How to Get First Clients for Your Accounting Firm

Mar 18th 2016
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Congratulations! You've taken the leap and started your own accounting firm. Now comes the fun part: finding all of those great new clients to fill your calendar and keep you operating in the black.

Here are some tips that will help you get those all important first clients through your door.

The list

Before you go out and begin randomly approaching potential clients, you may want to create a more systemized approach. It will keep you from duplicating your efforts or missing obvious things.

To begin, you want to create a spreadsheet where you'll enter the names and contact information for at least 50 local businesses that you would like to do business with. Don't be worried if you know they currently have an accountant.

You will want to check out each one of the businesses and find out as much about them as you can. Look for ways you can connect with the business owners in a natural way. For example, do they belong to the local Chamber of Commerce or do they attend meetings arranged through online group sites like Meetup.com?

While you are researching the businesses and the owners, look for points of commonality between you that you can refer to in conversation. If they have been in the press recently, make a note to bring it up. They'll be impressed and it will give you a way to break the ice with them.

As you begin contacting the business owners, make a note of the date in your spreadsheet. A quick sentence or two about how things went, what you discussed will be helpful, as well. If you learn anything personal about them, enter that as well. Later, when you reach out to them again to follow up, you can refer back to it in a natural way and they'll be pleased you made the effort to remember them.

If you manage to grab a business card from them with an email address, be sure to follow up with them via email, if that is their preferred contact method. You can take the opportunity to offer them a special report (that you've put together beforehand). Tell them you thought it would be something they might be interested in. It helps if the report deals with an accounting problem or issue that would be of concern to them.

In your email, include a link to a landing page where they can go to enter their email address and download the report. You will need to set up an email list through an outside service like Aweber or MailChimp, but it only takes a few minutes. And in the case of MailChimp, your email list is free for up to 2000 names. Once you have your new prospect opted in to your email list, you should email them regularly in order to stay top of mind.

Pay per click

You can create targeted ads through Facebook or Google AdWords, offering prospects a free copy of the special report that you've already written. When people click on the ads, you can send them to your special landing page where they can opt in to your email list in exchange for the free report.

Getting new business can take some effort at first, but it doesn't need to be scary. Once you become comfortable at raising your visibility with prospects online and in person, new opportunities will find you.

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