How to Market a Bookkeeping Practice
Bookkeepers by nature generally tend to be methodical and happiest crunching numbers. Few bookkeepers know how to market a bookkeeping practice and find new clients. Some of you are filled with terror at the very thought of having to push yourself out there! It’s not so scary when you know how. See this step-by-step guide to get you there.
Where to start?
Think about what services you have to offer and how you can make yourself stand out from the crowd. What is different about you compared to other bookkeepers? What are you really good at? Do you specialise in a particular market? Spend some time getting your service offering very clear. See Compliance v Advisory Bookkeeping blog here for further information
Who is your ideal client?
Try to identify your ideal client. This will massively help with your marketing planning. Do you have a particular industry or service that you like to work with? Do you have a lot of experience in areas such as e-commerce or construction? Perhaps start-ups are your thing. Describe your ideal client so you are very sure who they are and then you will be able to find them more easily.
Set up a Website
Have a website that appeals to your ideal client. Bookkeepers tend to look much the same to a potential client and you need something that makes you stand out that is not price. For example, you might work with restaurants, enjoy this market and have built up some specialist knowledge in this market
Make sure that your website stands out to restaurants. Don’t specifically exclude other potential clients. Instead your aim is to attract your ideal client. You might say “we specialise in looking after restaurants and have extensive specialist experience to help restaurant owners”. Use testimonials where you can.
If your ideal client is looking for bookkeeping services you are going to stand out in a sea of bookkeepers as someone who can relate to their bookkeeping needs. Don’t list the list of services you offer – everyone does this! Talk about the benefits of your services, specifically the benefits to clients.
Try to make your website clean and modern looking. Avoid pictures of calculators and piles of money they appear everywhere! A video of you would be great – or if that’s too scary a photo would also work.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is the way to go and can be harnessed very effectively and very cheaply (if not for free). To use it effectively you need to ensure that you have a good set up ready to go. Your website is the first thing as above. Have a page where clients and potential clients can sign up to your newsletter.
Link your website to a service such as Mailchimp. This is very easy to use with great training videos. You can schedule weekly newsletters to go out to your clients.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all free to use for a basic profile and business page. Make sure your logo and details are current. Any pages you may have set up in the past will need to be updated to reflect your new services and attract your ideal client.
Getting to your audience
Your ideal client is the audience. There is no point trying to market yourself as just another bookkeeper, it’s too hard to make yourself stand out in a sea of others. In the above example of the restaurant owner this is the ideal client you wish to reach.
Each social media works differently. But you need to build up followers or likes with your potential clients. Get involved in groups of restaurant owners and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You may wish to consider spending money on Facebook ads for example. This can work very well for targeting your ideal client.
It is worth spending time getting to grips with social media in general before you start – try YouTube for free info. Once you have a good idea of the basics, then learn about each different source. Maybe start with one and get to understand that well.
Plan your social media campaign perhaps beginning with one outlet first. Choose whichever you are most comfortable with or where your clients hang out.
Further relevant blogs can be found here