Running your own bookkeeping business is great. You can set your own hours and even work from your favorite cafe. But then again, there’s always the stress of needing to find more work. Even if you have a steady stream of ongoing work, you always have to be on the lookout for new potential clients.
Marketing your services could involve cold pitching, setting up a Facebook business page, posting regularly on LinkedIn, or one of the other ideas I’ll share with you in this article.
You can choose the methods that are most appropriate for your business. Most of them are easy, and some are even free!
8 Ways to Get More Bookkeeping Clients
There are many things you can do to grow your client base. Some of these methods are sure to appeal to you, while there may be others you’ll want to skip. I recommend reading through this list and starting with the ones that are most relevant to your business needs.
1. Identify Your Target Market
First things first: figure out who your ideal client is and then carefully target your marketing messages. It can be tempting to try and appeal to “everyone who needs a bookkeeper,” but having a niche or specialism can make it easier to get new clients.
For example, if you specialize in bookkeeping for pharmacies, you can be seen as an expert in that field. That could make it easier to attract new clients from the same industry.
If you already have some clients, think about the ones you most enjoy working with and the ones that are the most lucrative. What do they all have in common? You can still be pretty broad with your niche and focus on small businesses in your local metro area, private medical clinics, ecommerce sellers, etc.
When you narrow down your focus, it doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t get business from clients in other areas. It just gives you clarity and makes it easier to come up with strong messaging.
2. Leverage Social Media
Once you know who your target audience is, it’s time to build a presence in places where they can easily find you. Social media is a great place to start, because most people today have at least one social media account. Use social media to share your knowledge, start conversations, and develop real relationships.
Think about which social media platforms are most suited to your purposes and then focus on building your presence there. For example, if you’re looking for professional connections, go on LinkedIn. If you want to get more remote clients, answering bookkeeping-related questions on Quora or in a specialist Facebook group could be the best strategy.
Remember: your social media profile is where people get their first impression of your business, so make it memorable – yet professional. Highlight any achievements and qualifications that you’ve got, and maintain a friendly and approachable tone.
When you're ready to reach out to a potential new client, don't go straight in for the hard sell. Get to know the person first, discover whether your skills are a match for their needs, and then make a personalized pitch.
3. Get Referrals
Word of mouth is a great way to get more clients. You should always ask your happy customers to refer your services to their friends and colleagues. But don’t stop there!
Think about other professionals who may offer complementary services to your own, with whom you can create referral agreements. For example, some of your clients may need a CPA or other more advanced financial services. You could partner up with an accountant and agree to send each other relevant clients.
4. Make It Easy for People to Pay You
Accepting payments is an area where some freelancers struggle, but it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. You definitely don’t want payment issues to be the reason that keeps someone from hiring you.
Of course, you can accept cash and checks without needing to set up any specific infrastructure (although you still need to provide receipts to keep your business above board). But these days, many businesses will prefer to pay with a credit card or any number of other payment methods available like PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.
You can easily offer potential clients what they want if you sign up with Pay.com. You can accept a range of payment options at the click of a button, and even add or remove different payment methods as your business grows and develops.
You’ll be able to accept credit card payments over the phone, or send your clients direct Pay Links so they can choose their preferred method to pay.
5. Share Your Knowledge
Especially if you’re just starting out, you need to make a name for yourself and start to develop a reputation as the bookkeeper who really knows their stuff. One way to do this is by answering questions on local online business-related forums or on social media groups for small businesses.
If you have a website, it’s simple to add a blog section to draw people to your site. Think of the common questions that your clients ask you – it’s often information that seems so obvious to you that will be so useful to people who aren’t bookkeeping experts.
The more valuable and useful information you share on your blog, the more likely people will then turn to you when they’re looking for a bookkeeper. You can also look for other bookkeeping blogs and ask to guest post and then return the favor. Linking to other people’s blogs and getting them to link to yours will also increase traffic to your site.
6. Ask for Testimonials and Reviews
If you’ve already got some happy customers, get them to write down a few words about what made your service so good and how you helped them. Sharing stories from real people who have worked with you will encourage others to hire you too.
You can post the testimonials on your website, on your social media, or create a nicely-designed flier that you can send out to potential customers who may ask for more information.
If you have a Google My Business profile or a Facebook Business page you can ask people to leave you a review there that other prospective customers will see when they visit your page. It’s a good idea to always respond to any reviews that are posted, thanking the reviewer for positive feedback and accepting any constructive criticism.
7. Create a Profile on Job Sites
There are sites like Upwork and Freelancer where you can sign up and browse job listings. The downside to this type of setup is that you often get paid via the site itself and they take a cut.
These also tend to be lower-paying jobs, but if you’re just starting out, it could be a great way to get your first few clients and build up some testimonials before making a major marketing push on your own.
8. Take Networking Seriously
Networking doesn't have to take up a lot of your time, and it can reap big rewards. It’s all about building relationships. The idea is to get out and about and be visible in places where you will meet people – both potential clients and others.
In addition to attending events for bookkeepers and related professionals, you should also attend networking meetings for businesses in your local area. Even if the people who go to these meetings are not in your industry, they may have clients or friends who could use your services.
What's the Best Way for a Bookkeeping Business to Accept Payments?
As a freelancer or small business owner, you want to make it easy for your clients to pay for your services.
With Pay.com, you can offer your clients a seamless payment experience. You can easily accept credit cards and many other payment methods without having to learn a complicated system or make your clients jump through hoops.
The Pay Dashboard is easy to use and gives you all your sales and customer information whenever and wherever you need it.
The Bottom Line: How Should You Market Yourself as a Bookkeeper?
To run a successful business, you need to carve out regular times in the week to work at growing your business and finding new clients.
I’ve given you some ideas to get you started – now, it’s time to buckle down and do the hard work. Post on social media, ask for referrals, share your knowledge, and spread the word far and wide about your expertise and availability to offer bookkeeping services.
Be sure to sign up with Pay.com so that you’re ready to start accepting payments from all your new clients right away. A great point to share in your marketing materials will be all the payment methods you accept – make it clear from the get-go just how easy it will be to work with you.