Bookkeepers have a unique challenge when trying to find bookkeeping clients. With technology and automation, many companies and consumers turn to AI to handle their bookkeeping business online. To succeed as a bookkeeping business, it’s imperative to know how to get new clients as a bookkeeper to show the true value of working with an actual bookkeeping service versus a computer program.
How to Get Clients as a Bookkeeper
Like traditional marketing campaigns, there are many ways to get bookkeeping clients. The key is to know what audience you serve, such as small business owners, and what they want so you can share your specialized services with the right audience. Maximizing your client base can take some trial and error, but these ten ways can help you beat other bookkeepers in their marketing efforts and get new clients.
Define Your Target Market
Successful bookkeepers don’t waste time marketing to just any bookkeeping client. Instead, they narrow their target market and focus their marketing efforts on the audience that could help them get more bookkeeping clients, namely businesses that don’t have an in-house bookkeeper.
The key is to know where your audience spends time, what types of advertisements they respond to, and how they prefer to communicate to grow your bookkeeping business.
For example, if you primarily work with small businesses or business startups, you’d target your marketing to them to get bookkeeping client leads. But, if you work with larger businesses or prefer self-employed individuals, you’d focus your digital marketing on where they spend the most time.
Build Your Brand and Presence
Your target clients want to get to know you before they talk to you, so it’s your job to show you are a confident and trustworthy character by providing relatable content online to get more bookkeeping clients. Most small businesses and organizations will look online before deciding which bookkeeping business to call to see if they are a good fit. To target startup businesses or any other niche client, you must build a digital brand identity that viewers can identify with and remember when they need bookkeeping services.
To build your brand and get more bookkeeping leads, you should:
- Have a reputable website
- Be present and active on the social media platforms your audience uses
- Use proper SEO tactics to get your website and social media sites found
Any marketing materials you create should have the same brand presence. This allows your audience to get familiar with you and to be able to recognize you whether they find your website, social media accounts, or a flyer in the mail.
Develop a Content Strategy
A content marketing strategy is the key to getting new bookkeeping clients. As we said earlier, most people use the internet to research before contacting a new bookkeeping business. If they can’t find you online, it’s as if you don’t exist, whether you are an existing or new business.
However, this doesn’t mean slapping together a website or making sporadic social media posts, as it won’t help you find more bookkeeping clients.
You need a strategy or a method to your madness. Your content marketing should have a strategy with relevant topics so you become the thought leader in the industry. A few ideas to include it in are:
- Create a bookkeeping blog – A regularly updated blog with current information helps potential clients find you. If your blog post contains relevant and helpful content, utilizes a keyword strategy, and helps current and future clients learn something, you may show up on the first page of the search engines, increasing awareness of your bookkeeping service. Your blog posts could be on anything from basic bookkeeping topics to complex statement tips as long as the content speaks to your target audience.
- Consider videos or podcasts – Consider implementing videos or podcasts into your content marketing strategy. Some business owners respond better to these materials than written blog posts, mainly to save time, giving you another avenue to get bookkeeping clients.
- Network – Networking for bookkeepers means talking to anyone who comes into contact with business owners who could use your services, especially local businesses. You never know when a local professional will have a referral for you. Connect with other professionals online on sites like LinkedIn or Facebook and attend networking events to find bookkeeping clients and build your authority.
Engage With Your Target Audience
It’s not enough for bookkeepers to have an official social media account; they must engage with their followers to get bookkeeping clients. You want to show that you are the bookkeeping expert your audience needs.
One of the best client engagement tips to get more clients is to give your social media pages a personal touch by showing behind-the-scenes footage or pictures of you getting involved with the community. Show your audience you are a real person who cares about your bookkeeping business and the community, too.
The best way to do this is to interact with your audience. Most platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make responding to comments or direct messages easy. This is another way to get personal with your audience and let them know you are responsive.
This is important for most people when choosing a bookkeeper because they want someone they know they can communicate with easily.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find future clients. You can get referrals from satisfied clients, other business owners, friends, family, and even social media.
- From existing clients – If you have happy clients, they are likely to refer you to other business owners. Create incentives for your current clients to spread the word about your services and watch your client referrals increase.
- Business owners – Let business owners in the community know of your services. Even if they don’t use your services, other professionals may need bookkeeping services, and they can refer you or you can trade referrals.
- Friends and family members – Make sure everyone you know knows what you do and offer. You never know when they’ll come across someone who is a good fit for you and can refer them your way.
- Social media – Anyone can share social media posts, which will spread the word about your services without you trying. Create meaningful posts that people want to share, and you’ll get in front of a much larger audience without much effort and help you find new clients.
Network and Establish Relationships
The key to growing your client base is constantly networking. You can network online and in person. In both areas, you want to create and maintain relationships. The key is to know your bookkeeping clients’ contact expectations and use that to your advantage.
Here are a few ways to reach more prospective clients:
- Cold calling – Even today, cold calling is still a popular way to build a bookkeeping business. If picking up the phone and making a cold call isn’t something you enjoy, focus your efforts on search engine optimization so your blog posts and other content marketing pieces reach the right business owners.
- Email marketing – Emails are the equivalent of cold outreach, but electronically. But just like you need a well-thought-out script for phone calls, your email marketing strategies must be strong to ensure your audience opens and engages with your emails. Just sending emails isn’t enough; without a strategy, they’ll likely end up in spam.
- Follow-up – Relationships aren’t built on one phone call or email. After the first contact with potential clients, you must keep up the relationship by following up. This doesn’t mean following up and asking for the sale. Instead, continue providing value to the prospective clients so you become a natural choice, and they possibly hire you for the job.
Utilize Targeted Advertising
The internet and social media make it easy to target your advertisements. It’s different from the old days, when you would create an ad to throw on the radio or TV and hope it eventually reached the ideal client. With online advertising, such as Facebook or Google ads, you can target the right demographics so only the people most interested in your services will see the advertisements.
You can also watch the analytics to see how your advertisements do, making changes to ensure the right audience sees your message.
Collaborate With Strategic Partners
Become the leader in a community, company, or anywhere else so you become the ‘go-to’ bookkeeper who provides a professional presence. For example, create partnerships with other businesses where you handle their bookkeeping services or advertise your services for the church you handle bookkeeping needs for, letting your community know that you help the church and can help their business, too.
The more authority you show to your audience, the more likely potential clients will choose you when they’re ready for a bookkeeper.
Speak at Business-Focused Seminars and Industry Conferences
Take advantage of opportunities to speak at business-focused seminars and industry groups where you can get in front of many business owners. Use the opportunity to show the value of what you offer without selling. Provide sneak peeks of your services while providing your audience with valuable bookkeeping tips. You can also use this strategy online and offer a webinar to reach a larger audience.
Be Active in the Community
Community involvement is one of the best ways to show that you care about the people around you and that you aren’t just in business to make money. Attend as many local events as possible, offering free services, providing advice, getting your hands dirty, helping the community with a common problem or concern, and showing that you have common interests.
You can use the opportunities to volunteer your time or even offer free consultations to build relationships within the community.
How Do Bookkeepers Prospect New Clients?
Bookkeepers have many ways to find potential clients, including email or content marketing, social media campaigns, and asking for referrals.
How Many Clients Should a Bookeeper Have?
How many bookkeeping clients you should have depends on your capabilities. Most beekeepers can handle 20 to 30 clients themselves. Once you get beyond that number, you may need additional help with administrative work and marketing to cover all your bases and still provide excellent customer service to your bookkeeping clients.
What Type of Feedback Should Bookeepers Seek From Clients?
The best information bookkeepers can get from current and past clients is constructive criticism. Find out what they love and what they wish could improve to help you provide the best bookkeeping services your audience wants.
What Are the Most Effective Ways to Market a Bookkeeper’s Services?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to market a bookkeeper’s services. The proper method depends on the target audience. However, most bookkeepers benefit from online marketing, including a solid content strategy and email and social media marketing.
What Platforms Should Bookkeepers Use to Reach Potential Clients?
Most professionals find bookkeeping clients on LinkedIn and Facebook, but you can also find them on Instagram occasionally. It’s also important to focus on platforms like Google Ads to get the word out to the right audience. The key is to narrow your niche and figure out where your target audience spends their time.
Knowing how to get clients as a bookkeeper is important as the industry grows. Learning how to get clients as a bookkeeper will become even more critical as technology improves. The key is setting yourself apart from the others and showing value to your new bookkeeping clients that an automated system cannot offer.