For Better Success, Make Life Easy


Accounting firms, like every other kind of business, usually have a list of things they want potential clients to do. Obviously you want them to become clients. But how exactly?

Answering that question is an important key to helping your firm grow and thrive, and the way you answer it should drive your marketing plan. Before those theoretical new clients can do anything, of course, they’ll have to become aware of your firm. First you home in on the correct audience and then bring your existence and excellence into their sights. After that, it’s up to them – or is it?

Here’s your plan for dominating the market in a nutshell:

  1. Identify potential clients.
  2. Make them want you by showing them how awesome you are.
  3. Profit!

It seems simple enough, but firms often notice a breakdown between the steps. Those ideal clients you have identified simply aren’t behaving as they were supposed to. Why aren’t they doing their part? One of the best ways to support your brilliant plan for success is to reduce the friction that exists between steps.

So what exactly is ‘friction’ in terms of marketing or accounting firms? Friction in this context is anything that reduces speed, creates drag or generally adds difficulty. It includes things like complications, confusion, hurdles to understanding or barriers that inhibit the behavior you want. To get from one step to the next in the plan, your best bet is making it super easy for the potential clients you’ve identified to see how awesome you are and to become new clients.

Suppose that some of the things you do to spread the word are to maintain a website, create blog posts and a newsletter, offer an e-book or videos that share your insight, have a solid social media presence and provide answers in forums on LinkedIn or other professional discussion venues. If you’re doing all that and still not getting the response you’d hoped for, start looking for friction you can remove. That could look like:

  • Unnecessary complexity: Do you make readers fill out a complicated form that demands personal information in order to receive your newsletter or e-book? While you may like getting the information, it may be better to ask for less so that you can give more people a view into your skills and services.
  • Vagueness: What is the call to action on your website pages or the emails you send out? Can readers easily see and understand what you want them to do? Are you easy to find on social media? Make very sure that interested parties have no trouble knowing how to connect, who to ask for and what to say if they want to learn more.
  • Financial barriers: If you’re charging for access to something that others offer for free, you may be costing yourself far more than you’re earning. It’s often worth providing free access so that potential clients have the chance to see just how valuable your for-a-fee services really are.
  • Speaking in tongues: Just because you understand your point doesn’t mean a non-professional will. When offering advice make sure your pearls of wisdom are clear to your audience, which usually isn’t composed of those who share your level of expertise. The ability to translate complex ideas into terms that lay people can understand is incredibly valuable.
  • Too many hoops: Is key information buried at the bottom of a long, text-heavy page or accessible only by a long series of clicks? Are your sophisticated designs making it hard for people to read your message, navigate your site or figure out what you can do for them? Fancy may be fun but in almost every situation, simple is more effective.

Make it as easy as possible for potential clients in all your interactions with them. You want them to associate your name with positive feelings, not frustration or resentment. By removing friction of all kinds, you help facilitate their participation in your plan for taking over the world. Muahahahaha!

Posted in ,

Sarah Warlick

Sarah Warlick founded Proof Positive Content to provide professional service firms with high-quality content that resonates with their target audiences. Sarah's writing appears in books, on the websites of over a dozen Top 100 Accounting Firms and in Accounting Today, Forbes and other leading publications, but usually under another name. Ghostwriters rarely get the glory - their clients do!