You’ve made the decision to go for it and go out on your own! Now you’ve just gotta figure out where to find clients and if you’re a virtual only practice (or aspire to be) it can feel even harder! Fear not—there are plenty of options, and plenty of clients to be had.
Before we jump into where to find your next (or first) client, there’s a really important component we have to talk about, and that is mindset. You’ve gotta get your mindset straight or you will likely repel good clients.
What do I mean by mindset? You have to come from a place of abundance. Remember how I said there are plenty of clients to be had? That is an abundance mindset. Along with thinking this way, it’s important to avoid coming from a place of scarcity—or desperation. I know it can be hard not to feel desperate when you’re looking for a client. But trust me, you don’t want just any and all clients you come across.
Now that we’ve tackled the mindset a little, we can move on. If you’re interested in digging deeper into mindset shifts, just do a little googling on “abundance mindset.”
Alrighty. So here are some ideas to get you out there in front of business owners who need your service. Some of these are online, some of them are IRL (in real life), but even if you get a local client, it doesn’t mean you have to meet with them in person all the time. Just set the expectation from the beginning that you work virtually. If they aren’t okay with it, you have to make the decision of whether you want to make concessions and meet in person or be willing to pass on them as a client. Remember this is your business and you get to set the parameters of how you work with clients; also known as boundaries.
This week we’ll just talk about Virtual Opportunities for finding clients and next week we’ll dive into your IRL Opportunities.
I got my first clients on Upwork.com. It definitely took some work writing proposals and sifting through all the junk, but most of the jobs I ended up being interviewed for I landed. The key here is to be genuine and tailor each proposal/cover letter for the job being advertised. I do a deep dive into Upwork proposal writing here.
LinkedIn has this new feature called LinkedIn Profinder which is very similar to Upwork, but completely free so far. Businesses and individuals can post jobs open to freelancing professionals and you’ll get alerted for the areas you add to your profile if you are the type of professional they’re looking for. I usually get 1–2 leads per week through this, but I haven’t submitted many proposals.
This is just one of the many reasons becoming a ProAdvisor and Xero Partner is a good idea. Once you hit a certain rank in status (how many clients you have) you unlock having a listing in their directories. Be sure to make your profile pages attention-grabbing and authentic.
Facebook groups are seriously gold mines. Find a few business Facebook groups where your ideal customer is hanging out. Inevitably someone will ask a question about bookeeping software, taxes, or money management, and you can jump in and comment, giving them value and showing them you know your stuff. Then they might click on your profile and see your website or your business Facebook page linked. (Go over to your profile right now and make sure you have those two things visible to public so people can see that info). You could also start your own Facebook group, but this would be part of a larger marketing strategy, and definitely a long game. But it is an option. You’ll still have to find a way to get people into your group.
Again, just like with starting your own Facebook group, you’ll have to be committed to the long game on using social media to market. Showing up consistently and offering value to people to gain their trust is the name of the game here. There are tons of free resources out there on how to market with Social Media.
You can also use social media to reach your family and friends circle. Let everyone know you’ve started a business and you’re accepting clients but qualify them—let everyone know the type of client you’re looking for, so your friends and family can refer the right clients to you.
There are an abundance of opportunities out there, and many places to look. Find what works for you and what you’re most comfortable with. My best advice is to work on just a couple of these places at a time—learn the nuances and develop a strategy. All of them take work and time, but some of them take more time. Open yourself up to receiving opportunities and don’t be desperate!
If you would like more in depth information about where to look for new clients in addition to specific strategies for closing your perfect fit client click The Bookkeeping Client Closer.
Where else have you found opportunities for new clients online? Comment below and let us know!