The Internet makes it much easier to promote a bookkeeping business. You could build your business primarily from using online marketing methods. Here's how you can build an online presence:
Start with Your Website
It's important to have a website and your own domain name. You can use a publishing platform like WordPress. WordPress is widely known for blogs, but you can also use it to design your website. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, find someone to build a website for you.
Once your website is designed, you'll need to include the keywords in your meta tags that visitors will use as search terms to find your business. For example, "bookkeeping services" or "bookkeeping services Atlanta". This is part of search engine optimization (SEO), which is crucial to driving traffic to your website. If you're not familiar with SEO, ask your web designer for help or hire someone who specializes in SEO.
Start a Blog
Once your website is up and running, consider adding a blog. You may be one of the few bookkeeping businesses with a blog in your area, which will give you a competitive advantage. The purpose of the blog would be to talk to your blog readers and build online relationships. A blog gives your readers a chance to get to know, like and trust you. Once that happens, they'll want to do business with you.
Stay away from free blog sites that host your material, because they will have control over your blog and can remove it if they see fit. You'll also be limited in the tools you can use to manage your blog, if you choose one of the free ones.
All visitors to your website and readers of your blog should have the opportunity to sign up for your newsletter or emails. You don't want to spam them. Rather, ask their permission (with a sign up box) to send them emails from time to time. You can send exclusive articles, discounts, announcements or tips and advice on record keeping or how to work with a bookkeeper. You can use tools like ConstantContact or Aweber to help you manage your subscribers and send emails to the group. Your goal should be to build that list, because a small percent will do business with you. Therefore, the more people you have on your list, the more customers you'll get.
You can also use your list to market related products that might interest your customers and earn money as an affiliate. For example, if you use a popular software and recommend it to your list, you can include a link in your email for them to click on to purchase their own. You would receive a commission on every sale, which will help build your business.
While you're waiting to get to the front pages of Yahoo!, Bing and Google, and for the search engines to index your website, you can use social media to promote your bookkeeping business online. Becoming active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are faster ways to drive traffic to your website or blog. Open accounts with each of these (there's no charge) and market yourself on those websites by talking to other members, posting your blog titles, and posting relevant and interesting information about your industry.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.