Whether you operate your bookkeeping business from a storefront location on your city’s Main Street or from the kitchen table of your suburban home, it will benefit you to start now to develop your brand as a trusted resource for your customers.
Building a reputation for reliability and expertise in your field is essential to growing your business and attracting new clients. It reinforces your authority and professionalism in your field and encourages people to think of you when they need bookkeeping services.
How do you go about polishing your brand if you have limited financial and time resources?
Never underestimate the impact of your website and social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Effective and free or low-cost, they will work tirelessly to spread your good reputation without demanding a huge marketing budget and outlay of resources.
Start slowly with a target in mind
My advice is to begin building your brand using social media with a slow and steady process. Avoid taking on too much to maintain at the start. It is better not to be on a site than to be there and not maintain it with continuing fresh copy.
A good website that displays you and the services you offer is a great place to start. Make sure there is an easy way for people to contact you and that you have a process for responding each day to any inquiries that come in.
Clearly outline the services that you offer that can benefit your customers. In describing them, indicate how they benefit your business customers. Tell the story from your reader’s point of view, not yours.
Once you have a website up and running and a process for new content to be added at least once a week, then move into setting up a Facebook page for your company and a professional profile for yourself on LinkedIn that contains a link back to your website.
Even if that is the extent of what you can handle right now, it is a great start and it will serve you well.
Set up a good content strategy
Before you start to fill up your sites with content, you need to know who your customers are. For example, if the bulk of your customers are small business owners, then you will want to create content that speaks to the problems that they need to solve. This is especially important if you work with a specific niche in small business like Plumbers, Lawyers or Retailers.
If you work primarily for non-profit organizations, then look for ways to add value to them with your content.
Your content should always be customized to resonate with your intended reader.
Remember that your social media content strategy will be a living, moving thing, not a fixed file. You need to constantly analyze it, measure its impact, study new tactics and see if what you are doing is aligned to your goals.
Social media is really just another way for you to talk to your current and potential customers. Say to them on line what you would say to them if they walked into your office. Talk to them about the problems they face and how you can help them to solve those problems. Take an interest in their lives and in their businesses by responding to what they post as well.
Talk to them about the services they need to operate their business with their financials at their finger-tips and how that can be provided to them without stress or hassle.
Know what your “platform” is
You may hear the term “building a platform” on social media, meaning a base from which you can send out messages that support your reputation as a qualified and trusted bookkeeper and the services you provide to help your clients.
There are five planks that should be in your social media platform.
In essence, you need to:
- Establish your company as a creative, expert, reliable resource for people who require bookkeeping services.
- Nurture relationships with your existing clients by keeping them close to you.
- Create new relationships with people who have a high potential of becoming paying clients so they will think of you when they require the services you offer.
- Transform your relationships or connections into paying clients.
- Grow your company by expanding your reach into new areas. These can be geographic areas (as in you take your services to a neighboring community for one day a week to expand your customer base) or you enter into the world of Cloud-based bookkeeping.
Do the reader test
Once you know what you want to do and where you plan to grow your social media presence, it comes down to continually publishing readable content that gives value to your readers.
Each time you are ready to post something, ask yourself if it is something that people can use and just as importantly, if it is something they will want to talk about and share with their friends.
Social media is a good place to give more than you receive. Make sure that at least 80 percent of what you post is helpful to your readers, and no more than 20 percent is actually talking about you and your own business.
For example, if you have written a comprehensive report on things small business need to do to avoid panic at tax time, why not put it into a downloadable PDF on your website and invite your visitors to read it for free?
You should keep your tone professional, but it is okay for your readers to know that you are human too. Engage with the people who post on your pages, continue the conversation and let them know you are listening to them.
In the event that you end up with a complaint from someone on your website, respond to it professionally and quickly. Take care of the issue, don’t ignore it. When others see how quickly you offer good customer service, they are impressed.
This blog is for you and we hope you will enjoy the content.
Please let us know if there are any specific topics you would like us to address in the future.
Copyright: ahmetemre / 123RF Stock Photo