go to someone that already has the list. So if there's the concept of resources versus resourcefulness, if you're being resourceful, someone else already has your client, already has the assets or a list of your clients. So I mentioned earlier associations or groups or complementary partners, maybe what Charles and I are doing today. There's the opportunity then to do something together and a couple of ideas you could come up with. Number one would be, if you were to run a Zoom call, perhaps you would host the call, which means everyone has to register to your account, which means you get all the emails.

Brad Turville:

The other way to do it is to have a resource or a call to action for them to make, so they're able to access something from you and capture their details. A little bit like if everyone goes to bradturville.com, goes down the bottom and says contact me, and shoots me a message, I'll give you a free training on business development that goes over this stuff in detail. A little bit like that. I'm being a bit cheeky there, but it's also another way of going about capturing emails. Why? Because email then allows you to communicate. It doesn't mean you're in a sales process yet. It's just that you're still in a value exchange.

Brad Turville:

The other way, in regards to LinkedIn, I've done that very successfully. What I see works well is, once you've made connections with your ideal client, LinkedIn will then usually give you their email. I find messaging on email versus LinkedIn. I've actually been doing it this week. LinkedIn it's like 1000 to one to get a response. Email, I've closed the browser, but it was probably down at about 20% at the moment, of favourable responses, purely from sending the same message in LinkedIn versus email. Why? Just because over COVID, everyone has been smashed on LinkedIn with a million we'll show you how to outsource messages. So there's a couple of ideas for you.

Charles Clark:

Look, and actually this leads really well into the next question. So what marketing channel would you recommend for a startup bookkeeping business? And look, if you are right at the beginning of that, starting up your business, it might be something as simple as, well, look, you've got email, and as Brad said, there's lots of different ways that you can get that list. And then obviously you might choose to do one or two social channels. I suppose we put a lot of emphasis, especially in the last year on using digital channels, but look, hopefully as we all start to move through to hopefully a new, slightly less restrictive phase of COVID, the opportunities to get out there face to face for people might become more available than they have been in the last year. So I definitely consider email, one or two social channels. And then as Brad said, get to those associations, get to those meetings, get your name and face out there and start making those connections.

Brad Turville:

Yeah, little more extended on that, Charles, contact accounting firms around there. I mean, I hear a lot of the time accounting firms aren't always over the moon with the bookkeepers that they're partnering with. That's just the general feedback that I hear. So for you, that's an opportunity. Maybe just booking a meeting and introducing yourself just might be the perfect timing that they're sick of the bookkeeper that they're using and they might not now want to position you. And the great thing with that is, look at how many clients and the accounting firm has that could potentially be your ideal client. It's heaps. It's that association analogy that I put together. That's one person or a couple of people you build a relationship with and they can open and expose you to a lot more.

Brad Turville:

For bookkeeping as well, it depends the type of client that you want. So if you wanted smaller businesses, something that works well is in co-working spaces, what have you got? Where you've got a lot of businesses in the one location, co-working spaces are looking to get more businesses there and keep them for longer. And so what do they do? They look after the businesses that are there. And so they regularly run, or they'll be open to running events where experts can come in and speak on relevant topics.

Brad Turville:

I know that because I did it before. And one work literally on the night from it. Potentially you could do that. You could contact a few co-working spaces and say, “Hey, I could come and speak on this topic or that topic.” Going to the cloud or easy ways of maintaining your books, or easy ways to collecting the cash that you're owed. Just a couple of ideas off the top of my head that they might be open to. They've got a cool venue. They're going to fill the room with people. You can get cool video, you can get photos, you can network with people. There's an idea for you.

Charles Clark:

Nice. So a slightly different question next. So what is our view on doing Google paid advertising? So my personal view is, it's really well worth doing if you can afford to do it. So the nice thing about Google Ads is that it doesn't necessarily need to cost a lot of money. You'll only pay for, or when someone clicks on the ad. And look, the reason it's great is that you can basically put your ad, your message in Google when people are showing intent. So they're searching for an accountant or bookkeeper maybe in their area or they're searching for a specific accounting or bookkeeping product or service. So if you can then have your ad up on those particular keywords, that's really a fantastic opportunity.

Charles Clark:

There's also other things you can do. So you can have ads around your business name, your location sort of thing, sort of accountant in Auckland, or it can be really specific. So accountant in a particular suburb, also the products and services that you offer. As I see, that's really cost effective. So if you have got $200 or $300 a month to spend, that's great, it's available for everyone. Don't worry that if you only have $1000 a month, that's only when you can start getting involved. So I definitely recommend them.

Charles Clark:

One other thing I would say is that if you are going to go down this route, do not do it yourself. As I would say, I'm in marketing, I would not do my own accounts. I would go an accountant. And likewise, Google Ads is really technical and it's very easy to spend a lot of money and waste a lot of money or really not do a good job. So go and speak to a Google Premier Partner. I'm actually just going to put into the chat, a webinar that we did with NZME. So we've got a partnership with them, that's basically us explaining how Google Ads work. And obviously if you want to learn more, I'll quickly put in a form there, and that's basically a link to a form. And they'll give you a call about running Google Ads for your firm. Brad, how about you? Have you had good experience with Google Search for you and your clients?

Brad Turville:

I personally am not using it at the moment as I'm focusing on other strategies, but to riff off what you just mentioned, and I guess just for everyone on the call, a bit of a difference between say Google ad versus something like a Facebook ad is that, Charles mentioned, the Google is intent orientated and that's digital marketing speak for, if someone's going to Google, they are looking for the thing right now. Like I need an accountant in this area. Why doesn't my profit equal my cash flow? How do I set up a company? They're literally looking for it, probably because it's a problem that they want solved. Versus Facebook, you're on there, you're on the couch, you're having a good time flicking through and you're getting ads pushed in front of you. Can you see the difference there?

Brad Turville:

You are in one place for… I'm not saying Facebook Ads don't work, but I'm just saying that Google, they are more in a sort of I'm ready or might be open to looking to buy from someone if they can help me with my problem at that particular point. So that's one of the benefits. Secondly, perhaps your name, as Charles mentioned, whether it's a personal name or it's a business name, it might sound a bit weird going, “But hang on, why would we just focus on our name?” Well, if someone's looking you up, which we now look up everyone, you want to be at the top, especially if you've got maybe quite a common name or there's some other businesses that are quite similar that are going to be up the top, that could be a little bit confusing. So betting on your own name, I've seen that work really well.

Brad Turville:

The third one is definitely don't do it yourself. Please don't do it yourself. I've been out of accounting for two years and I now wouldn't even do my own work, let alone being in it for a long time. Just because you are out of touch for a little bit. The same thing goes in the digital space. Charles has got a great business over there in New Zealand. I've got someone great here in Australia. So if you're interested in doing it, speak to someone first about some different ideas and there's lots of directions you can go, from betting on certain terms through to what's called remarketing. So if someone comes and interacts with something, easiest way to explain it is follow them around a little bit and just show your face and your name again as a bit of a reminder. So there's a few more ideas going off what you said, Charles.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. And actually that leads on to a question someone else has asked, but before we get there, a question came in saying, would you do Google Ads for a client? So I'm assuming here that you are saying, would you recommend that a client of yours do Google Ads for their business? And yes, completely. And you can imagine, especially if they're also in professional services or retail or anything where they need to get customers in the door or have a part or a service to sell, I would definitely recommend that you do it. And again, as a business advisor, you could then steer them in the right direction in terms of someone that they could talk to.

Brad Turville:

And Charles, on that again, I know I'm going to keep coming back to it and I'll keep coming back to it the whole call is, who is your ideal client? If your ideal client is potentially a top executive that works in the mines, it's then thinking on, well, where do they hang out and how would I get in front of those type of clients? And in some certain areas, certain channels will be less effective than other channels.

Charles Clark:

Cool. And sorry, just to follow on from that same person, yes, you can use BOMA, and I'll partner to do Google Ads for you. So I popped in a jot form just below the Google Ads webinar. So if you click on that, you can fill out that form and then someone will be in touch with you to discuss your Google Ad needs. So how does retargeting work? That's a really good question and a good point that you brought up. So the question was, how does it work and what are some of the things you can do to retarget people? So as Brad said, it's all about, I suppose, if someone comes on to your website and then your website will drop a cookie onto their browser, I'm sure you've probably all heard about cookies before. It's just a small piece of code. And then where they go around the internet.

Charles Clark:

So they could go onto different social pages, Facebook, Instagram, they could go across newspapers and other sites of interest, wherever, any of those sites carry ads, then you can, I suppose, buy ads that would then hopefully go and follow those people and target them. And as Brad said, it's a great way to keep your brand or your business front of mind so that if they suddenly say, “Okay, well, I've seen quite a few ads from this firm. I think I'll go and see what they're all about.” Or maybe the first ad or two wasn't quite what they were looking for, but you obviously run a number of different ads with different calls to action or propositions that you are putting in front of them, they might find one that's like, “Oh yeah, I do need that particular service, I'll click on the learn more button,” and they come through to your site. So if you can do some remarketing or retargeting, I'd highly recommend it.

Brad Turville:

Yep. Cool. And like you said, Charles, plenty of different platforms that you can run that on. So you might have visited a site, let's say Xero, to pick an example, Xero accounting software. You might then go to a news site or something like that. They tend to have a lot of advertising on there. And so you see little Xero banners, square ones, rectangle ones, long ones, short ones, pop up here and there. As somewhere else, Facebook's an obvious one. Twitter, if your clients are on there, Twitter ads are super cheap. But again, think about the ideal client, if they're not on Twitter or they're probably not going to interact on there, you're just going to put money down the drain, keep that in mind. And another one is Facebook pre-roll ads, sorry, YouTube pre-roll ads. So when you go onto YouTube and watch a video, there's sometimes a quick little video at the start.

Brad Turville:

If your particular niche client, if you know they follow some personal brand or something on YouTube, and this might be a little bit uncomfortable for accountants that aren't wanting to get in front of camera, but if you are, use that as an advantage, 100%. There might be an opportunity every time people visit certain videos or certain channels or people on YouTube, you can make various little offers in front of them before the video starts. And those sort of ads tend to be a little bit cheaper, just because there's a little bit more work involved, which means less people do it, which means demand and supply. Little bit less demand, more supply, prices a little bit lower. Again, I wouldn't do any of them yourself and I would get super clear on your ideal client and where do they hang out?

Charles Clark:

Yeah. Actually, and that's a good point on the video. So you can do… There's a couple of different types of video formats. So you could say, “Look, I want to do an explainer. So it could be a very cheap one where you get someone to animate and you have a voiceover or you have the words popping up to tell the story, even if the person's listening to it with the volume off. And someone can animate those or you can almost do them through third-party solutions, fairly cheaply, or you can obviously film one that would be, I suppose, more akin to seeing on a TV ad with a proper camera and live action and actors.

Charles Clark:

The third thing that you could always think about is where you use a mixture of yourself or a colleague and maybe you are explaining something. So if you use Loom for example, which is just a free software, it's easy to use and you can actually record something that you are doing. So it might be tips on cashflow and you might be walking them through a particular technique. You could then have that on your screen, and Loom would just put a little circle of you showing your outline in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. And even those can be really effective, just getting in front of people, you're offering a solution to a problem that they might be having. They don't cost you anything. They are cheap as anything. And the editing required is very, very simple.

Charles Clark:

So you could just create a little script, which you probably know if you're talking about something that you are really familiar with and you can pop that out on YouTube and even better, then you can put it out on your social channels, have on your website, in a tips section or a how-to section. There's lots of different ways that you can repurpose all this content. It doesn't just have to exist in one place and you only get one part of the cherry.

Charles Clark:

So proven ways to promote webinars. So I would always say that we probably get 90% roughly of our people who register as webinar come to us via email. That's just probably the most likely because they're familiar with us, they're on our list. They've heard from us before. They're more trusting of if we are going to be out there talking to them, they're more likely to want to hear what we have to say. Because going back to previous webinars and previous emails, we've proved that we can be trusted to tell them interesting things and without being too salesy.

Charles Clark:

We do get a small amount through social. And in terms of the cost benefit, one could say, “Well, I've never bothered doing social because it's a bit of a hassle and it's return is small.” But on the upside, you are always going to need content for your social pages and putting webinar invitations out there on social is great because it shows people that you're active. You might also have people on your social pages which you don't, you haven't connected with and you don't have their email yet. And it's just a nice way to demonstrate your expertise or your breadth of knowledge across a particular area. So email first and then don't forget about social, if you can.

Brad Turville:

Cool. I love this one, Charles. So promoting with email, definitely email is your best friend. People say it's old, but it's super effective. It works. People open them, everyone opens their account and see email and reads it. Why? It's going to be important, always. So use that to your advantage. Don't just send one email and say, “Why didn't 100 people roll up?” Some might have gone to spam. They might have missed it. They might have forgotten. Their kids started crying and they got distracted. There could be a million different reasons. So make sure you thoroughly promote it using whichever way you do it. If you only use email, send heats of email. If you're going to do social, put through a whole lot of social media posts.

Brad Turville:

Another way is again, coming back to partners, who else could you partner with to run this event to help fill the room? Especially if they're a non-competing business, there's going to be no reason why they won't be open to a discussion or exploring, doing potentially an event together or inviting some of their customers and clients along to your event. And so that's a way to have them start to promote it to their email or social media lists.

Charles Clark:

And I'm just going to add one thing onto that, when you are sending out multiple email invites, make sure that every time you send out the second or third invite that you have taken off the people on that list who have already registered, because you don't want to keep on asking people to register when they've already registered. That just is a bit annoying. So it's pretty easy to do. If you're using Zoom or GoTo Webinar, you can just download a list of the people who have registered, pop them into BOMA or into your CRM of choice. And then you can say, “Look, don't include these people.” And that's just a, I suppose, good hygiene really. Don't keep on asking people to take an action when they've already taken the action that you want.

Brad Turville:

And also on that, Charles, if you've got a few people that you really want on there, they might be maybe someone you're talking to, but they're not a client yet. Or they might be a client that you'd like to work a bit closer with and you feel the content that you're going to share on the webinar and the call to action you really want them to see, jump on the phone. It's old, but it works. And just say to them, “Hey, Charles, I've got this event coming up. It's on this. I think you're really going to like it. Why don't you and your business partner chime along? I didn't see your name down as being registered.” If Charles is a business guy he's probably busy and he's probably just missed it.

Brad Turville:

Whereas that personal touch point, you can't go and maybe make 1000 phone calls. But if you have a slick few where you think, dude, I really love them, literally just pick up the call or if you want, maybe even get your personal assistant to do it, say, “Hey, I'm calling on behalf of Charles and he wanted me to reach out to invite you along.” People love being invited to things, webinars, mastermind dinners, events. It doesn't matter what it is. You can't get angry with someone inviting you to something. It's a nice offer. Whereas if I'm trying to be pushy with something, you can see there how there can be a little bit of friction. So instead of trying to be pushy, turn it into an invitation and that might be another strategy that you should deploy.

Charles Clark:

And then someone has also… A question has just come in, and then Brad, I think we should get to the more business development focused questions. Does BOMA have a plan to be used as a CRM tool? So at the present, so BOMA, I suppose, is like a light CRM. So you can put in all the details, name, contact number, phone number, date of birth, birthday. You can see what emails you've sent them, any forms they've filled out. We are always looking as to how we can prove that. So if you are a user and you say, “Look, there are some features in it that I really love that would make the CRM element of BOMA just perfect,” reach out and let us know. You can just pop it into us support ticket, or if you are just want to do it, you can pop into the Q&A or chat here.

Charles Clark:

Otherwise, what CRM can you recommend for small business? It's super, super personal. I mean, there are so many out there and really, it's a case of working with, if you have a team working with them, trying to understand what is going to deliver them what they need, because it can be quite a personal preference.

Brad Turville:

All right. Let's jump into some more business development type questions. You want me to run these ones, Charles?

Charles Clark:

Yep. Fantastic.

Brad Turville:

Cool. And Charles, please jump in if there's something you want to add. So the first one that's come in, I think I might know who sent this one in, but I'll keep it to myself. How to get consistency in inquiries for strategic planning. So how you present yourself out there in the marketplace, to the market, online, to your client and to your potential clients, if you want to be doing lots of strategic planning work, you need to be known for doing strategic planning work. So what content are you putting out there when you talk about what you do, what sort of things are you saying? If you're saying, “I'm an accountant and we can help you with your tax and this and that,” you're going to get shoe boxed into that position.

Brad Turville:

I would also build case studies around clients you have helped with strategic planning and share them, have them on your website, share them online. You might want to interview them and talk about where they were before, they engage you for strategic planning. They might be a little bit unsure if they hadn't done it before, but by going through the exercise, it really opened up these new opportunities, and they're so glad they did it with you. That's like a simple structure for any sort of case study. And then share them. If you're going to do partnerships, coworking spaces, associations, other Facebook groups, non-competing complementary partners with the same ideal client. If you're going to run something for them, run at something that's around about strategic planning or it's a topic that would flow into an obvious strategic planning type call to action.

Brad Turville:

If you become known as the strategic planning person, little bit like Dan Sullivan is the strategic coach, he's known for that. If you want to be known and do a lot of strategic planning, talk about it a lot and make a lot of noise about it. And also, this still applies to your existing client base. So I work with lots of firms and a lot of the time, their clients don't know all the different ways that they can help them. That I might be answering a second question that's coming up with this answer as well. But your clients actually don't know, and they might be going elsewhere to have someone help them with it. And then you'll find out and feel maybe a little bit sad that, oh, I could have helped you with it. Well, the client's going to be sitting there going, “Why didn't you tell me? I would've just got you to do it.”

Brad Turville:

And that happens so often and is purely because you're not creating awareness with the different ways that we can help you. So talk about it a lot, being known for that person, if a lot of your clients and a lot of your activities on LinkedIn, again, keep the topic around planning and strategic planning and maybe even change your title to strategic planning specialist or helping this type of client with their forward looking strategy. There's probably about 10 different ideas in there for you. I hope they were helpful.

Brad Turville:

Number two, best marketing KPIs to track and improve for business growth. All right. I want you to keep this quite simple because there's lots of different marketing KPIs. You could go and Google them and they'll give you a whole lot. And you know what? If you were in e-commerce, they would probably apply. But for accounting firms, if you want to grow and you know you need to get in front of your client and a prospect, and you know once you get in front of them and you have a chat to them, there's a very high chance they're going to convert to a client. I hear that a lot. Once I can get in front of them, they usually they're not being a client or if they're really not a good fit, we go our separate ways.

Brad Turville:

The missing piece there is you to get in front of them. What does that mean? That means having your calendar full of appointments. So a marketing KPI I would be tracking is the number of new lead leads generated per month. Because if you're generating heaps of leads and you are having a call to action to jump on a call with you, and you might want to get more granular, you might want to get calls booked. You want heaps of them, because if you fill your calendar up with people that are interested in working with you and a percentage of them are going to convert to clients, you're going to have no problem bringing in a whole lot of business growth. And how would you go about generating that growth? Well, we've spoken about a whole lot of different topics today. You might want to pick one or two, don't try to do everything. Because you'll do a 10% job of 100 different things. I'd rather you nail a couple of things.

Brad Turville:

And how would you know if you're nailing them? Is your calendar full? Are you getting all of those appointments booked? I would literally, if I was you, just monitor that one KPI. And when I coach firms that are bringing on a marketing resource, so a part-time or full-time marketing coordinator. And they say, “How do we know if they're doing a good job?” This exact topic comes up and I'll say, “They need to be helping you fill your calendar with new prospective client calls or getting prospective clients to download resources and attend webinars.” If they can't do that, or you are not doing that, something's wrong. And you need to change up your strategy around how to build all of that out. Charles, do you want to add anything there to marketing KPIs?

Charles Clark:

No. I mean, I just love it. Yeah, exactly. Leads is always key and then just keep an eye on how you are converting those leads. And if you can, have an idea of what it costs you. There's always a good day, so I'm just into track.

Brad Turville:

Yeah. That's good. Yeah. Good point. Let's just close on that one, which is, if you are spending money on advertising, so we spoke about some different paid advertising, keep an eye on what your expenditure there is, because if you're spending X amount, but you are only one to attract maybe smaller individual type clients, it might cost more to get them than they actually pay you. Or it might heavily dilute it. You might want to get clear then on your strategy. So if you're heavily investing in expenditure, always then keep an eye on what's the ROI I'm getting? If you've got something where you put, I don't know, 10 grand into something for the year and you get 50 back, you need to ask yourself, is that sort of return something that I'm happy with? And if you are, cool, you might want to rinse and repeat.

Brad Turville:

That's actually another good point. I'm going to answer a question that hasn't been asked, which is, I see a lot… Charles, you might see this as well, accountants will execute a certain marketing strategy at works and then they never do it again and go, “We're struggling to get leads.” If you've got something that's… I know it sounds strange, but it's very common. If something's working, keep doing it and do it again and again and again and again and again and again. I'll give you one idea. I was working with a firm and they run this great event. It's like a growth type event, which teaches small business owners how to grow. And they only ran it once, they ran it well, they got a lot of calls off the back and converted a lot of them into clients. And I said, “Why don't you just keep running that event every month or every quarter?”

Brad Turville:

Now, your existing clients won't attend it because they've seen it before. And they're already working with you one on one in that capacity. But for everyone else, it's something you can keep inviting people to every single month. Look, you might get a little bit bored of running the exact same thing, but if it works and it's generating leads, which generate calls in your calendar, which generate clients, hey, there's your growth strategy sorted. So if something works, not everyone has seen a business growth presentation before, just because you've seen it 100 times and your clients have, doesn't mean your potential next client has seen anything like this. So keep that one in mind.

Brad Turville:

Question next, I'm watching the clock as well, is how do you find more clients that you want to work with? Well, we've covered a lot of different ways today. Pick the one that's so much relevant to you. How do you sell more services to your existing clients? Good question. I know we've touched on it today as well. You need to create the awareness to them. Do they all know how you can help them? Is there different type of events that you can invite them to where you are talking around about a topic that relates to a particular service that you run? Are you running, say a goal setting meeting or a future gazing meeting with a client to say, “Hey, if we were to meet in 12 month’s time from now, what would you like things to look like? Where are you now? What do you think is going to get in the way?”

Brad Turville:

And then depending on where the conversation goes, you might be able to say, “Would you know we can actually help you with that? Or would you like to see how I could help you with it? Or you might not know that we help a lot of clients with exactly this situation, would you like to hear that?” And they might go, “Oh, I didn't know that. Tell me more.”

Charles Clark:

Actually I might just add on to that comment because it leads into another question we've got, which is, do testimonials and case studies… So if you've got a client who you help with particular issue, go out and speak to them and get them to give you their feedback, and start with what was their problem, how did you help them? What was the solution and the outcome? And then you can put that it into, it could be a video, it could be a blog. You could pop it in your newsletter. And then suddenly all these people have been like, “Oh man, this accounting firm helped that business, which is just like me with a problem which I have. I'm going to go and speak to these guys, they may or may not be my accounting firm already, but they've helped someone with my issue.” And that's a great way to tell people without being salesy, which I suppose gets back to what one of the early questions was, that you're letting your work do the talking through your clients.

Brad Turville:

Yeah. That's an awesome point, Charles. Thanks for adding that one in. Powerful, you can share it, it's non-salesy. You can put it anywhere and everywhere. And people love to see someone else that's like them, that's done it… No one ever likes going first or feel like they're going first. And this case study proves, okay, other people have done it. I'm like it, or, “Hey, I'm in that position and I'm feeling a bit unsure about this service, but they're saying it went well, so hey, well, then now we're going to do it.” That's the power with providing case studies, because you might know you're really good and you can do what you do, but the client doesn't know it. And you can just brag about yourself and how good you are all day long. But if someone else comes in and says, “Here's how good it was for us,” suddenly they're very trusting in that type of endorsement and you can use it time and time and time again. So Charles, I know we're at 45 minutes in here. Do we want to do a couple more questions or how did you want [crosstalk]?

Charles Clark:

You know what? We just got two more. So why don't we answer everyone's questions? I think that'll be worth doing.

Brad Turville:

Cool. All right. So the first one, this is obviously from someone that uses the Gap, which is a friend of BOMA and of myself, which is, what's the best way to offer a CCR? For everyone that doesn't know, a CCR stands for a complimentary client review. And it's essentially a meeting complimentary that you can have with a client every year and discuss the future. I mentioned it a couple of minutes ago about having a future gazing meeting. What's going on right now? What are your burning issues? What are some of your business and personal goals you want to achieve over the next 12 months?

Brad Turville:

I'd be offering that with new clients. I would be offering it after you finish year end work. So obviously year end is coming up in New Zealand. I'd be finishing year end work, and once that's done, I'll be saying, “Hey Charles, why don't we have another catch up again? It's not going to cost you anything and we'll just talk about, what does the next 12 months look for you? The times are a bit iffy at the moment, so we could get a little bit strategic and source that out.”

Brad Turville:

There's no real best time to offer it, but then I'd be offering them to someone that hasn't had it before, someone that qualifies, after year end, is another good one. I'd usually say after Christmas, but that'll apply in Australia, but in New Zealand, you have Christmas and then you have the end of the tax year. So I might wait till after that. Otherwise, there's too much going on. And in regards to how do you offer it? Well, you can offer it at the back of an event. You can offer it in the onboarding process for a client. You can offer it once you finish year end work. So one of your accountants might finish year end doing an annual accounts meeting and they might then say, “Charles is going to get in touch with you in the next couple of weeks to book in this type of meeting.”

Brad Turville:

And the last question is, what is the best time to do a client review for referrals or feedback? Cool. So there's a couple ways you could look at that. One would be when you're doing the annual accounts, because you've got them in that right place in the right frame of mind, also doing a CCR or a goal setting type meeting. When I was in practice, what I found worked very well was having it just before the end of financial year, we ran yearly engagements. So it was not only looking at how we went for the year that went by, what they bought, how much they paid, but it was seeing how do you want to work with us next year, locking in the price, do they enjoy working with us? Do they hate my guts? What's the feedback that you want, that they're going to give, and then the ones that say they love us, asking for an introduction.

Brad Turville:

Now, are there two people on LinkedIn you could introduce me to? Do you have a couple of mates in your phone right now you could ping a message to? Are you talking to anyone in the next month? We're running this event, I saw you coming along, would you be open to bringing a couple of business friends along? Just try any different angle there and doesn't have to be once a year. Because another great time to ask is when you knock something out of the park. So if you do tax planning for them and you help minimize a truckload of tax, they're going to love you. Great. Ask them now. If you help them buy and merge and acquire another business and you do it successfully and they're in a good front, whenever they're in that moment of, “My accountant is the best person in the world,” ask for a referral, because you've got them at the right point. It works every time. And that's the last question there, Charles, to finish up business development questions on.

Charles Clark:

Fantastic. Well, look guys, thanks so much for staying with us. I know we went a couple minutes on time, but I think those last two, especially really rounded out the session. We'll be running these semi-regularly going forward. I think this was the feedback that we've got so far, in terms of your questions were fantastic. Yes, there will be a replay. I'll be in touch in the next day or two with a recording of it, so that'll be sent direct to your email. So keep an eye out for that. So look Brad, thank you so much for joining us.

Brad Turville:

Great. Thanks for having me, Charles, I hope yourself and all the attendees got some value from what we spoke about today. If I didn't answer your question personal enough or you got another question or we just didn't get any time to cover it, jump over to bradturville.com. You can connect with me there or on LinkedIn, again at Brad Turville, happy to answer any questions that we didn't have time to get to. But thanks again, Charles.

Charles Clark:

Fantastic. Okay. We'll see you next time, everyone. Thanks again.