Navigating LinkedIn for accountants can feel like trying to crack a code—undeniably powerful but a smidge perplexing. We all know this platform can catapult us into the limelight, but how do you effectively market yourself, standing out not as just another accountant but as a thought leader, a go-to expert?
At AGC Digital, we work with many accountants weekly on their social media platforms, so we´ve learnt a thing or two. That´s why we´ve put together this guide. To empower accountants with the knowledge and strategies they need to navigate LinkedIn confidently, showcase their expertise, and win new clients, while overcoming the common hurdles that professionals face in the online arena.
The power of LinkedIn for accountants
LinkedIn holds unparalleled value for accountants, standing out as one of the main, if not the main, professional networking platforms. Why do we think this? Because it´s not only one of the best places for forging genuine connections but also for building a personal brand and generating leads that convert to tangible business.
Housing over 790 million professionals worldwide, the sheer scale and scope of LinkedIn is huge. It´s no wonder then, that so many accountants have had great success winning work through the strategic use of this platform.
One standout example of LinkedIn's power is ThoughtWorks' recent campaign. Leveraging LinkedIn’s tools, especially its Audience Targeting, they consistently crafted thought-leadership content tailored to specific job roles and company titles. The result? A staggering 20 times more leads on LinkedIn compared to other platforms. 90% of their top-quality leads came from LinkedIn, all at a cost per lead ($42.45) that's well below the market average.
As we said, LinkedIn is pivotal for marketing - if you know how to use it.
Step-by-step guide to LinkedIn
If you want to maximise what you get from LinkedIn, you need a strategic approach. You need to play the game, which means understanding the platform´s nuances and using them for maximum visibility and engagement. Many accountants that we have worked with don´t feel confident with what they need to do and how they need to do it on LinkedIn, so based on their questions and challenges, we´ve outlined a step-by-step guide to show you how to use this platform to win clients.
1. Understand LinkedIn´s Algorithm
LinkedIn´s algorithm may seem like a moving target, and it is, unfortunately, but knowing what it favours currently is key to getting results. Certain key factors drive it, but mainly user behaviour, so you´ll see the algorithm favouring long posts at one point, and then it will be back to shorter posts or posts with an image. The key here is to review your content regularly so you can see what types or topics your audience engages with the most.
While the algorithm always favours quality over quantity - for example, content that sparks genuine conversation or thought will gain more traction - it is essential to stay on top of the evolving dynamics as they can influence your content´s visibility and reach.
The key elements of today’s LinkedIn algorithm:
- Non-professional content, especially posts designed to game the system, will no longer be rewarded in the same way. LinkedIn saw an influx of Facebook-style content during the pandemic when most of our work and personal lives merged. The platform is now looking to amplify only the most engaging posts.
- Content from first-degree connections will be prioritised. Users regularly tell LinkedIn that the most valuable content comes from people they know, so you will now see more updates from direct connections and users who follow your feeds.
- Expert knowledge and advice will be highlighted. The algorithm will determine this by identifying each user’s interests (based on their profile information and activity), and if other members within your niche are engaging with your posts. Comments are important but not generic, one-word comments.
2. Optimise your LinkedIn profile
Your profile is your first impression, the digital handshake that introduces you to the world, so it needs to make a lasting impact. Make sure you have optimised your:
Your headline should encapsulate your expertise and value proposition. Be precise—space is limited—but compelling. Think, title and then benefit. For example, "Experienced Tax Advisor : giving you compliance and peace of mind" or "SME Financial Strategist : helping you understand your numbers".
This isn't just your bio; it's your story. Who are you as a professional? What journey led you here? And where are you headed? Infuse your summary with narratives of challenges you've met, milestones you've achieved, and the unique approach you bring to accounting.
Be more than a timeline. Highlight not just where you've been but what you've accomplished. Showcase tangible achievements, successful projects, and problem-solving instances that had a significant impact.
A clear, professional photo is non-negotiable. It humanises your profile and makes you approachable. Ensure it reflects the professional image you wish to convey.
Endorsements and Recommendations:
These are testaments to your professional prowess. Accumulate endorsements for skills you want to be known for, and seek recommendations from colleagues, clients, and superiors who can credibly vouch for your work.
3. Build your network
Effective networking on LinkedIn is a strategic and continuous process. It's not just about expanding your list of connections; it's about cultivating a professional community around your expertise and interests. This network should consist of both a supportive base of fellow professionals and a potential client pool. Here's how to approach this:
Find the right connections:
Use LinkedIn advanced search features to filter by industry, company, job role, and even location to find prospective clients within your target market. You can even go further and engage with industry-specific groups, participate in relevant forums, and attend virtual events or webinars. These platforms are not just for learning; they're ripe for connecting with individuals who share your professional interests and might need your expertise.
Only make strategic connection requests:
When you find a potential connection, visit their profile to understand more about their professional background, shared connections, or groups. This information is valuable in personalising your connection request.
Include a personalised note:
When sending a connection request, mention why you wish to connect. Maybe you have some common ground that you found in their profile, or you want to compliment them professionally about their work or the content they've posted. This approach transforms a standard request into a warm, professional introduction.
Start building that relationship:
Send a thank you message after connecting and start engaging with their content regularly. Don´t just like their posts either; provide valuable insights on topics they post about, and congratulate them on their professional milestones. This ongoing engagement keeps you on their radar and helps establish you as an active member of their network.
Building a network isn’t just about the initial connection; it’s about maintaining those relationships over time.
The questions our clients are asking:
- Why are we engaging/connecting with certain people?
Every client joining us has one thing in common: their LinkedIn network is largely populated with other accountants. So, our first focus is to develop a list of ‘potential clients’ that we could connect with in their target industry, location and role.
We connect and engage with more of your target market so LinkedIn pushes your content to your first-degree connections - the people you are actually connected with. Therefore, your network needs to be filled with your ideal client.
However, this also means that if we engage with more of your target client and produce content they want to engage with, their networks will also have visibility of you and your content.
4. Craft a consistent content strategy
Content is your voice on LinkedIn. It´s how you engage with your network, share your insights, and establish your authority in your accounting field, yet many accountants struggle with this. If you, like our clients, don´t know what to post, when, or how to keep this up consistently, here´s how to create a content strategy:
Understand your audience:
What does your network care about? Are they looking for knowledgeable insights into new tax laws, practical financial management advice, or accounting software updates? Knowing your audience is the cornerstone of relevant content.
Come up with an ongoing list of content ideas:
Get into the habit of writing a list of content ideas. What seasonal posts can you share each year (i.e. tax-saving tips ahead of tax season, year-end advice, a breakdown of the budget announcements, etc)? What topical posts can you share (i.e. decoding new and complex financial legislation, new industry standards, etc)? What personal posts can you share (i.e. how you helped a specific client with a challenge, what you´re goals are for the month, any new team updates or achievements, etc)? What other topics are useful to share (i.e. what are other accountants sharing in your field? Are they relevant for your audience?)?
Diversify your content:
Mix up your content types. Share case studies, create polls, post short videos, or even share a day in your life. The platform is shifting its focus. During the pandemic, we all noticed an uptick in content similar to Facebook—understandable, given how our work and personal boundaries merged. However, LinkedIn is now prioritising genuinely engaging posts. So, it might be time to reassess and refine our content approach to align with this direction. Variety keeps your audience engaged and coming back for more. (Read: The ultimate guide to sharing content on LinkedIn to generate new business for your small accountancy firm.)
The questions our clients are asking:
- What should I be posting?
This will be slightly different for everyone. But generally, our clients are looking to educate their audience on relevant industry topics, position themselves as experts with valuable information, and attract leads with relevant discussions/advice. Posts should add value to their network and encourage them to comment and/or message.
- How often should I be posting?
In the ideal world, daily. But we recommend at least 3 days, preferably 5. Posting 5 days catalyses your increase in impressions, engagement, and followers.
- Which times should I be posting?
This differs for everyone and the industry you’re in, so it’ll take some testing to see the times that work for you and who/where you’re targeting. As a general rule, current data shows that the best times to post are between 7 - 8 am, 12 pm, and between 5 - 6 pm.
- How should I start off each post?
You want to start with various strong hooks to capture the reader’s attention. This could be something that addresses the reader directly, an eye-catching statistic, a question relevant to your audience, or a thought-provoking statement.
a5. Actively engage on LinkedIn
Active engagement on LinkedIn does more than just populate your connections' notifications; it amplifies your professional persona, establishes your authority, and creates a two-way street of interaction that can lead to meaningful relationships and opportunities. However, effective engagement requires more than sporadic comments or likes; it involves a strategic and thoughtful approach.
Comments are currency:
LinkedIn rewards creators who are providing value-added content and show expertise. Comments, especially in-depth replies and continuing conversations help prove just this. You should only tag people or businesses if you expect them to reply, though, as this can hinder the performance of your post.
Timely response is key:
When individuals comment on your posts, view it as an opportunity to engage. Prompt replies that continue the conversation show you value others' input and build a sense of community.
Use various engagement tools:
LinkedIn offers various tools for interaction, including polls, Q&A sessions during live videos, and reactions to posts. These tools can be used to understand your network better, gather feedback, or simply encourage interaction on your page.
The questions our clients are asking:
- How often should I be engaging?
At least 15 minutes every single day. This is why as part of your personal LinkedIn service, engagement is part of the package. So, if you choose to do any engagement on of top this, it’s an added bonus, but you’re guaranteed 15 minutes of engagement with your target market 5 days a week.
6. Be consistent and patient
Don´t expect fast results when using LinkedIn for accountants. It´s a platform that hinges on a commitment to showing up, sharing, and engaging consistently, so you will need to understand that growth on LinkedIn requires time and patience. With that being said, however, the effort here is worth it! Here are some real-life examples to show you the difference having a consistent LinkedIn strategy can make:
In the 2 months before working with AGC Digital, our client received 4,701 impressions and an average of 336 impressions per post, with a total of 23 engagements (reactions, comments, and reposts).
In just the first month of working with us, they received 16,372 impressions, an average of 712 impressions per post, and a jump to 150 total engagements.
This is a 248% increase in total impressions, a 112% increase in impressions per post, and a whopping 552% uptick in engagement.
In the 2 months before working with AGC Digital, our client received 3,713 impressions and an average of 206 impressions per post, with a total of 48 engagements (reactions, comments, and reposts).
In just the first month of working with us, they received 13,509 impressions, an average of 587 impressions per post, and a jump to 182 total engagements.
This is a 264% increase in total impressions, a 285% increase in impressions per post, and a 279% uptick in engagement.
These aren´t just one-off tales either. It's the kind of growth our clients see, highlighting the magic blend of patience, strategy, and an expert touch. A consistent and strategic use of LinkedIn will result in genuine engagement and tangible growth.
Get more from LinkedIn
Many accountants grapple with effectively marketing themselves on LinkedIn, but it doesn´t have to be complicated. All it takes is outlining a strategy and sticking to it. A passive LinkedIn presence is a missed opportunity, so start building your brand now. Optimise your profile, start sharing your expertise, and engage and connect with the right network. You´ll soon see the results come when these efforts are consistent.
Ready to build a thriving online presence?
This is where partnering with experts at AGC Digital can make a profound difference.