Are you struggling to learn how to get accounting clients? New and experienced accountants that are starting their own firm need to have a steady stream of clients. Proactive marketing and investing in the right technology can help you maintain a healthy list of clients.
Even if you’ve had a business for a while and need to either replace lost clients or want to bring on better clients, you can.
We’re going to cover:
- How to get accounting clients
- Ways to pre-qualify clients
- Connecting with clients that are the “best fit”
When you have the right clients, you’ll enjoy going to work every day, making more money and having an easier time retaining clients.
The first step is narrowing down the “ideal client.”
Who is Your Ideal Client?
Accounting clients are not made equal. You can work with clients across numerous specialties. However, just because you’re being paid doesn’t mean that a client is a good fit. Consider:
- Listing your clients by type
- Creating a list of the work you do for each client
- Outlining the common traits among clients
When you have your list of clients in front of you, think long and hard about which accounting clients you enjoy working with. There’s a difference between working with clients simply because they pay you and because you enjoy working with them.
- Large enterprise clients may pay more, but you don’t feel rewarded working for them
- Small, local businesses may pay less, but helping them grow is a passion of yours
Accounting clients often fall into one niche when you start breaking them down into type, size and goals. You should find a niche or specialization that you’re truly passionate about. For example, you may want to work with tech companies, or you may want to help local coffee bean growers find success.
Choose a niche you love, and then you’ll have a deep understanding of your clients and how you can best help them succeed.
Invest in Thought Leadership
You know your ideal client, but now it’s time to help them learn about your business and what it has to offer. Investing in thought leadership is one of the key ways of finding bookkeeping clients.
- Builds your credibility in the industry
- Improves brand awareness and trust
Investing in thought leadership comes in many forms, such as:
- Creating blog posts that teach and educate
- Holding webinars
- Speaking live or virtually
- Making YouTube videos
- Posting on social media
- Creating and managing related Facebook Groups
When you share your expertise, educate and teach others, clients will begin to trust you and view you as a credible source of knowledge. If these businesses or individuals ever need accounting or bookkeeping services, they’ll be sure to come to you.
Over time, all of this investment will help you build a brand that people know and trust.
Elon Musk is a perfect example of building a brand. It’s difficult to think of Musk and not think of Tesla or SpaceX. He has built his own personal brand that people know, trust and are willing to work with.
You can do the same for yourself or your business by putting a lot into your thought leadership.
Ask for Referrals
If you want to know how to grow your accounting practice, one key method is to ask for referrals. A lot of your clients have friends, coworkers, suppliers or others that may be interested in your services.
And a referral is one of the best methods of attracting clients because they:
You can do a few things to begin generating referrals for your business immediately. One method is to reach out to clients in industries that you enjoy working in and ask them to refer your services.
When a business is happy working with you, they’ll be more than happy to recommend you to others.
However, if you want to incentivize the referral process, many people will be more than happy to be rewarded for the referral. In addition, creating a referral program for your clients will help you generate referrals that may have otherwise gone to a competitor.
You might have to pay a small fee for these referrals, but it’s well worth the cost of building a long-term relationship with a client.
Getting accounting clients through referrals is a great way to build a sustainable business.
Want to learn ways to get your first clients? Read our post on how to get your first bookkeeping clients.
Partner with Other Professionals
Getting new accounting clients is a lot of work, and it’s a lot easier when you work with other business professionals. You don’t want to work with your direct competitors, but you can work with people in your industry, such as:
- Lawyers who are helping professionals start their own business
- Accountants who can refer bookkeeping clients to you
- Bookkeepers who can refer your accounting services
- Tax professionals who specialize in areas that you don’t specialize in
When you partner with other professionals, they’ll recommend people to you if you return the favor. Over time, as both of your businesses grow, this partnership can be very fruitful.
Offer Advisory Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
Getting more clients for an accounting firm or bookkeeping service may involve a lot of work outside the scope of what you offer. You know your profession well, but your clients may think they need one service when they really need another.
You can offer advisory services that:
- Pay more
- Help clients find success
- Go beyond the scope of your standard services
Past clients, those that trust you and the services you offer, are some of the best to work with. These clients can refer you to others and may also use your advisory services in the future. When you can access a business’s financials and help them make sound business decisions, they’ll be more than happy to recommend your services.
Plus, the scope of the work will often increase rapidly when you’re assisting these clients accurately and helping their business grow.
Find a Niche
Did you narrow down your niche when finding your ideal client? Some accounting firms want to only work with tax clients, but others want to work with startups in the first few years of operation.
Finding your niche will help you know:
- Who to market your business to
- What marketing methods to follow
It’s a common misconception to “offer everything.” But think about who you would rather work with as a service provider: a jack of all trades, or a specialist? When you become a specialist, you’re choosing a segment of accounting or bookkeeping that you know, love and can charge a premium in.
By niching down to a specific industry, you’ll grow into an industry expert and have an easier time find the ideal client that you’ll love working with.
Once you have found your ideal clients, make sure you provide them with the best client experience. Find out how you can easily do that with TaxDome.
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