Bookkeeping can be done from virtually anywhere, as long as you have a computer, an internet connection, and access to your clients’ bookkeeping systems. As such, it is an ideal job to do on a freelance basis from home.
Working as a freelancer has many advantages: it gives you the flexibility to be in control of your own schedule, and to work from home if you choose to do so; it also allows you to take on as much or as little work as you can cope with.
On the flip side, however, freelancing also has its disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is that you don’t earn a fixed salary – your earnings are wholly dependent on how much work you are able to secure each month. This means that you have to go out and find new clients, in addition to making sure that your existing clients’ needs are met (so that they continue to use – and pay for – your services).
Finding new clients can be tricky, especially when you are just starting out. Here are a few tips to help you find new clients by marketing your skills as a freelance bookkeeper:
1) Use word of mouth marketing
Word of mouth is a powerful way to market your services as a freelance bookkeeper. Many freelance bookkeepers rely on referrals from previous and existing clients. To get these types of referrals, you need to make sure that you provide efficient, high-quality service to your clients. You can also speak to your friends and family, and ask them to spread the word about the freelance services that you offer. Try it – you might be surprised by how well word of mouth marketing works.
2) Use social platforms
Social media platforms have changed the way we connect and interact with one another. Think about Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and LinkedIn. Use your social profiles proactively: create professional social media profiles, and use them to connect with people who are likely to need the services you offer. You can also advertise your services and any special offers you may have on your social platforms to grow your network. Another good way to use social platforms to your advantage is by creating a page for your freelance business.
Join local online community groups, request to be added to online business listings, and market your services to people in your area. Also connect with local small businesses to establish what their bookkeeping needs are, and to make them aware of the services that you offer.
3) Uncover the art of networking
Networking is about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. Even if you are not a born networker, networking is an important skill that you can learn and refine throughout your career. Developing a good professional network does not happen overnight. It takes time and effort to identify the people you want to include in your network, to meet them, and to build solid professional relationships with them.
- Attend industry conferences and events, where you are likely to meet prospective clients.
- Print professional business cards and make sure that you always have some on hand.
- Find a mentor in your industry who can help guide you and help you network further.
4) Offer a free assessment
Promote your business by offering a free bookkeeping assessment to prospective clients. Doing this will help you to generate leads, and to meet people who are currently looking for assistance with their bookkeeping. It’s an excellent way to meet potential clients, and to showcase your skills and abilities. Ensure that you allocate just enough time to this, as you do not want to end up offering a full service for free.
To find out more about working as a freelance bookkeeper:
Note: This article was originally published on 13 April 2015, and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.