Want to save time AND achieve better results with your marketing? Automation is the answer.
There are two main problems with doing all of your marketing manually. First, and most obviously, it’s very time-consuming and you already have a practice to run. Secondly, manual marketing won’t get you the same level of results as automated marketing.
When a cold prospect discovers your accounting or bookkeeping practice, you need to take them on a customer journey to convert them from a random social media follower into a paying client.
Prospects follow you on social media because they might be interested in what you have to say, or download your eBook because they’re looking for answers. However, at this stage they’re far from sure that they need your services. Over the next fourteen days, you must take them on a purposeful journey, and the best way to do that is to automate as much of it as possible.
I really focus on the first fourteen days after a prospect signs up for an eBook, weinbar or newsletter. Here at Oompf, we have a process in place to nurture these new additions to our database. We don’t spend hours and hours doing it ourselves, because we simply don’t have the time. Instead, we automate this process to get our prospects on the telephone and talking to us.
Let’s take a look at the five key things to look at when it comes to automating marketing and sales. Ghost followers are no good to you – you want to get these prospects into sales conversations, but that is how you ultimately convert clients.
#1 – Figure Out Who and What
It’s pretty difficult to nurture someone you know nothing about. The first step in automating your marketing process is figuring out WHO you want to attract.
Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can’t be all things to all people.
As an accountant or bookkeeper seeking high value clients, you need to nurture your prospects and create content and offers that appeal directly to them.
You need to show up as the superhero who can solve all of their problems, and this means getting specific. Clients will pay you more if they know that you have expertise in their particular niche. This is what sets you apart from the cheap accountant down the road. Narrow your focus, and be a specialist, not a generalist.
One of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of your ideal client is simply to have conversations with them. I’m not talking about sales conversations; it’s all about listening to their problems and discovering what keeps them up at night, so that you can sweep in with the solution.
Once you understand your ideal client, you can then create an offer that will appeal to them. In order to sell, you need to offer something that is genuinely helpful to your ideal client and will transform their business.
#2 – Build the List
You can’t automate your marketing without a database, so you need to build a list of prospects. Of course, your ideal clients aren’t going to come looking for you and simply hand over their contact details so you need to entice them with valuable content.
Some ways to build your prospect list include:
- Creating a Facebook group
- Offering downloadable freebies, such as eBooks
- Hosting webinars
- Sending out an email newsletter
- Creating a contact form on your website
- Networking at local events
Remember that your list of prospects should consist of people that your offerings will genuinely help. This is why it’s important to be specific with your content marketing and speak directly to your ideal client. If you find that your audition calls seldom lead to sales calls, then you need to take a look at your marketing materials and adjust your message.
#3 – Leverage Your Best Content
The first 14 days after someone joins your database are critical. You have two weeks to get them hooked.
You want your prospects to actively enjoy hearing from you, rather than sending them irrelevant content that sends them straight towards the ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘unfollow’ button.
Now is the time to leverage your very best content to deliver value to your prospects and show up as the solution to their problems. Send an email with links to your most relevant blogs and featured articles, or your most helpful YouTube content. Don’t hold back; deliver full-on value bombs.
As your prospects start to know and like you, you can then focus on strengthening that trusting relationship.
Now is also the time to do some fact finding and figure out whether these prospects are looking to buy now, or looking to buy in the next three months to two years.
#4 – Segment Your Database
Your prospects are not all the same. They may belong to different industries and will certainly be at different points on their respective career journeys. Therefore, you need to segment your prospects so that you can create marketing that appeals directly to them.
After all, people who run new firms don’t need to learn how to scale a £7 million practice. Likewise, those who own a £7 million practice don’t need to figure out whether Quickbooks or Xero is the best choice for their business, because they already know.
By segmenting your prospect list, you can target your marketing specifically towards the different groups within your ideal client database to produce real results.
Fortunately, this is not something that takes a lot of time. This process can be automated using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and it can lead to great results from your marketing.
#5 – Split Test
Now that you have segmented your prospect database, you need to split test your marketing to find out what works best.
Here at Oompf, we spend a lot of time split testing our marketing. For example, when testing subject lines we send out one for customers whose surnames start with A-C, another for D-M and a third for N-Z. This helps us to see which subject lines get the best open rates, and which see our emails sent straight to the bin.
We also split test the links in our emails. Recently, we were looking at the click rates and some were teeny tiny, whilst others received upwards of 30%. This feedback provided us with a great deal of actionable data that we can use to improve our marketing in the future, proving that split testing really is worth our time.
Split test everything, including:
- Subject lines
- CTAs (e.g. from “send” to “show me how!”)
- Email length
- Contact forms
It’s Easy When You Know How
To summarise, you can automate your marketing by:
- Getting clear on your target audience and offer
- Building a list of prospects
- Sharing your best content with your database
- Segmenting your database into different kinds of industries and levels of experience so that you can send specific and relevant information that resonates
- Split test your marketing
This may all sound overwhelming but it’s actually a very methodical process. Using automation to increase your client base simply requires actioning the information shared above. Of course, you do have to genuinely be of the mind that marketing and sales is important to you. If you don’t see marketing and sales as essential, then you’re unlikely to succeed in this area. However, if you’re ready to get serious about unleashing your sales and marketing superpowers, then automation is a powerful process that you must not overlook.