BOMA: ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Marketing for Accountants & Bookkeepers

In this informative and fast paced ‘Ask Me Anything' session with Charles Clark, Marketing Director of BOMA, and Sofia Pinckard, Customer Success Manager of BOMA, we focus on everything Marketing for Accountants and Bookkeepers and answering your questions for 45mins.

Here are just a few of the questions that we answer;

  • How should I use social media to promote my firm?
  • What is the best way to communicate consistently on Social Media with a very small team and little spare time.
  • How to get or grow an email list?
  • What marketing KPIs should I be measuring?
  • How to promote events (online and offline)?
  • What about Paid Google Advertising?
  • How often should I be posting?
  • Knowing where to start with marketing
  • How to build an audience?
  • How can I filter prospective clients online?
NB: You can also read a full transcript of this session below.

 

 

 

‘Ask Me Anything' Transcript

 

Charles Clark

So, welcome everyone. I am dialling in from New Zealand, Sophia is in the UK. So, really thrilled to be bringing this live to you. Thank you so much for sending through all your questions. Sophia and I were amazed at how willing you were to share some of your challenges and some of your questions that you might want to deal with. So we have a big list questions that we can talk to. Obviously, if you've got questions that you would like to ask live, feel free to click on the Q&A or the chat box. We'll do our best to answer them as we go through. Sophia, what's up first.

Sophia Pickford

So, yeah, I think the first one we're going to go in with this time. So, that was a big issue that came in for a lot of people. So, yeah, making the time and just finding the time for marketing. So, I think it's an issue most people have. The best place to probably start is with a plan. So, you can create a marketing plan and just make it a non-negotiable. So, be realistic with what you can fit in. And once you've created that plan and some goals of what content you want to put out, you can start with dedicating. It can just start simple with 10 minutes a day or allocating one hour per week to enact that plan as well. So, you can also share that amongst your team. So, you can delegate to a team member. So, for example, they just do one social post per week, or they do every third newsletter.

Charles Clark

And a plan doesn't have to be, we're not talking about a plan as if it were forward motions and you're like, “Right, it's going to be a 50 page plan.” The plan could be, we want to be active on social. We want to at least send our clients one user a month, and we want to run one event every quarter. That's how simple it can be. But by the sheer act of writing it down, sharing it with your team, having it as a goal, that will really help rather than wondering, “Oh, what should we do this month?” You know what you have agreed to, whether it's you individually or your firm, and that just having some, I suppose, goal post aim will really make a big difference in terms of finding the time, and knowing why you're doing something.

Charles Clark

Another one we were asked to lot, and this is about eight questions amalgamated into one answer, but it's all about social media. So, what's the best way to do it, or how do I do it? How do I promote my firm or myself on social media? How do I do it when I don't have very much time as Sophia was just talking about, or if my team is real stretched and we don't have a lot of resources to put at it. So, my advice in a general social media sense, and we do run social media webinars where we talk about nothing but social media. My advice is to start up by selecting a couple of social media channels you want to be present on. So, think about where your clients and your prospects are. Are they all on Facebook? Are they all on Twitter? Maybe they're all on LinkedIn.

Charles Clark

A really easy way to do it is to go and ask some of your clients, “Hey, what are the social media networks that you spend your time on? If you were researching things other than Google, what social networks would you use?” I would… From what I've seen, and I know a lot of accounts have done this, their clients are always really happy to tell them. Same thing, you could do some research. You could actually go and look at some prospects or some people that you'd like to target, and again, see where they're spending their time. If their business is really active on Instagram, and say LinkedIn, chances are the people in that business will be too. So that's step one is select a couple. And I say a couple rather than necessary all of them because the more channels you have, that's just more admin to do, and then start up in them.

Charles Clark

Make sure you have a really good personal profile or a business page. So, when I say a good one, it's not necessarily that you just want a good photo. Make sure that you also have all the relevant information about your firm. So, where you're located, what your website address is, what your opening hours are. If you do have some good photos, that's always correct to have as well. Make sure you have a brand, your logo on there, and make sure it's consistent across all the social channels, and your website. People do use social media channels to research accounting and bookkeeping firms as well as websites. And even if they get a referral, 80% of people are likely to go online and do some research. So they come to a social site and doesn't matter how good your website is. If you've got an all over the place social media channel, and nothing's really been posted there, and it just looks like a bit of a train wreck. That's probably not going to help your cause.

Charles Clark

In terms of getting started. So start by engaging with some other relevant pages. So this might be your client's pages. So go and follow them. That's always a good thing. Go and follow people that you'd like to be working with. Industry bodies is another great one. So whether it's your local… Maybe it's your local banking industry or a local charter in the town or the city that you're in that you want to be more involved in. That's a great place to start. Xero is another good one, and all the zero apps are great because oftentimes your clients and prospects will be using them, too. And they're great source of information in terms of what's happening out there and what might be relevant for you.

Charles Clark

So those sorts of conversations. So, you are going to start to see a lot of conversations out there and you can choose to get involved in some of them, if you think they're relevant to who you are as a firm. And if you think you can add value and maybe demonstrate some of that expertise. It's a really easy way just to dip your toe in and start to get your profile out there. People will notice you. And if you start posting really interesting comments and helpful insights, they do pay attention to them. You can obviously start posting as well. You don't just have to comment on other people's posts. You can start posting. So this could be your view on a particular issue that's just come out. So, the budgets come out or it's nearly bank holiday.

Charles Clark

There's no reason why you can't just start to do short posts as well, or you could do links to stories. And so, this could be stories that you've done. So, it could be to your blog site or for a video on your website, or it could be to something that you've seen out there in the industry or in the marketplace that you think your follower should be aware of. Make sure to always use hashtags to help your post be searchable. So that's using the hashtag symbol and then certain key after it. So, like hashtag your fair name or hashtag a topic that you are speaking about. So it could be #Tax, #SMB, and these are really key to helping your post be more searchable.

Charles Clark

So, while we are talking obviously a lot about being professional because you are obviously professionals, don't forget to keep it real to who you are. So your social media, I suppose, profile and your personality, they should be pretty similar because obviously if someone follows you on social media and then meets you in person or meets someone from your firm person, and there's a completely 180 degrees flip, that's a bit off putting. So, it's great to show some personality and not always be too serious. And there are ways that you can do that. You could post an update from work and I've seen lots of accountants and bookkeepers who maybe if they have a pet at work and they might post that and their clients love it, or it could be work drinks.

Charles Clark

The reason why clients engage with that is because as it's personal and it's relatable. So, it doesn't always have to be that you're talking about taxation or GST. If you're in this type of world or VAT in the UK. It's, I suppose, showing your human side. One thing I would always say is steer clear of politics, religion, keep it in good taste. And of course, nothing inappropriate. What might seem funny at four o'clock on a Friday afternoon by the time it's gone through a couple of people liked and commented on it, and maybe they said some harsh things and you wake up on Monday and thinking, “Goodness me, that was… Why did I do that?” If you're thinking it's a bit risky, it's better not to post it.

Charles Clark

In terms of doing it efficiently, into Sophia's point in terms of time. And how do you do social media? Because it is quite time consuming if you're writing posts and getting them across all the different social channels. Look, I'm obviously going to push BOMA. So, BOMA has got a huge content library. It's got all the posts written for you. It goes out across all your social networks and you can schedule it in advance and you can customise them. So whether you're looking for an update on making text digital or the budget, or you just want to talk to your clients about an issue. Maybe it's marketing, could be strategy. You can go into BOMA and choose the right topic. And that will just mean that you don't have to write 100% of the post that you are sending out. We often find on BOMA that our users is about 60/40, so 60% of the time they use BOMA to send out topics that are industry wide and their clients need to know about. And the other 40% of the time is things that are really personal to them and in the moment.

Charles Clark

And then the last thing to do is just to think about a cadence that you and your team can handle. And if you think of this a bit like going to the gym in the first week of January, and you start off in the first week and you go 10 times, almost twice a day and you think, “Oh, my goodness, this is great.” And then you burn out. Social is a little bit like this. So think about a cadence that you guys can handle. So this might be as much as a couple of posts a day, or it might be a couple posts a week. It's really up to you. As Sophia said, if you have a plan, then that will help determine how often you think you need to post. And also we'll put some responsibilities beside who in your organisation might be posting. Sophia what's next?

Sophia Pickford

Sorry, just going back to your point. That reminded me of something that someone told me last week that motivation is the Playboy of emotions. So if you wait for motivation to post, it's going to come once a month and you're not going to do it consistently. So, that's where, again, going back to the plan, it's you can have something to adhere to, and to hold yourself accountable for as well.

Charles Clark

Yeah, great point.

Sophia Pickford

So, yeah. Great. Yeah. So, next was an issue deciding on what content's relevant to us and to you. So, as we keep going on a planner is a great idea because this is something that you have to refer back to, to make sure that your content is consistent and in line with your goals and your ideas and also your company ethos. So, it's easy to share content that might not be relevant to your audience. So, you think at that time it's a fun piece, but it's just not going to be relevant. And it's not going to be aimed at the right clientele that you want. An easy way to obviously access relevant content is joining BOMA. So we have masses of content at your fingertips and also it's readily divided into different categories. So you have your tax compliance, HR, management and strategy. So, when you're making your plan, you can apply this to that, which is going to help with your consistency and saving you time as well. But yeah. Do you have anything else to add?

Charles Clark

Well, I was just going to say, I'm just going to pop into the chat. So, we've actually going to a content planner. So, I've just put the link into the chat. There's a content planner, feel free to click in there and download it from Google. It's just hosted on Google Docs and you can use that to think about… I suppose, it'll help you generate ideas, and whether it's for ideas for an event or email or any of the social channels, it's a really good way just to think about using it. And then you can actually go through and say, “Okay, how would that look on a weekly basis? And how would that look on a daily basis?” So, a really good resource there. I hope you take advantage of it.

Charles Clark

So, getting on our next question, and this was how often should I post content? I thought this was a really interesting question because this could mean a couple things. So, are we talking about social media channels? Are we talking about on your website? Are we talking about email because really it's all about how many messages you trying to get out there and what channels, and who you trying to reach. So, if we are talking about social media, then always good to think about what social media channel you're on. So, as I said before, pick a couple of channels, especially if you're just getting started, and this will help you decide how often you could post.

Charles Clark

So, on Twitter, Twitter is the great fire hose of content. I'm sure you guys are on there on a personal level, and there are just millions and millions of tweets coming the whole time. So, if you are posting personally or as a business, you can post multiple times a day and you can post exactly the same thing if you want. And you are probably going to be seen by a new audience and new followers every time just because of the amount, the sheer overload of content that comes through Twitter. Whereas LinkedIn, I suppose it's much more curated. So once a week, maybe twice a week is really good on LinkedIn. Even once a month is fine. Facebook and Instagram are a little bit more in between. So, you could do a couple of posts on Facebook or Instagram every day. It's it's easy. Or you might say, look, just once a week is fine.

Charles Clark

In terms of actually the types of content. This is kind of relevant to how often is also the types of content. So, Twitter is great for very short snappy, concise posts. Obviously, you're limited to 280 characters. So, you have to be very, as I said, concise in what you're saying. So, you could have a sentence or two, a couple of hashtags, and then you could link people through to maybe your website or the article that you want them to read. LinkedIn and Facebook, you obviously can write much more. So, you could write a couple hundred words and people often do, and that's absolutely fine. Twitter and Instagram, you can also share. They're great for photos and videos. Facebook is probably the best place to share videos just because you can upload video, which is an hour long, whereas Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Instagram, you're limited by time. So, I think it's limited to maybe under a minute or two minutes max. So, if you had a short video, where it was an ad or if it was a short snippet of a longer video you had done, those are good places to do it.

Charles Clark

As I said before, in terms of cadence, whatever the cadence that is right for your business is. I would always choose quality of a quantity. So, you can get into thinking, right? We always need to be posting at that cadence. So, it's either every day or every second day. I would always take a step back, and this is where that content calendar is really good because you can say, “Okay, what are the goals we're trying to reach?” That's right, we're trying to talk about this particular topic, and trying to make sure that people in the industry or clients and contacts realise that we are really experts in this. So, it makes sense that we are posting once a week on this topic, and the fact that we are not necessarily posting anymore is fine because if you over post and it's not very relevant to your users, and it's just you are spamming them online, they'll just got to lose interest. So, that's something to think about.

Charles Clark

In terms of your website blog. So, I'm already assuming that you have a website that you have about us pages, contact us pages, you have your services and products pages. So, in terms of blogs specifically, really the more, the better in terms of content out there. So, the more content that you have up there, the better it's going to be for search engine optimisation, and your search ranking and Google and the other search engine. So, basically if you want to be ranked for specific topics, so maybe it's you want to be ranked for accountant in your town and who deals with taxation, or maybe it's retirement planning, or maybe it's business continuity. Write blogs that talk to those topics and then post them on your website, and then even better, pop them onto your social media channels and post them through that and link them back to your website.

Charles Clark

So, if you currently have not many pages on your blog or you don't have any at all, a lot of content on BOMA you can actually post on there as well. So, as with all content on BOMA, I'd suggest that you make it your own. So you can do this by adding in a little bit of opinion at the beginning or at the end. And obviously you can add your own imagery and you can edit it all as well. So customisation is always good, but if you're looking for a place to start, especially on pretty generic topics, great place to start about that.

Sophia Pickford

Just going back to your point before as well. Don't be shy to spread posts out. So, if you have… I know you said 60% would be content, and 40% is personal to your business. If you've had a busy week on the personal side of things, events and things like that, if it's relevant to the date post it, but things like work drinks, you can spread that out over a few weeks. So, if work drinks happened two weeks ago, that's fine. Your clients don't know. So yeah, don't be shy to spread content out and keep it in the back burner for a quiet week.

Charles Clark

That's a great idea. And I suppose that's where the idea of scheduling comes in. So, whether you just want to schedule them all at once and you can say, “Great, I'm going to schedule two for this week, two for next week, and two for the following week, then you can relax, knowing that they're all done.” And if another one happens to pop up and you want to post it on the day, then that's absolutely fine. But yeah, I really like that idea of metering out the content. So you're being active, you're peer active all the time.

Sophia Pickford

That actually goes on to the next point that kind of is related, which is getting stuff out consistently. So, that was a big thing, issue that came in is, yeah, making that consistency. So yeah, going back again to this content plan, that's going to be really useful to have something to adhere to and hold yourself accountable for. So, make it a non-negotiable. A great tip is to mark it out in your calendar. So, find that time in the week where you'll have… Like I said before, you can have a whole hour dedicated to it. Or even if it's just 10 minutes a day, you can put in the morning, block that out in your calendar so you get it out the way, and don't have to think about it for the rest of the day. But yeah, that's our point.

Charles Clark

We had quite a few questions around, I suppose, audience building, how to start to engage with new clients and prospects. I suppose, how do you build those lists? So this might be that you're starting out or you want to, I suppose, get new clients. So, this again is sort of a multi-part answer because there's not necessarily any one thing that it is going to solve everything for you, but there's lots of small things that you can do that when you put them together can be really effective. So, a good place to start is on your website. So make sure that you have, across your website you have newsletter and email signup forms. So, this could be in the footer or the header, could even be scattered throughout the main section of your website, and just ask people to sign up through updates. Also great to have a contact us form.

Charles Clark

So, the benefit of these is that they'll help capture email addresses. And so, whether it's someone is contacting you for a specific, I would like to talk about a specific business issue that you might be able to help you with or I'm just interested in learning more about your business and keep me in the loop. All of these are an opportunity at different levels to start that relationship building.

Charles Clark

Another thing you can do on your website is to have lead magnets. So, a lead magnet, actually, I mean, the content planner I just gave you is actually an idea of a lead magnet. So, on your website, you could have something like that and you have a call to action saying, “Hey, I've got this really valuable content calendar.” Obviously, you would make it specific to your audience. If you'd like to access it, please enter your details and then you can download it. And so, that's a really clear value swap. So, there the client or the prospect is swapping their information and in return they're getting this really valuable piece of insight. And so, this could be a research paper, it could be something to do well to their business. The idea is though, basically, you are giving it for free, and in return that you are getting their contact details.

Charles Clark

Another way to do this is running an event. So really, really popular, especially in the last year and a half as everything has changed. So, could be an online event like we are doing now. I've seen a lot of accountants, and a lot of bookers who do Q&As or live updates. And they just basically put this out to all their list, their email list, and they promote it on social, and this is just a great way that you can both offer value and demonstrate your expertise and in return capture leads that you can then start building that relationship with. So, can't tell you the number of people who come to use BOMA and I'll ask them, or Sophia will ask them, “When did you first hear about us?” And they say, “Oh, well, we went to a webinar of yours or an event that you held two or three years ago, and we've kept in touch ever since. And now is the right time for us to commit.”

Charles Clark

And so, that's exactly the sort of I suppose proposition or journey that I'm talking about here is that you never know when a client might be in the room or a prospective client might be in the right frame of mind to look for an accountant or make the jump, and leave their current accountants and start looking for a new one. But you want to be top of mind in that consideration. And so, you can do this by having webinars, events, by sending the newsletters, and you gather these email addresses through those methods I've just talked about.

Charles Clark

Well, it's also really good to promote these. So, especially if you don't already have a large email list, put it out on your social channels. Put it into your blog post. At the end of your blog post, you can have a little link to your lead magnet or your webinar saying, “Hey, if you'd like to learn more information about this, download or sign up for our event.” Paid ads are great. So, think of about Google, Google AdWords, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great as well. Again, depends on where your audience is, but they're also great for targeting people. So you could say, “Great. I want to target small business owners in this particular location who exhibit these behaviours.” And then you can target them with ads.

Charles Clark

Other things in terms of audience building, make sure, as I said before, in terms of social, that you always link through to your website, have all that key information on there. And also just make sure when you are talking to prospects or you're out there meeting people, maybe at a function, mention that you're holding an event, mention that you have a social page, which is full of great insights that they might like to follow, or that you run a regular newsletter, which they might find interesting. All great options to promote, and all great ways to start build that audience without also seeming too salesy. There's one thing that is, I think, really common amongst the accounts and bookkeepers are that feedback that I've had is that there's a real aversion to seeming salesy, and I understand it.

Charles Clark

The great thing about what we're talking about here is that you are marketing to them rather than selling to them. And you get in front of them, you build that relationship, you demonstrate expertise, you give them value. And so, when it comes the time to have, I suppose, a more focused on sales conversation you're not introducing yourself from scratch. You're not having to build that trust from scratch. You're not having to tell them the things that you specialise from scratch. They already know this, and they hopefully have a bit of an understanding by you as a firm. And you as a person from the fact that they feel like they've known you because just like we are doing now, they may have been to some of your events. They've seen your newsletter. They have been in your orbit and building that relationship for some time. What do we got next, Sophia?

Sophia Pickford

I was going to say, I think that leads on quite nicely to my point as well, but yeah, going back to what you said as well. I really love that point that you make that you might not get the client straight away if you're running a webinar, but they're going to think of you down the line. So yeah, it's definitely well worth putting your content out there with consistency, because you are placing yourself as an expert. So, when they need an expert, you are the person they think of, and you're not just a stranger, so that's a nice point. But yeah, the next point and final point from me was getting interaction. So, actually having an interaction online via your emails or social media.

Sophia Pickford

So, the great place to start is with good content that's actually going to be relevant to your clients and your audience. So it's all well and good having high interaction rates with other accounting firms on social media. But they're not going to make you money at the end of the day. The focus is establishing regular interactions with clients and prospects that are going to be meaningful to your business in the long run.

Sophia Pickford

Content itself could be written. You could do, even if it's just a short 30 second video if you're confident on camera because it's a great way to convey a lot of information and do it quickly in a nice personal manner. Or you can put something like a poll online. So, that's going to get people interacting with your content. You can also ask direct questions on social media. For example, what do you think about X? And readers can respond, and if they do make sure to engage as well so you can really start a dialogue, but yeah, do you have anything to add, Charles?

Charles Clark

Another great a question we had, and again, this directly relates to what you are talking about in terms of engagement. I'm directly quoting here, but how do we get “bums on sits for webinars?” Because we have talked about engagement. We have talked about running events. So, to the person who asks this, well done, it's great that you are running webinars. I think there has been a sea change as we said in the last year. And I think it's important to remember that although for you guys the day to day, you think that the knowledge that you have everyone understands that. Whereas, actually if you are a small business or a business owner out there, the information that you can offer them is highly, highly valuable.

Charles Clark

So, it's just a great way to do a webinar. It is one to many as well. So you can, in that time, instead of speaking to one person face to face or over the phone, you can speak to five, 10, 15 people about a topic, and you know they're interested because they've signed up. So, A, great to do webinars, and B, how to get bums on seats. So, if you are doing Facebook ads running them is one thing. What I'm going to talk about here is how do you make sure that I suppose when people see your ad, they engage with it and sign for it? Because obviously you might be working or you might be doing BOMA, but you might be doing it with a consultant. So, saying that you've got the targeting right. Now we're going to talk about what is going to make someone click on that ad?

Charles Clark

So, think about first off the name and the top of the webinar. Is this topic going to be of interest to the people that you hope it's going to be? You can find out by doing a bit of research. So, you might go out and speak to a few clients. You might do it on your Facebook page and run an informal poll. Just say, “Hey, here are some topics. I'm think you're doing a webinar. Why don't you vote for them?” And then find out what they really want to hear about. And then when you do write down the title, less is more. So, if you can say it in six words or five words, rather than 10, that's great. So short and concise and punchy.

Charles Clark

Then also think about what are the two or three key points as to why they should join this webinar? What are they going to get for it? Why is it worth their time? And then also think about your call to action. So what are you asking them to do? So the mistake I see oftentimes is that people say you should come to our webinar and then they have a link and they don't tell the reader that they should register now or click here. And it's a mistake to think that people know exactly what you intend them to do. They're scrolling through maybe their social feed or their Facebook ads and you just have to spell it up for them. So, book now, register here, save my seat, are all really good calls to action, and it tells them exactly what they should be doing. The second piece because just because they've clicked on your ad doesn't mean that they have signed up yet.

Charles Clark

The second piece is that when they go to the registration page, again, you have to resell it to them. So, again, what are they going to get out of it? And the great thing about the registration page is that you can offer them more information. So, instead of being limited maybe to 100 and 150 characters, you can now put a couple of paragraphs in there. You can have bullet points, you can have information about who's going to be speaking if there's more than one of you. You might have a guest on there. You can have images, you can have the guest CV. So there's lots of things that you can do, just make the webinar just seem like, “Yep, this is going to be fantastic.”

Charles Clark

Also, good to be specific about the time that you are asking them to match. So, we asked you for 45 minutes today. I would suggest that unless it's a really specialist topic, 45 minutes is a nice length of time. Some other topics you might find that half an hour is enough and then they'll know, “Great, I can commit to half an hour or 45 minutes including questions, and then they'll sign up for it. So those are a couple of tips to making sure that you get bums on seats. If you do have an email list, as well as doing Facebook ads and promoting across, obviously, your website, and your social channels. Do always submit up to your email list because that is always a very good source of leads for this.

Charles Clark

A couple of great questions, and this was about how do I filter people on my website? I suppose it's about filtering prospects, and I know a lot of people are trying to think about how do I find my ideal client or how do I make sure that the people who contact me from my website are the sorts of clients I want, and I think there's been a great shift in thinking on this, and I've definitely seen it with a lot of accountants and bookers that we work with, which is I want to have more of the clients that are good for me and less are the ones that aren't, but how I do that, especially upfront in a nice way? In a way that's not going to annoy people?

Charles Clark

So, one good way is to on your lead capture form in your website, maybe it's your contact us form is to have a drop down menu, and I've seen this done quite a few times in the last few months, and it has questions about their business and about them. So it might be questions like, what is your business size? What's your turnover? What services do they require? The idea here is that they'll give you answers. And then before you even email them back, you can see, is this the sort of business I want to work with? And if they aren't, you can maybe have a stock reply or a stock script if you call them that says, “Thank you so much for inquiry, but we're not the right sort of firm, and maybe here's one that might serve them better. If they are the right sort of firm, you already know quite a lot about them. So you know exactly maybe some of the services they require and you can start to think about strategically how that conversation is going to go.

Charles Clark

One thing that we have seen on a few firms recently is actually on that lead capture form, if basically it does it for them. And if they select, I suppose, features or services that the firm doesn't offer, or they don't want to offer, then it will actually tell them on a lead capture form that they're not the right sort of firm. And obviously they do it in very empathetic language that even stops at that one step further. So, only qualified leads come through to their email. So this is a feature quite a few people have been asking from us in BOMA. So, we're actually building that onto our lead capture forms as we speak and actually will be ready in the next six to eight weeks.

Charles Clark

A couple of other good questions, and I know we're getting close to finishing. So, two really good questions that sum up a lot of the questions we got, which is knowing where to start with marketing or I don't know where to start. How do I get started? I feel like I don't know the question I don't know. Look, the thing with marketing that it is a bit of a journey, and we understand that you guys are accountants, and bookkeepers, and maybe it's you either are doing maybe some of this yourself. Your firm, we have some within your firm doing it for you. The thing is to, I suppose, pick a few things that you feel comfortable starting with. So, maybe it's social, maybe it's getting your website up to scratch, maybe it's starting out on doing some webinars or some social. The main thing is to get started and circling back to where we began. Always good to have a plan. And even if your plan is only five lines long, and it will just spell out what it is that you're going to do, that's going to help immensely.

Charles Clark

One thing I do have to share with you is actually our guide. So this is a digital marketing guide we've written, especially for you guys. This covers everything from social, email, website, SEO, everything in more details. So, feel free to go in there. I've sent you the direct download links. You don't have to enter any more details. You can print it out, share it within your organisation. That's a great place to start. So, like everything, it's all about knowledge, and hopefully that will give you some more knowledge.

Charles Clark

Also, if you are a BOMA user, and I know that some of the people on here are you can reach out to us at any time. So, if you've got questions about any of the topics that we've talked about tonight, we're always happy to give you some free advice. And we also do run lots of webinars. So, on our website, we've got a webinars page and there are lots of webinars talking about everything that we've talked about tonight in more detail. And there's also lots of blogs on there that you can go and check as well. Sophia, have we had any questions come through in the meantime?

Sophia Pickford

I can't see any currently.

Charles Clark

So, just, I mean, we know we've got a minute or two to go. If anyone has a question maybe that we haven't addressed or would have anyone they'd like to do. Oh, good marketing KPIs. Thanks, Megan, and I actually do have some thoughts on that. So, marketing KPIs is an interesting one because… A good place to start with is social media. So, a lot of people in social media get caught up with vanity metrics. And so, by vanity metric, I mean, how many likes or shares did a post get? How many followers do I have? And it's always better to have more, but actually you have to think about would I rather have 100 or 200 followers who are just people that maybe I bought them, maybe they're just random people. Would I rather have 50 followers who I know are my perspective clients or my ideal clients because they're the people who are going to buy for you?

Charles Clark

So, when it comes to things on social and email, don't get caught up in vanity metrics and think that, “Oh, because I only got five likes on a post, that's no good.” If you go and have a look at the people who liked your post and they're your ideal client market, that's fantastic. You've got five perspective clients who are interested in what you're saying, and I'd much rather have five of those people rather than 50 school aged people, retirees, or a whole random mixture of people who aren't the people that you want. So, be careful of vanity metrics.

Charles Clark

In terms of general metrics. Again, coming back to that plan. What is it that you want to achieve? And it might be that your end of year goals are like, “Right, we want to be active on two social channels. We want to be active on Facebook on LinkedIn. And we would like to have 100, or 200, or 300 followers across both of them, relevant followers. So that could be one metric. And then you can think, “Okay, as we go through the year, how are we tracking each month? Are we getting three or four or five followers per month? And are they starting to engage, and are they the right followers? In terms of specific social post metrics, if you're doing just organic posts, do be aware that the social networks because they want you to spend money via their ad platforms.

Charles Clark

They had really clamped down on how much organic reach you will get. So, five, 10 years ago, if I put out a post, I knew that a large proportion of my followers would see it. Nowadays, it's really small. It's about two or 3%. So, there are some tricks you can do to increase that. So one of which is that you get engagement. As Sophia was talking about. So engagement could be a like. It could be a share, it could be a comment. And so, there are ways that you can gain this. So, if you've got some friendly clients, tell them that you've put out this post, and if you look into it, they might go in there and read it, and they might like it. You can also ask your colleagues or friends of yours to go and like it and share it. That's another way to comment on it.

Charles Clark

The key thing there is to build a bit of momentum. Facebook and LinkedIn will be like, “Oh, this is a post, which is getting good momentum. And therefore, I'm going to open it up to some more people who might want to see it.” At that point, if you wanted to, you could even boost it. So you can say, “Great, it looks like this is an interesting post. I'm going to put 10 quid or 20 quid for five days and see if I can get some more interest in it.

Charles Clark

In terms of email. So, the rule of thumb for email is that you don't want, in terms of unsubscribes, if you're getting any more than 0.5 of a percent of unsubscribes from your email addresses, then something's not right. So maybe if you've got two, three, 4%, then either the emails that you're sending out aren't relevant or they're not right, maybe they're too frequent. So think about how often you're sending out your emails and this will also be reflected in the open rate. So, a good open rate is 28 to 40%.

Charles Clark

Again, if you are getting really small open rates 10%, 6%, 12% think about why that might be. So is it something to do with the subject of the email? So, if you just send out a newsletter and you call it July newsletter, that's terrible, and it's very unlikely that you're going to get a lot of people clicking through because you've given them no reason to. Whereas, if you set it out July tax use update relevant to your firm in some way. Oh, that gives me a reason to open it. I'm going to click on this link that you've put in there, I'm going to open it.

Charles Clark

Click-throughs are sort of, kind of depends. So, click-throughs is basically of your email or of your social media post or ad. How many, say if I 100 people see it or open it, and 10 people click on it, then the click-through rate is 10%. So, as a rule of thumb for social ads, and emails three, 4% is really good. And that's basically where you might have a link and an email that people might click on, or you might have of a call to action and a social post that people might click on. You might get more, which is great. Again, if you're getting less than that, then have a think about what your call to action was. Was it compelling enough? Did you have all the right information?

Charles Clark

I suppose another, in terms of more businessy KPI, in terms of marketing the business is if you are spending some money or some time on marketing and you are getting some clients or some leads from it, a really good way to think about it is, okay, how much do I value those clients or those leads at? So you say, “Okay, well I value each client at 2,000 pounds, and each lead is a couple hundred pounds. Then you can say, “Okay, well we spent 5,000 pounds on marketing in the last quarter. We got X number of leads or clients. And so, we know what the cost per acquisition was.”

Charles Clark

So this is a really, cost per acquisition is a really key metric because if you don't know what your cost per acquisition is, you might go and spend 10,000 pounds. And then you're thinking, “Okay, well, we got two clients from that. Is that good or is that bad?” Maybe that's good because your clients are worth 100,000 pounds to a year if they're big clients, and so you are willing to spend 5,000 pounds on each of them. Or maybe that's not great because your clients are only worth 1,000 to you each year. So, you really have to think about what is each client to each lead worth you? And then as you track your marketing activity, especially paid activity, you can say, “Okay, are we getting a return on investment?” Because I suppose that's the ultimate goal of marketing is you want it to drive it more clients, or maybe you want your current clients to start spending more money. So, you want to educate about the services that you offer. So, cost requisition is a really good one. Really good to keep in mind. Whether it's time that you're spending, or money and time. That's always a good one to have.

Sophia Pickford

Yeah, no. And just to make the point as well that digital marketing guide has analytics section as well, which is really great. Goes through everything and anything.

Charles Clark

Yeah. Well, look, thank you everyone for your time. I know we've been a couple minutes over the allotted 45 minutes, but hopefully it was interesting. I hope you find that content planner and that digital marketing guide really, really useful. Sophia, thanks so much for joining us.

Sophia Pickford

Thank you for having me. I hope this helps.

Charles Clark

This was your first of Ask Me Anything, and Sophia and I are going to be running a lot more of these in the UK in the coming months. So do keep an eye out for future invitations. If you follow us on any of our social channels, we also put the invites out there, so that's another way that you can register for these.