Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Bookkeepers. What marketing technique(s) has worked for you?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #964433
    Dardee
    Member
    • Total posts: 430
    Up
    0
    ::

    I have very recently set out into the bookkeeping world on my own and I am torn as to what method(s) of advertising etc to concentrate on in order to obtain new clients. I have a few contacts in the accounting arena that I have spoken to but all their clients already have existing bookkeepers.

    I have applied for a number of part time bookeeping roles (eg 1 or days a week) and never get past sending in my CV. I’m a CPA with 19 years experience in accounting and have used MYOB and Quickbooks programs for a considerable portion of my time. I almost get the feeling that I am being ignored for these positions because I am seen as overqualified.

    I am in the process of getting a website together but I am now wondering if this is the best idea at the moment or whether I should be channelling my energies elsewhere?

    I’d love to hear what other bookkeepers / accountants have found to be the most successful.

    Thanks.

    #1005678
    Rachel Reeves
    Member
    • Total posts: 148
    Up
    0
    ::

    I really feel that it is important to have some kind of ‘edge’ so to speak. My edge is in the thoroughness that I present. I might spend a bit more time than another bookkeeper does to make sure that the information entered is as accurate as I can get it and I might ask a question or two more than another bookkeeper. This appeals to some, but not all clients – but this is my edge. I have just recently had comments from two clients regarding this fact.

    As a bookkeeper I think it is also important to look at how you can help a client save money. That is a good way to market, but you need to know you can do what you are saying you can do. A good example of this that jumps into my mind would be one of the other members on this forum, ‘BB’ (I hope you don’t mind me putting your name up here BB). She markets well the fact that she can help you, the customer save a good amount of money. You actually get the impression that the savings will far outweigh the cost. You know, you can and you should capitalize on the fact that you are not just a bookkeeper, but an accountant and a CPA.

    You also should be aware that you will probably receive more clients through word of mouth than anything else and that the emphasis is really on trust as a bookkeeper, or an accountant. So not only should you do a really good job, but you should look to build on the relationship with the client. Also present yourself well in the social scene, social networking is very very very important – people ask what do you do… you respond… instant business opportunity!

    And last but not least, don’t be disgruntled if it is taking a little while for things to start rolling along smoothly in your business. I have heard it takes an average of about one year (I’m sure that others probably have more accurate statistics than I) for business to start flowing well. Sometimes opportunities fall in our laps and other times they take a while.

    To your business success!

    #1005679
    MissieK
    Member
    • Total posts: 234
    Up
    0
    ::

    I found my bookkeeper through networking online :)

    Melissa

    #1005680
    Dardee
    Member
    • Total posts: 430
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks for such a detailed reply Rachel. Everything you have mentioned I do at the moment, especially telling people that I am able to go that extra yard because of my experience.

    I don’t expect clients to just walk through the door. I know it is tough. And I do believe, as you said, that networking is very important. I guess I was just venting some frustration and trying to find out if there was anything I wasn’t doing that I should be.

    #1005681
    Burgo
    Participant
    • Total posts: 2,104
    Up
    0
    ::

    For what its worth there is another thread going on a similar topic.

    My suggestion is to advertise in your local newspaper in the trades section.
    Have a brochure designed and printed that you can hand out /give to anyone you come across as in shopping centres etc
    There are heeps of industrial complexes in every city and large town visit them handing out you brochures to management in each factory. Visit the factory complexes at least every two months.
    Talk to all the small business in your area ,plumbers, electricians, carpenters, carpet cleaners, retailers.
    You will find that Tradies are very good at what they are trained for but rarely understand the financial aspects of their business.
    As a qualified accountant you can help them develop their business, protect them from the tax man and help them to make more money. Now tell me if you can do all that who in the right mind would not jump at the offer of your help.

    ‘Seek and you will find, knock on doors and they will be opened for you’ this is the greatest Truism I know of.

    #1005682
    BMc
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Up
    0
    ::

    Welcome to the world of a million bookkeepers!

    Unfortunately, almost every bookkeeper advertises the following:

    1. “Save accounting fees!”
    2. “We do a great job!” (or some variant)
    3. Timely financial analysis.

    None of the above are unique advertising approaches, at least in my area. I don’t know whether all the local bookkeepers are living up to their claims, though.

    Almost every piece of advice I’ve seen for new solo bookkeepers has been along the lines of “finding a niche or industry specialisation helps, but really the best thing is networking and referrals from your clients”. Approaching accountants is a one-in-a-million chance; apparently it’s easier when you’ve done the books for their client and they see how good you are. I’m just regurgitating this paragraph’s advice and haven’t tested it, though.

    Get a free 30-day trial membership to Australian Bookkeepers Network (http://www.austbook.net) and you’ll find a heap of helpful advice and info on the forums, as well as some other interesting goodies that come with the membership. Mention my user ID when you join at the end of the trial, too. ;)

    A suggestion: perhaps advertise yourself as “the affordable expert” or similar, since potential clients might see your qualifications and write you off as too expensive before even asking for your hourly rate.

    Good luck!

    Ben

    #1005683
    Dardee
    Member
    • Total posts: 430
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks Ben.

    I had looked at the ABN website but you never can tell what they are like without getting some inside information. With a number of different “bodies” so to speak looking after bookkeepers I find it a little difficult to trust one over another. They all seem to have their own agendas rather than the interests of bookkeepers.

    I signed up anyway and will see what I think during the trial period.

    Thanks.

    #1005684
    Rachel Reeves
    Member
    • Total posts: 148
    Up
    0
    ::
    Dardee, post: 4854 wrote:
    Thanks for such a detailed reply Rachel. Everything you have mentioned I do at the moment, especially telling people that I am able to go that extra yard because of my experience.

    I don’t expect clients to just walk through the door. I know it is tough. And I do believe, as you said, that networking is very important. I guess I was just venting some frustration and trying to find out if there was anything I wasn’t doing that I should be.

    Hi Darren,

    I figured that you might be doing all this and more…

    Guess I am lucky in the sense that I provide both admin and bookkeeping services so I can cover a reasonably large lot of ground for my clients. I have to say that minute secretary fits extremely well with bookkeeping for associations – and there are no salaries involved – bonus! ;)

    Re venting frustrations, vent away. I myself was in May of last year feeling pretty down that I hadn’t found any clients. Everything happened all at once in June and I haven’t looked back since.

    May I ask where you are based Darren?

    #1005685
    beanydc
    Member
    • Total posts: 44
    Up
    0
    ::

    Be a friend. Be friendly. Be helpful.
    Join a club.
    Be a soccer coach – there is nothing more successful than just getting involvemd in the community.
    Offer to do part time at an accountant in their busy time to give them a chance to check you out.
    Sell the frillies that tax accoutants are way too busy for, and which naturally fall out of the bookkeeping, like cash flows.

    People need to know you before they trust you with the important stuff.

    #1005686
    KoB
    Member
    • Total posts: 51
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Darren,

    I’m in similar situation as yourself although I haven’t gone solo as you have. When I was considering Bookkeeping as a biz, how to get my services out there really set my plan back. I wasn’t sure where/how to advertise or market myself as I figured no one can give you the business if they don’t know you exist.

    I still don’t know how to but my half-baked thoughts/plan/strategy whatever you want to call it:-

    Having a part time job doing bookkeeping would be a great way to start while getting some income into the household and on the off days, work on my buss like advertising, websites, networking even volunteering. The CPA qualification is a plus but maybe a hindrance in getting a bookkeeping job as most employers may see you as over qualified and that you’ll get bored with the work after a while. Once you’re an established buss, the CPA/CA qualification is a credit.

    Websites are great if a client already knows about you and want to check you out further. When I was researching the market, there are so many of us and so many sites (and by the way they all look so boring) that I wouldn’t be able to pick just one to ring. Although if desperate I might pick the one (site) that most appeal to me. Having said that if I was really desperate, I would probably ask someone I know for a referral, so there, word of mouth is important.

    Sorry I don’t have a solution for you but just want to let you know, you’re not alone.

    KoB

    #1005687
    tildavirtual
    Member
    • Total posts: 53
    Up
    0
    ::

    Bookkeepers are a dime a dozen but great bookkeepers are hard to find. There are a lot of people operating bookkeeping businesses based on having done a two day course on how to use MYOB. I’ll stop my rant about that right there.

    Figure out what makes you different. For me I can see straight away it’s your qualifications and your level of knowledge. Once the new legislation for bookkeepers and BAS preparation comes in you’ll be better placed to gain BAS Tax Agent status than others.

    I highly recommend joining Australian Association of Professional Bookkeepers (AAPB) as they are the only not for profit organisation for bookkeepers in Australia. Sharyn Grant was the one that wrote the Certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping) and had it audited and then ratified by AQTF.

    Once you get the first of your clients, ask for referrals as most of the time our clients don’t know we are looking for more projects.

    Good luck.

    #1005688
    Dardee
    Member
    • Total posts: 430
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks for everyone’s replies. The advice you have given is just what I need.

    tildavirtual, post: 4930 wrote:
    Bookkeepers are a dime a dozen but great bookkeepers are hard to find. There are a lot of people operating bookkeeping businesses based on having done a two day course on how to use MYOB. I’ll stop my rant about that right there….

    Don’t get me started on this one !!!!!

    Maybe all us Accountants and Bookkeepers should start a Bookkeepers/Accountants Group in the Groups section like the Graphic Designers have. It would be a good place to discuss topics such as that in private. Thoughts?

    #1005689
    Renee Barber
    Member
    • Total posts: 360
    Up
    0
    ::

    One day … when I can find my books … I’ll be looking for a great bookkeeper in my area, one that does house calls, so maybe there’s a place on this forum for listing people by speciality. I’ll have to take a look.

    #1005690
    tildavirtual
    Member
    • Total posts: 53
    Up
    0
    ::

    I have some horror stories that will make you all run to hide your cheque books. I cannot wait for the new legislation to come through. A separate forum is a good idea Darren – admin is this possible?

    #1005691
    Dardee
    Member
    • Total posts: 430
    Up
    0
    ::

    Ok. I’ve set up an Accountants / Bookkeepers Group. I’ve made it Invite Only so sensitive topics can be discussed in private (I think that is right). I “think” I’ve invited all the relevant people. I hope so…..

    EDIT. I have changed the permission to a Public Group so anyone logged in can join. Anyone not logged in cannot see our threads. Please ignore the Invite I sent you.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.