You’ve put in the hard work and dedication to get the illustrious CFO designation; now it’s time to learn how to get clients as a CFO. The key is standing out from the competition and showcasing yourself as a leading financial professional in the industry. With enhanced technology, business owners can find CFOs nationwide, not just in their local area.
This may make you wonder how to get clients for your virtual CFO firm. If there’s increased competition from other professionals, how do you stand out and get clients looking to help their business’s finances?
How to Get Clients as a Virtual CFO
There are many ways to attract the right clients as a full-time CFO, starting with narrowing your audience and understanding your target market. Next, you’ll build your brand, show your authority compared to others that offer virtual CFO services, and tighten your content strategy to find the ideal clients who want virtual CFO services versus a traditional CFO.
Use the following ten steps to leverage the growth opportunities and learn how to get clients as a virtual CFO.
Define Your Target Market
To have a successful virtual CFO firm, you must not waste time marketing to just anyone; strategic planning is crucial. You must narrow your target market and focus your marketing efforts on the audience that could help you get more dream clients looking for your financial services.
The key is to know where your clients spend time, the types of help they need with financial reports, what kinds of advertisements they respond to, and how they prefer to communicate so your virtual CFO firm can grow.
Build Your Brand and Presence
Your potential 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 and the many benefits you offer. You can do this by providing relatable content online so you are a natural choice as their business advisor.
Most people will look online before deciding which virtual CFO to call to see if they are a good fit and to ensure they are trusted professionals who can help them have a profitable business. To reach your niche client, you must use digital marketing, building a brand identity that viewers can identify with and remember when are ready to hire virtual CFOs.
To build your brand and get more business owners to trust you with their financial statements, you should:
- Have a professional virtual chief financial officer 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 at the top of the search results
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 building relationships with your audience and sets you apart from other outsourced CFO services. As we said earlier, most people use the internet to research before contacting professional accounting services. If they can’t find you online, it’s as if you don’t exist, making it hard to get new customers.
However, this doesn’t mean slapping together a website or making sporadic social media posts, as it won’t help you find more 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 CFO blog – An up-to-date blog with current information helps potential clients find you. You may appear on the search engines’ first page if your blog post contains relevant and helpful content, utilizes a keyword strategy, and helps current and future clients learn something. This helps increase awareness of your virtual CFO services. The key is to offer value-added services.
- Consider videos or podcasts – Consider implementing videos or podcasts into your content marketing strategy on topics your audience might need help understanding. Some people respond better to these materials than written blog posts, mainly to save time, giving you another avenue to get clients.
- Network – Networking for virtual CFOs means talking to anyone who comes into contact with individuals or business owners who could use your services. Connect with other professionals online on LinkedIn or Facebook and individuals on Instagram. Also, attend networking events to find potential clients who need help with wealth management to build your authority.
Engage With Your Target Audience
Many professionals who offer virtual CFO services set up a social media page but don’t give it the attention it needs. They don’t engage with their followers to get new clients. To prove you play a successful virtual CFO role, you want to show that you are the 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 clients 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 and answer questions, providing human interactions with your audience and letting them know you are responsive to their needs as an experienced financial professional.
This is important for most people when choosing a virtual CFO because they want someone they know they can communicate with easily and who will be easy to work with while managing their portfolios.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find future clients. You can get a successful referral from satisfied existing clients of small to midsize businesses, friends, family, word-of-mouth, and even social media. Never be afraid to ask for referrals.
- From existing clients – If you have happy clients, they are likely to refer you to other owners of small businesses. Create incentives for your current clients to provide referrals to their friends and family for your services and watch your client referrals increase.
- Business owners – Let small business owners in the community know of your services. Even if they don’t use your services, other professionals may need virtual CFO services, and they can refer you, or you can trade referrals to increase your client list.
- 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 who is looking for top-notch financial professionals.
- 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, whether an existing client or someone who follows you, 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 with small businesses with big financial goals. You can network online and in person if you attend networking events. In both areas, you want to create and maintain relationships. The key is to know your 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 a popular way to deliver virtual CFO services. 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 individuals.
- 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 a potential client, 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 choose you among the many successful advisors available.
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 paid ads, 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’ professional for financial reporting. For example, create partnerships with other local businesses you can collaborate with and help each other market.
The key is to build authority to show your audience you are the leader in the industry that will provide them with what they need.
Speak at Seminars and Industry Conferences
Take advantage of opportunities to speak at events and speaking opportunities to get in front of people within your demographic. Use the opportunity to show the value of what you offer without selling. Provide sneak peeks of your services while providing valuable investing tips to your audience. 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. This works best when you join groups and get active in your community.
How Do Virtual CFOs Prospect New Clients?
Virtual CFOs have many ways to find potential clients, including email or content marketing, social media campaigns, and asking for referrals. The key to finding new clients is understanding your audience and who fits your target market best.
How Many Clients Should a Virtual CFO Have?
Successful virtual CFOs have 15 – 20 clients monthly, but you can have more or less, depending on what you can handle and the type of clients you serve. The right number of clients for you may differ from that of other financial advisors.
What Type of Feedback Should Virtual CFOs Seek From Clients?
The best information virtual CFOs 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 services your audience wants. Ask them about how well you handle their risk management and what they think of your investment recommendations.
What Are the Most Effective Ways to Market a Virtual CFO’s Services?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to market a virtual CFO’s services. The proper method depends on the target audience. However, most advisors benefit from online marketing, including a solid content strategy and email and social media marketing.
What Platforms Should Virtual CFOs Use to Reach Potential Clients?
Most professionals find small business owners on LinkedIn and in Facebook groups, 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 virtual CFO is important as the industry grows. The stronger your marketing tactics become, the easier it is to be the authoritative figure in the industry. The key is setting yourself apart from others and showing value to your clients to help them choose your firm over the competition.