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12 ways to find quality leads and scale your bookkeeping business

Joshua Pratt
Joshua Pratt
Reading time:18m

Are you ready to receive 20+ quality leads next month? The 4 outbound techniques below will help you attract numerous bookkeeping prospects and do it quickly. Also, from this article, you’ll learn about 8 long-term and budget-friendly lead generation approaches and understand which bookkeeping leads can be considered qualified.

What makes a quality accounting lead?

The quick answer is the high chance that this lead will become your buyer.

Collecting a list of leads that might require bookkeeping assistance is relatively easy. But finding quality B2B leads takes a lot of work. The first decision-makers will just skip your cold email, while the others will find your value proposition helpful and respond.

So what are the main factors that determine the accounting leads quality?

The accuracy of the ideal customer profile (ICP). Knowing your audience is the key to understanding how to get clients as a bookkeeper. The answer will depend on the ideal buyer’s firmographics: the company’s size, location, niche, organizational structure, accounting software, etc. These parameters will help you identify if you should offer accounting services to a small SaaS startup, an IT staff outsourcing company, or an advertising agency.

The quality of the leads research. The more details you find about your leads, the more engaging an offer you’ll be able to craft. For instance, if you see a recent post about hiring an accountant, you’ll need to offer your services right away. Or if an IT outsourcing company has announced that ten people have joined their team, another pair of bookkeeping hands can be right in time.

The right time for prospecting. Pick the right moment to reach your potential buyers. Whether you prefer social media ads or cold emails, remember that February through April is the busiest time for bookkeepers. So most likely, companies or sole proprietors will need your services more than when they’re out of the tax season. Also, keep an eye on companies expecting audits or closing soon.

However, remember there’s no quick-fix solution to get clients for a bookkeeping business. If someone offers you a ready-made list with accounting leads, never buy it. Why? These email addresses can be outdated or irrelevant, severely affecting your outreach results.

Outbound or inbound?

Many professionals stress that businesses should prioritize an inbound marketing approach that attracts prospects with helpful and searchable content. That’s because it generates warm leads who will likely buy from you. Moreover, the inbound technique requires fewer investments and boasts higher returns.

However, when you need to generate many bookkeeping clients quickly, you don’t have time to wait until they find you through content. You have to tell your potential customers about your service actively. For this, you’ll want to use a traditional sales approach called outbound marketing. It includes cold calling and email, direct advertising, and other activities that promote your brand.

So inbound and outbound approaches work, and it’s beneficial when your company has enough funds to embrace them both. But when you need to set dozens of appointments within a couple of months, the techniques below should be your priority.

Top 4 short-term lead generation techniques for bookkeepers

Outbound marketing techniques below work for thousands of companies, including bookkeeping and accounting consulting. So let’s figure out how you can drive more leads with outbound strategies.

Send cold emails

Cold emails remain incredibly effective in B2B sector. It can seem simple to find the accounting prospect’s email, craft an offer, and send it. However, delivering bulk emails is more complicated and requires a complex approach.

First, you’ll need to create an accurate ICP and set the criteria to help you identify potential customers for your bookkeeping service. These are the questions you must ask yourself:

  • Will you target large entities or small-to-medium-sized businesses?
  • Do you specialize in maintaining financial records for manufacturing, construction, logistics companies, or local supermarkets?
  • Will you send pitches to CFOs and Heads of Accounting, or will the decision-makers possess other roles?

At the same time, you’ll have to improve your email deliverability to make sure your messages don't land in spam

Finally, it’s vital to craft engaging messages and personalize your pitches. Think of subject lines that motivate recipients to trust you and open your email. For instance, describing your recent cases and adding relevant numbers will prove how your bookkeeping services help others. Still, your pitch should include a catchy value proposition and be brief. We at Belkins stick to the standard of 150-200 words.

Launch LinkedIn outreach

Pitching on LinkedIn is another effective lead-gen tactic. However, manually looking through hundreds of profiles to pick the ones that may be interested in your bookkeeping service isn’t necessary. You’ll find several automation tools that will identify relevant accounts, send invitations with personalized messages, and collect contact data:

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator, for instance, boasts advanced search, which can bring you more leads and help you discover the right people to address;
  • Phantombuster scrapes audiences and automates key actions on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks;
  • Expandi offers a smart inbox tool that organizes LinkedIn messages so you never miss a conversation;
  • Dux-Soup allows you to leave notes and tags right on the LinkedIn accounts, and it’s perfect for those who only start to generate leads on this social network. However, don’t send formal connection requests. Introduce yourself briefly and explain why you’re reaching out. Also, don’t neglect to ask for a connection.

LinkedIn tools will cost you from $0 to around $1,000 per month, so you’ll have to check which instrument will suit you best.

Run social media ads

Your potential bookkeeping customers can also have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. So launching ad campaigns on these networks will help you reach more prospects. Luckily, we have AI-powered tools that can help you craft a banner, identify your audience, and launch the campaign on social networks.

Even if your bookkeeping leads don’t click on your ad the first time they notice it, you’ll advertise your brand anyway. Once they see your message several times, the chances that they’ll remember it grow. Still, make sure your website is well-designed, fast-loading, responsive, and optimized for various platforms. This won’t let you lose a single lead.

Facebook and Instagram Ads allow photo, video, stories, slideshow, collection, and carousel advertisements. So you need to check what your competitors do to see which of these converts better.

And don’t forget special analytical tools that simplify your social media advertising routine. The BuzzSumo and BrandMentions platforms will help you scan and analyze content related to bookkeeping and check trending stories. Hootsuite, Brandwatch, and Loomly are only a few tools that can create and analyze ad campaigns across all your social media accounts.

Launch pay-per-click (PPC) ads

PPC ads will advertise your brand as promoted search results. We see them as text advertising at the top of the first search result page or as banners that link to financial, accounting, and bookkeeping websites. So pay-per-click ads can bring immediate results as hundreds of potential customers will learn about your bookkeeping service.

With PPC, you pay a fixed price (cost-per-click or CPC) for each click users make. The price depends on a certain keyword's popularity. Thus, clicks to the most widespread keywords will cost you more.

Once you promote a video or display ad, you can try the “cost per impression” or CPM approach. Then you’ll pay for 1,000 displays of the video regardless of the number of clicks.

PPC ads require significant budgets, but they can result in high ROI. That’s because they are well-targeted, fast, and easily trackable. But it’s easy to fail your campaign if you don’t pay enough attention to planning and keyword analysis. To avoid reckless spending, ensure that once users click on your ad, they’ll get to the right page with a clear call-to-action (CTA).

8 tactics for long-term lead generation

Now, let’s see how you can acquire accounting leads at a minimal cost.

1. Ask for referrals

Asking your client to recommend you to their customers and partners can sound straightforward. But it requires the cultivation of relationships and sometimes involves certain investments.

First, you need to deliver your bookkeeping services perfectly to motivate a client to refer to its quality. Then it would be great to come up with a referral program or offer a discount to customers who recommend you.

Don’t only rely on word of mouth, though. Make a LinkedIn post or an article highlighting how your work helps customers and ask them to share it.

2. Check job postings

LinkedIn is an effective recruiting instrument, but companies still use job portals to find specialists. You can try international resources like Indeed, Glassdoor, or CareerBuilder. There you can see job listings for free and respond through the website. Or if they don’t show all the details, at least you’ll get the company name and be able to email a pitch.

It also makes sense to create an account on niche job posting sites like iHireAccounting, AccountingCrossing, or FinancialJobsWeb. These platforms are pretty expensive for employers but are free for candidates. Though most business owners search for in-house employees this way, someone may like the idea of hiring an independent specialist or a specialized company.

3. Answer questions on top Q&A platforms

Registering accounts on top public question-and-answer (Q&A) platforms will help you show your bookkeeping expertise and attract accounting leads. The most popular resources are Quora and Answers.com. However, having a business profile on Quora, for instance, won’t let you directly offer your bookkeeping service.

You’ll only be able to “advertise” yourself with the 50 available characters in your bio next to your name. Users can follow you when they find your answer helpful and your profile trustworthy. So, a detailed “About Me” section must describe your expertise and links to social media accounts.

4. Join relevant networking events

Find local seminars for bookkeepers at a fair price or join online events dedicated to accounting and taxation. Their participants can become your future buyers, so you’ll have a reason to talk to them between the sessions. If they don’t directly require your services, sometimes they might know someone who needs accounting assistance.

These events will help you communicate with other bookkeepers and business owners, from whom you can learn valuable information. For instance, their pain points, approaches, tech stack and the accounting automation tools they use will help adjust your value proposition to current needs and trends.

5. Arrange webinars

Webinars help to embrace large audiences. You can collect emails from 100+ people and make them an offer at the end of the stream. For this, you’ll need to research the topic that will engage your audience and create an informative and well-designed presentation. Also, prepare a landing page for the event so that users can register and you can collect the email addresses of your bookkeeping prospects.

Once you feel comfortable conducting the webinar on your own, invite a colleague or an expert. Or arrange the event in an interview format and answer the participants’ questions. If you plan to have up to 10 attendees, use Google Hangout’s free platform. Skype can handle a maximum of 25 people at no charge. GoToWebinar allows you to add 250 users for $59/mo. Also, consider hiring a tech assistant so you can focus on presenting during the webinar.

6. Use content marketing

Regular sharing of helpful content is the inbound marketing technique that boasts a high ROI. So you also should start a blog and welcome high-quality leads. In the beginning, visit top blogs about accounting to check what they write about. You can create similar content or expand their topics by adding more details and examples.

For instance, to grasp some inspiration, check out BookKeeping Express Blog, Xendoo, 5 Minute Bookkeeping, Outsourced Bookkeeping, Remote Quality Bookkeeping, and similar. You needn’t publish articles weekly: keep your pace and scale gradually as you gain a professional team of writers and editors.

You can start by sharing a 2,000-word post every two weeks, but let it be full of practical information that will be valuable for the audience. You’ll probably agree that hiring a content writer for this task is a good idea.

7. Re-engage your past clients

Some of your bookkeeping prospects may cancel the cooperation for many reasons. And sometimes, you’re about to close the deal, but your clients don’t make a payment to initiate cooperation. Such cases can be frustrating, but they give you a chance to re-engage these accounting leads later.

Also, keep in contact with former clients as they may need your assistance again. Remember that re-engaging past customers is cheaper than attracting new ones. So regularly contact old clients with greetings and provide them with recent surveys via newsletters. Or invite them to join your community on Facebook or an upcoming webinar, for instance.

8. Add your company to local online directories

Local search sometimes works, so you shouldn’t neglect this lead-generation channel. Though these directories seem outdated, users can search for bookkeeping services this way. For you, registration on WhitePages or 411 will be completely free. However, first, you need to register in Yext PowerListings. This tool will find your profile on Yahoo, Yelp, Super Pages, MapQuest, or Yellow Pages. Then you’ll be able to add, edit, or delete your profile.

Also, create a Google My Business account to attract local businesses. With it, you can set your address on the map, select your business type, and add a description, website, and phone number.

Best Lead Gen Tactics for Bookkepers

How to get the most from traditional lead gen channels

With so many ways to generate bookkeeping clients online, you’ll need to pick the ones that will work for your business. The key factor here would be your budget.

Once you’re a company with significant revenues, hiring an appointment-setting agency is a great option. For instance, a top-rated appointment-setting company like Belkins will refine your ICP and research thousands of relevant accounting leads. They’ll also check your mailbox deliverability, craft engaging copies, and run outreach campaigns until you see regular appointments booked in your calendar.

Also, consider addressing a lead gen agency if you experience trouble with lead research, or your sales team can’t allocate time and resources for both prospecting and sales presentations.

But if you’re starting your bookkeeping business or managing a small team, you’ll probably get the most results from inbound practices backed by PPC advertising. Below are some tips to help you streamline your strategy and set it to full steam to get bookkeeping clients quickly.

Present and distribute your clients’ testimonials. Referrals and testimonials usually bring in clients with higher customer lifetime value (CLV) and zero customer acquisition cost (CAC). To make this instrument work for customer acquisition, ensure your prospects can see them on numerous platforms in different formats.

  • Encourage clients to leave reviews on Clutch, G2, and other service review sites and link them to your main site’s website.
  • Create a separate page with testimonials on your site.
  • Post video reviews on your YouTube channel.
  • Repost the reviews on your social media.

Use marketing automation tools. These days, you don’t have to research bookkeeping clients on social media, personalize and send each cold email to your accounting prospects manually, or track the status of each bookkeeping lead as you nurture them. Incorporate automation tools into your workflow to streamline routine tasks and save time on more important operations.

Hire a content writer. If you choose to share your accounting expertise and attract bookkeeping leads through content, you’ll need a writer, preferably with expertise in accounting. Where do you start? You can write about the topics your competitors raise or devise topics you think will be valuable to the readers.

Add catchy statistics to your pitch. Acquiring more clients requires more than just sending a commercial offer via email. First, you’ll have to create a catchy subject line. For instance, you can refer to the lead’s pain points or offer a discount. Also, your value proposition should look impressive and trustworthy, so add relevant results that show how your current clients benefit from your accounting assistance.

Employ an SMM manager. A social media specialist will create your brand’s image and promote it on social media. Also, this person will set up a strategy to grow the number of your followers, launch ad campaigns, and analyze their effectiveness. Belkins recommends starting by boosting your LinkedIn profile to grow your bookkeeping brand awareness and developing an expert image.

Attract an AdWords specialist. Google Ads campaigns often require significant budgets. However, once you opt for a seasoned professional who accurately defines the target audience and the keyword phrases, the users looking for a bookkeeper will find you with ease. And setting up the location you want to embrace with your ad campaigns will narrow down the audience so you will get only the highest-quality leads. Check out extra lead generation ideas from our experts to increase opportunities inflow.

Final words

Now you know how to get new bookkeeping clients quickly and within your budget. Private bookkeepers and small companies can ask for referrals, use content marketing, and engage SMM specialists. The most effective investment for medium and big players is hiring a lead generation agency that will find qualified bookkeeping leads within a few months.

Belkins is a top sales agency driven by an ROI-oriented approach that can help you find qualified bookkeeping leads through cold outreach. We refine your ICP, check your email deliverability, and craft engaging, personalized messages. Focus only on bookkeeping while Belkins brings you appointments with top accounting leads!

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Joshua Pratt
Joshua Pratt
Outreach Expert at Belkins
For almost a year Josh Pratt was an Account Manager at Belkins, but his overall experience in sales, marketing, and team management reaches 10+ years. Now, Joshua hosts Belkins Growth Podcast and contributes to Belkins content strategy.