1. It all starts with identifying exactly who you want to serve.
You should do this in painstaking detail.
– What industry are they in?
– What income range? Are they married?
– Do they have children?
– Do you compliment an in-house accounting staff, or do you try to do it all and replace them?
– What geographic location do you serve?
– How large are the companies you want to work with?
– How small?
– Do you prefer to work with men, women or both?
– Do you target solopreneurs who are looking to outsource this crucial business function?
Keep asking questions, get super specific. Generalists won’t have a place in this world in 10 years.
2. Ok… You know who you want to serve, but what are you going to do for them?
Before you start marketing and trying to attract your dream client, you need to be 100000% sure you have their dream service set up and ready to go.
The best way I can pose this to you is like this:
– If you could charge me any amount of money, to deliver any service, what would that service be and how much would you charge?
– What would it include?
– How often would you bill me?
– What would the true VALUE of it be that changes my life for the better?
It’s not about a better bookkeeping service, it’s about offering something that is a fundamental change over what I was doing before that I will get a ton of value from.
3. Once you’ve identified the questions above, again, in painstaking detail, you can start to consider marketing.
Consider from the standpoint that OK you know what your top-level service is, and who your dream client is… But at the same time, you’re starting out and beggars can’t be choosers, right? So let’s get a little more granular – If you’ve properly identified your dream client, and your dream service, you can start to splinter things out from it.
If your top tier service caters to digital marketing agencies and your service includes setting up a 21st century bookkeeping methodology by setting up a remote back office for them that meets their digital marketing proficiency and needs. Then you may want to create a smaller offer that outlines that strategy in bullet points. Use it as a lead hook or a free give away that you can promote with a small advertising budget. You can also use it as a way to build trust with prospective clients by attaching it to emails or putting the link on your FB personal page/business page and linkedIn profile.
Always remember it’s ok to tell someone WHAT to do for free, they usually are going to pay you to either learn HOW or to outsource it completely. Content is still king!
4. What I just described above is creating your ‘bait’. Once you’ve got your bait, you need have a delivery system.
I’d save on cost and forgo some expensive marketing software until you have at least 10-20 monthly clients. This means you just create a templated email that you can send out regularly. Gmail works fine. You have an ABUNDANCE of time right now, versus an abundance of money. Each creates its own set of unique problems and advantages.
5. OK so you’ve got time on your side, but not money.
A few people pointed out how to take advantage of this, attending networking groups and all that jazz is fine. I generally consider it a waste of time but I know people can find success if you have the right personality type for those kinds of things. But… I’d rather you spend time among your ideal clients which there will be very few of at these events if any at all.
Using my example again, if it’s digital marketing agencies, you need to go find where they are. You can do a simple FB search for GROUPS to find tightly knit communities and monitor them for posts asking for tax/bookkeeping help. You chime in with a great post and DON’T SELF PROMOTE with a lazy ‘PM me’ or making a post about how you’re the best bookkeeper in town. It sounds backward but trust me, amazing things will happen. Guaranteed.
6. The Free Marketing and Branding Platform that the Cash Flow Frog team have developed is a very good tool for anyone who wants to get more online exposure for their business. It literally lets you turn your knowledge into marketing.
Many business people feel very uncomfortable when it comes to marketing or branding themselves. Still, they have a lot of knowledge and when you ask them a professional question they can go on and on. So, on Cash Flow Frog you get the platform to “show off” your knowledge, unlike LinkedIn or Facebook where you can basically write about yourself anything you want. Here you can show only what you know…
As I said before, content is still king and the platform turns your knowledge into branded content. Then it puts it out there for the world to see… And if you write good stuff the platform will promote it on social media and paid campaigns. Sweet deal.
7. LinkedIn is still a hugely neglected platform for marketing, I have no idea why.
– Update your profile and make it SPARKLE.
– Make sure you have a business page created.
– Take a nice headshot.
– Update your description to be more of a sales message “I help *MY DREAM CLIENT* save 10-15 thousand dollars a year on their bookkeeping needs.” or whatever specifics you can offer that will make you stand out. Just please don’t lie, it will bite you!
8. Sign up for a 14 day free trial for LinkedIn Helper to help automate building your list. You should also sign up for 30 days of LinkedIn Sales Navigator (Just be sure to cancel!) and you can send 20 InMails to prospective dream clients asking for an appointment with a nice reason why you are a solution that they should consider (‘I have expertise with digital marketing agencies for their bookkeeping needs and work exclusively with them’ sounds better ‘then I’m the best bookkeeper, wanna compare prices?’).
9. Ask for help!
Turn to your social profiles, facebook, and explain what you need and who you need to get in contact with. People love to help people when they know EXACTLY what they can do to help and HOW they can to do it.
10. Consistency beats everything. Develop your routine for checking groups, posting helpful comments, connecting with people on LI, and creating new offers that you think will convert clicks into appointments. Also don’t forget to follow up with prospective clients who say no every couple of months! You spent time to nurture that lead, don’t let it just fade away. A simple ‘hows it going’ goes a long way to reigniting a potential sale.
11. Don’t neglect formal sales training.
I know ‘sales’ is a dirty word, but it’s what grows your business and makes all the time you’re about to spend, worth it. I’d pick up the little red book of selling from amazon for a starter, and you can graduate into some different schools of thought from there but that’s a good foundation to start from and very easy to digest.
Hope this helps you! Good luck!
Tyler S. Clark is an innovative digital marketing strategist. He is the owner of ADcountants, a Digital Marketing & Online Advertising Agency for Accountants.