How to Successfully Market Your Bookkeeping Business
In previous posts, we talked about leveraging technology and implementing fixed fee pricing. These two strategies combine in a powerful way to help bookkeepers earn more and work less.
I consider money to be a good thing. I willingly trade my time, energy and skills to clients in exchange for their money. My efforts help businesses to succeed. My personal mission is to help as many businesses succeed as possible. I am not discounting doing charitable work. My business is about business. If I run my business well, I can also give back in many ways.
Growing or Dying?
Each and every business is either growing or dying; we are either adding new clients or losing clients. The status quo is fleeting and unrealistic. Bookkeepers can lose clients for any number of reasons. Clients move, sell, go out of business, outgrow us or take their bookkeeping in-house to cut costs. Regardless of the reason, we need to replace lost clients if we want to grow. Assuming you have embraced technology and fixed price agreements, you will soon have ample room for growth.
Marketing Doesn’t Work
Many bookkeepers tell me that marketing doesn’t work or they don’t need it because they get all of their new clients from referrals.
I find that those who do not think that marketing works are often doing it wrong. They try buying mass media advertisements and then complain when they do not see new clients from their efforts.
Telling Your Story
The good news is that successful marketing is easier to do now than ever before. We can use the power of the Internet to produce remarkable results with little or no cost – we only need to invest time and effort.
To clarify, marketing is all about telling your business’ story in a compelling way to engage your ideal clients. At a minimum, your business needs to do the following to produce effective marketing results:
- Identify your ideal client
- Create a marketing plan
- Take action
Identify Your Ideal Client
Sadly, many bookkeepers believe that good clients are hard to find, so they often take any client. Like attracts like, so be forewarned that difficult clients who don’t value you will generally refer other difficult clients. Knowing who your ideal client is drastically improves your chances of getting good referrals. Also, a well-defined ideal client profile allows you to write your marketing story for a specific audience.
Define the unique characteristics that represent your ideal client. Are they defined by niche, geography, industry, age, gender, educational background or something else? A narrow focus will give you better results than a general description. Your marketing should identify and solve the business challenges that your ideal client faces.
Create a Marketing Plan
Once you identify your ideal client, do some research to find out where they congregate online and in person. A one- or two-page marketing plan should be sufficient to identify who you want to reach and how you will reach them. You should address at least the following key questions in your marketing plan:
- Who is my ideal client?
- What business pain do they have?
- Can I solve their business pain?
- Can I leverage Social Media to reach my audience? How? Which platforms are best?
- What live events do my ideal clients attend?
- What is my business story?
Marketing requires consistent effort and constant attention. Find ways to reach out and interact with your ideal client, both online and in the real world. Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Your ideal client will find you.
The third secret, marketing, gives you the opportunity to engage your ideal clients by telling a compelling story about your business. A solid marketing plan can help you grow your business predictably and reliably.
Join us in Calgary on March 31, 2016, for our live full-day event, “Secrets to Earning More and Working Less,” if you want to learn how to engage ideal clients through marketing. You can get full details here.
In my next post, we will cover secret 4, developing client relationships through a deliberate sales process.