Finding new clients can be hard work, and sometimes we don’t know how to get accounting clients – particularly those ideal clients we enjoy working with.
Are you feeling stagnant in your accounting firm with little to no growth?
Or are you attracting the wrong people that are taking up more time and energy than you’d like?
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that can help get your accounting services in front of the right prospective clients so you can finally experience growth in your business and enjoy the people you’re working with.
You can mix new marketing strategies with the old ones you’re used to. The important thing is that you’re consistently sharing your services with the right audience.
Ways to find more accounting clients
- Learn to upsell and cross-sell your existing clients
- Attend networking events
- Become a board member
- Join a hobby group
- Host events
- Join business groups
- Create a professional website
- Work in coworking spaces
- Take on speaking engagements
- Educate through video
- Start a blog
- Be a guest on a podcast or start your own
- Create an online business listing and encourage reviews
- Start an email newsletter
- Ask for referrals from existing clients
- Build a referral alliance with other professionals
- Share and engage on social media
- Use paid advertising
- Advertise in your target market’s niche magazine/website
- Place business cards in strategic places
First of all, what kind of accounting clients are you looking for?
To find your ideal client, you first need to have an idea of who your ideal clients are and then you’ll be able to find them and promote your services there.
To figure this out, you’ll need to answer some questions, such as
- What are their demographics?
- Age, gender, location, marital/family status, income level, education level, occupation/industry
- How do they think?
- Personality type, attitude, values, interests/hobbies, lifestyle, behaviours
- What needs, challenges, and frustrations do they have?
- How does your service help your target audience and solve their problems?
- How can you best reach them?
- Maybe that’s traditional methods such as magazines, newspapers, word of mouth or radio.
- Or maybe it’s online, such as websites and social media. Which social media platforms?
- What is important to them?
- What are their biggest objections to using your service?
As you read through the following strategies for getting more accounting and bookkeeping clients, keep your target market in mind, including the answers to these questions to determine which works best for your firm.
How to find more of your ideal accounting clients
1. Learn to upsell and cross-sell your existing clients
Ok, this may not be finding more clients, but the reason you’re looking for more clients is to increase your profit and upselling, and cross-selling existing clients can do just that. It is also usually easier as you already have established relationships and trust built with your current clients.
If you currently have a bookkeeping client whose new business has grown exponentially, you may want to offer CFO services to help with the financial side.
When upselling and cross-selling, it is important to know what your client could actually benefit from and offer them services their business needs, or they may outgrow your services altogether.
2. Attend networking events
Networking is one of the original ways to find new clients, and it's still relevant now. It can help build your network and stay in touch with other professionals in the industry.
The first step is figuring out what kind of event would be most appropriate for you and your business. Before the event starts, decide what you want to accomplish by attending the event, which could be as simple as making two new connections.
Networking events don’t always have to be in person. Virtual events are a new way to connect virtually and allow you to expand your network outside of just local connections.
When attending these events, don’t go in with the intention of selling yourself on the spot or in any way. Networking at accounting events are usually not ideal for getting clients but can be beneficial in many ways, such as meeting and building relationships with interesting people in the industry, gaining more knowledge and getting new ideas, and build your reputation.
3. Become a board member
Another way to get your name out there, which can lead to more accounting and bookkeeping clients, is to join a board. You can offer your accounting services, put your name in as the treasurer, or simply offer your professional advice which will contribute to the overall success of the organization.
When you provide accounting services for a local organization, you connect with new people and show that you want to help your community.
Offering your services is also a great way to gain experience working with different types of businesses and showcase your existing knowledge, which will lead to more prospects needing your services.
4. Join a hobby group
A hobby group can be an effective way of finding your target market or just building more connections. If your goal is to build more connections and expand your network authentically, you never know who may need your services, whether that’s now or later, themselves or a friend.
For example, if you are offering services to creatives, you may want to dive into the creative space by joining art or music classes, if that’s something you’ve always wanted to try.
It is important that you actually like the hobby or activity you are signing up to do or at least have it be something you’ve been wanting to try. If nothing else, you will connect with like-minded people that have similar interests.
5. Host events
Host events like workshops, seminars and webinars to give value to your prospective clients.
Events are a great way to connect with potential new clients but you want to make sure that the event is right for your target audience so they will enjoy it and actually attend.
For example, a workshop that covers income tax for real estate agents with snacks and refreshments and a safe place to ask specific questions allows you to get in front of a niche industry, hear about what they are struggling with and help them as well.
6. Join business groups
Business groups are a great place to build your network as they are full of entrepreneurs or aspiring small business owners who need accounting services. They may talk about their successes and their frustrations, which can provide insight into their niche that you may not be aware of.
Business groups usually allow an open door to discuss your business, making people aware of what you have to offer and who you serve.
This may also be an excellent place to network with other professionals in the industry and learn about new opportunities.
If you don’t have a business group in your area, consider starting one or look to virtual options.
There are so many great options for virtual business groups, such as ONLE. ONLE hosts online business and social events including networking groups, educational video series, masterminds, book clubs and more for only £39/month.
Or there are also business events, like Evolution Virtual Networking, which allows you to network, speak and learn from other business owners and is completely free.
7. Create a professional website
It is more important than ever to have a digital presence and, therefore, a professional website. A website can showcase your value proposition, contact information, helpful blog, a lead magnet to attract leads to your email list, and other relevant information.
If prospective clients are searching for a new accountant online, which many do, and you don’t have any online presence, they may not even know your firm exists and will find the next firm with a website and contact them.
It is important to have a website and keep it updated with current information such as accurate office hours and industry news or tips.
8. Work in coworking spaces
A coworking space is a place where people can work together in an office environment that many other professionals share.
Coworking is a great way to change the scenery of your workspace and keep you motivated as you are surrounded by other people working as well. If you are working remotely, it allows you to connect with people outside of your home.
Coworking spaces also usually host a lot of entrepreneurs or small business owners who always need help with their accounting, as they have more control over their location.
9. Take on speaking engagements
Speaking at events can be an effective way to get your name and your firm’s name out there. It allows you a chance to share your knowledge and unique perspective and also provides you with the opportunity to meet other professionals and guests.
When you speak at an event, you can showcase your expertise in front of a live audience - which is far better than simply sending out newsletters or articles. You will also have the chance to interact with potential new clients and ask them questions about their small businesses, which will help you tailor your services for them in the future.
10. Educate through video
Video is an excellent way to educate potential clients on accounting topics, and it's free and easy to upload to platforms such as Youtube.
You might want to create a series of videos as well as single videos. This will allow you to provide more in-depth information for people looking for specific financial accounting or taxation topics.
Depending on your target market, you could release videos outlining your niche's most common tax deductions or why you should separate business finances from your personal finances.
To work smarter, not harder, you can take your content from your videos and repurpose them into blog posts, social media posts and email newsletters, slightly adjusting the information for the platform.
11. Start a blog
On your website is a perfect place to have a blog that provides value to potential new clients by educating on accounting and finance topics.
Any time your potential client searches something on Google, whether the tax deadline or common business expenses, a whole bunch of blog posts will appear in their search to help answer their question. The goal is for your website to be one of the top posts that answers their questions, using an SEO strategy, which will lead them to your website, and potentially to your services if that’s what they are looking for.
You can also drive traffic to your blog through social media and your email list.
12. Be a guest on a podcast or start your own
Podcasts are a great way to get your message out there and connect with potential clients.
Podcasts are becoming more popular, and it is important to network and create relationships to have the opportunity to guest on one. Look for accounting-related or your target market niche-related podcasts and connect with the host to discuss possible guest opportunities. However, with a bit of equipment and some time, you could start your own personal or even a corporate podcast.
Being a guest on a podcast usually allows you to educate a new audience on accounting or share your unique perspective on happenings in the industry. You also typically have some time to showcase your business, who you serve, and how people can contact you.
13. Create an online business listing and encourage reviews
Creating an online business page listing, such as Google Business Profile, allows you to control the contact information for your business when searched and builds trust through reviews.
Sign up for an account to add your business, update your location and contact information and then customize and keep it updated.
Customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider your business reputable if you have a complete Google Business Profile. They are also 70% more likely to visit and 50% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with a complete Business Profile.
Encourage your existing or past clients to leave reviews for potential new clients to see.
14. Start an email newsletter
An email newsletter can be a great way to reach out to potential new clients and keep them updated about your services while also building trust by delivering value, such as helpful accounting tips, to their inbox. Over time and with exposure, potential clients may reach out when they are ready for your services.
A newsletter will provide you with an opportunity to reach out and follow up with people who have already interacted with your business in some way, such as downloading a lead magnet you offered.
Mass emailing services allow you to segment your email list depending on where in the sales process your lead is or if they are an existing client so you can customize your emails accordingly.
15. Ask for referrals from existing clients
It is important to ask your existing clients for referrals. Your current clients may have friends or family members who could benefit from your services or if not now, they will keep it in mind for the future. When someone is looking for an accountant, they appreciate a referral from a trusted friend or family.
You could offer your clients some kind of incentive in return for a successful referral. For example, you could offer them a discount on their next tax filing or accounting service or keep it simple with a gift card.
If you are expecting referrals, it's important to also refer your client if you come across someone in need of their products or services.
16. Build a referral alliance with other professionals
Partner with other qualified and trusted professionals, such as lawyers and investment advisors and build an alliance with them to offer bilateral referrals.
Most businesses who need an accountant also need other professionals as advisors that can work hand in hand. It is much more beneficial for your client if other professionals can be referred to by their existing trusted advisor and their team can work together in some capacity.
Networking in the community and at events is a great way to build relationships with other complementary professionals.
17. Share and engage on social media
You can also advertise your services and make connections through social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
You can share updates about news in the industry, educational tips, any relevant articles that you have read or written, or any upcoming events that would be beneficial for your audience.
Social media is also a two-way street and it is important to engage with others, both potential new clients and professionals in the industry. It also allows your potential and existing clients to be able to communicate with you, as opposed to print advertising, so respond and engage with them there to make them feel valued.
18. Use paid advertising
Paid advertising is a great way to get your business in front of people searching for businesses like yours, through Google Ads, or through social media platforms focusing on your target market.
Google Ads allows your business or content to pop up at the top of the search results when potential clients are searching, for example, accountants near me.
Paid advertising on social media or in-app advertising on targeted mobile apps allows you to customize the demographic of your target market so it is only shown to them.
19. Advertise in your target market’s niche magazine/website
Instead of placing print ads in a general newspaper, research the industry magazines that the professionals in your target niche receive.
Look into advertising there which is targeted towards your ideal client rather than everyone. It can be a traditional display ad with your services and value proposition or you could pitch an article that educates on accounting specifically for that niche.
The same applies to any websites for industry professionals in your target niche where you can advertise your accounting firm online.
20. Place business cards in strategic places
Business cards are a great way to promote your services and have your contact information at easy access. They are traditionally used at networking events, conferences, and even in the office, and still should be.
A way to get your business card and contact information in front of new faces is to leave it in strategic places. For example, if your target market is creative business owners, you could leave it in creative entrepreneurship books at the bookstore or at your local coworking space’s bulletin board (with permission).
Make sure that your business card has relevant information about what you do and how people can reach you and is unique in some way to capture attention.
Consider creating a digital form of your business card to save on printing costs.
Tips for finding and converting accounting leads
Design an offer your prospects can’t refuse
To find more of your ideal accounting clients, you need to design an offer that your prospect can’t refuse. You should make it as irresistible as possible and then advertise it in the right places.
You can do this by creating a free consultation or trial offer that is easy and enticing enough for them to take advantage of, such as a second look at their previously prepared tax return. Use this as an opportunity to provide value to them and earn their trust.
Utilize social proof
Potential clients don’t just want to know about you, they want to know how you can help them. And since you haven’t had that opportunity yet, the next best thing is show them how you helped others. Ask for reviews and testimonials and showcase them on your website, your social media and your email newsletter.
Overcome the fear of following up
It is a common misconception that following up with your potential clients will make them think you are pushy or desperate. In reality, when you follow up with a potential client, it shows them that you care and want their business if you do it the right way.
Don’t rely solely on traditional marketing
It is important that our marketing strategy evolves with the times. And while its great to incorporate both traditional forms of marketing and digital marketing, you don’t want to only focus on traditional unless, of course, your target market is not online at all.
Focus on your target market
Your marketing strategy should always be focused on your target audience and your ideal client. Every decision, such as where you focus your marketing efforts and how, should revolve around those questions you answered earlier in this post.
Now go find those clients
Onboard new clients with ease
Unorganized processes can make onboarding new clients difficult. With Content Snare, you can easily organize and collect all the documents you need from clients.
In the digital age, finding accounting clients all over the world just got that much easier, but also overwhelming.
Your marketing strategy should include a few core tactics that you can rely on to consistently find clients in your niche. Go through the list and pick out a few of your favourites that relate to your target market and implement them.
Let us know below your most successful strategy for gaining accounting clients!