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The Accounting WEbsites Blog

8 Real Lead Generation Strategies for Business Clients

How can accountants get qualified Business leads?

These lead generation strategies are part of a sound, full-bodied marketing approach. We can implement all of these strategies for you, or you can do themselves. We can set you up with an excellent website for your accounting, tax, or CPA firm, just request a consultation. This will help you attract and close business clients for your accounting, bookkeeping, tax or CPA firm. We specialize in websites, ads & content marketing for accountants at our firm Feedbackwrench.

8 ways accountants and bookkeepers can get business clients

8 ways to generate business clients for your accounting firm, virtual bookkeeping firm, CPA Firm or Tax Firm.

There are many articles out there with generic ideas for lead generation, but I will show what I used to build my accounting firm to over $1 Million in recurring revenue in less than 24 months.

My name is Rob Satrom. I’m the owner of Feedbackwrench and we specialize in websites, ads and SEO for accountants. Before starting Feedbackwrench, I built Nuance Financial Tax and Accounting. We were an “outsourced accounting firm” focusing exclusively on small businesses, adding massive value and charging monthly retainers as a “one-stop-shop”.

I ran over 400 meetings to close over 150 small business, all of which I generated through digital or in person marketing efforts. Check out the Feedbackwrench YouTube channel or our Accounting websites podcast to get practical tips and encouragement.

If you're only doing books, and you're curious about adding tax preparation to your services, I'd recommend reading this blog post that shows you the steps necessary to prepare taxes professionally, which often brings anxiety & discomfort to bookkeepers. You don't have to be afraid of filing taxes for your clients, you should embrace it and remember that the alternative is that they'll try to file on their own, and I guarantee that the person who's doing their books will be more informed on the tax return than the business owner.

One of my favorite accountants to hear from has been Shamal Asnani, of Fitness Taxes and Asnani CPA. Shamal says that one of the most important things when you're getting started as a bookkeeper, accountant or tax professional, is to learn how to run great meetings. Everything I'm writing about here is predicated on your ability to run a great meeting, which you can learn from this accounting firm training course.

8 Strategies to generate business leads for your Accounting firm, Virtual Bookkeeping Firm, Tax Firm or CPA Firm.

  1. Local SEO with Google My Business
  2. Local search ads with Google My Business
  3. Retargeting & remarketing all website traffic
  4. Niche search ads with retargeting
  5. Niche lead magnet advertising on Facebook & LinkedIn
  6. Local prospecting with cold calls, email & content
  7. LinkedIn prospecting with content
  8. In Person networking & meetings

Local SEO with Google My Business

Even if you're a remote or virtual accounting firm, you can generate leads easily in a 30 mile radius from your Google My Business listing. You can either show an address for your location, or leave it as a service area that hides your address. Either way, there are many bottom of funnel keywords for accountants that trigger the Google my business local pack as well as the Bing places local results. All of this helps your SEO big time.

8 ways accountants can generate business leads by accountingwebsites.org
What are the best local keywords for accountants and tax professionals?
  • Accountants
  • Accountants near me
  • Business Accountants
  • Accountants for XYZ businesses
  • Accountants in XYZ location
  • Bookkeeping services
  • Bookkeepers near me
  • Bookkeeping Companies
  • CPA near me
  • CPA firms near me
  • Tax companies near me
  • Business taxes near me
  • Small business tax returns near me
  • Payroll companies near me
  • Accounting staff near me
best keywords for accountants bookkeepers and cpa firms

Your website and your Google My Business provide the signals necessary to rank above your competitors on the local search results in Google and Bing. We have more resources about how to build up your authority on search engines, but here’s the bottom line:

Get more reviews than everyone else in the 30 mile region or be in the top 3.

Summarized Steps to generating leads using local search

  • Setup & optimize Google My Business
  • Setup & optimize Bing Places
  • Relentlessly work to get Google reviews
  • Get Facebook reviews too
  • Add local business schema markup to your website
  • Perform an SEO optimization to your website
  • Put a services page system on your website for all things with local results
  • Get all your local citations
  • Build up backlinks
  • Create hyper optimized localized landing pages

Local Search Ads with Google My Business

You can advertise your Google My Business and Google reviews!

Once you’ve worked so hard to build up those Google reviews and show all that trust you earn, you can use Google ads to jump to the front of the line and not worry about your organic rankings.

How to advertise your Google My Business & Google reviews
  • Create a Google Ad
  • Stick to a 20-40 Mile radius
  • Focus only on Keywords with local results
  • Create optimized ad groups for each family of keywords
  • Add the location extension associated with your Google My Business

Your location extension often shows as long as you’re on the first page results; either first, second, third or bottom of page, as long as there’s nobody above you in the auction with a location extension.

Be careful to put cost controls in your campaigns and optimize for your conversion actions, but this is an excellent way to generate local small business clients.

One important tip is to ensure that your ad copy is optimized for each individual ad group. Sprinkle in enough language that users understand for your business so that you avoid as many individuals as possible.

Another tip is to make sure that you put in a negative keyword list so that you only trigger on precise searches. Your negative keyword list should include terms like jobs, schools, websites, certifications, training, how to, etc.

Another quick tip is to make sure that you use the best campaign objective, as well as ensuring that your conversion actions are set up properly. Your local search ads can tap into the insane machine learning that Google uses if you set it up properly.

As a side note, we can set up your ads and ensure they are hooked up properly, and also manage them for you for an affordable price.

Retargeting & Remarketing All Website Traffic

You should create remarketing audiences out of the people who have visited your website and then serve targeted ads to them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google display and/or YouTube.

As good as search marketing can be, the majority of people that visit your website will not take an action with you.

We really like search engine marketing because people come to you first because they have a problem that needs fixing. After they’ve searched you, you can come to them with an offer or some sort of content that will help build trust and increase your conversions.

Here’s the simple steps to retargeting & remarketing:

  1. Setup the Facebook pixel on your website
  2. Create an Audience from your website visitors
  3. Create event triggers tied to all calls to action
  4. Create a custom conversion out of those  call to action event
  5. Run compelling ads & lead generating offers

Niche Search Ads with Retargeting

Back to search engine marketing and Google ads real quick. Another great way to generate business is to run a more specific search add that targets a particular niche.

Looking for a list of business niches to target?  You've heard that accounting firms should choose a niche, but maybe you've been left wondering about what business niches might be good to market to for your Virtual Bookkeeping firm, Accounting Firm, CPA Firm or Tax Firm?  Well I spent about 30 minutes thinking through all of the different companies I've intersected with, and here's a massive list of small business niches that might help.

List of Small Business Niches

  • Contractors
  • Homebuilders
  • Fitness instructors and personal trainers
  • Photographers and videographers
  • Insurance agents
  • Software start ups
  • E-commerce
  • Sealcoat and asphalt companies
  • Remodelers and renovation companies
  • General contractors
  • Landscaping companies
  • Lawn care and weed
  • Salons and beauticians
  • Tree removal companies and arborists
  • Outdoor recreational supply companies
  • Construction supply stores
  • Restaurants
  • Uber drivers, Lyft & Ride Share
  • Trucking and transportation companies
  • Owner operator truck drivers
  • Excavating contractors
  • Roofing and siding repair companies
  • Home window installation companies
  • Automotive mechanic and repair
  • Youtubers and influencers
  • Surgeons, doctors and healthcare companies
  • Real estate agents and brokerages
  • Independent Insurance agents and brokerages
  • Concrete contractors
  • Patio and deck Installation companies
  • Manufacturing
  • Niche dealerships and suppliers
  • Pumping and Septic Tank companies
  • Plumbers & Plumbing companies
  • Electricians and Electrician companies
  • Drilling & Well companies
  • Crane Operating companies
  • Crane Servicing companies
  • Elevator & Escalator Installation & Repair companies
  • Pool Installation companies
  • Diesel Repair and Fleet Service companies
  • Heavy machinery & Tractor dealerships
  • Private Aircraft mechanic & repair
  • Watercraft & Boat Dealerships
  • Watercraft and Boat Motor Repair companies
  • Taxidermists & Taxidermy companies
  • Car Wrap, Decal & Print companies
  • Carpet & Flooring Companies & contractors
  • Medic Supply companies
  • Upwork, Fiver gig professionals with 1099
  • Farmers & agriculture
  • Non profits, churches, synagogues or mosques
  • Private schools & academies
  • Swim Schools
  • Gymnastics teams, clubs & coaches
  • Professional Athletes
  • Real Estate Investment companies
  • Property management companies
  • Small Landlords & investment property owners
  • Screen printing, embroidery & stitching companies
  • Oil & petroleum companies
  • Pest control & exterminators
  • Franchise owners
  • Land surveyors & engineers
  • Engineering firms & professionals
  • Attorneys & Law offices

An easy way to find more niches is to simply jump in to google and search for solutions to your problems and take note of the types of companies you see.

How Niche Search Ads Work
  1. Add the niche modifier to your keyword service as phrase match
  2. Create about 3 responsive search ads using the niche terminology
  3. Create a complete & authoritative landing page for that niche
  4. Create audiences made from the traffic of only that page
  5. Run specific remarketing ads to the niche on Facebook, Instagram, Google Display, YouTube and LinkedIn
  6. Create long term ads with trust building, authoritative Content.
get business clients in your niche as an accountant or bookkeeper
The results
  1. Higher quality scores
  2. Relevant customer messaging
  3. Smaller audiences you can dominate
  4. Lowered budgets & less ad spend
  5. Increased SEO to those niche pages

Niche Lead Magnet Advertising on Facebook & LinkedId

I’ll keep this one short. Generate email subscriptions that are interested in your topic and then send out an email newsletter to them. How do we get subscriptions to your email newsletter? A lead magnet.

A lead magnet is when you offer a high-quality, authoritative, helpful piece of information or video in exchange for someone’s email address.

Local Prospecting with Cold Calls, email & Content

Call business owners in the niches and introduce yourself as being right down the road. Give a simple, clear elevator pitch. Ask them if you can shoot them an email to introduce yourself (not take a meeting). Send them an email that’s short, with a link to your website. Then, nurture that relationship over time through email & follow up.

The funny thing about this is that if you build a relationship with these people, and you get engage with them on social media, you’ll be able to slowly build trust. Besides the direct marketing, when they hit your website they will be added to your retargeting lists on Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn. In other words, they have now entered your more targeted advertising systems and they will continuously see reinforcing messages they keep you top of mind.

Plus, you can send them a pumpkin pie or something on Thanksgiving, add them to the Christmas letter or send them a 4th of July note.

LinkedIn Prospecting with Content

If you sign up for the upper tiers of LinkedIn, you can also do all sorts of messaging. This isn’t my expertise, and I don’t recommend spamming people.

I would keep your introductions very similar to what I just said for your cold calls. Target people that are either in your niche industry, sector, or in your region. Be short and frank; don’t ask for anything except for maybe letting them know you’d love their business sometime.

Your message should probably be less formal, more authentic, and provide a little link to your website.

In my opinion, this needs to look like you actually sent a message and it’s not something that you spent a ton of time on. Just get to the point and point them to your website.

In Person Networking & Meetings

This is where the real magic can happen, because personal relationships are always paramount in moving people towards becoming a customer. I recommend that people find ways to have coffee meetings and connect with business owners, simply to build strong relationships.

When I was young, I used to keep a list of all of my friends and I would call them throughout the week simply to visit. You should have good friends, and you should also network with other professionals.

Tips for In-Person Networking for Accountants.
  • Take genuine interest in other people
  • Ask great questions to get to know them
  • Be prepared with your simple presentation of how you help people
  • Be on the lookout for business owners and 1099 income earners
  • Practice asking about S-Corp, tax planning and advanced strategies
  • Call to action should be “I’d love to take a look at your tax return and books to see if there’s any opportunity to save in taxes, I find all sorts of low hanging fruit!”

Get your hands on the tax return as well as getting added to the bookkeeping.

There’s so much more to unbox here, but these strategies will help you get things rolling to attract, close and delights business customers for your accounting practice.

But one of the most important things you can understand is that if you can get your hands on the tax return, you have earned a deep level of trust and it's also the best tool you can use to identify value, and the client knows it. The prospective client understands that if you look at the tax return, you go from concept to reality. No longer are you talking about possibilities that are out of reach for them, they understand that you will be able to identify real and concrete opportunity for them.

Reducing tax burdens for small business owners invigorates them

When you get your hands on the tax return, you've also taken a large step forward in the relationship and it means that they are willing to trust you to a degree. Embracing a good pace of relationship will help you close more meaningful business. Don't rush anything and take your time to bring them through the stages of client relationship. If you take baby steps from start to finish where trust is built progressively, the result will be a client willing to close with you that you also have an excellent relationship with.

Steps that build progressive trust:

  • Connect personally and broadly first, talk about how long they've been in the area and where they're from
  • Progress to asking about their business journey
  • Pique their interest with a simple little elevator pitch when they ask about your business
  • Ensure you say the simple services you do "we do small business taxes & bookkeeper"
  • Lean in with "but we really specialize in reducing taxes and being an outsourced accountant that just handles all the books and nonsense.
  • Hit them with a quick inquiry about what kind of solution they've ben getting such as "so do you get year round tax planning, or just do the year end taxes?"
  • Offer to examine the books and the tax returns to see if there's opportunity to save in taxes
  • Pursue the tax return, remember it's a pain for business owners and they need your leadership
  • Add value & look for many ways they could save taxes
  • set a "findings" phone call or meeting, come ready to propose
  • Ask them "here's what we do...." and cleanly present, then follow up by asking "do you like the idea of something like that?

if you're interested in more coaching tips and in-depth videos about how to move the ball forward professionally in a meeting, then check out the online course called how to grow an outsourced accounting firm. I focus on client acquisition, communicating value, and providing the skills that only an excellent coach can provide.

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