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Using "Crowdsourcing" to Grow Your Firm Using Accounting Websites

There's been lots of din recently inside marketing and advertising professionals encompassing "crowdsourcing". This commentary explains what crowdsourcing is and shows how it can be made use of to bring prospects into your CPA firm.

Author: Ken Marshall
Date: Oct 1, 2011 - 5:39:30 PM

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Crowdsourcing is a web marketer's idiom that has become increasingly prevalent recently and it's a concept you can apply to optimize accounting websites, push traffic to it, and improve your online profile to boost your practice. Before we start, though, it's vital that you develop a fundamental understanding of the concept; then you'll be able to make out how to utilize it on an accounting website.

The web posesses an extraordinary capacity to lure folks together into groups. Crowdsourcing is a method of utilyzing this ability by using existing internet groups of users; especially your clients and website users; to examine your customer's needs. There's no one right way to do this. Crowdsourcing is a broad term and uses lots of different online tools including forums, blogs, wikis, and even direct email.

As it relates to accounting websites, you can use crowds to gain insight into the types of products and services that your customers need, allowing you to expand your base of potential new clients and appeal to the things they're looking for in an accountant or accounting firm. It can be used in both business-to-customer and business-to-business marketing strategies, and its fundamental tenet is that there is a great wealth of information to be had for free, if you know how to tap into it.

Let's take a quick look at a practiacal example. Let's use this principle to optimize accounting websites to their individual markets. Suppose that you link a blog to your existing website as a means to generate updated and relevant content that closely relates to the terms Internet users and potential customers are looking for. If you open your blog up for user commentaries, you can generate discussion on the various topics you discuss in your blog postings to improve your understanding of the needs and preferences of your customers.

As we add to our blog certain article will strike chords with our clients, and they will start commenting on them. The more excitement that builds over a certain post, the more potential it has as marketing data. By responding to your blog your clients are literally tellling you what they care about! Now you can use this information to add pages to your website, send out email alerts, and otherwise incorporate this new information in your overall marketing message. Once you know what people's accounting concerns are you're in a perfect place to position yourself as the answer.

Crowdsourcing isn't just useful for shaping your marketing strategy. User feedback can also help you shape your practices services, better meet your clients needs, and thereby improve client retention. Now all this does necessitate a bit of labor and effort. You have to take some time to start off each discussion and monitor the feedback but if this can tell you issues your customers are worrying about it's worth every second. This is something you will be able to learn to execute by yourself, but (particularly if you're a novice to online marketing) it might be advantageous to get a bit of help. It's your option, of course, but there are a lot of consultants out there who will be happy to assist you with anything from strategic guidance to post writing.

Kenneth is a marketing expert and former Corporate Officer of CPA Site Solutions. His core service is marketing accounting websites and using online social networking websites and Search Engines to help accounting practices grow their client bases.

View all articles by Ken Marshall

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