[IMGCAP(1)]Proposals are a big part of doing business for any CPA firm. As communications move more to the digital realm, producing more digitally friendly proposals is important. Here are five ideas to get digital.

1.    Include links to your content

If you are a social-savvy firm, you most likely have content you are sharing through a newsletter or blog. Proposals are about differentiating yourself from your prospects. Instead of just telling them about what you know, why not show them? Include links to relevant content you have written on your website to help reinforce the message. These could be strategically placed as you address how you will approach some of their key issues, or could be included under the information about their team.

2.    Use more graphics

Most people today scan content, and that includes your proposals. Break up your content and create more engaging proposals by using more graphics to communicate your key points. For example, instead of writing out your audit process, consider using an infographic to communicate the same thing. Another great place to visualize some content is when presenting options. Summarize them into a table on one page, making it easy for prospects to quickly see everything together.

3.    Add video

If you participate in a fair amount of RFP situations, consider recording a short video introduction in lieu of, or in addition to, an opening letter. Most computers today allow you to record video from your own computer screen. Imagine how much more personal and powerful this could be in a situation where you might not have met with all your decision-makers.

4.    Use an e-zine to present

Instead of presenting a static PDF, consider using free e-zine software to turn it into an interactive document. E-zine software is what allows you to add page turning capabilities. (Thanks to Michael Bowlan of Brown Smith Wallace for the idea during his recent presentation at the AAM/PS/Tech Conference.)

5.    Make an impression with Prezi

Take your oral presentation to the next level and present it in Prezi. Prezi is an interactive platform that will more easily allow you to incorporate and reference some of your thought leadership, like articles, video and web seminar clips. (Thanks again to Bowlan for this idea as well, during his aforementioned conference presentation.)

Sarah Johnson is the chief growth strategist with Inovautus Consulting, a firm that works with CPA, law and professional service firms to help them grow more effectively, and author of “Practical Ideas for Growth,” a blog dedicated to growing professional firms. Her counsel and strategies have helped move firms to the next level in their marketing and sales efforts. Connect with Sarah at 773-208-7170, sjohnson@inovautus.com, or www.linkedin.com/in/sjjohnson