Self-Promote Your Accounting Service

Whenever the term ‘self promotion’ is mentioned we tend to think of someone with a megaphone announcing to the world just how good he or she is. Self promotion does not need to be so blatant – subtlety is really the order of the day here.

Your Confidence IS Your Message

If you are nervous about what some would call "shameless promotion", ask yourself this question: "Is my client getting more than they are paying for?" In other words, is the money they are giving up more valuable to them than the service you provide?

Picture in your mind’s eye the amount of time that it would take your client to do their own books and financial analysis. Would it take them longer to do it than it would for you to? Almost certainly it would.

Then ask yourself, "In the time that my client takes to do their own books, could they have used that time to earn more money than they paid me?" If your client is in any kind of profitable business, the answer to that question is a resounding YES! Your service is worth more than the amount that your client pays for that service because they are then free to have more time to do what they went into business for in the first place … earning money and growing their business. By freeing your client of additional time to promote themselves, you make your clients more profitable. If you have even one client, you can be certain that client feels that you are worth what they pay you and more for one simple reason – they continue to pay for your services. If they ever felt they would rather have the money you get paid over the service, they wouldn’t have retained your services up to this point.

Each and every client tells you in no uncertain terms that you are worth it every time they pay you. So have confidence in yourself, the same confidence that your clients have in you. This confidence in yourself and the knowledge that your service is worth it is the most important step in finding new clients. If you don’t believe in yourself, you will have an uphill battle making someone else believe in you.

Tips For Promoting Yourself

Here are some suggestions on strategies you can employ to promote both yourself and your business:

1. Send a copy to your clients and prospective clients of items of interest which you have discovered in newspapers or magazines. This demonstrates that you are interested in them and their businesses.

2. Become involved in your local chamber of commerce or service club and join the groups’ committees.

3. Speak up at meetings – don’t be a part of the silent minority.

4. Participate in some public speaking training and become a confident presenter. You will find that there are many groups in the community who are looking for speakers. The perception that you create as a speaker is that of an expert on the topic which you have selected which, obviously, will tie in with your accounting service.

5. Write articles for your local newspaper and business and trade magazines. Again your image as an expert will be boosted.

6. Always be on the lookout for any public relations opportunities such as the chance to add a local flavor to a national story.

7. Block off your diary for at least 1 luncheon meeting each week. This informal get-together is a terrific networking strategy as everyone enjoys relaxing over an inexpensive meal.

8. Give consideration to establishing an e-mail newsletter. Not only will you keep your clients informed of business news but it will also attract prospective clients to your accounting service.

Implementing Your Marketing Plan

All of these strategies are inexpensive ones to implement. Why not start the ball rolling today with an implementation plan. The effect on your business will be significant and profitable!

Master Marketing Skills

In the course of a week, you run into potentially hundreds of small business owners that struggle to do their own books. They need the kind of service taught in the Professional Bookkeeper™ program. With its emphasis upon real-world small business accounting and bookkeeping, you will have an incredible edge when it comes to servicing their business that is taught nowhere else. The Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you how to find paying clients and to service their accounts efficiently, all while keeping your clients pleased with your unique talents.

Learn How the Marketing Method Taught in the Professional Bookkeeper™ Program Gets You Clients Fast!

Save time and money by finding clients near home

This article explains an ingenious marketing strategy for finding new clients close to your home that can be used for starting your new accounting service, or growing an existing bookkeeping business.

Local businesses

If you are seeking clients, you will want to approach businesses in your community. Most people living within city boundaries will have virtually an unlimited number of businesses within a mile of their home.

Don’t believe it? Test it. Get a map of your community. Draw a circle encompassing the area within one mile of your home. Now, with pen and paper in hand, drive around within that circle and write down all the businesses you pass, including their addresses. Most people are amazed at how many companies are so close, and almost everyone of them are small businesses needing accounting services. You may want to reeview the top reasons your services are needed by businesses.

With this list, you will want to go to the library or city/county clerk’s office and obtain the owner’s name, mailing address, and type of business. This information is available to the public from the Business License records.

Now you are ready to mail out letters. This letter will look very similar to the letter you sent to your business contacts. It’s main difference is that it should emphasize the local community advantage.

By the way, don’t disregard franchise type businesses, mistakenly thinking they already have an accounting system. Only a few franchisers, provide accounting for their franchisees. Most franchisees are required to find accounting help in their area.

You will want to send out only ten letters per week; no more, — and no less. Initially, this might seem like a small number. That’s alright, because at first you will want to spend more time rehearsing and reviewing your presentations. Later, as you start setting up new clients, and follow up on past visits, ten letters will seem like a lot.

There are other articles showing easy methods of marketing your own accounting and bookkeeping service. For information on the other articles, you can link to them here:

The best way to market an accounting and bookkeeping service

How to get a new client every week

For complete information on marketing an accounting and bookkeeping service, see our section on Building a Successful Accounting Service at our Accounting Made Easy site.

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Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

Finding Clients near home

Find leads at networking events

Promote your website

The best marketing strategy: word of mouth

Get a new client every week

Trade shows can be a gold mine!

Seven website promotion tips

Establishing your web site is merely the beginning of your e-marketing project — you need visitors and to achieve visitors you will need to promote the site.

As search engine listings are not likely to produce clients, it’s prudent to explore other more basic and inexpensive offline methods of promoting your web address.

Here are seven web site promotion strategies — most of which you should be able to easily implement:

  • Treat your web address as you would treat any other component of your address — it should appear on all business stationery, promotional material and advertising.
  • Include your web address in your e-mail signature message. This will encourage your e-mail recipients to check out your web site. As a result they may discover some of your business activities of which they were previously unaware.
  • Include your web address in your “30 second networking commercial” when you meet people and you have an opportunity to talk about your business.
  • Publish an e-mail newsletter regularly regarding business aspects they might find interesting and valuable such as payroll deadlines, financial statement tips, events in the news, etc. Where appropriate point them back to your web site. Send this email letter to clients, and contacts/prospects at least once a month.
  • Feature your web address along with the corporate logo on corporate apparel — e.g. shirts or caps.
  • If you don’t mind the possibility of being described as “crass”, promote your web address on your car — this will give other drivers in traffic something to focus on, while in traffic.
  • Incorporate your web address in your on hold telephone message.

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

Finding Clients near home

Find leads at networking events

Promote your website

The best marketing strategy: word of mouth

Get a new client every week

Trade shows can be a gold mine!

Eating Out – A Marketing Strategy

Marketing your business is a contact sport which necessitates you being out of your office, on a regular basis, rubbing shoulders with clients, referrers and prospective clients.

There is no better method of implementing this strategy than taking a guest out for lunch. Of course I don’t mean every lunchtime but maybe once a month it’s time to venture into the outside world.

Before you begin to enjoy this pursuit to the extent that you invite luncheon guests with whom you only have a vague relationship, at best, it’s prudent to consider a few ground rules:

Inexpensive Marketing

This strategy need not be a wildly expensive one – there is no need to take your guest to a really pricey restaurant. At the same time, while McDonalds can be ideal for a quick family meal, it probably doesn’t offer the ambience which you are seeking and may say something to your guest about the way you operate your business.

Only Market to Those Likely to Buy

Be selective with the guests you invite to lunch. This might seem simple, but many invite those to lunch that are unlikely to make a purchase. They should be either existing or potential clients and existing and potential referrers. A luncheon is an excellent way to solidify the relationship, which will, needless to say, lead to more business.

Keep Existing Clients By Showing Interest In Them

People like to do business with friends. Taking a client to lunch and showing interest in them in a casual atmosphere creates a feel of friendship as long as you don’t push the sale too hard. If you are not comfortable with small talk, it’s time to become comfortable as the luncheon should not represent 100% business and offers a perfect opportunity to get to know your guest on a personal basis. After the lunch make sure to write down what you learned about your contact so that you’ll remember more about him or her. If you hear that a client’s son is in a ball league, ask how he is doing the next time you meet. Friends remember that kind of thing. Be seen as a friend, not a business acquaintance.

Keep Clients Sober and Don’t Drain Your Wallet

A juice, soft drink or mineral water is the correct luncheon beverage. Liquor should be avoided at all costs as it doesn’t create the right impression and could create problems later in the day. Also, just a couple of drinks can greatly increase the cost of the lunch and just make it too costly to be useful.

Dress Appropriately for the Situation

While considering first impressions, dress is also an important factor. You need to dress in a manner that is appropriate for the restaurant at lunchtime. You shouldn’t overlook the fact that you will see a range of other contacts at the restaurant, many of whom you will have the opportunity to speak to.

Turn Prospects Into Clients

If you are lunching with someone you don’t know well you will, no doubt, have the chance to introduce your ’30 second networking commercial into the conversation and therefore it makes sense to rehearse it before leaving for the luncheon.

To Sum It Up

Taking a client or a prospective client out to lunch is a great way to pitch your services in a casual atmosphere without costing too much. Because both you and your client are in neutral territory, it is one of the most non-threatening venues for introducing your services to potential clients. If you give your pitch at their office, they feel in power. At a restaurant, clients feel more at ease and you will get a better chance to sell yourself effectively.

More Marketing Tips

Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches a step-by-step approach to learning how to market your own successful Accounting and Bookkeeping service.

Learn How Professional Bookkeeper Training Teaches You to Market Your Skills and Get Top Dollar

You Can Do This!

So what are you waiting for? Your financial future is in your own hands. When you start your own successful Accounting service, your success is your own. If you can find the courage to take the first step, we will give you the tools, support, and training you need to start your own profitable accounting and bookkeeping service.

Get Started Now!

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Promote Your Business Inexpensively

A "no-cost" way to promote your freelance accounting/bookkeeping business (except for a little postage, anyway)? – I want to see that. This technique is particularly powerful when you’re opening your new service.

Press Releases

Press releases offer an opportunity to promote your business and you as a local accounting and bookkeeping expert. Once people begin reading or hearing about you and your business their perception of you changes. They figure that if the newspaper or radio station is focusing on you and your activities you must have expertise.

What is a press release? A press release is a method of communicating to a journalist or radio presenter some information about you and your business which will highlight the fact that you are an expert on some subject — in your case, accounting and bookkeeping.

What Do You Include?

What do you include in a press release? The contents of a press release can be distilled down to the 5 "w’s" – who, what, why, where and when.

It’s really obvious that you are the "who." The remaining "w’s" relate to the thrust of the press release. The issues which could be the subject of a press release may include:

· You have commenced business – include your photo
· You have a comment regarding a tax decision or new legislation
· You have a comment on a systems development issue or new accounting software
· You and your client have enjoyed success on a particular matter
· You are doing some pro bono work for a charity or other community group

The Headline

It’s the headline which grabs the attention of the journalist or radio presenter/producer and thus you should spend some time to come up with something which will tickle their fancy.

Form and Length of Press Releases

For every expert on public relations there is a different theory about the ideal form and length of a press release. Use the form and length which you feel comfortable with and check with your media contacts, when you have them, about what they prefer.

Who To Send Press Releases To

To whom do you send your press release? You will need to do some homework and discover the names of the newspaper journalists and radio presenters responsible for business reporting. Most libraries have lists available of media contacts in your area.

You should call the business editors and let them know that you will be sending them releases as issues arise. It’s a good time to ask about the form in which they prefer their press release to be sent – by facsimile or e-mail and if by e-mail if they are happy with the use of attachments. A radio station with a music only format will only cover business activities in their news bulletins and therefore it’s prudent to make contact with their news editor or journalists.

The Best Time to Send Press Releases

As I mentioned above, a great time to start using this technique is when you first start your freelance service. Below is a template of a short press release you may want to consider using for announcing your new business. This should be typed professionally with NO SPELLING ERRORS.

Basic Press Release Information to Include

Headline: Experienced Accountant Opens New Firm in (Your City)

(Your name) an accountant with (previous employer) for (number of years), has opened a new accounting firm named (name of your firm).

Based in (your city), (firm name) provides accounting, bookkeeping and tax preparation services for individuals and businesses.

(Provide a two or three paragraph summary of your past accounting work experience)

(End with one paragraph providing any credentials you may have such as professional designations, membership in business organizations, civic organizations, etc.)

How to Measure if a Press Release is a Success

You will know that your public relations campaign has been a raging success when journalists or radio presenters take the initiative and contact you for your comment on an issue they feel has local importance.

Make sure you copy any press release on nice paper and send it to your contacts. It will give you more credibility than virtually anything else you could do.

One final point to remember – local newspapers and radio stations are always looking for news pieces which cover local issues. Capitalize on this fact.

Learn to Take Your Skills to Market

With the best accounting and bookkeeping skills, you only make money once you find paying clients. Most accountants don’t have a lot of sales experience. The great thing is that you don’t need to be a great salesperson to find enough clients to make a great living. Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you how to quickly find more clients than you can handle on a shoestring budget.

Learn How the Marketing Method Taught the Professional Bookkeeper Program Gets You Clients Fast!

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