Your website is making me sleepy

Most accountants’ websites are crashingly dull.

Here’s how to re-energise yours.

There’s nothing more boring than people talking endlessly about themselves. Yet that’s what most accountants’ websites do: “We offer the following services… We were formed in… We pride ourselves on… We believe in…” It goes on and on.

It’s natural to focus on ourselves. But, as 18th-century writer Dr Johnson said: “That which is written to please the writer rarely pleases the reader.” When accountants talk about their firm’s particular appeal, they usually list the same claims that appear on their websites. These claims commonly fall into two categories: the bare minimum standards expected from an accountant, and just plain irrelevant.

A simple change in perspective can make a huge difference. By using the word ‘you’ more than ‘we’, you pull the reader in. It also alters your focus, helping you to see your firm from the most important perspective: that of the people you want to appeal to.

Instead of talking about the services you offer, tell readers about the results you can help them achieve. Case studies and testimonials are invaluable if they’re specific and outcome-focused.

The clients you attract have a greater impact on your future earnings than how well you perform your work. Those who benefit most from working with you will pay you higher fees and are more fun to work with. But most website copy attempts to appeal to everyone, diluting your appeal and concealing the value you bring.

Make sure you understand what your perfect clients want in an adviser, and focus your website on their needs.

Show your character

The difference between you and your competitors is you (and your team). So why hide behind a dull, corporate image?

Stock photos of smiling models hide your character, and corporate language distances you from potential clients. So make sure the copy on your site reads as you talk. Use short, simple words and avoid clichés. Clients prize clarity.

The two most important pages on your website are ‘About us’ and ‘Our people’. Let readers know what drives you. Let them see the real you, and write about the work you’re most proud of.

The two most important pages on your website are ‘About us’ and ‘Our people’. Let readers know what drives you. Let them see the real you, and write about the work you’re most proud of.

Know your purpose

Websites can do so much more than merely tell people about your firm. They can be a trusted source of information.

Indeed, clients can register for helpful content and guides. Potential team members can register for updates on employment opportunities.

You can then nurture these leads with regular emails so that, when the time comes, you’re their natural choice.

How many of these claims are on your website? (Irrelevant or meaningless)

  • ‘Leading/independent firm.’
  • ‘Unique approach.’
  • ‘Passionate/proactive.’
  • ‘Big enough to cope, small enough to care.’

Minimum standards

  • Client-focused/part of your team.’
  • ‘A full range of accountancy services.’
  • ‘Professional, high technical standards’
  • ‘Friendly and approachable’

Patrick McLoughlin is a sales and marketing consultant, and the owner of Accounting For Growth, which specialises in business development for accountants.

Comments

Related articles