Jul 08, 2019

Leverage Your Expertise and Grow Your CPA Voice

By Maureen Renzi, vice president – communications

Have you ever experienced answering the same questions again and again from your clients? What if I were to tell you there is a way that your answers and expertise don’t have to go to one person at a time, but could reach hundreds or even thousands of people? Over the past year, PICPA members fielded more than 300 Ask a CPA questions through our online consumer resource, generating 123,400 views. In addition, our blogs for consumers generated 61,400 visits, our CPA Locator was closing in on 100,000 visits at the end of PICPA’s fiscal year, and other consumer resources such as fact sheets and videos garnered an additional 147,000 views. Together, our consumer outreach efforts add up to nearly a half million touches. But this is about more than just the numbers; engaging with the public is a great member benefit that enhances your digital profile and your firm and personal brands.

Mug Shots: PICPA members with their CPA Voice coffee mugsMembers can harness the power of PICPA’s search engine optimization (SEO) techniques by getting involved in the CPA Image Enhancement efforts in a fairly effortless way. If you want to help others by providing some general accounting and tax advice, you can join our CPA Voice program. As part of CPA Voice, you pick and choose when and how often you are available to provide answers. All responses include your name and firm affiliation. When we see that questions are getting notable activity from Google search results, we sometimes provide Google Ad word spends to the question or combine multiple questions of the same theme in one area to further increase exposure. One example was the creation of PICPA’s webpage that specifically addresses questions related to living and working in different states, which generated nearly 35,000 clicks during the past fiscal year. As our state and local tax experts can confirm, this subject can be tricky, and consumers are looking for help in this area.

Some of our savvy members will share response links with their clients via a firm email newsletter or post the question online and link to the response on our site. By sharing a post where you are highlighted by your professional association, you add an additional level of credibility to your answer and contribute to your firm’s SEO. One of the analysis points Google uses when rating sites is to look and see if the site provides links to outside sources.

If you would like to provide more than a few sentences of general guidance, the PICPA regularly runs consumer-oriented blogs. Members of the CPA Image Enhancement Committee are the primary contributors of these blogs, but we also accept ideas from others or seek out a blogger if we identify an issue that needs attention. For instance, at the end of June there was a notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue that there was a new identity theft scam tied to property tax/rent rebate programs, so we updated and promoted this member-prepared blog to provide a service and position CPAs as advisers when consumers think they may be victims of fraudulent activity.

Our team of professional communicators work diligently to position CPAs as thought leaders on a wide variety of topics that interest consumers and small-business owners. Take advantage of this valuable member service and be part of the conversation. CPA Voice is a good first step, and you can find more information and sign-up options on PICPA’s website.  If you’re uncertain, just ask our CPA Voice members about the experience. You may recognize some of our CPA Voice members from this photo campaign we ran last year.

If you want even more opportunities, feel free to reach out to me directly. I’ll be happy to work with you to identify additional engagement opportunities.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.