Looking to build your accounting or bookkeeping firm? Of course you are.
Growing your roster of clients is the bread and butter to any business. Being able to do this quickly and effortlessly is key, especially as your time is so precious. That’s why we turned to our community of accountants and bookkeepers on Orange Select to ask for their advice.
We asked, you replied. Here’s our Top 10 ways to win new clients if you’re an accountant or a bookkeeper.
1. Word of mouth
Word of mouth – good clients often attract good clients.Caz Robinson, VMG Accounting
We couldn’t say it better ourselves. It’s well-known that accountants win the majority of new clients through referrals. Better yet, these clients are likely to already trust you and make the onboarding process smoother.
Although it sounds effortless, word of mouth marketing doesn’t happen by itself. It relies on delivering a consistent service that goes above and beyond for customers.
2. Ask for referrals
Ask for referrals. You don’t get what you don’t ask for!Nicco Walker-Ng, Sport & Social Group
Sometimes, it’s good to go back to basics. Have you asked your clients to refer your services, or indeed made it easy to? If you have a solid and loyal client-base, they’d probably be more than happy to. And even if you’re starting out, they know that business relies on building good impressions.
Some quick wins include adding a line to your email signature reminding them or even incentivising them with a thank you gift when they follow through. Which referral systems should you be using? Find out how to make them happen here.
3. Make the most of your website
Your website is the digital shop-front for your practice, so does it reflect who you are as a business? Whether you choose to create something in-house or outsource it, investing in a world-class website can be a powerful lead generation tool. Say you’re based in Brisbane; the next time someone googles ‘best accountants Brisbane’, you want to be the first link on the search page.
To make sure you claim top spot, content is king. Case studies and testimonials are a great place to start, to shine a light on happy customers and show the potential of great bookkeeping.
4. Perform an ideal client analysis.
I’ve done an ideal client analysis and it has totally changed my perspective when interviewing new clients. It is now about whether I feel they are a good fit with my business.Steph Shipway, Quadpath
Who is the client you look forward to working with? The client that makes your job rewarding, and reminds you why you got into business in the first place?
From here, you can start building a growth strategy for your business. After all, a ‘take on all’ approach is very difficult to manage without additional staff resources. You can include an ideal client analysis as part of your next business plan – then you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.
5. Get networking
Most of my clients have come through my franchise group. My largest client came through networking.Dean O’Bree, Jim’s Bookkeeping Keysborough
“Networking, networking, networking,” suggested one of our partners. And they’re spot on. As a small business owner, the local community is your lifeblood so you need to get out there and make everyone know who you are – whether that’s with new and prospective clients or other local businesses who you could work worth.
Want to learn more about how to network and market your firm successfully? Check out Glenn Redler’s blog today.
6. Explore general ledger directories
There are over 3,500 UK-based advisors listed on the QuickBooks ‘Find a Accountant or Bookkeeper’ directory. Xero has a similar service, and on both you can search by your town, city or postcode to find the right service in your area.
This is great news for accountants and bookkeepers. Make sure you sign up to both if you haven’t already, and keep your profile up-to-date.
Peter Jarman & Co (PJCO) is an accounting firm based in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex. It’s one of the fastest growing firms and is one of the top-rated firms on QuickBooks Online ‘Find an Accountant’ service. Find out how they find now clients on QuickBooks Online here.
7. Get listed on the Dext directory
Did you know you can also get featured on Dext (former Receipt Bank)’s directory, “Find An Accountant”? If you’d like to be featured, please reach out to your account manager and express your interest.
8. Find your niche
We target specific types of businesses which increases the likelihood they will refer similar businesses in the same industry to us.James Maxwell, Haines Watts
Finding your niche will undoubtedly boost your chances of finding new business through numbers 1 and 2 in this Top 10 list. By targeting specific types of businesses, you can then make your firm the new go-to place for whatever it is those businesses do. You could be known as the best bookkeeper for restaurants, or the accountancy firm that knows everything about the gardening trade. This will of course increase the likelihood your clients will refer similar businesses in the same industry to you.
One firm that has managed to do this successfully is Gains Accountants. Find out how Phool Ashraf found her niche serving the restaurant industry with cloud account-based accounting here.
9. Network at industry and business events
We have one of our accountants attend a Business Network International (BNI) each week which generates work for us.Jamie Dorney, Haines Watts
Business International networking events are a great way not only to network, but also gain confidence in talking about what you do as a business. Are you closing the books or are you leading the way in cloud accounting? It’s all about your narrative.
Speak to local industry event organisers to find out when the next meeting is being arranged so you can start to build relationships and get referred.
10. Up your social media game
Social media is a good source of new clients, like being engaged in business groups and on Facebook.Lee Duffield, All In Advisory
Now, we’re not suggesting you spend all day on Snapchat or Instagram, but a touch of social media can do wonders for your brand image. Whether it’s sharing relevant content for SME owners or even giving a sneak-peek into
If you already are, great, but if you’re not you could be missing out on lots of prospective work. Once you’ve found your niche you can stay active in the relevant online communities, whether it’s on industry message boards, Facebook groups, Twitter or LinkedIn. It’s an easy way to ask and answer quickly and in an open forum where you can speak to thousands of people at one time.
So there you have it. Our Top 10 ways to win new clients is complete.
For more content like this, join the discussion on our global partner community Orange Select. Dext partners across the world share their best practices on everything from automation and workflows to workplace wellbeing.