As business expands, many financial professionals like CPAs, accountants, and bookkeepers turn to online avenues to find new clients. There is a significant need for these services that extend well beyond a person’s local reach.For bookkeeping services, this means turning to practical and effective digital marketing strategies. Online client acquisition channels can offer powerful ways to meet new clients and continue to grow a client roster over time.In this post, we’ll shed light on how you can take the next steps in acquiring prospective clients. With a few proven strategies, bookkeepers can use the digital marketplace to keep up with significant client demand.
What is online bookkeeping?
An online bookkeeping business is similar to a traditional or in-person business, with the exception that most services are offered digitally. This means that a professional bookkeeper can provide financial assistance to customers, even when they’re not able to meet in person or locally. A virtual bookkeeper is likely to use online accounting software and other cloud-based platforms for their current and future clients.
Tasks of an online bookkeeper
Bookkeepers are most often responsible for maintaining another company’s general ledger and accounts. For many businesses, this includes tasks such as:
- Maintaining and checking bank statements
- Reconciling debit and credit transactions
- Managing accounts receivable (AR)
- Managing accounts payable (AP)
- Overseeing cash flow
- Helping to prepare tax documents
- Managing payroll and some HR-related finances
- Providing future projections
With the right access and software platforms, virtual bookkeepers can provide these services and more to just about any bookkeeping client. Since online providers usually work on a contract basis, this gives businesses other options when they don’t want to hire a full-time or in-house bookkeeper.
Find clients: Online acquisition vs. traditional methods
Online acquisition of potential clients looks quite different from in-person methods. Previously, traditional techniques for finding a bookkeeping client base might have included:
- Word of mouth referrals
- Corporate referral partners
- Online research leading to in-person meetings
- Cold calling
- Physical mailers
- Print advertisements (in magazines, newspapers, etc.)
- Community bulletin boards
- In-person networking or professional groups
Bookkeeping in the digital business age
As accounting services have gone digital (and as more bookkeepers manage their own virtual businesses), the need for online marketing is crucial. Staying competitive in an online environment means paying attention to tools such as:
- Websites and business pages
- Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Email marketing
- Online advertisements
- Video and audio ads (podcasts, YouTube videos, etc.)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Although there’s flexibility with virtual bookkeeping, small business owners need to know the major differences between the best tools for local acquisition versus the best methods for finding their first clients online.
Tips for finding bookkeeping clients online
To optimize any online business and attract clients, small business owners must understand and invest time in:
- Modern marketing methods
- Ideal clients and target market
- How to attract clients
Without a thorough grasp on these things, it’s easy to experiment with acquisition methods without seeing tangible results. Although there are numerous ways to find new clients online, we’ve rounded up our favorite techniques in the list below.
How an online platform can help
Remember, a smart all-in-one marketing platform like CountingWorks PRO can help you get bookkeeping clients and simplify your strategies to save time, money, and effort.
Tip 1: Optimize your Google My Business profile
Marketing gurus like Neil Patel often comment on the ability of Google My Business to significantly increase your sales. This is even true for your bookkeeping practice. Your Google My Business (GMB) profile shows up when new clients search for similar services on Google.A complete Google My Business profile includes basic information about your business. This covers where you’re located (if you have a physical office), what your hours are, and how to get in touch. The profile also showcases real customer reviews, which is where you can leverage past clients in order to attract more clients.
How to optimize a new business profile
To start optimizing your profile, you’ll first need to set one up. Then, you can optimize it (alongside your business website) using the tips below.
- Create a new Business profile with Google. (The sign-up process is free, and it’s a fast way to let customers know more about your company.)
- Manage your profile by adjusting your location and contact settings.
- Make it personal with descriptions, photos, contact information, and more.
Keep in mind—if your Google My Business profile appears on a local search, it’s the first impression that future clients may have about your virtual bookkeeping firm. As a result, make sure to monitor and watch your listing so that it accurately represents your brand.
Tip 2: Run retargeting campaigns
In marketing, “retargeting” is a fancy term for reminding previous visitors that they’ve spent time on your site. Clients may not convert the first time that they visit a company website, but a simple nudge a few days or weeks later can become a win win.Retargeting campaigns use Google remarketing ad settings to deliver messages to previous website visitors. Once you set up a campaign in Google, you can remarket or “retarget” by using display ads. These ads must always have a clear call to action (CTA) that encourages potential clients to go back to your website and learn more. If you’re a freelance bookkeeper looking to get your business off the ground, retargeting is a proven method for building brand awareness as well. This strategy puts your name, skills, and other important information back in front of people who are actively looking for a solution.
Tip 3: Network in virtual professional circles and groups
If you’re trying to hook more online clients, many traditional concepts can be applied digitally. This is true for networking and conversing in online groups, where most clients already spend time.Two popular examples of this are Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups. Both platforms allow you to connect and reach out to other individuals who share similar accounting needs and interests. Spend time searching for small businesses or financial services groups that might be home to your target audience.The reason that this strategy is effective is because your comments and engagement within groups is directly connected to your profile. The more you engage, respond to popular questions, and provide generally helpful feedback, the more likely it is that your services become visible to others with similar needs.
Tip 4: Leverage social media to your advantage
Take advantage of the perks that social media provides to your business. To find clients, know where your ideal customers spend the most time. If you’re mostly aiming to reach fellow small business owners, professional sites like LinkedIn could be a launching point.The key to using social media to your advantage is consistency. Optimize your Facebook business page, post regularly, refresh your information, and stay in touch with posts from other people. Engage by liking, commenting, or sending direct messages. You can also use social media posts to link to other published marketing content (such as blog posts, free resource downloads, or infographics), and other ways to get in touch.
Tip 5: Produce thought leadership content
The difference between advertisements and thought leadership content is that ads are primarily designed to sell. In contrast, thought leadership pieces are written to help prospective customers or provide education.Thought leadership content is one way to build brand awareness and to strengthen customer trust and loyalty. If prospective clients know that you’re the expert in your field, they’re more likely to turn to your services when the need arises.To increase the reach of the content you produce, think outside the box. This might look like:
- Writing or exchanging guest posts
- Participating in expert panels
- Hosting webinars
- Taking part in podcast interviews
- Publishing new ideas on niche topics
Once again, the more you network, the more likely it is that you’ll discover opportunities that help you land new clients both now and in the future.
The importance of digital marketing for bookkeeping businesses
As an online bookkeeping business owner, you might have top-tier skills and services. Without proper marketing, however, it’s difficult to find secure new clients. Digital marketing strategies, like the ones above, can help you achieve:
- Visibility – Increase how often your business is seen, viewed, and discovered by potential clients.
- Return on investment (ROI) – Choosing strategies that yield results is the best way to maximize your resources while simplifying marketing processes.
- Search performance – Increase organic traffic by appearing in more searches on popular engines like Google.
- Diversification – Expand your services and offerings as your business grows; keep up with new client demands and partner or subcontract with others.
When you start to grow your financial services client base with smart marketing tactics, it becomes easier to build a sustainable process and generate more business.
Start locating your perfect bookkeeping clients
The experts at CountingWorks PRO know that you need modern tools to solve contemporary business challenges in your industry. As you expand your bookkeeping business, that means having an intuitive platform that offers built-in website and content tools, search strategies, and marketing features that are designed with you in mind.CountingWorks PRO is trusted by over 8,000 accounting professionals who want to simplify their business and take advantage of future growth. You can start attracting the perfect clients for your virtual bookkeeping business today!Schedule a free demo of CountingWorks PRO