Building a new accounting firm or expanding an existing one is hard work. At the same time, growing your client base is essential to your success. The best way to find and win new clients is to create a proactive strategy. But where do you start?
Join us and explore how to find clients for your accounting firm as we go over the following topics:
- Define your ideal clients
- Partner with other qualified professionals
- Learn to network efficiently
- Ask your clients for referrals
- Use your social media channels effectively
- Attend or host speaking engagements
- Leverage modern technology
Define your ideal clients
Before you start hunting for new clients, take time to figure out what kind of clients you want to target. Look at your firm’s existing client base and note where your clients come from, what industries they operate in, and the size of their companies. Also look at what services you currently offer that might be a good fit for prospective clients.
Defining your ideal client will help you determine how to explain your services, value proposition, and niche. It’s not always financial factors that put a prospect on the list. Perhaps you want clients who share the same values as you, like saving the environment or promoting inclusivity. It’s also important to investigate where your target clients spend time online, which we’ll explain more about in a later section.
The important thing is that you know who you’re targeting before you start chasing new clients. Looking for clients in your area of expertise, such as retail accounting or accounting for small businesses, could be a natural and profitable direction to go in.
Partner with other qualified professionals
Since your clients may already use other professional services, like legal, investment, technology or recruitment services, consider partnering with a qualified professional in one of those fields.
A great way to find new clients is by establishing or improving your business alliances with other trusted professionals like lawyers or software providers. These people can help you serve your clients more effectively, and they can benefit from your accounting expertise for their clients.
You can also recommend each other to your existing client bases. Just make sure whoever you partner with isn’t a direct competitor. You don’t want to compete for the same clients, offering the same services.
Learn to network efficiently
Networking events are also an excellent way to meet new people, although face-to-face ones may not be possible at the moment.
However, when we can start attending events in person again, make sure you prepare before you go. Find out what you can about the host and the attendees and think about what your firm brings to the table. This background work will help you determine who to approach, and to highlight your strengths that will interest them.
Ask your clients for referrals
Almost no one is a better salesperson for your firm than a satisfied client. Research shows that 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know, and B2B companies experience a 70% higher conversion rate with client referrals.
Your clients interact with other individuals and businesses besides yourself, and their recommendation of your firm adds value to your reputation. However, take a proactive approach to client referrals and ask them to help spread the word about your firm. Ask for a testimonial that you can put on your website.
Some firms use a referral rewards program where clients receive defined discounts or benefits in exchange for a referral. Why not give it a try?
Use your social media channels effectively
You can’t reach new clients if you hang out in the wrong areas. For example, if your prospective clients are more active on LinkedIn but ignore Twitter, constantly tweeting about this or that is pointless.
Whether it’s email outreach, LinkedIn posts or live webinars, the best way to find new clients is to be active in the same areas they are. If you don’t know where your clients and prospects spend time online, ask them.
The key to social networking is to be part of the conversation, participating frequently and commenting when appropriate. Although, simply answering comments by offering your services will probably turn off potential clients and risk damaging your brand reputation.
Instead, focus on offering value to your clients in your comments and posts. Share your expertise about financial topics like bookkeeping, analysing data, or accounting best practices. Creating posts and posting comments that share advice and tips that the audience can make use of will make them more likely to engage with your firm.
Attend or host speaking engagements
Have you ever been to a conference or attended a webinar where a speaker inspired you? Speaking engagements can be an incredibly powerful tool.
Even if you’re new to the field, there’s no reason you can’t make a lasting impression. Have a look at speaking events that your clients might be interested in and try to get a slot at the event. If you get a speaking slot, be sure to prepare a presentation and points that will inspire your audience.
Storytelling is a great way to communicate your ideas. Well-told stories are interesting, inspiring and invite your prospects to hire you without actually saying the words.
Leverage modern technology
These days, almost every company has moved online, especially in the past year. Technology is booming with new solutions for streamlining financial processes like invoice categorisation, bookkeeping and client onboarding.
If digital collaboration with clients is already second nature at your firm, you’re well placed to serve new clients to the standard they’ll expect. Why not opt for accounting software that has added benefits for clients’ businesses too?
Help your clients succeed with Countingup
Save your practice time on manual admin and help your clients keep organised records with Countingup’s free accounting software. Our software is full of features for accountants to review and manage client accounts efficiently, prepare journals and client taxes accurately with direct access to their real-time organised data. Find out more here.