How to win more audit work by following the 7 lessons learnt by an auditor who generated £100k of business from 3 blog posts and 3 newsletters.
How to win more audit work
I've just got off the phone to a very happy client, who is a very specialist auditor. In our conversation he told me how he had generated £100k+ of new work from the three newsletters and three blog posts he had written and distributed from the start of the year. A rather nice way to win more audit work, I am sure you would agree! For the disbelievers amongst you, he was able to trace each piece of work back to either the newsletter OR the blog post, or both (and as an auditor, I am inclined to believe his analysis!).
From the conversations I have had with auditors from small firms recently, I think there are quite a few auditors wondering how to win more audit work.
However, having a fully stocked pipeline of new business, has not always been the case for my client. In fact, just two weeks previously he'd been very down and concerned. We had a completely different conversation where he told me how worried he was about the lack of new business coming through. I told him to keep on doing the right things and work would come through. And, boy, when it did come through, it really came through.
As an aside, I (and Jon) see this feast and famine scenario happen regularly with small professional practices. I.e. when you are busy, the marketing activity dries up. Consequently, a famine situation then happens a little while later...
What were the lessons my client learnt, and how can you replicate this for your small firm?
1. Do a little marketing every day, every week and every month
In fact my client actually said to me:
I've learnt that regardless of how busy I am, I need to allocate a set time to do some marketing every day.
My client's success came from making sure he was focused on his marketing over the last 90 days, rather than only doing it when he was going through a 'light' workload. If you want to win more audit work, make sure you plan your marketing activity into your diary.
2. Be committed to your specialism
My client is actually a fairly specialist auditor/forensic accountant. (you could say he is becoming a true Go-To Expert for what he does) His marketing success is coming through not deviating from his core offering. Therefore, as explored in chapter 1 of 'The Go-To Expert', you need to be focused on 'what is your thing' rather than trying to be all things to all people. This is could probably be the biggest step change you make in your business development effectiveness. Therefore, if you want to win more audit work, how can you make sure that you differentiate yourself from all the other auditors out there?
3. Have a marketing plan and stick to it
So many auditors (and accountants) do a 'little bit of this' and a 'little bit of that' with their marketing. My client stopped that and focused on doing the marketing he was physically able to do, which was one blog post and one newsletter a month. This is supported by attending an industry conference/event each quarter, having regular catch-ups with his introducers, and being pretty active on LinkedIn. That's it. As you can see it is not rocket science. There is no magic or special tricks to what my client is doing. The big take away here is, he is doing it. As an auditor you will find that you do have peaks and troughs in your workload. If you want to win more audit work, make sure that the marketing you plan to do is achievable in both the busy and quiet times.
4. Know what your target market want to read
How many of us really know what our target market wants to read? My client's content plan for his blog and newsletter is almost 100% focused on the key questions that his clients have for him. It really is that simple. In the headlines for his blog post and email subject he is making sure that his readership can see how valuable the content will be for them. Oh, and he has built his website purely for his target audience. It is the most un-accountant (or auditor) like website I have ever seen.
Therefore next time you are tempted to write about your firms charity events, or a new joiner, stop. What questions have your clients been asking you recently? What do they really want to read; but written from their perspective, not yours.
5. Understand your audience's pain points and key objections to using your services
My client doesn't have a service which sells itself. Much of what he is writing is educating his audience to why they need to buy his services. Guess what, that education is working! In his content he is doing two things; educating his target audience on why they need his services and helping knock down key objections they will have to hiring him. (In Chapter 5 of the 'The Go-To Expert', we do a deep dive into how to use your content to help improve your business development effectiveness.) How can you do this with your content?
6. Outsource where necessary
My client is like many accountants and auditors, in so far as he doesn't normally have the time or inclination to write blogs or do video clips. So, he has outsourced the writing of his content. This means he always has fresh content when he needs it.
7. Distribute your content
I know that I am guilty of this one. You don't have to blog regularly - in fact, my client only posts up one blog a month. But, he really makes this blog post earn its keep by distributing it widely AND sending it to prospects before sales meetings. Therefore, how are you sharing your content? How are you encouraging your introducer network to share the content for you? How are you using your content to overcome common objections clients have to using your services?