INSIDE: Wondering how to get bookkeeping clients from home? In this article, we'll cover the difference between virtual bookkeeping business and a remote bookkeeping job and the best ways to advertise your business should you decide to go that route.
In recent years, many members of the work-from-home community have found success in the online bookkeeping industry.
This online profession doesn’t necessarily require any formal training though you certainly need a passion for numbers and a keen eye for detail.
This can be a stressful gig. You are helping with the upkeep of another business’s most intimate details – their finances. But, it can also be very rewarding and lucrative. When done correctly, you will inevitably become an important part of another entrepreneur’s team.
One aspect of running a service-based business that most people struggle with is finding clients. There is a lot of competition in the online world and it can be hard to break through the noise and make yourself stand out. Today, we’re sharing a few tips to acquiring new CPA and bookkeeping clients.
Virtual Bookkeeping Business vs. Remote Bookkeeping Job
Your first step in acquiring work as a new virtual bookkeeper is to determine whether you will be in business yourself or go the more traditional route of finding a telecommuting job.
With a “job,” you will most likely be working with a single company as an employee. They do the marketing and onboarding of clients. They assign you projects or clients to work with. There are several companies that routinely hire for remote accounting jobs and even seasonal tax preparer jobs.
While employee positions vs independent contractor positions come with certain perks, ex. Steady work, benefits, employer-remitted income tax, there is often a trade-off. That trade-off is usually freedom – freedom to set your own schedule, freedom to choose who you will work with, freedom to set your own rates.
For that reason, many people choose to start their own virtual bookkeeping businesses. If you are willing to give up some of that job security in exchange for more freedom and personal satisfaction, below are a few tips to getting clients as a freelance bookkeeper.
Our best tips for how to get bookkeeping clients from home
Assuming you want to go the business route, the rest of this article will shed some light on how to get bookkeeping clients from home. Let's dig in…
Tips for creating a website to attract bookkeeping clients
Your first step to attracting bookkeeping clients is to establish that online presence. This can be a simple, single-page website that introduces you to visitors, shares your mission statement, has your contact information, and lists the services you offer. This will allow you to send interested parties to a place where they can learn more about you. You can include this URL on business cards, your email signature, social media profile bios and more.
How to advertise your bookkeeping services to potential clients
It can be hard at first to put yourself out there and know how to get bookkeeping clients from home. You may not have a portfolio of client testimonials. It may be your first time working with a remote client altogether. The harsh reality, however, is that you can’t simply put up a website and wait for clients to come to you. It may never happen. You have to hustle. You have to spread the word.
That being said, simply throwing spaghetti at the wall anywhere and everywhere online isn’t going to work either. You need to determine your ideal client:
- Within what industry would you like to work?
- What size of business are you comfortable working with?
- How many hours would you like to devote to each client per month?
- What bookkeeping service or services are they needing?
- Do they have a budget?
- What do they sell?
- Where are they located?
- What can you bring to the table?
- What are their values?
By asking yourself these questions, you can narrow down exactly where you want to spend your time and/or money marketing. You don’t have a minute to spare if you want to succeed. Cut straight to the chase!
Best places to advertise your bookkeeping services
Once you have your website setup and you know who you want to work with, you are ready to start reaching out to people. Let's look at the best places to advertise, which is one of the easiest ways to know how to get bookkeeping clients from home.
I always recommend reaching out to your personal connections and local community first. These are people with whom you may already have trust and rapport. And a small business owner is often more willing to trust someone locally if they are outsourcing for the first time.
Let your first know that you have started your own business doing bookkeeping from home and are looking for clients. Ask if they may know any small businesses in need of accounting assistance. Go to local business networking meetups. Stop in and shake hands with your small business neighbors.
Teach a Class
A great way to introduce yourself to potential clients and show your expertise is to teach. Many community colleges, business organizations and even libraries will open their classrooms to those with knowledge to share. Offer to teach a basic bookkeeping course to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Those who decide their books are just too much to take on themselves may be willing to pay for your services.
Start a Referral Program
When it comes to knowing how to get bookkeeping clients from home, the best place to look is to your existing clients. Perhaps they have been around the small local business world for a while and know more business owners who need your services. Offer a small reward or discount for referring new clients your way.
Paid Online Advertising
If you have maxxed out your personal connections, it may be time to consider paid online advertising. This can be done via Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. While this may seem like a quick and easy route, that often isn’t the case.
You first need to be very granular with who you are showing your ads to or you could end up spending a lot of money and seeing no return. You also have to remember bookkeeping clients are letting you into the most intimate part of their business – their finances. This requires a lot of trust. Trust that may not be attainable through an online advertisement from a stranger.
If you want to dip your foot into this pool, do so carefully, with a budget and with some training.
How to use social media effectively to network for potential clients
Just because social media advertising might not be right for your new bookkeeping or accounting firm, that does not mean you should avoid it entirely. Social media marketing can be a great place to connect with a prospective client. You can use your social media channel to share timely tips and resources. It should be a place to share your expertise with a potential client, however, not just spam your target audience.
Final thoughts about how to get bookkeeping clients from home
I hope you have picked up a few ideas that will help you on the road to a successful bookkeeping and accounting practice. It takes a lot of hard work and hustle to connect with a potential customer, but it’s worth it when you can take that relationship to the next step.