Finding new clients for bookkeeping can be difficult, especially at the beginning. However, there are plenty of resources out there to help you get your first client onboard. The methods below are a great way to get your first client and to create a lead generation plan for your business. In this guide, we cover:

  • Picking a niche
  • Identifying your ideal client
  • Asking for referrals
  • Creating a website
  • Applying on job sites
  • Using social media
  • Creating content
  • Hosting or attending events

Pick a niche

Do you have experience in a specific topic or industry? By focusing on a niche, you will be able to stand out from the crowd. When you target a particular sector, you can become the go-to bookkeeper for a company looking for an accountant specific to their industry.

For example, do you specialise in taxation for estate agents? If you do, then you will appeal a lot more than someone offering a general bookkeeping service. 

Identify your ideal client

Once you have your niche picked, it’s time to decide who your ideal client is. The key to acquiring your first client is to identify who you want them to be. You can specify your perfect client by asking yourself the following:

  • What is their industry?
  • What size is their company?
  • How do they communicate?
  • What services can I offer them?
  • How do they communicate?

By narrowing down your ideal client as much as possible, you’re making it easier to target them and speak to them more directly. The more specific you can make the questions, the better. 

Referrals

Referrals can come in many different forms. A great way of getting more referrals is by asking current clients, other professionals, family and friends. 

  • Clients: One of the best ways to get new clients is to incentivise your current ones to make referrals. If your existing customer gets a discount or a freebie, they will be extra motivated to sing your praises to their friends and acquaintances.
  • Family and friends: Your family and friends might not know exactly what your services are, but they most likely know other business owners. You can tell them to casually bring up that you offer bookkeeping services to businesses like theirs. You never know where it might lead. The more people that know about your business, the better.     

Create a website

Having a place where potential customers can find you and see your services easily is crucial for any business. A website is the easiest way to do it. Creating a website doesn’t have to be complicated either. You can use a simple website builder like Wix or Squarespace and have a website set up in under an hour. The main components of a basic website are your:

  • ‘Home’ page
  • ‘Services’ page
  • ‘About’ page 
  • ‘Contact’ page

For more on setting up a website for your business, you can check out this guide. The goal of your website should be to make it easy for people to book a free consultation with you so you can tell them about your business. One great way to do this is the Calendly app – block off some time during the week and keep it free for sales calls. 

Apply on job sites

You can easily find more potential clients by looking on different job sites, such as Indeed and Glassdoor, to see the companies that are hiring bookkeepers. Some benefits for companies to hire bookkeepers on a contract include:

  • More cost-effective in the long run
  • Less time onboarding compared to a new employee
  • They don’t have to provide you with employee benefits or schemes

Use social media

Social media is a great way to meet new people and to find business owners. Of course, some social media sites are better than others, but it’s good to pick two or three and have a good profile and presence on them. These are two of the best ones to get started with:

  • Linkedin: This social media platform is all about business. Create a good profile that will attract prospective clients. You can also keep in touch with other professionals and ask them for a referral, and in return, you will refer them. The best way to build a brand on Linkedin is through content that brings value to customers, e.g. helpful bookkeeping tips or guides. 
  • Facebook: This is another great social networking site that will help you find clients. You will be able to set up your business’ page, join local groups, post about your services and ask for recommendations. While Facebook is more informal than Linkedin, you would be surprised by the number of businesspeople looking for help. 

You can learn more about using social media to promote your business here

Create content

Creating content on your website and for social media is a great way to become well-known. You can do this by writing blog posts, making short videos and posting on social media. All of this will contribute to you being a thought leader in the industry. When someone is looking for a bookkeeping service, they’ll think of you. Some ideas for original content creation include:

  • Blog posts on your website
  • Infographics and images to post on social media
  • Videos on YouTube, Linkedin or Facebook
  • A free ebook for your website
  • Case studies on previous successful clients
  • Content for paid ads on social media

Hosting or attending events

One of the best ways to promote your business pre-Covid was to go to trade shows. As things slowly open back up, you should consider attending these events as they are great for networking and meeting potential clients. 

You could also host or attend an online event known as a webinar. Webinars are online lectures or videos that people can either watch live or recorded in their own time. Again, this is a great way to showcase your knowledge and a great way to generate leads. 

Use software that helps you and your clients

Countingup’s free accounting software has been built specifically to help practices manage self-employed and sole trader clients. While your clients get an excellent value business current account with in-built accounting software, you can save your practice time on manual admin. 

Countingup helps your clients keep organised records so that you receive structured data in real time. The MTD-compatible software enables you to review and manage accounts efficiently, with direct access to clients’ real-time organised data. 

To keep your own records in good shape when you’re starting a business, the Countingup business current account and accounting app will help you automates the time-consuming aspects of bookkeeping, with features including automatic expense categorisation, instant invoicing and more – so that you can focus on growing your business. Find out more here.

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