Offering bookkeeping services is a great business since every small to large business needs bookkeeping. Some business owners think they can do the books themselves until they try and they can’t do them or it simply takes them too long. Other business owners become so busy in the day-to-day tasks of their business that they fall months to years behind in their bookkeeping and government remittances. If you’re a bookkeeper or want to become one, here’s how to promote your services to find clients.
Offer Free Bookkeeping Services
If you’re new to bookkeeping or only have experience doing bookkeeping for one company, offering your bookkeeping services for free is a great way to get started. No, this doesn’t mean you won’t make any money. What it does mean is that you will have time to hone your bookkeeping craft.
Doing this will help you get better at using cloud-based bookkeeping and other efficiency software, monthly accruals, monthly reporting, client communication, etc. A client will give you time and room to learn when you aren’t charging them for it.
When to start charging
After one to three months of offering free bookkeeping services, you will know 80% of what you need to know and will have the baseline knowledge necessary to learn the remaining 20%. The critical piece not to miss during this period is to document each and every process you have developed to complete your client’s books effectively and efficiently.
By now, you should have a well-rounded skillset from onboarding new clients, to receiving their receipts, to uploading bank statements to the cloud-based bookkeeping software, monthly reporting, and government remittances. Once you have honed your bookkeeping craft, now you can charge for your services and have confidence in what you are providing your clients.
Offer your bookkeeping services on freelance websites
There are a ton of freelance websites and platforms to use, but the two most common ones for Canadians are Fiverr and Upwork. Small or newer businesses will often look for help in all areas from freelancers, including bookkeeping.
The key to successfully using these freelance sites is to consistently use the sites to find clients and complete the requested work. Once you have used the freelance websites for a period of time and your clients have continually given you a good review, it will get easier for potential clients to find you and they will be more likely to hire you.
Find business start-up communities
Most medium to large communities in Canada will have some form of new business or start-up communities that are designed to help budding entrepreneurs find success. As a start-up yourself (yes, you are considered a start-up), not only will you receive excellent advice for your bookkeeping business, but you’ll be a part of the community of new and start-up businesses that will need bookkeepers.
Blogging about bookkeeping
Most business owners will use the internet to help answer their questions before reaching out to a professional. This also applies to bookkeeping. So having answers to common bookkeeping questions on your website will help attract qualified bookkeeping prospects to your business. Simply add a tab in most website builder software for Blog and you have the first step completed to having a successful blog.
Second, search for common bookkeeping questions using Google and come up with a list of questions to answer in each blog you write. Over time, your blog articles will increase in Google rankings and direct organic traffic to your site. There is a lot of high-quality content on the internet to help you build a successful blog.
Referrals and online reputation
Once your current clients know, like, and trust you, they will be more willing to recommend you and your bookkeeping services to their professional network. An effective way to get your clients to refer you is by providing them with an offer they can give to their professional network.
This could be one to three months of free bookkeeping if they signup in the next 30-days. With an offer like this, not only does your current client look good by providing this valuable offer to their professional network, but there is a valuable timebound incentive for them to engage you and your bookkeeping service.
Online reputation is critically important in today’s business world, with an entire industry has been created to help people and companies manage their online reputation. Most people and businesses will do at least a quick online search to see what others are saying about your bookkeeping services. The most common online review platforms used for businesses are Google My Business and Yelp.
Encourage your current happy clients to provide you with a review. If you get a negative review, respond politely to the review and encourage the reviewer to reach out for further resolution of their issue. It is important to be polite as potential clients will know you’ll respond reasonably if they encounter a similar situation.