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How to stand out from your bookkeeping competition

Bookkeeping prospects have a lot of choices. There are bookkeepers everywhere.

Unfortunately, you can find some of them on websites where they advertise low rates to attract more clients (I’m angrily shaking my fist at you Fiverr.com!). 

With that in mind, how do you compete? What makes you stand out? Why should someone pay you more than another bookkeeper?

If you haven’t thought about it, here’s a strategy to consider: become a recognized expert. Why is this important? When prospects see you as the respected authority, they’ll be more open to trusting you with their money because of the successful work you’ve done in the past.

So, how do you become a recognized expert?

On The Successful Bookkeeper podcast, I interviewed branding thought leader, Dorie Clark, who’s worked with Google, Microsoft and Yale University, looking for some ideas.

But, before I get to that, you need to figure out what makes you unique. One of the strategies Clark uses is the three-word exercise. Over the course of a week, reach out to six people who know you really well. Ask them if they can describe you in three words and why they chose them. 

Most of us have a real blind spot about ourselves, so we don’t know what’s really distinct about us. Asking others can provide you insight into what makes you unique to drive your competitive advantage.

Once you figure out what your expertise is, you’ll need to let people know about it.

Here are some ways to do it:

  • Content: Create content so the wider world can see your ideas (i.e., blogs). Once people start consuming your content, that will make the sales process easier because you’ll have an audience that knows, likes and trusts you.
  • Social proof: Find known brands, companies or influencers to associate with, so, in people’s minds, you’re already vetted by those recognizable entities. That establishes credibility.
  • Your network: Let your friends, family and colleagues know what you’re up to. They could be your referrals that could lead to introductions to new prospects.

Getting back to creating content, Clark’s suggestions for bookkeepers are:

  • They can start blogging regularly for a business publication.
  • They can co-author a blog or article with one of their clients on how to operate their businesses better, so the client and her bookkeeper can receive publicity.

Since not everyone is a writer, Clark also recommends podcasts, talks and video.

In fact, you can conduct an interview series on ways to improve businesses overall, how to make a business owner’s life better and so on. You can interview your clients and/or people you’d love to have as your clients.

Overall, Clark says you have to find a way to share ideas. Discover what works for you. Clark emphasizes that creating content is a long game – you won’t see results right away.

This is why you have to create success milestones for yourself so that when you achieve them, you can celebrate each one. It’s easy to get down because things are not happening as quickly as you’d like, but as long as you keep moving in the right direction, you’ll be on track.

You just need to be consistent, persistent and patient. Once that happens, you’ll not only be a trusted and recognized expert, but you’ll also have a lot more clients knocking on your door.

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