Find your ideal client and solve their problem

When you set up your own bookkeeping practice it is vitally important to get to grips with just who your ideal client is.  This will be determined a lot by how you want to work, onsite or offsite, hourly or fixed rates, locally or remote and loads of other questions you need to answer first.

If you don’t know who you are marketing your services to, it will be really difficult to find them, and very expensive.  You’ll end up with the scattergun approach which will leave you trying to be everything to everyone and end up burning yourself out, or being nothing to anyone.

You need to know exactly who your ideal client is.  You’ll need to know everything about them.  What age are they, what gender, the type of business they run, do they have employees, what is their turnover, what about their business structure…

Now you know who they are, you’ll need to put yourself in their shoes.  Imagine their life, their business.  They have a big problem with their accounting.  What is it?  Once you know what their pain is you’re one step closer to helping them and gaining your ideal clients in the process.  As bookkeepers we often think we are selling organised books, or reconciled bank accounts.  These are not what the client it buying.  They want to buy a solution to their pain.  Unless you know what that pain is you have no chance of solving it.

Now that we know who the client is, and what their pain is we can begin to understand how to contact them.  Where do they go?  What words do you need to use to get their attention?  You’ll see that by building this big picture what we are actually doing is focusing our marketing to make it more successful but cost less.

You can now devise a list of services to suit these ideal clients and advertise them in a way which is likely to grab their attention and get them to respond.  We can also price these in a way to suit their budget.

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But until I got my first few clients I didn't know what my ideal would be. For me a mix of clients has worked, a few need lots of 'hand holding' - while that is possible for a few the rest need to be good profitable clients.
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This is a common misconception Sylvia, you can decide on your ideal client before you even start advertising. It just takes some hard thinking and planning. The biggest problem is that it's easy to abandon this when is seems too hard.
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