How to get accounting clients [Top 3 tips for accounting firms]

Whether your accounting firm is offline or online, your first step has to be narrowing down your target audience to get accounting clients.

A good start would be to ensure that they are people who operate, at least in some form, online themselves. It is odd in this day and age to realise that there are businesses who operate offline. Once they have been eliminated from your consideration, use the following checklist to find accounting clients:

A. Who are they?

1. Where are your target clients located?

The benefit of being online is that being ‘local’ isn’t as important, but having a targeted locality can help you in targeting any advertising, SEO, and so on to find new accounting leads.

2. Is there a particular business sector you could specialise in?

Specialising means you can build up expertise and a reputation in a specific sector, perhaps gaining referrals as a bonus. But specialising can also mean you narrow down your options or expose yourself to higher risk.

So, it needs to be considered from that perspective too. If you have several accounting clients already from a particular sector, then specialising could be the way to go.

3. Start-ups or established?

These two different types of client bring two different levels of workload and frequently, revenue. Start-ups will tend to mean you have a higher volume of accounting leads with, certainly initially, lower billings.

But there is the potential for their account with you to grow as they grow. When things work out, people tend to stay with their accountant. Larger clients will have a different set of requirements for you to support, but if you are geared up for them, then frequently they will deliver higher profitability.

So it’s very important to know what your accounting clients really want.

4. Why are you special?

To a business, all accountants are likely to look the same, so how they make their decisions is something that should be uppermost in your mind. The fact you operate online is going to have some definite benefits, but for some prospective clients, it could be a real no-no.

The ‘low-hanging fruit’ will be those prospects that do not have to be convinced that your USP of being online is a USP.

B. Where are they?

The benefit of narrowing down your target audience can make it easier to get more accounting clients.

5. Can you find accounting clients by locality?

Using a locality helps with online and digital marketing. You can use it in social campaigns and targeted advertising. Make sure your SEO is reflective of the locations you are focusing on too. It will fetch you more new accounting leads.

6. Do they operate within a specific niche or specialist area?

If they do, then it is likely they will have their specialist networks and groups, affiliations and places where they meet. Seek them out and find out what opportunities there are to interact.

Perhaps you can submit an article looking at how a specialist accountant can help their business to grow? Or attend one of their meetings/conferences to talk about recent tax changes? A perfect opportunity to get yourself known as an accountant they need to talk to.

7. Are they a start-up?

Start-ups cover every sector imaginable, but a whole industry has grown up to try to reach them and which you can become a part of. Look out for specialist websites, events, local start-up business events and companies that provide services to start-ups. Jump on board and ensure you are listed or offer your services to talk to them.

8. Are they just a general business?

If you haven’t identified anything specific about your accounting clients, then it is going to be impossible to reach them because you don’t know who they are or where you will find them. Might be worth having another think about this.

C. How will you reach them?

Now you know who they are and where they are, you need a plan to reach your potential accounting leads.

How to win new accounting clients:

  1. Put together a realistic budget.
  2. Set yourself targets and make sure they are SMART.
  3. Assess which channels are going to reach your target clients most effectively.
  4. Do you have a website and social media in place? Are they fit for purpose? Does your website need a bit of a polish and more content on your target market? Don’t forget client testimonials, case studies and so on.
  5. Have you already got clients in the same target sector? Could they help in any way – information, testimonials, recommendation, introduction?
  6. Do you need assistance? If PPC isn’t your specialism, you could waste a lot of money for little results. Investing in marketing is worth consideration of all factors, and sometimes we need to use the services of an expert.
  7. Is your website search engine optimised for your target clients? Talk to an SEO specialist if you don’t know and update the content to reflect the clients you want to attract.
  8. Look at your competitors – what are they doing that seems to be working? Don’t just directly copy them – put your spin on it.
  9. Set a schedule for activities and ensure you include a review period so you can refine the next stage of your plan.

There are numerous activities you can take to attract new accounting clients to your online accounting firm, and this is just the start. But wherever you are in your business life cycle, and whomever you are trying to attract, this advice doesn’t change:

Be clear what you are trying to achieve from the start. Do the research and put a plan together on how to achieve it. Set SMART objectives. Implement your plan. Measure. Review. Refine. Repeat.

If you need help, please schedule a free consultation with us by emailing at Speak soon!