“I’m just starting an accounting / bookkeeping firm. How do I grow it? How do I win clients?”
People ask me this question a lot, so I decided to put my answer down here in this blog. I’m going to share 12 strategies that every accountant and bookkeeper should know to help build a bigger business…
You can watch the video here instead if you prefer.
1 - Referrals
This is nothing new. You should be actively seeking referrals. Make sure you have a process in place to systematically ask for referrals. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
2 - Joint Ventures
Who else do you know that has a similar audience to you, but that you don’t compete with? It could be your local bank manager, or local financial advisor. Having their clients would be great. You can start a strategic marketing alliance - you can help them, and in return they send clients your way.
3 - Networking
You need to get out there and talk to people. There are some great networking events you can attend to find great quality clients.
4 - Exhibitions
Where do your ideal clients hang out? What exhibitions do they go to? Work out where they are and go there yourself so you can start to network.
5 - Advertising
Advertising used to mean putting an ad in the yellow pages - there wasn’t always a good return on investment though. Nowadays, we have pay-per-click, in particular, Facebook Ads. I use them extensively and have had great success.
6 - Telemarketing
Telemarketing used to be very popular back when I started my accounting firm in 1996. These days, it’s much more established, there are a lot of businesses doing it, and the results are mixed. It’s worth exploring and adding to your list of ways to build your practice.
7 - Speaking
If you are more confident, speaking is one of the best ways of growing your practice. You could run your own events. For example, if you are in the UK, you might run a ‘budget update breakfast meeting’ when the tax changes every year. Or you could speak at other people’s events, perhaps your strategic marketing alliances run them. Speaking in front of a live audience can be scary at first, but, in my experience, it gets a lot easier the more you do it. Clients will see you as an expert if you speak at events.
8 - Content Marketing
Writing blogs or articles is a great way of showing potential clients the quality of your content, particularly if you have an expertise or niche. You can build up your profile and get people to see you as the expert if you share regular content.
9 - Video Marketing
Make a YouTube channel. We are in the relationship business. Your clients aren’t just buying your service, they are buying into a relationship with you - they want to know, like and trust you. You can convey your personality and passion better through video.
10 - Direct Response
Build your list. Have a database of prospects that you can send marketing material to. The bigger your list, the more conversions you will make. You can build your list by creating something valuable, like an ebook, then offering it to prospects in return for their email address through an opt-in page. This warms them to you and your content, and it pre-qualifies them because you know they are interested in the content in your ebook.
11 - Build Your List
Linked to direct response, you should email your list regularly with valuable content such as blogs and articles, videos or ebooks. Then, every now and then, when you have events on, you can invite them to come and convert them there.
12 - Social Media
This is a big one. When I started my firm, social media didn’t exist, but I wish it did. There are so many platforms you can use to win clients: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and so on. It’s a powerful way of taking your content and spreading it to prospects for zero cost. You can build your personal brand and your reputation by delivering value.
Those are the 12 marketing strategies I use to help constantly build my practice. Please have a go at using at least some of these methods and let me know how it goes by leaving me a message in my Facebook Group.
If you would like to learn more about about value pricing, I run a free live online session every month with a different topic and a ‘Q&A’. You can attend and ask me any pricing questions you have. Click here to register and I’ll send you an invitation to the next session.
And if you are interested in joining a community of like-minded accounting professionals learning to price more effectively and confidently, you can join my Facebook Support Group here.
Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.
Chartered Accountant, Public Speaker and Amazon No. 1 Best Seller of “Effective Pricing for Accountants”
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