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accountants and bookkeepers

How to find the right clients for your business

Are you struggling to find your ideal clients? You are not alone. It can be difficult to find clients, particularly for small and medium firms. Fortunately, there are many ways you can start attracting clients and gaining momentum for your firm. 

Undoubtedly, you will need to get creative if you want to attract clients in a highly competitive space. 

Implementing proactive strategies and investing resources in technology and marketing turns prospects into clients. Whether you are building a new business or growing your existing firm, finding new clients is crucial to your business’s success. With some hard work and creativity, here is how to get clients online and grow a successful firm.

1. Understand your audience

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand your target audience. Not all accountants or bookkeepers deal with the same clients, so consider what services you provide and what kind of customers you want to attract. Start by answering a few questions to find your ideal clients and jobs that suit you:

  • How much time do your clients spend managing their payroll and books?
  • Which clients are likely to return?
  • How profitable are your customers?
  • How much revenue do your clients generate?

This step also requires a thorough understanding of your own business and what sets you apart from the competition. You should also get to grips with where your company is at right now and where you want it to be.

Most accounting firms aspire to hook big fish, drawing in wealthy clients with a great reputation. Everyone has to start somewhere, though, and you might want to consider taking on less profitable clients while you grow a list of regulars and build your reputation.

2. Partner with other professionals

Clients rarely take on bookkeeping firms without using other services. B2B clients, in particular, typically invest in other services like technology, recruitment, legal advice, and investment advice.

Consider partnering with other businesses that offer services you don’t provide. Let these professionals know that you are an accounting or bookkeeping professional, and verbally ask them to send some of their small business clients your way. A network of linked businesses can provide referrals to their clients, which helps to point business in your direction. 

The key to this is to make sure you partner with firms you are not in direct competition with; make sure each organisation offers something different.

3. Encourage referrals

Speaking of referrals, it’s also a good idea to encourage any existing clients to spread the word. Word-of-mouth referrals have exceptional benefits, including driving sales 5x more than a paid ad and driving 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.

You can encourage existing clients to refer you or leave positive reviews with incentives, such as discounts. Referral programs can help you retain existing clients and gain new ones, so don’t underestimate their importance.

But how do you create a referral program that works? Start by deciding what you are willing to give clients who send referrals your way. Offer discounts, gift cards, and other benefits to motivate your clients to tell others about your business. Send newsletters and emails to your clients to tell them that you are looking for referrals. Put some testimonials on your website showing how some of your customers are satisfied. Set up a tracking system to identify referrals, so that you can reward clients who refer your business.

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4. Offer additional services

Customer service goes a long way in client retention. You can often boost business by providing additional services to existing clients, encouraging them to migrate to your firm for all of their needs instead of looking elsewhere.

You can get to know what your clients need with scheduled check-ins or even automated surveys. The key is listening carefully to your clients’ pain points and responding to them.

5. Network effectively

Networking is essential for any start-up or small firm. If you want to know how to get clients, then networking is the way forward. 

Attend networking events in person or seminars online and reach out to others in your industry via social media. Prepare your elevator pitch in advance, too, so you can introduce yourself and your firm efficiently.

If you can, find out about the other attendees in advance, so you are prepared for discussions, and then present yourself as valuable to these potential clients. Don’t forget to follow up afterwards.

6. Use effective technology

When considering your business, clients will probably look at the technology and processes that you use. By utilising accounting software that keeps you organised and keeps your clients’ data secure, you can encourage new clients to trust you. Make sure you also publicise the software you use on your company website.

When looking for clients, you should also seek businesses with a similar approach to technology. For example, if you champion remote working and digital communication, you are best positioned to work with clients who share the same values.

7. Utilise outreach

Old-school marketing techniques like cold calling and emailing might no longer be mainstream, but they do have some value. It’s vital to avoid spam, but you can think of cold calling and emailing as a form of networking if you do it right.

Research potential clients thoroughly, engage with them before reaching out (e.g. through social media), and then make contact with a natural conversation. People are likely to switch off if they are immediately hit with a sales pitch, so make sure you strike up a conversation and listen to the client as much as sell to them.

8. Engage in digital marketing

Digital marketing strategies are essential in this day and age, and they can help you land your first client if you’re starting from the bottom. 

There are many forms of digital marketing, ranging from social media marketing (SMM) to emails and paid ads. Developing brand-name recognition online is a cost-effective way to market your accounting practice. The trick is to create a strong brand voice and visuals and keep it consistent throughout all your marketing materials. If you appeal to your target audience, you can attract clients.

Most forms of digital marketing have a great return on investment (ROI) because they are cheap to do, but clients like getting an inside look into businesses before they make a purchase. Leverage SMM on professional platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter to promote your business.

Some tips for effectively promoting your accounting business on social channels to find new clients include:

  • Choosing the right platforms: Sharing your skills on the right platforms is crucial to your success. Consider which sites your customers use the most, so they can easily connect with you.

  • Respond to customers quickly: Address questions and problems from both your clients and prospective customers quickly. Be sure to engage with the customers and apologise if you take too long to respond.

  • Be visual: Do you want your products and services to show off and boost engagement on social channels? Add photos and videos to your content, and post pictures of happy clients on sites like Instagram and Pinterest.

  • Create a calendar: Avoid rushing to create last-minute posts. To get consistent results with less time and effort, create a schedule, automate some activities, and assign some tasks to your employees or contractors.

9. Boost your online presence with SEO

Content marketing is similar because it is cheap and it sticks around for a long time. Make sure your business website is up-to-date with all relevant contact information and a list of the accounting services you offer to find clients online. Furthermore, ensure that the website functions properly, loads fast, and is optimised for mobile.

Then, boost your website rankings by publishing informative blog posts containing industry-relevant keywords. SEO can help potential clients find your business easily, and when it’s done right, it can also increase conversions.

You can also boost SEO with backlinks to your website, either from social media or from the network of partner businesses you build up.

10. Host webinars

If you want to be in touch with industry experts, try extending your reach with webinars and other speaking engagements. Attend conferences or create your own webinar online. 

When potential clients see you as an expert, they are more likely to invest in your services or even just contact you for more information. 

Make sure you leave a lasting impression with your seminars, presenting information in a fun and engaging way.

Final thoughts: New clients are around every corner.

Attracting new clients is not rocket science, but it does take some hard work to get your firm off the ground. It can also be challenging to start attracting more profitable clients as your firm grows.

However, these 10 tips are great ways to get started. Ensure that you put your own firm’s spin on these techniques and add your own spark, and you can start attracting your ideal client today.

Whatever growth means to you, we’re here to support you in achieving your goals. Our guides can help you find more clients, add new revenue sources, and build a future-fit business.

Are you an accountant or bookkeeper in search of a solution to organise your invoices and payments, and automate workflows and payroll? Collaborate with clients, stay on track and grow your firm with QuickBooks Online Accountant. Sign up for free.


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