When it comes to finding a new client in the next 30 days you have to start where you are. It’s your life and lack of resources must never be an excuse for anything you want. I want to challenge you to higher standards in your business and then the clients will come to you!
If you want to make a radical change in your life, today’s exercise will help you clarify the steps. I recommend making your plan one morning this week before you read emails or look at social media or read the paper. If you attempt to write in the afternoon you could end up too tired and regret wasting your energy from the morning on busy stuff.
To be honest, I was completely freaked out when I went out on my own and managed my own clients. But in the process, I discovered something else. I am capable of pulling it off. I am able to learn by asking questions, having a mentor and copying the steps from others. And so are you.
If you’re finally done with running for the bus or monotonous data entry, then you’re in the right place. Without the slightest effort, I now process hundreds and thousands of transactions with my phone’s camera and Xero.
Today we’ll focus on your next client. Let’s make a plan for your approach. You could pretend you prefer beans on toast to risotto but that’s not necessary because here’s a list of strategies I’ve found to work. Even without a strategy, it’s just about letting others know you’re open for business. Then find out what they want help with.
Let your friends and family know you’re looking for more clients. A simple email to your email list or a phone call to your crowd is sometimes all it takes.
You could say you’re available on Thursday afternoons to chat about how you help people. I’ve even hosted a series of free consultations on Tuesday nights using Zoom. I had a regular small audience and then one guy who showed up to all of them, said “please, I need to give you some money, what can I buy from you. ” True story.
If you start to chicken out remember, you’re not a total square. You know a little bit about accounting but they know nothing so that makes you the expert in the room.
There’s always an easier option of working for an accounting firm or a temp agency for a while if you’re undecided as to whether to start your own business. The hourly rate won’t be as good but you’ll have a consistent income and won’t need to do your own marketing. The downside is the hours and travel can be restrictive, especially when you have children at school.
Grab some paper, post-it notes and a bunch of colored pastel pens and let’s map out the 5 steps for your next client in 30 days.
- Have a target client
- Specialize in some area
- Have your terms and conditions written down
- Pencil down your 3 tier pricing packages
- Take some selfies and write some social media posts
When you’re finding your next client, you may be tempted to say yes to all types of work. That’s OK because you’re getting closer to knowing which clients you like working with.
I started working with clients using Quickbook, MYOB, BizPrac, HealthKit, Xero, SAP, Ceedata and the list went on. Knowing basic accounting principles can help you get through all these but it’s not the most efficient way to operate a business. My clients were also in all industries. Now I avoid clients like Real Estate and Newsagencies (GST headaches), simply because the reconciliations have too many fingers involved and require on-site attention. Reducing the number of industries and accounting software packages your service offers will help make your business more profitable.
Since specializing in Xero my life has transformed from chaos to serenity. It barely feels like work because my clients have stayed with me for years and every month my income remains steady. When I launch my online self-study courses I’ll have new students inside my Small Business Money Management program or inside Blissful Bookkeepers and this is the icing on the home consulting cake.
Terms and conditions are really important when working with your own client. You’ll need to decide in advance how and when you want to be paid. You’ll also need to let your clients know your fees, including no show fees for consultations.
In accounting, no shows are rare, but in shops like hair salons, for example, you may wish to take a non-refundable deposit so you’re not left hanging. An email or text reminder to clients is also a great idea as we are all struggling to remember important dates to some degree. Unfortunately, many new small business owners are asking about no show fees after the no show. But to ask for the fee without making it clear before the appointment is not good practice.
The first question most clients have is “how much do you charge?” I’m now a convert to the value pricing method for service providers. In the old days, we used to charge based on timesheets and how long the job took. Today I charge for a bundle delivered on time every month for a fixed price monthly fee. Clients love the cash flow consistency and are better able to budget and plan their cash flow when they know your charges. If you’re unsure how to price your time use our free 5 Day Higher Pricing Challenge.
Finally, take some photos of yourself or have someone take then for you. I’ve used Flytogapher a few times and they’re great. Your clients will want to know a bit about you before they start working with you. You should also write 30 days of consecutive social media posts that talk about your service in roughly 7 areas.
- Introduce yourself. You have many different sides. Shine bright.
- You’re broadening your repertoire – discuss your strengths & what you’re studying
- The plan is to be happy, right? How do you do that for them? Mention your client outcomes and what the future looks like next for them
- While reading, listening to a podcast you thought to yourself, “I should share this” so do. Give them motivation and inspirational quotes.
- Be cute, delicious and authentic. Cherish your imperfections as your friends do and share what makes you, you with your audience.
- List the benefits of your services. What do they now think to themselves when it comes to bookkeeping?
- Talk about frequently asked questions and quick wins. One of my YouTube videos answering a FAQ “How To Apply For An ABN in Australia” has 1000s of views (28,000 so far) every month and sends subscribers to my email list.
At the end of each post have a call to action. Tell them the next step to take. If you have a 3 step process you can mention it here. For example, book a 10-minute call with me, free on Thursdays. Attend my free Tuesday night webinar. Email this inbox to book an appointment. Click here to join my 5 Day Challenge. Download my free PDF to get paid faster. Sign up to the April free training program Blissful Bookkeepers.
Has this post stirred some ideas for you? Comment below with your questions and ideas. Do you have a friend also looking for more clients? Share this post on your social media. They’ll thank you for it.