Is Your Bookkeeping Business Website Bringing You New Clients?
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…
- Networking and using the power of word-of-mouth exposure
- Listing your business in various business directories around the web
- Speaking at local small business venues or holding QuickBooks classes
- Networking with CPAs and other strategic alliances
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).
- 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)
- 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.