Gold Rush: Xero Gold Partners, Making The Most Of Your New Status
So you’re a new Xero Gold Partner. Well done. We know that Xero Gold Partners don’t achieve that by accident. (If you’re not yet a Xero Gold Partner, see our 10 Steps To Becoming a Xero Gold Partner blog post here.)
After the back slapping and satisfied grins have died down (you should enjoy the milestone, after all), you might turn your thoughts to commercial matters, like making the most out of your new higher profile as a Xero Advisor.
Xero Gold Partners – Enter ‘The Virtuous Circle’
Reaching Gold Partner status is a significant milestone because you’ve just entered a virtuous circle where the number of businesses contacting you about switching to Xero will increase even more due to your much more prominent Xero Advisor listing. Your Gold Partner logo on your website will also increase enquiries, as obviously it gives people confidence that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to Xero.
This means it’s an upward spiral from here.
If you leverage it properly and continue the growth.
Xero Gold Partners have been asking us…
What triggered my sharing of the following tips on the blog here was when two members of our Modern Marketing Academy for Accountants — one firm in Australia and one in the UK — asked the same question on the same day, in our member support forum. (By the way, if you’re a member you can log in and see the detailed discussion thread here)
The Australian firm asked:
“We have just moved into Xero Gold status. We want to make sure we take advantage of this with regards to marketing; PR; SEO etc. Your thoughts?”
The UK firm asked:
“We have taken the step to Gold Partners of Xero. There is a land grab going on for Xero clients. How can we up the ante with our marketing, within our finite resources, about Xero and the cloud?”
Great questions. Why should Xero Gold Partners rest on their laurels? And as the UK firm mentioned with his “land grab” comment, there is a frenzy of activity–hence the Gold Rush theme of this article–as the early-mover firms in each market get on board with Xero and race towards becoming Xero Gold Partners, due to the inherent virtuous circle effect.
To Xero Gold Partners – Our Detailed Advice
The following is an excerpt of my reply, in our Member Support & Discussion forum…
===START OF FORUM REPLY===
A list of items, including obvious and not-so-obvious action items include:
- Ensure your website includes the Xero Gold Partner logo. (You might be surprised that we see many Xero Gold Partners who initially don’t get onto this simple task. Should be done Day 1.)
- Ensure you have a Xero landing page on your website that is SEO optimised to rank well for Xero plus the target search terms of your location and search terms that your target niche(s) are likely to search on
- Ensure that landing page has as its objective, a download or sign-up incentive so that they end up in your MailChimp subscriber database. The aim of traffic is conversion into your Hopper, which will then send them along your marketing machine’s Conveyor Belt. [Note to non-members: 'Your Hopper' is Module 2 of our Academy, about how to accelerate the growth of your marketing database, and 'Your Conveyor Belt' is Module 5, which is about building an online and social media lead generation and pre-education system that automates the '5 touches before a person buys' process for your firm.]
- This is an advanced tip, but massively improves website effectiveness: A/B split test your Xero landing page to see which headline (for example) works best for conversion, or which image etc. Tools like Unbounce.com and Visual Website Optimizer facilitate this A/B split testing (which is one of the money-making secrets of the modern online marketing world — seriously — because you continually improve the effectiveness of your online content based on data/results, not gut feel or theory.
- Use the Google Keyword Planner (formerly known as the Google Keyword Tool) to search for terms you are thinking of targeting, so you can see how many local monthly searches are being done on various related terms. You just need a Google account (e.g. you have one if you use Gmail or YouTube etc.) to use this tool. Shout out if you need guidance on using it. It allows you to find terms that people are perhaps searching more on (i.e. you’d get more traffic from) that the phrases you originally had in mind. You can also see the Competitiveness of the phrases, meaning whether the phrases are ones that lots of other sites are going after (via Google Adwords/Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising). You want a balance of high traffic but moderate or low competition.
- Include your search terms in the blog post (and/or web page) title (so that the keywords also appear in the URL of the blog post and/or web page), and also in Heading 1 (H1), Heading 2 (H2) tags, are bolded (strong emphasis) and used throughout in a frequent but natural way. (Do not “keyword stuff” — that is, don’t use the target phrase too often, or Google will demote your site in its search results)
- Ask your Xero Account Manager about co-funding of Xero-signage on the busy main road near your office — if you have access to such signage. Get that professionally designed and Xero will pay half the signage cost (last I saw on that at Xerocon last year, that was the case).
- Have Xero Gold Partner logo added to stationery, in-office collateral (flier in waiting area), email signature graphics, even car signage.
- Get a photo professionally taken with your Xero Senior Account Manager handing you a certificate or trophy, signifying the achievement, and then issue a media release to the local press about how you are transforming local business’ processes with cloud-based computing and process improvement via Xero and its Addon Partner software integrations. Be sure to include a quote from a client or two who love Xero and who can cite some results or time savings/efficiencies etc. that Xero is helping them achieve.
- Be sure to include an article about your new status as Xero Gold Partners in your next eNewsletter, but write it in a way of “What This Means To You Is…” (i.e. benefits) for the reader. In other words, the great things about Xero, your expertise in it, the results it is getting for clients etc. The article focus shouldn’t be “We’re Xero Gold Partners, aren’t we great,” but rather “We’re Xero Gold Partners and excited about continuing to help more businesses, in an even more in-depth way, as our Xero expertise deepens,” or words to that effect.
- Start recording screencasts (1 to 3 minutes each) of how to use certain aspects of Xero, and post them to your YouTube Channel and then embed the videos in a blog post each time. You can watermark the videos with your firm logo and the Xero Gold Partner logo (we can explain how).
There are more things you could do, too.
If that’s overwhelming, let me know. Even if you start by just doing a few of the items above, that’s a great start.
All these tasks are the sorts of things our Virtual Marketing Assistant (VMA) Service could handle for you each month too. On that, here’s an article we did for a client just yesterday where he provided the base copy (rough draft) and we then had our copywriter polish it up, and then I polished it from a strategic viewpoint and suggested and created the graphic (based on the Henry Ford metaphor the client suggested in his original draft): [Hyperlink removed from this public blog post to protect our client's investment in our VMA Service]. Xero centres-of-influence and Xero Senior Account Managers have already retweeted the article link. We suspect a lot more exposure will come from it too. Just thought I’d share an example of how to get educational yet cut-through marketing content out there re Xero.
Ask as many questions, as broad or as detailed as you like, about any of the above.
===END OF FORUM REPLY===
A little backstory…
Before I published the above tips publicly, team members at PARADOX questioned me, “MC, are you sure you want to share that? There is a lot of ‘secret PARADOX sauce’ and detailed advice in that forum reply? Maybe keep that just for Academy members?”
On one hand that is logical and commercial thinking. Don’t give away free advice.
So why did I?
Sharing this information gives you a glimpse of the ‘inch wide, mile deep’ expertise we have in helping accounting firms with their online marketing for lead generation, especially around attracting businesses who want to switch to Xero. We provide specific, pragmatic advice in our member forum like this every day. Seeing the detailed response above, sheds light on how day-and-night different we are from generalist practice management consultants and coaches who skim across marketing topics, but don’t go ‘mile deep’ to get to practical specific advice in these areas. That is not to disparage practice management consultants and coaches. Not at all. As generalists, they perform a crucial role. You need to get your operations and management ‘house in order’.
We only work with what we term ‘the innovative 5%’ of accounting firms (and larger bookkeeping businesses) around the world.
That’s one of the reasons we love working closely with so many Xero firms: by virtue of the fact they are already embracing the cloud and Xero, they pre-select themselves as being innovative and willing to embrace change. We find that Xero Gold Partners in particular are a pleasure to work with and really hit the ground running with the modern marketing strategies and technologies we teach and implement with them.
So… enough of the backstory…
As a Xero Gold Partner, which of the tips above have you implemented?
Which do you want to implement?
Below is a very concise summary you can use as a checklist for implementation as you leverage your status as Xero Gold Partner. Print this blog post out and table it at your next management meeting for discussion. If you’re not implementing these things, you are not fully leveraging the opportunity that is right in front of you:
Marketing Checklist For Xero Gold Partners
- Add Xero Gold Partner logo to website
- Xero landing page on website
- Use Google Keyword Planner to identify high traffic, moderate/low competition search terms
- Xero landing page SEO optimised for target search phrases
- Xero landing page has a download incentive/sign-up linked to email subscriber database
- A/B split test Xero landing page
- Co-funding of Xero signage
- Xero Gold Partner logo added to stationery, in-office collateral, email signature graphics
- Photo professionally taken with Xero Senior Account Manager
- Media release issued to local press, including quote from a client about Xero
- Article about your new status as Xero Gold Partners in next eNewsletter (and on blog)
- Record screencasts on how to use aspects of Xero
- Post screencasts to YouTube Channel, then embed videos in blog post each time
Share your experiences in the Comments below. How have you best leveraged your status as Xero Gold Partners?
Or perhaps you consider that is your own ‘secret sauce’…?