Sourcing new clients for your bookkeeping business can be tough, especially if you are new in this field. You don’t have a big enough entity to employ a marketing team, and you certainly can’t afford to pay a consultant.
But at the same time, you don’t have the skills or the time to do it yourself. In fact, promoting your services is perhaps the last thing on your to-do list as you tackle the checklist of revenue-generating tasks.
Well the good news is that marketing your bookkeeping services doesn’t have to involve an exaggerated and expensive campaign. By following an effective marketing plan, you can easily focus on the activities along with your busy schedule.
In this guide, let’s explore some quick and productive ways to earn more clients for your bookkeeping business.
If you are starting a new bookkeeping business, you will initially have to understand what your ideal clients look like before you begin chasing them. While you can open your doors to anyone and everyone interested in your service, having a specialized niche will give you more visibility. It will also enable you to focus your marketing activities according to the specific audience.
Once you have a specific niche set, you will become the go-to expert for clients associated with it. And in the long run, this can make a significant difference in your revenue and credibility.
Begin by considering the areas of your interest. What do you enjoy the most? Is it sports, eCommerce, agriculture, non-profit, or construction? Or perhaps you want to keep your offerings to a particular group of people, such as wealthy property investors, entrepreneurs, or female business owners.
You can also look around in your neighborhood and determine if there is a concentration of a certain business in your local area. If you are able to single them out, you can easily find a niche that will help serve your community.
A website serves two basic purposes:
Creating a website for your bookkeeping business is a straightforward task that you can accomplish with the help of online tutorials. However, if you are hesitant about your technical skills, web developers can be hired at a very nominal price.
For the content, make sure it clearly describes your services. Add detailed information about your goals, pricing, previous experience, and benefits you can offer.
Make an additional page set up for your blog content. Chances are, your prospective clients are a novice in the field and may need help setting up the financial side of their business.
Use this opportunity to share bookkeeping tips and other informational content for the assistance of your readers. They will appreciate this gesture and keep you in their minds when it’s time to outsource their accounts.
Make search engine optimization (SEO) a priority when curating content for your blog and website pages. Include keywords relevant to your business in each of your posts. This will allow your website to rank higher in search engines when potential clients look-up for services similar to yours using the same terms.
Online business directories are powerful tools to connect with customers. They are also one of the first few places the prospect checks out when searching for a local company. In fact, 86% of the people rely on the internet to find a local business.
Begin by creating a profile on pages like Google My Business and Yelp. Here, you can explain your services, share contact information, and show off great customer reviews. You can also use Google My Business to chat directly with potential clients.
Make sure to include accurate and relevant data only. If anything changes, promptly update on the listing to avoid confusion for the visitors.
Since listings with photos are considered more credible, be sure to include images of you, the firm, and a glimpse of your interaction with the clients.
Testimonials are another way to build trust with prospective clients and get them to convert. After all, they trust you with their money matters and will want to ensure your credibility before investing.
64% of marketers also agree that word of mouth referrals are one of the most successful forms of marketing. According to Semrush, they are more effective than paid ads and garner five times more sales.
To gain referrals, include ‘asking for testimonials’ in your sales strategy. The best time to ask your best clients is right after you complete their desired service.
In most cases, the customer is hesitant or even lazy to write up a referral. However, don’t leave it dormant. Instead, be persistent with your clients and ask them to come with names that can benefit from their service. While they may be tentative at first, I have seen most clients come back with a name or two once requested.
To make things easier for them, create a referral template that they can simply copy-paste and send to their acquaintances. Offering small incentives like discounts in the next consultation or vouchers for free lunch will also motivate them to leave a good word of your service.
Networking with like-minded people gives you an opportunity to meet new prospects. It will also allow you to meet other business owners that can be a source of referrals for your bookkeeping firm.
Try joining local networking groups that meet up occasionally at certain times. However, ensure that the attendees of these events align with your target audience before utilizing your time and resources.
Online communities and forums are other platforms that you can use to onboard new customers. They give great opportunities to interact, build relationships, and gain referrals.
The best place to start is Linkedin. Create an updated profile on the networking site and connect with other users who share the same interest as yours. Share content that is engaging and informative. Join groups, participate in discussions, ask questions, and seek support from others working in a similar capacity.
Thanks to advanced technology, the marketplace is constantly expanding globally. This means that you don’t necessarily have to be in the same geographical location as your clients to serve them with your offerings. You can do the same for anyone using remote and cloud accounting systems.
In fact, 94% of accountants have integrated cloud accounting solutions citing that it helps them gain five times more customers – compared to businesses that don’t have cloud technology in place.
To find clients from other parts of the world, create an account on job boards such as Upwork, Flexjobs, and Freelancer.com. These sites will often have postings for freelance, part-time, and full-time bookkeepers. Apply to the jobs that meet your criteria.
You can also set the service rates according to your expertise and niche.
If public speaking is your forte, try presenting your skills and experience at conferences and programs. Initially, volunteer at small events to build up your confidence. With time, the industry will seek you as an established source and provide you with opportunities to speak at large public gatherings.
Another way to share your expertise is through a webinar or podcast. Look for hosts that are related to your target audience and volunteer for an interview session. You can also host your own webinar and share valuable information with both – current and future clients.
To record a video, make sure you prepare thoroughly. Study the topics you wish to include and create a detailed plan that includes images, videos, and graphics to keep your viewers engaged. Once done, the webinar can be shared on your website, social media account, or even ranked on your official YouTube channel.
Yes, I know you are in the business of earning more money. But sometimes, giving your services for free can help you build your network and gain visibility. And while it may seem counter-productive, you never know who your business gets in front of.
Look out for influencers who can use your help. In return, ask them to promote your bookkeeping services on their channels and with friends and families.
Make a request to the editors of your community newsletters to include your advertisement in the pages. In return, offer them your valuable advice and accounting services.
Make a commitment of around 6 months for your ‘pro-Bono’ work. Re-evaluate after the decided timeline to see if your business is gaining any momentum with this partnership. Although you will find yourself adding more experience, confidence, and connections to your resume by simply giving back.
Ask any service provider, and they will sheepishly admit that they have a rather long list of people who promised to call you back – but never did. If this is the case with you, too, then perhaps you should overcome the fear and start following up with your leads.
While it may seem like ‘bugging’ people, remember that the sixth call attempt reached 95% of all converted clients.
When following up with your prospective clients, make sure you are:
There are many different contact formats you can use to follow up with potential partners. However, emails that are friendly, short, and do not induce guilt are the best way to target your audience.
It is also a good idea to time your follow-up according to the current world scenario. For example, you can follow up with clients who have not yet filed their returns if it is the tax season. Your follow-up contact can serve as a reminder and encourage them to have you onboard for their tax fulfillments.
Another way is to keep tabs on your list of leads. Suppose a firm has just hired a group of new employees. You can reach out to the company and offer to help with their new payroll requirements.
Accountants and bookkeepers are excellent at getting their jobs done. But, they are not natural salespeople and usually find it challenging to market their services.
However, promoting your skills doesn’t have to be a tough job. Just follow the above tips to find new clients that add value to your business. With consistent efforts, you will surely find life at your firm more rewarding!