There has never been a better time to market yourself and your firm using LinkedIn. However, the challenge has always been what content on LinkedIn will actually work to win clients? This article will explain:
- How often to post
- Ways to rise above the noise
- What content really doesn’t work.
- Ways to choose your content for LinkedIn
- How to get people to engage with your content
- Ways to create the time to have decent content
Content for LinkedIn: What doesn’t work?
LinkedIn can be a pretty noisy place. And getting your content for LinkedIn right means rising above the noise. There are so many accountants on LinkedIn trying to be the ultimate professional and posting a diet made up of regurgitating tax regulations, HMRC or government updates. I don’t know about you, but as a business owner, I don’t want the ultimate professional as my accountant. I want someone I can relate to, trust, and build a strong relationship with. After all, technicians are two a penny when it comes to small accountancy firm owners. This is where so many accountants get their content for LinkedIn wrong. It always needs to be posted with the following mantra in mind, human first, professional second.
Human first, professional second
This means ditch the need to be the ultimate professional. As our members are finding out right now, trying to be uber professional with your content for LinkedIn just doesn’t work. When you turn up as human first, i.e. yourself, LinkedIn also gets to be a more fun place to hang around in.
The best content for LinkedIn gets people wanting to engage. And that means you need to turn up as a human first.
- Instead of just sharing a link to an article share your thoughts and opinions about it and state why your ideal client should read it.
- Express your views and opinions on recent government announcements or updates rather than just repeating the press release verbatim.
- Ask people to respond, the best way is by asking a question in your content.
Stop putting up content which is a blatant advert for your practice
Do you ever get a buzz out of reading a page of adverts? Or find it a useful use of your time? Thought not. It’s the same for your prospects. They don’t want to be sold to. It’s also worth remembering that business owners take a long time to decide to change their accountant and then build up trust with a potential new accountant. This means that any LinkedIn post which says something along the lines of “do you need a new accountant then call us” is going to be ineffective. And potentially damaging as it could be construed that your firm is desperate for new clients.
Want 50+ ideas for content for LinkedIn to help you win business? Download here. (email required)
How do people buy accountancy services and what does this mean for your content?
The buying journey is a journey every single prospect goes through before they buy your firm’s services. Before you start to consider the buying journey of your ideal client you will need to have completed some client personas. Your client personas are fictionalised representations of your ideal client types which help you increase the effectiveness of your marketing and sales. They are used to focus all your client communications, website copy, content for LinkedIn and more general social media updates, content marketing, your firm’s sales process and much, much more.
More on the buying journey
In short, every prospect will go through a series of defined stages as they travel through the journey to become a client. Content can be used by your firm to speed up your ideal prospects’ journey to become a new client. Your aim with LinkedIn is to share content that helps your ideal clients at each stage of their buying journey to move to the next stage. Creating client personas will help you to identify what that content should be and look like.
Stage: Everything is fine in my world
With the current amount of turbulence and uncertainty, it's extremely unlikely that any business owner will be in this stage. If they were, your content would need to be very strategically focused and generally interesting to your ideal client. At the moment this could be some discussion on what factors are going to help the economy bounce back after lockdown. Or articles that show what is happening to demand and general human behaviour in other countries when lockdown restrictions start to be lifted.
Stage: I have problems and needs
Most business owners are normally in this stage. They are not yet ready to take action to do something, but they are trying to work out whether or not they need to do something about their problem or need. In an ideal world, they want to decide they can safely ignore the problem and it will either not impact them or go away. This means your content here needs to educate them on why it is important to take action. Stories which illustrate why there is a need for your firm’s services work really well in this stage. For example, a story of how a builder increased the amount of VAT he could claim by capturing his paper receipts electronic via Receipt Bank or AutoEntry or Hubdoc would be a great story to share if you wanted to attract the trade.
Many business owners have secured their business for lockdown so are probably wondering what they need to do to bounce back after lockdown restrictions are lifted. So right now content on LinkedIn such as “things you need to know or do after lockdown in order to bounce back” would work really well.
Stage: I have defined my outcome
This is where the business knows the outcome they want, but don’t know yet the actual HOW of how to get there. As a result, they will want to know lots of rational stuff like:
- What is involved?
- What are the steps I need to take?
- How long is it likely to take?
- Who should I include in the decision-making process?
You could view content for this stage as content where you are being a helpful friend or trusted advisor.
Many business owners, right now, are probably here with their practice. They have taken the decision that they want to survive lockdown, but are probably not sure exactly what it takes to start or carry on trading profitably so they have a viable business. So for business owners in this stage, helpful content on what to do now or next really helps, such as
- How to maximise your cash flow
- Ways to introduce your furloughed staff back into your business
- How to increase the odds of gaining a government-backed loan
At the moment at least 50% of your content for LinkedIn should focus on this stage.
Stage: Choosing suppliers and solutions
When your prospect gets to this stage they will actively look for potential suppliers and what is the right final solution. Once they have decided they want a new accountant, they will start the journey of researching potential new accountants. To be in the running, ideally your content from earlier stages of the buying journey will have helped establish the trust between you and them. If you have done the content well enough you may find that there is no other accountant in the running…
At this stage, the content which will help tends to be along the lines of:
- Are they credible?
- What’s a ballpark figure for cost?
- Are they a good fit for us?
This means for your content for LinkedIn, you should be sharing:
- Evidence your firm is doing a good job for clients. E.g. client testimonials, case studies, new client wins
- Content showing the type of clients your firm gives the most value to
- Content that educates your potential clients on likely ballpark costs to work with you or cost of a particular type of service
- Within the featured section of your LinkedIn profile, show your prospective new client pack, long case studies...
Stage: Taking the decision to buy
This is where the client takes the buying decision. Typically this would happen outside of LinkedIn. However, sharing brochures and prospective new client packs within the 'featured' section of your LinkedIn profile may help nudge your client into a buying decision.
Want 50+ ideas for content for LinkedIn to help you win business? Download here. (email required)
Content for LinkedIn: How often to post?
The best results are to be had from turning up daily on LinkedIn. After all, you’ve got to be in it to win it. A good way to keep the content going is to have a strategy for your content, but also a daily rhythm for your firm’s content. E.g. Monday motivation, tips Tuesday, success Sunday...you get the idea! Planning your content out in advance can really help to make sure that you and your team turn up daily on LinkedIn.
To help you with your content plan, download for free the same content plan template we use with our members to help them plan out their content. (email required)
Rising above the noise on LinkedIn
Remember we said earlier that our mantra for your content for LinkedIn should always be human first, professional second? If you follow this guide your content will be naturally engaging and your content on LinkedIn will rise above the noise. But remember that to rise above the noise you and your team need to engage properly with LinkedIn. This means commenting and liking other people’s posts. Ideally you and your team should connect to all your clients, introducers and prospects on LinkedIn. (Download our free conversation starters to make sure your connection request gets accepted here. Email needed)
The more you and your team comment on clients’ and prospects’ content on LinkedIn, the more likely they are to come and want to connect with you and your team, and also engage with your firm’s content on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s newsfeed algorithm likes content (i.e. shares it more) which has early social engagement. I.e. someone comments, likes or shares your content within the first hour. Remember that you and your team can be the person who comments, likes and shares your posts.
How to create the time to have decent content on LinkedIn
This is the crux of the issue. If you have lots of time on your hands, posting great content on LinkedIn would be easy. But most accountants we spoke to are working out flat out right now. This is partly why we now provide high-quality new content each week for our members to white label and use in their marketing, even within their content on LinkedIn. In fact, we often see our white labelled content slightly tweaked and appearing in our members’ blogs and articles on LinkedIn within a week or so of sharing it with them!
When you have very limited time for business development or marketing a plan and strategy for your content on LinkedIn is essential. With the speed that the world around us is changing don't plan your content more than a few weeks out at the moment.
Download for free the same content plan template we use with our members to help them plan out their content. (email required)
- Content plan template to help you plan out your content for LinkedIn
- 50+ content ideas for what to share, post or write to generate business via LinkedIn
- LinkedIn self-assessment to see where you can increase your effectiveness at winning clients via LinkedIn
- Cut-and-paste conversation starters for LinkedIn to speed up the process of turning prospects into connections and then clients
- Use our 10-point LinkedIn Profile checklist to pinpoint exactly where your profile maybe causing you to attract the wrong type of new business (or any new business...)