Is Your Bookkeeping Business Website Bringing You New Clients?

It happened again this week. (This is starting to get ridiculous!)

I had a prospective business client contact me specifically asking if I could help her find a virtual bookkeeper who specialized in Real Estate / Property Management.

She said that she had been looking for some time and was frustrated. She had been unable to find a bookkeeper who could work with them on a virtual basis. (They are using cloud-based financial software and are even willing to train the right person)

This prospective client is located in Bermuda.

I also received a few more new client inquiries this week, one of which was looking for someone who could help them with QuickBooks for the Mac.

These prospective clients who were begging for help were having a BIG problem trying to find freelance bookkeepers! I honestly had to empathize with them too! I was having trouble finding bookkeepers to refer them to! (I’m booked solid myself and not accepting new clients right now)

Yet, the #1 problem I hear most freelance bookkeepers complaining about is, having difficulty finding new clients!

How is that possible?

The Problem is Communication

You’ve heard me preaching about how you need to get out there and promote your services so small business owners can find you – both online and offline.

You’ve heard me beating the drum that we are not marketing ourselves enough, and I’ve spent more than a few articles talking about the many ways you can market your services, including…

And the list goes on. These are ALL great ways to get the word out about your services. But all of them become MORE effective with one marketing tool that you MUST have if you’re serious about building a REAL business.

And the realization of this fact became painfully clear to me this week when I was having trouble myself¬† finding qualified colleagues to whom I can refer the new onslaught of prospective clients…(we are going into busy season, after all)

You Must Have A Website

Having a presence on the web is, in my opinion, the most important marketing tool you can have. Far more important than even business cards!

The Yellow Pages phone book is all but dead. It used to be a key way for prospective (local) clients to find you. But now Google and the Internet are how nearly everyone (nation-wide and beyond) searches for what they need. This is true whether they are just in the beginning stages of information gathering, or they are ready to engage you immediately.

Your website is how people learn you exist and decide if you are the one who can solve their bookkeeping-related problems. All of these business communication (aka marketing and advertising) methods are turbo-charged when they are connected to your business website.

It’s a fact. You are not viewed as a serious business unless you have a website. Period.

Not All Websites Do The Job Effectively

Having a website is the first step. But that alone may not bring you clients. Your website must…

  • Be easy for your Ideal Client to find
  • Effectively communicate how you solve your potential client’s problems
  • Effectively give the potential client reasons to trust you as a professional
  • Make it easy for potential clients to contact you

If no one can find your website and it doesn’t help them see that you are the right bookkeeper for them, it’s nothing more than pretty graphics and a bunch of words in cyberspace (if even that).

How to Get Your Website Act Together Quickly

If your website is not sending you new client inquiries on a regular basis, or worse yet, you don’t have a website that promotes your freelance bookkeeping services, this should be your top priority right now, if you want more clients anytime soon (this time of year is prime time, by the way).

  1. If you already have a website that you are generally happy with, have a friend or existing client visit your site and give you a nothing-held-back critique and tell you what’s missing that would make a visitor want to hire you. (HINT: If your website only talks about your educational qualifications and the different bookkeeping functions you can do, the content needs to be totally re-written. It should instead be focusing on the BENEFITS you provide clients and the problems you SOLVE)
    .
  2. If you are unhappy with your website or have no website at all, it’s time to get a new website ASAP – an effective one that will bring you new clients! There are several ways you can approach this important task, depending on your technical skills and/or budget
    • Hire a company that specializes in bookkeeping and accounting websites to create your new website for you, such as Accelerator Websites
    • Create your own website using your own hosting company and WordPress software (this is the shoestring budget option)

If you’re on a tight budget, know you need a website, but have no idea how to do it yourself or where to start, then consider joining me as I create a brand new website for my own business. (Yes, while my website is still pulling lots of inquiries, it’s sadly outdated and needs a total overhaul)

We can create our new EFFECTIVE and professional websites together in my brand new nothing-else-like-it online course, The Freelance Bookkeeper Website Creation Workshop.

Bottom Line: Whether you want new clients from around the block or across the country, all of your marketing efforts need to trace back to your website. And your website should give searching business owners the assurance that YOU are the bookkeeper they want to work with.

When it does that, you will never be in want of new clients again! You’ll just graduate to the next level – wondering how you can keep up with the demand!

What about your website? What tips can you share with fellow freelance bookkeepers about what’s working for you (or what’s driving you crazy)? Please comment below and let’s brainstorm on ways to maximize our website results.

.

Tagged As: , ,

6 Responses to “Is Your Bookkeeping Business Website Bringing You New Clients?”

  • Steve Webster on September 26, 2012

    I think a website is critical for anyone doing virtual bookkeeping. It also should include information people want to read and be updated regularly.

  • Gabrielle on September 26, 2012

    Yep, Steve, you are right on the mark! Your website not only serves as information for first-time visitors, but as you point out, you want it to be a resource that potential and existing clients come back to again and again. That’s how you start building virtual relationships.

    Thanks for your insight! :-)

  • Christine on October 19, 2012

    Good morning Gabrielle, I am a big fan of yours and need your thoughts on posting an hourly rate on my website.
    This tactic was suggested as a way to weed out the tire- kickers and those that want your services for $10.00 bucks an hour from those that would be an A-lister client. I’ve fielded many inquires from potentials who’s first question was, “how much do you charge?” So, should I pull this info from my site or leave??
    A Canadian Fan,
    Cee Gee

  • Gabrielle on October 20, 2012

    Hi Cee Gee,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Whether or not you post your rates on your website is really up to you. I generally do not do so because I don’t want potential clients to decide whether my services are “worth” what they think they want based on an hourly rate (and having flat rate packages are preferable, IMHO). I’d rather they contact me so we can discuss their specific needs. (Often potential clients don’t really know what they need or what it takes to get the results they are looking for)

    That being said, it is true that posting your hourly rate (if that is the only way you charge for services) will filter out some of those who are “shopping” based on price only. And yes, when the first words out of their mouth is “how much do you charge?” that IS a red flag.

    Whichever method you ultimately choose, I suggest that you describe your services in a way that will appeal to your Ideal Client. If you have a specialty (which you should), that will help field the types of clients coming your way.

    You might also try including information on your site about WHO your services are best suited for and who they are not. For instance, you could say that your services are NOT designed for those who are looking for the cheapest bookkeeper in town, since that’s not you. But if they are looking for a truly professional bookkeeper who provides (specialty benefit) for (specific type of business owner), then please call to set up a free 30-minute consultation meeting (your contact info).

    Hope that helps! :-)

  • Marie on November 1, 2012

    Hi Gabrielle,

    You are absolutely right! We are living in the age of the internet, and having a website has become the norm if we are to succeed. The website is the first place I turn to for information, so if the service or services I offer is missing from the internet, how else will I be found?

    I run a web development company also, and I recently started creating my bookkeeping website. It is in the early stages but the basics are up. I am currently working on it off-line and will be updating it soon.

    Happy I found your website, it is really useful with a lot of valuable information.

    • Gabrielle on November 12, 2012

      Yes, I honestly believe that having a website is crucial to making it so much easier to attract new clients. It is an absolute MUST for virtual bookkeepers, too!

      You are also correct that the websites need updating from time to time. I’ve just gone through that myself (with the workshop that was mentioned in this article). It is not yet 100% where I want it to be, but with WordPress, it can easily be tweaked and improved as often as we like. And the search engines like that too! Congrats on working on your website too! Once again, you are a great example of a proactive bookkeeper – and your results speak for themselves.

  • April 2014
    S M T W T F S
    « Mar    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930