How to find bookkeeping clients is undeniably a challenge for freelance bookkeepers. Even if bookkeeping is a necessity for all businesses and professionals, clients do not flow in easily, especially for freelancers. Big corporations, for one, have accounting departments already. Established accounting firms have a team of bookkeepers, accountants, and even lawyers running the business. They even employ marketing professionals to sell their services. This leaves freelance bookkeepers like you with smaller chances of landing clients.
No need to worry; there are several easy and doable ways to find bookkeeping clients. Remember that every business, big or small, from all sector needs bookkeeping services. Even freelancers like yourself belonging to other industries are target clients. You just need to explore the methods and resources you can take advantage of.
Make Them Choose You
Before you go and explore the ways how to find bookkeeping clients, focus on an important element. And that is you. Know why they should choose you.
Businesses and professionals usually tend to inquire about services from accounting firms. They feel that these firms are more credible and reliable. And also simply because it is the traditional practice. So how can you make clients realize that freelance bookkeepers are worth hiring? First, you should understand the differences in bookkeeping services between firms and freelancers. Then work on how you can make these differences work to your advantage. Emphasize exclusivity, confidentiality, and cost-efficiency. Ensure your knowledge and skills are not only at par but rather better than those working in firms.
Once you have a grip on what your edge is, you can now start creating your pool of clients.
Tips on How to Find Bookkeeping Clients
Remember that for every obstacle in your business, there are always tips and tricks to help you. These may be people that support you or technology to make things easier. And in each and every challenge, there is always an opportunity for growth and success. So if you are now looking to expand your clientele, here are some tips on how you can grow your business:
Yes to Job Boards
The most common way to find clients is through online job boards. It is basically a digital bulletin board. It’s a marketplace where professionals post the availability of their products or services, commonly used by freelancers or those working remotely. Whether you work as a full freelance bookkeeper or offer part-time services, job boards can work for you.
Many job boards are available for you to explore, and more often than not, these are free to use. This means you can create an account and post your profile for free. Some may have fees once a successful transaction has been completed through their platform, but there are job sites that are ultimately free for posting job offers.
If you are not new to job boards or job sites, you know that it also features clients’ profiles. If you have some extra time, go through the clients’ profiles and look for potential clients.
Big Online Opportunities
There’s no doubt building a strong online presence is the best marketing tool you can ever utilize. Who is not online in this day and age, right? It is only wise to have a professional presence online. Develop a fantastic website. Make social media platforms work for you. There are many ways to maximize your website and social media pages.
Create an impressive profile. Adding your academic accomplishments, specializations, and previous experiences is a must. Why not share some news about financing or other industry-related articles? Post some easy tips on good record-keeping. And, of course, do not forget to indicate the services and packages you are offering.
Have a dedicated space on your website and social media pages for testimonials and reviews. This will build your credibility. Do provide professional responses too. If the review is good, remember to thank your client. When clients know that their reviews are appreciated, they instantly become returning clients. If you receive a bad review, be a good sport and still thank them for the review. Let them know that you will be working on doing better.
Besides being searchable online, make sure that you are available for queries. Some clients prefer sending messages through social media platforms. Do not make them wait too long for a response. The faster you provide a reply, the more chances the transaction will push through.
Remember that social media is the biggest marketplace. If you are there, then you are everywhere.
Be in the Circle
Do not hesitate to join groups, organizations, and associations. The National Bookkeepers Association, for example, is a big support group for bookkeepers. In joining groups, you get to feel the support of other bookkeepers as you exchange stories and ideas. You also get to be updated on the latest news and trends, like if a new software for bookkeepers is launched. There are other advantages to being a member of an organization or association:
- Further Studies. Some organizations offer certification programs and other continuing learning courses. If they do not provide it themselves, they give references on which courses you should take and where you can take them. Getting certified or having credentials like finishing a course will definitely stand out in your profile.
- Creating a Client Pool. Being in a group that offers similar services, you get to exchange client lists. Well, to some extent. If a bookkeeper, for instance, has a potential client that he cannot accommodate at the time being, it may be offered to you. Or, some very generous members may mention clients that are looking for bookkeepers. Be active in forums and discussions because you never know when an opportunity like this might come.
- Be listed in the directory. Of course, members will automatically be included in the directory. This means you are a recognized bookkeeper, and clients will feel safe and confident in hiring you.
- Discover Resources. The challenge of how to find bookkeeping clients will not be your only problem. As a bookkeeper, you know how important managing records is. And as a freelancer without any employees, you will have to do the admin duties all by yourself. You can get suggestions through these groups on available resources to make your job easier. For example, a project management platform like Kosmo could be referred to you by a member who has been using it for drafting contracts, record keeping, and invoicing purposes.
Know Your Local Community
You do not have to look far and wide for potential clients. Your town is full of potential clients! Check out your local coffee shop, the veterinarian, or the mini-mart near you; they may be looking for a bookkeeper. Sometimes, they didn’t even know they needed one until it was thoroughly discussed with them. So explore your community, and ask around.
If luck is on your side, you may be living next door to someone planning to start a small business, and there you have it, a potential client!
A website and social media page are good platforms for you to be seen and heard. So why not write a blog and post it there? You can post a quick FAQ video or explainer videos about bookkeeping. Remember, when online, the world is your audience. So take advantage of this opportunity to be visible. You can also conduct a virtual seminar or speak at conferences or workshops. Podcasts work too if you are a bit camera shy. The important thing is that people see your authority and expertise in the profession. This will translate to inquiries for your services and even referrals.
Exploring Retainer Agreements
Why not offer retainer-based arrangements? Oftentimes, small to medium companies want a more stable relationship with their suppliers. These companies want familiarity and ease of doing business with their partners, so they prefer retainer arrangements. Get a retainer agreement with at least one client to ensure a stable income while you continue to find bookkeeping clients.
Speaking of agreements, why not explore partnerships? Maybe you can partner with a tax accountant or a small law firm. Since your professions belong to an almost similar industry, you could explore this path. You can share the same clients but offer different services.
Participate in Trade Shows
Trade shows are one of the best ways to showcase your product and service. Since bookkeeping is a trust-based profession, potential clients will want to sit with you and talk to you personally. This is the best time to sell your business. In the same way, you also get to observe the client and know the best strategy on how to win them. If they did not hire you on the spot, they are still potential clients that you can send proposals to some time later.
You Can Rely on Friends and Family
Do not underestimate the efficiency of referrals from family and friends. Aside from the fact that you can comfortably ask them to put out a good word for you, they usually deliver. It is a natural instinct for friends and family to help and support each other. Sometimes, they would even refer you without you asking. They can even be a client themselves!
It is a fact that doing freelance bookkeeping is not easy. It is a very competitive industry, and finding clients can really be tough. When you are a freelancer, you do not have access to an entire army of employees delegated to do specific tasks. You have to do everything yourself, including marketing your business.
The good thing is that tips and guides are available for you. As you can see, there are a lot of possible ways for you to land more clients and help you grow your business. How to find bookkeeping clients may be a challenge, but rest assured, with these tips, you can definitely grow your business easily.
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