How to Start a Bookkeeping BusinessThis is a bookkeepers dream resource that provides real, super practical and long term ways to get bookkeeping clients
I’d encourage you to bookmark this and come back to it periodically because it's a BIG article, with MANY different pieces.
Here are 6 marketing strategies we’ve found really work to get more bookkeeping clients, particularly higher retainer business clients that really need bookkeeping and accounting services.
You can jump down to the list if you want, but here’s a little bit of introduction.
Most bookkeepers are really good at accounting & bookkeeping, but they struggle to find new clients for the bookkeeping business and they also struggle to run meetings, convey value, and attract high retainers for their bookkeeping services.
I want to share with you 6 things you should do to get more bookkeeping clients for your bookkeeping business.
We’re a web design, advertising and website copywriting company that helps small businesses of all sizes get setup online and fill their sales funnel.
We build websites and funnels for bookkeeping businesses and we’ll tackle all the stuff and more that I’m going to share with you.
How can you get more bookkeeping clients? The easiest bookkeeper client acquisition approach is to lay some foundations and deploy a little bit of everything.
Our approach to getting more bookkeeping clients involves a couple of marketing strategies, and is meant to lay a strong foundation that will progressively increase the number of bookkeeping client leads you get, so that the numbers work in your favor.
The most important thing for most bookkeepers, is to build a high converting website and then work to generate enough prospects, that they’ll be able to get lots of high retainer bookkeeping clients.
You won’t be able to get lots of bookkeeping clients if you don’t get enough high quality leads, and there’s a couple ways to do that.
Here are 6 ways to get more bookkeeping clients for your bookkeeping business.
The first step is to start catching folks that are already looking for bookkeeping services.
People actually search "bookkeepers near me" if you can believe it, and you can get in on that action.
You want to intersect with folks that are searching for a bookkeeper, need a bookkeeping service or use google to find “bookkeepers for small business” And other key words like that.
The good news is, Google provides you with a simple and yet ultra effective platform to attract bookkeeping clients.
Your Google business profile will help you immensely in your pursuit intersecting with potential bookkeeping clients.
The first thing you need to do is setup a Google Business Profile for your bookkeeping business.
LISTEN CAREFULLY and heed my advice.
Google provides you with the local search results to rank for keywords that your bookkeeping clients will be searching.
Nearly every keyword that bookkeeping clients are searching, drives the local map pack.
The first way to get more bookkeeping clients is to get your google business profile setup, make sure it’s accurately setup and optimized, and then get EVERY person that trusts you or has worked with you, to leave you a review.
Once you setup your Google Business, you can simply go to google, search your name, and then hit the “get more reviews” button.
Google will then give you a link that you can text and email to people, and they can easily provide a review.
People don’t need to be former clients to ask them for a review, you could go to former co-workers, friends, and even family.
Get all the people that trust you give you a review, and you’ll be on your way to popping up in a prominent way to every local business owner looking for a bookkeeper.
Don’t pigeonhole yourself by forgetting about other keywords as you do this.
Remember, you’re trying to get bookkeeping clients, but many people think of you as an accountant, and I think that bookkeepers owe into themselves to develop into an accounting and tax firm, that can provide a stack of services that I call the “outsourced accountant model”.
When you’re building up your google reviews in order to rank as a bookkeeping business, you’ll want to consider getting your business to rank for keywords around accounting, tax, CPA, and even payroll.
So before I move on to the other ideas to get bookkeeping clients, I want to provide you with some real insight.
Don’t screw around here when it comes to reviews.
Make sure you’re an aware person while you do this.
Unaware people aren’t in tune with how they’re perceived, and might end up asking for reviews from people they have no business asking reviews for.
Don’t be afraid, but be aware enough to recognize that if someone keeps ignoring your request for a review, it could be they don’t really want to give a review.
Ask everyone and be persistent, but also be an aware person.
I hate when people think 2-5 reviews is enough.
Your bookkeeping business won’t get more bookkeeping clients if you can’t get 20-50 reviews eventually.
If you struggle, you have a bigger problem - a credibility problem.
You need to do work and deliver results to people over time to build up your credibility online, but it’s always really hard when you’re starting from scratch.
You’ll start attracting more bookkeeping clients when you have about 15 or so reviews. There’s some sort of magic in our psychology when people notice more than 15 reviews that shows you’re not some new business (even if you are)
Your goal should be to get more than 15 reviews at first, and then I want you to shoot for that 50-60 reviews.
By working on local SEO and trying to get local bookkeeping clients, you do NOT have to meet anyone in person. Set the expectation that you’re high protein enough that you need to work remotely and via zoom or Google Meetings.
I have tons of local clients here in the Twin Cities region, and I RARELY meet my clients in person.
By trying to rank for local bookkeeping keywords with your google business, you will NOT have to meet in person.
What this does, is help you take advantage of Google’s advantage they’ve given your bookkeeping business.
You CAN jump to the front of the line within a 20-50 mile radius around your area if you do things right.
This is just the beginning of using inbound strategies to attract and close bookkeeping clients, but the start is to setup a business profile for your bookkeeping business and then get as many reviews as you can muster.
If you’re just starting and you don’t have any bookkeeping clients to approach, work really hard on getting character reference reviews.
“I was wondering if you could help me. I’m trying to get more google reviews for my new business and I was wondering if you could give me a character reference review? Help people know that I’m a trustworthy person, and say something like “I’ve worked with Rob for years, and I completely trust him and have seen how he works - completely recommend him and trust him! Thanks so much”.
If you really want a bookkeeping business and you want to grow it into something substantial - you’ll definitely want all the advantages that lots of reviews will provide you.
Creating a dominating google business profile is the PRIMARY starting point for a new bookkeeping business, because it:
So, Setup the profile, get more reviews, get character reference reviews and then do ALL SORTS of work in the beginning to get reps and build up reviews.
The last thing I’ll touch on is that you should also do lots and lots of side gig work, lower cost work, and any type of work so that you can build up reviews.
Reviews and credibility in general, are something you’ll build up over time, and I can’t emphasize enough how valuable it is to remember that sometimes the best payoff in a small client isn’t necessarily the financial side, but the small bit of long-term promotion you get form that client providing a google review.
I built two businesses by starting my pricing at free, and working up to very high price tags, all in an effort to build my own internal conviction that I was valuable, but also to build up small wins along the way that develops credibility on the web.
If you don’t have any clients and nobody trusts you yet, then you need to focus on credibility and doing side work so you can become credible. In fact, you should probably get a job in another accounting firm or someone else’s bookkeeping business until you can get results and be in a position to start building credibility.
So the first strategy to getting more bookkeeping clients and selling more bookkeeping services, is to setup a google business profile and then develop it with more reviews and credibility.
But that’s just the start..
Besides setting up a google business profile and getting reviews for your bookkeeping business, you’ll also want to setup all your social profiles.
Even if you don’t intend on using social media, you need to setup social profiles and real business pages on the major systems.
You’ll need to make sure that you have consistent naming and titling of your business on all these profiles, and then you will want to ensure that your contact information is identical across all of them.
We need to make sure that you use a title consistently across your website, Google my business, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter.
Your LLC business name does not need to match identically to the title that you use in your bookkeeping business.
Anthony Price CPA Tax and Accounting.
Barber Bookkeeping and Accounting
Create a title you’ll use as your business name, open a DBA if you’re really out of shape about marketing a name slightly different than name registered at the state, and then write that name precisely as the title in your business.
The principle is to have precise and consistent naming, address, phone number, and titles on all your “citations” or your profiles no the internet.
Yes, you need to set these up because of two reasons: First, you’ll be able to use them to access millions of people, and second, it helps with SEO big time.
You will want to set up all these social media profiles for your business because if someone ever does a branded search, the type of search were they actually type in your business name into Google, you will want to fill up the first couple of pages with all the profiles that you use.
In the grand scheme of things, we are trying to tell search engines that you are a business, that you solve problems, and we need to stand out amongst the trillions of webpages across the entire Internet.
Setting up business profiles and filling them out completely on every social platform has become one of the core SEO starting points that will help your business stand out in search engines, besides give you all the other benefits of marketing on social media.
One way search engines will know your bookkeeping business is active, doing work, and isn’t spam, is by having social profiles and investing a bit into posting on them.
So yes, you should use social media for your business, and I would open them all.
The main thing I want you to know is that you should absolutely open up a page on each of the following social media platforms, and then you should abide by some principles.
A It’s the foundation of Digital marketing. It’s your access point to millions of people.
Again, make sure that you have a consistent naming structure, fill them out completely, and then put their links in the footer of your website and on your about page.
The first thing to do to get bookkeeping clients is to setup your google and social profiles and invest in getting reviews.
You need a business website, and you can’t overvalue social media.
Social media will betray you, and with the exception of YouTube, they generally lead to less profitable and lower grade businesses.
The fact of the matter is that when people want to solve a problem, they usually will take to Google in order to find a solution.
Google is simply a gateway to your website, and you will need to ensure that your website does an excellent job of converting visitors into customers.
Here at Feedbackwrench, we specialize in websites for bookkeeping companies from simple to advanced.
Google use your website, YouTube, and your Google business profile to answer queries that your potential bookkeeping clients ask.
Social media can certainly be leveraged to engage with prospective bookkeeping clients and small businesses, and you can even use it to engage in a powerful and meaningful way to get more customers. A problem with social media, particularly Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, is that it now requires massive time investments and content creation in order to show up in front of people, and then they're usually in a mindless state compared to a solution minded mindset
The problem with social media is that people are not thinking about solutions while they are using it, they are mindlessly scrolling.
As of 2022, social media also rewards things like reels and shorts, which have an even shorter attention span and tend to lead to even fewer business results.
What it takes to show up in a social media feed is often antithetical to what it takes to have somebody take a step with your business.
In short, I recommend that you are careful about investing too much time into social media compared to your website, Google business profile, and YouTube channel.
What most important webpages for your business? Your website, YouTube channel and Google business profile.
Let’s just say there’s a reason why Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are facing massive declines.
Don't overvalue social media posting, because organic reach is not likely to occur easily so lean into paid.
You might challenge me on that and think that social media is absolutely where you will get good clients, and I'm not saying you're completely wrong. You can certainly leverage Instagram, TickTock and LinkedIn to get clients, but I find that the RRY can be challenging unless you simply stick to creating excellent content.
Eating content that's helpful, positions you as a guide, and is then shared across all platforms is the core to succeeding on social media.
Here are a couple of reasons that I think social media activity for your business should be controlled and you shouldn’t spend too much time posting and trying to get “reach”.
First off, social media giants notoriously play games with it’s algorithms and it rewards bottom of the barrel trends and activities. The platform is not going to reward you because generally speaking, you're trying to feed people broccoli and help them to what's good for them. People are generally in a mindless state on social media, or they might get involved in their passions and curiosities, but they're not generally ready to take a lot of action and social media has an incredibly short lifespan.
The reason why social media betrays you is because every post you make has a very short lifespan and they play games with their algorithms so that it takes intense engagement in order to continuously show up in peoples feeds.
You'll also notice that social media has decided to play games in election processes and manipulation of reach. At the whims of a moderator or a fact checker, your entire profile can get shut down if you say the wrong thing about any group of people.
When you use Facebook, Instagram, TickTock or LinkedIn, you are beholden to their dictates and you do not have much freedom.
Second, social posts on Facebook, instagram and Tik Tok don’t do much of anything to help you show up in a google, Alexa or Bing Searches when people are looking to SOLVE PROBLEMS.
Last, you should know that social media for business is really setup to make you spend money on ads.
You can easily get most of the benefits of these platforms by simply running some advertising.
I bring all of us up because I see too many bookkeepers invest massive amounts of time into creating super creative charts, social media graphics, and social media posts only to have them disappear and never benefit them after about a week or two. Your social media has an incredibly short lifespan and shelflife, and I would only post enough to show up when people are looking at your profile. I find that it's most important to ensure that people see a good set of professional and helpful posts on your page when they stumble upon it while doing research during their “enlightenment sales stage” when they validate that you’re a good solution.
Social media can be a major resource hog and lead to very little business if you’re not careful.
Your Website on the other hand, is mission critical.
Your website, YouTube channel and google business profile are the most important marketing tools you’ll ever have if you wield them properly.
What does it take to make a website that ranks and sells fro your bookkeeping business.
A - All roads lead to your website
B - Google ignores anything remotely spammy or half done
C - It feeds your google my business
D - it will sell in the middle of the night for you.
Every single file on the Internet, email, video or thing you create on social media, will eventually lead to your website.
If you build a fantastic website, you will find that you simply get more bookkeeping clients.
There's no shortage of bookkeeping gurus making massive commissions off of landing page software as they tell their bookkeeping company clients to simply use click funnels, lead pages or other automated funnel systems.
Your business deserves an established and full fledged website so that you have a chance at developing an inbound search engine ranking machine.
Do not use clickfunnels and do not use leadpages, but instead establish a full-fledged and robust website as the foundation for your business .
You want to show up when people search on google, and leadpapges and click funnels will NOT do that.
In fact, even if you try to build a more thorough website and make some common mistakes, Google will ignore you because you do not appear as a professional business.
Google will ignore you if your website is spammy, does not have best practices, or is thinley produced
According Kugel's local search optimization guide, your overall SEO signals from your website and across the Internet, will determine how you rank in the local search results.
In other words, your Google profile and local ranking factors are derived from your website.
The more developed your website is, and the heavier you invest into content with professional best practices, you will get more local ranking power.
Your website can have every major conversation that you hoped to have in person, and it can do it in the middle of the night without any of your resources.
Any amount of selling or marketing that you would do in person should be replicated on your website and you should invest heavily into developing messaging and positioning that turns visitors into customers.
How to build a high converting website to get bookkeeping clients:
So are you build a high converting website, what is it that causes a website to not only rank on search engines, but to transform strangers into customers?
Let’s Dive into this more:
Your website should be professional, look authentic, and be of high caliber.
Your website should not look DIY, it should look professional.
Your website should be clean, have great padding, and work on all devices.
Besides working on all devices, it should have really intentional breakpoint User interfaces, so that it’s coherent and compelling on mobile and desktop.
Your website should NOT look like it was a template. You should use imagery of yourself, your team, and images that look professional but convey your core customer. Happy, smiling customers just like you’d hope to attract should be used on your site.
Your logo, typography, color palette and overall design should look great.
Your website should pass the grunt test. If I looked at your website for 8 seconds, could I quickly and easily share what you do, the problem you solve, and what I should to do take a step with you?
Messaging & positioning that’s focused on the customer and their problems (not you)
Your websites should pique curiosity that you’re a great solution for their problems.
Address their problems, and position yourself as a guide to helping them achieve a better future.
Don’t drone on about you, your story, your team, your services etc.
Your messaging should be focused on your customer, their problems and the way you make their life better.
Position you as the guide with empathy and authority:
You are the guide to a better future, and you need to use words, video and imagery to convey empathy and authority. Empathy that you understand their problems and what they’re facing, and authority that you can help them achieve solutions and better futures.
This is for another day, but I’ll share that there are 7 sections that your website should probably have and they’ll pick the locks of people’s minds if you do it right.
You’ll need to show off your google reviews, have a reviews page, and sprinkle happy customers all over your core pages.
When people see that you have a long line of excellent results, they’ll be much more likely to want to work with you.
Put reviews, testimonials, client photos and quotes on your website.
The icing on the cake that will help you convert more bookkeeping customers, is to have authoritative content that helps and adds value.
Give away free advice, teach them how to make their life better, answer the biggest questions in your industry, and then take that content and create sub-niche versions specifically made for their industry.
For example, you might have a blog and video that hits on how to lower taxes as a small business, but if you make some sub-niche versions of that content for contractors, remodelers, real estate agents and truckers, you’ll see that your audience will gravitate to it big time.
Besides that, if you start to speak on topics, teach people, and help others via content and video, people will get to know you and perceive you as authoritative.
So invest in content, podcasts, videos, and other pieces of content that positions you as an authority, and grow over time to hit on all sorts of sub niches so that more and more industries are covered.
Your website and content will help you sell, but one additional part on your website and remarketing will help you more than most - that’s a video sales letter.
Another tip we have when starting a bookkeeping business or virtual bookkeeping business, is to create a video sales letter.
A Video Sales Letter is a video you'll put on your website that will position yourself to potential clients, rather than requiring people to read all your website and advertising copy.
The third thing you should do is create a 45 -240 second video sales letter, that swiftly conveys all the messaging and positioning we mentioned in your website content.
People like to just hit play and not have to read, and a video can really help you convert that information swiftly.
Besides being able to succinctly convert what you offer, the problem you solve, and how you make their life better, people can get to know you a little bit, and that’s a good thing.
People buy from people, and the more you let folks get a feel for your personality, and help them see you as a great solution to their problems, the more likely they will be to convert with you.
Here are some tips:
Start out by quickly mentioning who you are, and the core services you offer.
Start out by quickly hooking the listener to let them know they’re in the right place, that you provide a solution and it’s for them.
People don’t listen until they know something is for them, and then they really don’t listen until they know what it’s about and how it will help them.
I always quickly get the intro done with, and jump right into their problem.
“Most business owners seriously overpay in taxes and waste a bunch of time using amateur bookkeepers or using typical accounting firms that don’t really work to advance your best interests”
That’s the core problem bookkeeping clients face and you solve?
“Which means you could be wasting 2,000 to $10,000 year in taxes, and you’re probably wasting time doing books that really you just mess up.”
We’re trying to position “the stakes,” or costs associated with DIY or lazy, reactive accountants.
“We’ll get your books setup to perfection, provide the highest caliber financial accounting each week, and help you do everything possible to reduce taxes”
“Just book a no-pressure tax and accounting analysis, and we’ll give you an honest second opinion about how you’re setup. We find overpaid taxes all the time, and when we’re done with you, you’ll keep more fo what you make and build financial statements your banker will love and you can actually scale and grow your business on. Head to Feedbackwrench.com to book a free tax and accounting analysis, or book now”
After you do that, you can add additional content after you have the main call to action, but that part should be done in a very succinct, 45-90 seconds.
You can keep going and give more after that for those that want to learn even more, but the key is to cover:
Video sales letters take the place of a cold call - you can send it to people through cold emails, and it will help you in SO many ways.
Use on your website - Everyone will have an opportunity to get to know you and hear how you make them thrive.
Use in cold emails & texts - You can easily use this, along with your CRM, to connect with people.
Use in social media messaging - These videos can be made into social media posts and advertising that really covers the core facets of how you help people..
Use Youtube Bumper Ads - You can use YouTube to do some amazing things.
To get more bookkeeping clients, you’ll want to create a video like I just described.
Alright, if you go to a service like Sales Genie, you can get a list of businesses leads that you can then professionally call on.
If you want a real business, you need to prospect.
The best clients find your from video, search, or in person calls/networking/referrals.
If you want a real business that has high retainer clients, then you’ll need to prospect.
I recommend that you simply introduce yourself to 10 people a day, 3 days a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Doing so will get you in front of 1500 people, and provide you with leads.
If 8% will take a step with you, and then a quarter of those become a customer, you’ll get about 30 customers from that.
Front end activity and VOLUME of clients is what will lead to good clientele, not “perfect marketing”.
If you call every contractor in your area and say “hey, I’m Katie and I own a bookkeeping business down the road, I was wondering if I could shoot you and email so you have my information if you ever need a bookkeeping company”, you’ll actually get good results.
Seriously, high protein companies are used to professional sales reps.
You can use Sales Genie to get Business contacts, and then use Hubspot to interact with them and keep track of things.
This is huge, you need to CREATE CONTENT on your website and YouTube channel.
If you answer questions, teach, and cover subject matter in a super thorough manner, you will become a massively successful bookkeeper.
You can create how to guides on Quickbooks, you can show how to import data from contractor software, you can show how to reduce taxes as an XYZ or whatever.
The key is you need to create content on your platforms so that people see you’re actually an authority.
Besides that, you need to get client reviews, video testimonials, and show off all the good street credibility you’re getting.
Ask your clients to send you videos saying you’ve helped them stay organized.
Ask them for a quote, use a form on your website and ask them for a tweet able quote.
Last, you need those google reviews and as you do this, you’ll get in position to dominate with SEO and people that see your content won’t be able to stay away.
You need to stay in front of the people who have been to your website.
One of our services here at Feedbackwrench is to help you deploy simple paid search advertising, lead magnet ads, video sales letter advertising and remarketing campaigns.
And we recommend starting with a paid search add around keywords like "bookkeepers near me, bookkeeping services, bookkeeping companies, accountants near me, accounting companies, business accountants, tax prep near me, business taxes near me, CPA near me etc.”
Then, you can use a lead magnet in remarketing to them.
Remark is when you serve up an ad on Facebook, YouTube, Google display and other platforms to the people who've already seen your contents on YouTube, been to your website, clicked on an ad or otherwise interacted with you in some way, shape or form.
Hey Chad's are probably the best way for bookkeeping business is to intersect with people that need the service right away.
Generally speaking, I recommend running paid search ads that also have a location extension showing their Google reviews.
I also recommend focusing on a 30 to 50 mile circle around your core service area so that your Google reviews will show in the advertisement.
Long story short, these ads will work and the remarketing keeps your name in front of them so that they will really want to work with you over time.
If you're looking to have someone do this for you, and you don't know everything about writing, ads, messaging, SEO and web design, then we'd love to help you out! Book a free consultation and check out my youtube channel, online course, and other resources I have for accountants and bookkeepers.
Book with Rob & the team to identify ways to make the web into a fantastic sales & prospecting tool to sell your core focus service.