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    16 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2012 5:07 PM by boonodoh

    Effectively Finding Clients

    Tran Nguyen Tracker

      While I have a pretty good grasp on this topic, I still wanted to see what everybody has to say about it.

       

      I've been a professional accountant for 4 years now and a bookkeeper for 5 years. Not too long ago, I decided to strike out and start my own accounting firm and things are as expected for a start-up company.

       

      But with things calming down, I wanted to know how everybody else has been finding clients for their firm. I have never heard of an accountant going door-to-door advertising themselves, and I honestly never saw a billboard for an accountant anywhere in St. Louis. So where on earth is everybody picking up clients from -- besides word or mouth.

       

      What tools and methods have some of you used that was effective? I don't see an ad in the church bulletin being effective or even using google optimizer, but I could be wrong. Any thoughts on this? Any comment would be greatly appreciated!

        • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
          CallboxInc Adventurer

          Tran,

           

          There are plenty of lead generation techniques out there. The easiest is by referral, ask around people who know. If you want to upgrade, advertise in yellow pages, participate in social media. Also, you can try email marketing and telemarketing.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
            Moderator Berta Guide

            Hi Tran,

             

            I agree with Callbox, advertising in the Yellow Pages and Social Media is a great way to get your firms' name out there. You can also advertise in your local newspaper and/or Thrifty Nickle (if available in your area).

             

            ~Berta

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
              LUCKIEST Guide

              Lead Generation Techniques to find clients should include

               

              Publications

              Mail

              T V (or radio)

              Internet

              Displays

              Brochures

               

              Don't feel limited to the above. I personally like to support a charity and get the local newspaper

              to cover the event.

               

              Good luck, LUCKIEST

              • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                sirrod Adventurer

                i see you said you never zeen a billboard with a accounant name on it why not be the first to do it....dont sit around and wait on clients go out and get them social media has taking over business cards flyers and i say the good ol fashion way the agressive aproach

                • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                  Cosmetologist Wayfarer

                  I just make my own signs and put them out there to what I do and for who and hope they call me. I have also made business cards and handed them out to people who may need my service anyone with hair  mainly I am a hair dresser.  I have alot of competition and need to work alone to get the right clientel and have recently got my own place but cant be there but maybe 15 hrs a week. and when there get maybe one cut a day. I need help myself more signs bigger views I need professional wake up ads .  Some one give me some expensive advice at a good price {FREE}  I do housecleaning on the side to make up for the hairdressing I make less in .  I need help to get customers too been going on like this for 4 yrs. 6 months have I gotten my own room at commission I could do better better find out how. Help!

                  • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                    GeorgeSmith Adventurer

                    Hello,

                    It is necessary to keep the name correct so that no. of clients get an idea about the business through the name or attract by name.

                      • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                        jenniferlne Wayfarer

                        Hey there,

                         

                        I will tell you that what we did to generate new clients was that we did a phone and SMS marketing campaign. We have an autodialer system that we used that called the businesses in our area, it would give them a message when they answered, and if they were interested in our promo they would press "1", once they pressed one they would be transferred directly to us, and it would send them a text message linking them to our website and allow us to provide them with future promotions. This brought us in roughly 20 leads daily, and about 1 new customer a day.

                         

                        Hope this helps!

                      • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                        Tran Nguyen Tracker

                        So I want all of your honest opinion on this. It took me several hours to write this (I'm an accountant, not a marketing person). It is an email meant for all the restaurants in the surrounding area. I'm doing my best to take the approach of "Be there when they need you most" kind of idea.

                         

                        Not to mention, I'm part of the Chamber of Commerce as well, so I have a reason to email them all the time. Anyway, let me know what you think of this. And please, I'm not trying to advertise this, I just want your opinion, so no emails asking to sign on as clients please.


                        I am writing to you because I would like to have your business.

                         

                        While it is true that I am still new to Kirkwood and only possess four years of accounting & bookkeeping experiences, I know I can make a positive impact on your restaurant.

                         

                        Unlike my larger and more established counterparts who have larger clients to think about; I am still small and getting established. Therefore, I will be giving 100% of my attention to all aspects of your financial and operation!


                        In addition to my complete attention, I will also bring with me years of cash flow management, familiarity with restaurant financial trends, existing vendor relations,  bookkeeping experiences, and more -- all for a competitive flat monthly rate!

                         

                        Sign,

                        Tran N Nguyen

                        Accountant & Owner

                        Tran'sActions Accounting, LLC

                         

                        PS As promoted, all new businesses that sign up before August 23rd, my Ribbon Cutting, will receive a month free Accounting & Bookkeeping Services!

                         

                        How does it sound to everybody? Any suggestions, changes, thoughts, or something along that line?

                         

                        Thank you for helping me with this!

                         

                          • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                            Moderator Cath Guide

                            Hi Tran,

                             

                            I am not sure I understand when you say: "my Ribbon Cutting" in your PS.  It might read just as well if you leave that out.

                             

                            Sending out your information to let others know what you have to offer them is good but a follow up with a personal visit would be a plus.  So often businesses get a lot of email and just delete or ignore it if they do not know the sender.  So maybe a visit first with an email follow-up?

                             

                            Just my opinion, I'm sure others will offer theirs too.

                             

                            Cath

                              • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                                Tran Nguyen Tracker

                                Hi Cath,

                                 

                                Thank you for your opinion. I have been trying to make actual visits to the restaurants before I actually send an email or letter, but it's becoming much harder.

                                 

                                Back when I use to have two or three clients, I could visit frequently. Now, with eight clients, I can hardly leave my office. So I'm hoping to keep up my email persistence and cold calling until they need me -- of course, I'm also worried this could backfire terribly where they just get annoyed with me.

                                 

                                What do you think of the idea though? The email is meant to allow me to get through the door so I can talk to them.

                                  • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                                    boonodoh Adventurer

                                    Tran,

                                     

                                    I am an attorney and I also started my own small practice with a friend of mine as wella s starting a technology company helping online merchants prevent fraud with my brother.  So marketing consumes my day! Or last least, thinking about marketing consumes my day. LOL.

                                     

                                    For a service business like law and accounting, there is a fine balance of between "selling" and maintaining your professional presence. Part of what we are selling is "trust" so you need to build that trust up overtime and network like crazy.  I think in the beginning you should focus on building that trust.  You can do that by say offering a monthly seminar on accounting topics that people care about (perhaps through your local chamber of commerce?)  You can also blog and write articles on topics to make yourself an "expert". 

                                     

                                    Also checkout ilovemarketing.com.  I have no affiliation with them, but a friend of mine who runs health/wellness stores told me about the site and its podcasts when I was pulling my hair out thinking about marketing.  The podcasts are of 2 guys who just talk about marketing.  Both made tons of money in their industries before now helping people with marketing.  One of the things they suggest is crafting an education guide as a lead generation tool. 

                                     

                                    Jenniferlne- I like that autodialing thing you talked about.  How much does it cost? I think I might try that for our tech company!

                                     

                                    Sorry for the long post.  Hope this helps.

                                      • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                                        Moderator Cath Guide

                                        Great post, boonodoh, for a post packed full of good information.

                                         

                                        In my opinion, trust is a large part of successful marketing.  Without trust, I do not see how a business relationship can be sustained successfully.  Guard that trust!

                                         

                                        The podcasts appear to be helpful ones.  So often we can pick up a tip or two on a podcast and those tips can change the way we have been thinking or operating.

                                         

                                        Let's hope everyone with marketing experience will feel free to join in on this valuable topic.

                                         

                                        Cath

                                        • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                                          Tran Nguyen Tracker

                                          Hey Boonodoh,

                                           

                                          Thanks! I already contacted the Chamber of Commerce regarding financial seminar -- pretty much a massive Q & A where people are attempting to figure out what their CPA is doing. It's actually kind of fun when I'm trying not to laugh at the word "widget" (ha ha).

                                           

                                          Anyway, any suggestions on where to publish article and blogs? Well, blogs I have a site, but articles are a different thing. Most have told me that they prefer to have their in-house staff do it -- except when you write about accounting, you need an accountant (or a very good understanding of the industry).

                                           

                                          So any suggestions on where I can submit articles to? Thanks!

                                            • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                                              boonodoh Adventurer

                                              Tran,

                                               

                                              There are 2 routes you can take in terms of publishing articles.  1. direct to merchant 2. within the industry.

                                              The 1st route is can be difficult, but any general publication that small business would have access to- local newspaper, etc. I think the best way to think about this is really in terms of "creating authority."  What I mean by that is, you want to appear like you are the expert.  So one of the marketing books I read a while back (I can't remember which) suggested that you write an article on something and push it out like PR pieces to different outlets.  Some of them are free, some of them are paid.  News aggregators pick up these stories and republish them.  You have no control which piece will get republished.  However, this helps when people "google" you, and see that you've written articles that are "published."

                                               

                                              2nd way is industry publication.  Volunteer to lead a continuation education class or research a topic- for example, if you are a lawyer you can become involved with the local bar association and help run a committee or something like that.  Anything that can help you be more well connected and exposed to more potential clients.

                                      • Re: Effectively Finding Clients
                                        Guide

                                        Hi Tran,

                                         

                                        Generating new business can be hard sometimes. I utilized many avenues when it came to advertising for my own architectural company. Lucky touched on some of the ways, but I also used tools that were very creative. A business flier was one of them. I used mail, email, local stores, banks, townships, and even stuffed mail boxes personally to deliver them. My approach was a little different from yours. I was always of the belief of not asking for a clients business but, telling them that they NEED our business. Perception can make or break a business. Confidence is an absolute must in this very competitive world.