4 steps to finding ideal clients for your accounting practice

Published · 3 min read

Defining who you want to work with will sharpen your marketing focus

If you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one.

It’s impossible to be all things to all people—and it’s too expensive and stressful for your organization because you’ll waste money and time pursuing wrong-fit clients. Knowing who your ideal clients are and focusing your efforts on them is a more effective marketing strategy.

Finding an ideal client is a simple three-step process.

Step #1: Establishing your ideal client

Start your search by pausing to define your ideal client. What industry are they in? How big is their operation? What accounting services do they want? Who brings you the most joy?

By asking these questions, you should be able to paint a picture of your ideal client.

Here’s an example of an ideal client profile:

  • Operates a business in the transportation industry.
  • Is located in the region.
  • Has 20 or more employees.
  • Has a budget for accounting fees.
  • Pays on time.
  • Business is growing.
  • Responds to emails or calls.
  • Prefers to do business using a cloud software program
  • Has a strong business network; can refer clients.
  • Appreciates my advice; someone I can work with.

Step #2: Finding your clients

Now that you have a basic profile of your ideal client, its’ time to make a plan to find them.

By serving a target market instead of anyone who just needs accounting services, you may start to think about where to find ideal clients and how to engage those prospects. Focus on the first few criteria of your ideal client profile to identify prospects.

  • Preferred industry (e.g.) transportation.
  • Sizeable business (e.g.) 20 employees or more.
  • Located in town or nearby.

Now you can begin to research for new prospects.

Start by taking a look at any existing clients who fit your new ideal client profile. Ask them questions if you don’t know the answers, such as: Which associations do they belong to? Do they attend certain trade shows or conferences? Are there other similar companies in the region? Your objective is to unearth opportunities to connect with prospective clients.

Step #3: Targeting your ideal clients

You should now have a clear picture of your ideal client and know how to reach prospects just like them. The third step is to market to your ideal client prospects.

Consider these marketing options:

  1. Referral programs. Share your ideal client profile with your employees, business colleagues, and existing clients. Reward any referrals received.
  2. Start a newsletter. Offer accounting or bookkeeping tips designed to appeal to your ideal clients. Make it easy to sign up for your newsletter on your website.
  3. Attend industry events. Go to any events where you’ll find your ideal client.
  4. Use social media. It takes a few minutes a day to send a tweet, make a post, or share an interesting link. Demonstrate your financial wisdom.
  5. Hold a free seminar or webinar. Invite your ideal prospects to your seminar or webinar to learn some valuable accounting advice. Team up with a local lawyer and banker and ask them to invite their clients.

There are many ways to engage prospects but it’s important to find a strategy that works best for you. It should be a strategy you can afford, that you have time to sustain, and are comfortable doing.

Step #4: Screening your prospects

When your marketing efforts begin to work, you’ll start to receive new client opportunities. It’s important to remember your ideal client profile and screen these potential clients to make sure they are suitable for your practice.

Again, using your ideal client profile, screen prospects for:

  • Ability to pay and pay on time.
  • Has a strong network.
  • Prefers to do business using a cloud software program
  • Seems responsive to emails and calls.
  • Wants and values my advice.
  • Seems easy to work with.

Your firm deserves better clients.

By developing your own ideal client profile and reaching out to find more ideal clients, you should be able to build an accounting practice that is both profitable and enjoyable.

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