As your accounting business grows, one fact will remain steadfast—your work relies on a steady stream of new accounting clients.
Although the exact number of clients you need depends on your own growth goals and metrics, it will be difficult to maintain a thriving business without providing great client experiences.
While it’s true that some of the best clients may find you accidentally (or in an online capacity, organically), you’ll have to work to secure many others. Simply put, new business will not always fall in your lap, even when you provide top-tier accounting service.
If securing more accounting clients is on your to-do list this year, keep reading. In this roundup, we’re sharing top strategies and tips for how to get accounting clients from your target market.
Top Strategies for Accounting Client Acquisition in 2022
For modern accounting businesses and tax firms, staying on top of new client acquisition and marketing trends is important. At the same time, many traditional processes are still highly effective when it comes to finding potential clients for your business.
In 2022 and beyond, your focus should be on combining time-tested approaches with innovative new digital marketing methods. By keeping an open mind and adapting to new techniques, you can reap even more benefits and stay competitive in a crowded market.
Each of the strategies below combines a classic principle with a modern twist, so that you can accelerate your growth in a specific industry this year.
Strategy 1: Get Clarity on Your Exact Niche
The concept of finding a niche isn’t unique to accounting and tax firms, but its implications in this realm are powerful. Think about the type of services that your firm regularly provides. Do these services tailor to a specific type of client or business?
Many business owners make the mistake of providing too many services to too many people. Attempting to be a generalist actually makes maximizing profits and optimizing how resources are used or assigned more difficult than being a specialist. Choosing a niche makes it easier to find relevant, high-paying clients that you can accommodate by using the right skills and services.
Although the list of accounting niches is always growing and adapting, some of the most common accounting niche options include:
- Real estate accounting
- Bookkeeping clients
- Accounting for local business owners
- Startup or SaaS accounting
- Independent contractors
- Lawyers, attorneys, and law firms
- Restaurant or retail
- Personal and family
Before deciding, think carefully about which clients you most enjoy working with, and what types of accounting services your firm specializes in. These decisions will guide your marketing and client acquisition techniques moving forward.
Strategy 2: Have a Well-Defined Target Audience and Ideal Client
In conjunction with a well-defined accounting niche, having a clear picture of your target audience is important. This is a strategic move because it determines how you’ll spend your marketing budget, how your team creates up to date messages, and which services you will advertise to who.
Defining a target client or customer might also include noting what that relationship looks like from the perspective of the accounting practice.
For example, an accounting professional may choose to specifically work with prospective clients who own a small business, but not those who operate several businesses at one time. This decision helps the accounting firm cater to a particular clientele. It also gives the client an idea of what to expect in terms of documentation, turnaround time, and other important details.
By maintaining a well-defined target audience, it’s also easier to release marketing campaigns that are in line with what that audience expects. By taking this approach, you can ensure your marketing dollars are spent in the right places and on the right channels and platforms.
Strategy 3: Create Strong Partnerships to Find the Right Prospective Clients
Even though it might sound cliche, the old adage is true—if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. Despite the fact that accounting firms with one service provider can often find a great deal of success, many accountants and tax professionals team up with others of similar skill set and interest in order to create a firm or partnership.
Collaborating in a firm environment provides more access to additional clients that a single accountant may not have access to on their own. It also allows for enhanced client acquisition and more resources.
Strategically, it’s always wise to partner with another person or group that shares a similar niche or target audience. By maintaining agreement in these areas, you can reduce points of friction and provide a seamless experience to your target client or customer.
Strategy 4: Develop Relevant Content and Timely Content Marketing Campaigns
Even in the digital age, helpful content marketing can be the key to finding clients. This is because strong content marketing (which may include email marketing and social media marketing) provides timely information and education about the topics that your potential clients care the most about.
Why does content marketing work so well? For starters, content marketing plays into an accounting firm’s performance in an area such as organic search. When you build your content around search engine optimized (SEO) keywords, you’re more likely to see a surge in clients who find you through search platforms.
Generate Leads with Content Marketing
Content marketing also offers the “hook” that captures new prospects and converts them into accounting clients. But the benefits don’t stop after that initial interaction.
In fact, you can use well-written, recurring content (including social media content) to nurture the client relationship so that they continue to return to your services in future years.
Strategy 5: Optimize a Referral Program with Existing or Past Clients
Another effective strategy for obtaining new clients is to create and optimize a referral program with previous or current clients. Although word-of-mouth referrals might play less of a role in a digital society, receiving a recommendation from a friend, family member, or colleague still holds weight—especially for small businesses.
The trusted source, whether it comes from an in-person or online interaction, is still valuable for finding accounting and bookkeeping clients. Local businesses that want to leverage interpersonal connections and business groups can quickly find ideal clients this way.
If your accounting firm doesn’t currently have a referral program, coordinate with upper-level leadership to design a system that has mutual benefit and works for everyone involved. For instance, what kind of incentives could you offer to existing clients when they bring in a new referral? Can you afford to provide any perks to the new client if they come directly through a referral?
Mobilizing Your Target Market through Referrals
As you plan these details, think about the biggest motivators for your target audience. Do they want a discount on services or are they looking for a non-financial perk that still provides exclusivity? Whatever the case may be, referrals are a traditional and proven way to generate new business.
Strategy 6: Leverage Reviews or Google My Business for Finding Accounting Clients
In addition to having a modern referral strategy and program, today’s accounting firms have to take ownership of their digital presence and business page. This means capitalizing on online review platforms (including digital ads) and focusing on optimizing a Google Business Profile.
When prospective clients perform online searches to look for accounting specialists, they’re likely going to narrow it down to a few that are highly rated. You can take advantage of prime Google real estate (including client reviews) by claiming and optimizing your Google Business profile. When local clients search for relevant services, they’re able to quickly locate information that’s helpful in making a choice. Highly visible information includes:
- Business name and address
- Contact information
- Direct website link
- Social media information
- Hours of operation (if applicable)
- Customer reviews
When you take advantage of this proven Google strategy, you can better stand out with a free traffic source that helps you find clients and drive them right to your doorstep.
Benefits of Having a Client Acquisition Strategy
For some accounting firms, it’s possible to get so caught up in the daily grind of normal operations (with current clients) that they forget to focus on new clients. But the benefits of having a clear client acquisition strategy in place are numerous and highly valuable.
- Get recurring clients throughout the year. Depending on what kind of accounting or tax business you run, there may be high and low traffic times throughout the year. To avoid a “feast or famine” scenario, use effective client acquisition strategies to pull in regular business at all times of the year.
- Have the ability to create a waitlist for schedule openings. Having more clients than you can take on creates a pipeline of interested customers. While you should be open and clear about when you can start work, having a waitlist ensures that any gaps or openings in your schedule will already be filled with new business.
- Secure strengthened brand reputation and reliability. When you establish your business as a leader in the industry, client acquisition may happen more organically. While this is a hard-earned destination, you should carefully put in the work and effort now in order to strengthen your brand for the future.
What Your Accounting and Tax Firm Should Deliver in Return
Once you’ve done the work of securing new clients, it’s also essential to follow-up on your side of things. Your responsibility as a business includes making sure that those new clients are taken care of, and that their service expectations are met (to the best of your ability). You can achieve this by incorporating action steps like:
- Not taking on more new or prospective clients than you can handle at a given time
- Clearly defining what exceptional customer service looks like in different scenarios
- Maintaining honest and transparent communication at all times
- Alerting clients to any items you need directly from them before proceeding
How Customer Relationship Management Software Helps
A customer relationship management (CRM) or marketing platform like CountingWorks PRO can automate your marketing efforts while digitizing the experience for potential clients. This means that you can build a more efficient, profitable firm, without sacrificing the number of new clients you’re able to sign.
Let’s be real. There are only so many hours in the day, and depending on the size of your firm, you simply might not have the bandwidth to focus on client acquisition around the clock. While that’s the case, good processes should still work in the background for you, enabling your firm to grow and scale without the heavy manual lift.
Smart tools, features, and digital integrations allow accounting professionals to get to know new clients, build trust and rapport, nurture the relationship, and retain clients for the long haul.
Grow Your Potential Client Base
It's never too late to find new accounting clients.
You can grow your client base in as little as a few hours per week, as long as you have the right lead generation strategies, ideas, and implementation.
Get started with CountingWorks PRO today to build relationships and to start scaling your business. With CountingWorks, you'll find expert advice that helps you connect with prospective clients, create happy customers, and develop customer acquisition strategies you can depend on this year and beyond.
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