Alan Lipoff has over twenty years experience consulting with business owners on business growth and management, process improvement, cash management, taxes, tax planning and financial decision-making. He has advised diverse organizations, including different industries and nonprofits, as well as trusts and individuals. Alan has experienced firsthand the benefits and challenges of being a business owner.
“Our goal is to unburden our small-business clients by serving as an economical, timely source for their financial reporting and tax compliance needs. In addition, we strive to be a continual source of support to each client guiding them to operate at peak efficiency and to maximize their personal investment in their business.” – Alan
ThinkDesign interviewed Pennsylvania CPA Alan Lipoff, who uses LinkedIn for marketing to collect recommendations for his services and connect to clients.
Listen to what Alan has to say about his experiences in the accounting industry and the power of word of mouth.
Your LinkedIn profile must stand out
Recommendations and referrals are a business’s best friend and without them, local businesses would never thrive. But the power of word of mouth transfers into the power of social media as well.
Accounting firms are rather unique when it comes to how they promote themselves. Some CPAs will have websites or a few social media pages scattered, but successful accounting firm owners will use previous client referrals and have a LinkedIn profile set up as a central hub for their business.
Most accounting CPAs are aware of business-oriented social network and many of them use it. However, a large percentage of businessmen struggle with making the most of the world’s largest professional social network. LinkedIn is a powerful word of mouth tool is an essential tool in your marketing toolbox to gather professional recommendations for your services.
Create the best first impression
To stand out from other professionals in the accounting industry, you must create the right first impression and attract the most meaningful and relevant recommendations for your services. But a scattered and poorly developed profile means you won’t show up in relevant searches and anyone in your local area that is looking for you will never find you.
If you choose to use your LinkedIn personal profile instead of creating a company page on LinkedIn, here are our LinkedIn profile tips to optimize your LinkedIn presence and build your accounting firm’s reputation among business professionals.
1) Customize your public profile URL
Stand out from others by making your personal profile look more professional (and much easier to share) by customizing your LinkedIn public profile URL. Head to your profile and look on the right to modify your public profile URL.
2) Add a background to your profile
Keep in mind LinkedIn is a professional social network, so choose a professional photo that showcases a little of your personality or creates interest about your business. Why not have a picture of your office or employees or even add text about a discount for LinkedIn members to see? There are plenty of options.
3) Keyword your business name and website
If you want to include a link to your services website, rather than choosing LinkedIn’s standard “website” anchor text, customize it to include keywords that indicate what industry your services are for, or your location. Each profile can display up to three website links.
4) Show your business at work
For accounting firms, this is a little difficult. But you could show screenshots of client websites that you have helped in the past, share any video recommendations people created for you, or images of your business at events. You can add these in the summary, education, and experience sections of your LinkedIn profile.
5) Collect endorsements for your skills
This enables your clients or business contacts to endorse skills you’ve listed in the Skills section of your profile or accept a skill recommended that you haven’t yet listed. These endorsements show up on your profile within that same skills section.
To add to this, there is also a recommendation section of your profile. This is where your clients can review your services and tell everyone what they thought of you. You can use this section to collect recommendations of people you have networked on a project with as well. Be sure to read over each recommendation given to you and return the favor to other business professionals whose services you have used!
6) The perks of LinkedIn Groups
More than two million Linked Groups exist today and they can expand your network of clients by meeting other professionals in your industries and others. In these groups, you can begin building your reputation by finding solutions for specific challenges group members face or taking part in discussions about the latest news in the finance and accounting industries.
7) Use Pulse to keep track of industry news
Pulse is a section of LinkedIn where you can discover popular articles and trending content tailored to your interests. Browse through the Your News tab to see what people you follow are publishing, or the Top Posts tab to monitor the most popular content on Pulse in general.
Use the Discover tab to find and follow specific influencer contributors, publishers, or topic-related channels to stay on top of news and stories in your industry.
The key is to build trust and authority
At the end of the day, people trust and will hire the people who are the most excited about what they do and have fantastic recommendations by previous clients. So, ensure your LinkedIn profile shows your enthusiasm and your expertise. Join and participate in groups related to your field of expertise to spread awareness about your business and connect with the leaders in your industry to build your professional network.
What do you think is best for accounting firms on LinkedIn – a personal profile that markets your services or a company page?