When you operate your own business, one of your most important functions is finding leads and landing new clients. As a virtual bookkeeper, you can tap into a large pool of clients from across the country. Since your consultations and work can be completed virtually, you can work for small businesses far outside your geographical area — as long as you know how to get virtual bookkeeping clients.
Digital marketing, community building, and networking tools can help any virtual bookkeeper find new clients, regardless of how much or how little experience you have. In this article, we’ll cover:
- Digital marketing strategies for generating leads
- Tools that build your credibility and trust in the process
- How to convert leads into clients
Find more clients for your bookkeeping, hiring, or virtual assistant services.
Why you should find new virtual bookkeeping clients
If you’re just starting out, your first clients are the key to building your business. When you provide them with excellent service at a reasonable price, you start to build your reputation. Digital marketing tools help you land these crucial early clients.
When your business is more established and you have long-term clients, you should still spend time marketing. Regularly generating new leads keeps you busy when your regular clients aren’t throwing you much business. Diversifying your customer base also helps you build a reliable revenue stream.
Strategies for generating leads
There’s a wide range of free and affordable online tools you can use to create a buzz around your business.
One of the most successful tools at your disposal for lead generation is your network. Redo your LinkedIn page to communicate to your professional network that you are looking for clients. Use your “about” statement to highlight your areas of expertise and pinpoint the types of clients you serve.
Being detailed about your business objectives in your bio helps you connect to people who are looking for a virtual bookkeeper. A number of small business owners are active on LinkedIn, and they might need your services. Using key phrases in your bio helps you pop up in their searches.
Stay active in various industry groups as well. Sharing bookkeeping tips and contributing to group discussions helps keep you at the top of people’s minds when they know someone who might need your services.
According to GoRemotely, 43% of small business owners prefer hiring freelancers for a variety of tasks. Many business owners post their open jobs on recruiting websites like Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Fiverr, Upwork, and others. These boards are a potentially untapped resource for finding new leads.
Use these and other freelance job boards to look for companies hiring virtual bookkeepers. Find the companies who match your desired projects and rates, and send them your information. Even if you don’t get the job, you have a new contact in your network. Keep in touch in case any new projects come up.
You can also use these boards to see who is hiring for an in-house bookkeeper and pitch these businesses. Prepare an engaging elevator pitch about the benefits of using a virtual bookkeeper over hiring someone to work for the company.
Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising for bookkeepers. You are a person who is in charge of sensitive information, and it’s important to keep books organized for a variety of reasons. Your clients need accurate books to file taxes, apply for business loans, audits, compliance purposes, and more. You need to be credible and trustworthy.
There is nobody better to communicate your skills and professionalism to new clients than those already working with you. Some methods for encouraging your clients to give you a referral include:
- Add a call to action in your email signature stating that you welcome referrals
- Ask clients for testimonials whenever you finish a project
- Offer a referral incentive and post about it to your social networks — one way to get people to talk about your company is to offer them a discount when they send business your way. You could offer existing clients a reduced rate on your services if their referral hires you.
Tools to build your credibility and trust in the process
Since bookkeepers work with sensitive information, some business owners may be hesitant to hire someone operating virtually. As their bookkeeper, you have access to their account numbers, client information, and other data that could be used dishonestly. Using the following tools establishes you as credible and trustworthy and helps make small business owners more confident about virtual bookkeepers.
Offer to write guest blogs about relevant topics to your clients. If you have preferred clients, offer to author financial posts for their blog. Find a way to make the topic relevant to their industry, so their customers will read the post. Not only are you providing content for their clientele but also building awareness about your brand.
Look for other partner organizations and pitch blog topics that will establish you as an expert. You can contact small business administrations to see if they need posts geared toward small business owners. Other resources include professional organizations and other financial service providers.
Along with blogs, you can use your other content to set yourself up as the expert in your field. Posting content like social media posts, videos, infographics, and others helps to inform your customers while showcasing your expertise. Posting helpful and informative content can also make you and the virtual bookkeeping process seem less daunting to your clients.
Converting prospects into paying clients
All of the resources above can drive clicks to your website, but now you have to convert your prospects into clients. Not every person who ends up contacting you or clicking on your website is going to use you for bookkeeping services, but there are steps you can take to improve your conversion rate.
Even if your prospects aren’t ready to hire you now, building a relationship with them can help you convert them down the line. When people contact you, take note of their particular interests and regularly follow up with personalized messages. You can also use your social network to interact with your followers, building a relationship.
Run a segmented ad campaign
Once you’ve built your contact list, split it into segments and start running sponsored ads on social media sites, including LinkedIn and Facebook. Both of these platforms have tools that let you create targeted ads. You can segment your targets based on age, industry, interests, and a variety of other factors.
If you’re using analytics to track your content marketing, you probably have an idea of which topics resonate with your potential clients. Build your ads around targeted keywords related to popular topics. Both Facebook and LinkedIn operate from a bid-based pricing system, so you can set your price based on your desired number of impressions.
Try out various messages and track them against each other to see which ones are more successful at driving sales. If you’re not sure where to start, try Constant Contact’s Facebook Ads tool.
Now that you have some tools to land virtual bookkeeping clients, it’s time to get started. The best place to start is by revamping your website and your LinkedIn page since these are two common tools clients might use to find you.
When your online presence is consistent, start posting high-quality content and interacting with groups to showcase your credibility. Then, target your most successful segments with advertising that speaks to them and watch your clientele grow.
For more online marketing tips, check out The Download, a free guide to digital marketing.