How to Get New Clients For Your CPA Firm
August 30, 2021
Marketing is a vital part of any business model and CPA firms are no different. In fact, you should always be on the lookout for new clients. Thankfully, new clients can be found just about anywhere.
While some of the old marketing strategies can still bring results, to really get ahead of the competition you’ll need to try out some newer strategies that make use of technology and the internet. With that in mind, we’ve gathered together the best techniques for finding new clients for your CPA firm. Let’s get into it.
1. Identify Your Ideal Clients
How many clients does a typical small CPA firm have? That depends on whether you’re dealing mostly with individuals or businesses. One business client is usually worth about the same as 10 individual clients.
That’s because the average 1040 client only needs you once a year, plus the occasional call when they have an unusual event. By contrast, a business client, even a small one, requires much more involvement. Your first step should be identifying what sort of clients you want to work with and how many your firm can realistically handle.
Common business advice suggests that 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your client base, so focus on the most valuable long-term clients. You can more effectively target these clients by doing the following:
- Define your niche and specializations – Outline the businesses and industries that your firm wants to target. Then, build your marketing around these niches.
- Refine your software and services – What type of software and services should you offer to the clients you’re targeting? Identify what they need and offer those services.
- Profile and target – Aim for a long-term growth strategy that focuses on identifying the most valuable clients. To do so, learn where they hang out (both online and in the real world) and how you can attract them to your firm.
2. Invest in Effective Digital Marketing
No business can survive today without a strong online presence.
Focus most of your marketing on building an attractive website where you can showcase your services, post referrals, and put a face to the people in your firm. Once you start getting referrals from satisfied customers, the first place prospective clients will go is your website. On top of that, see what your competitors’ websites are like and find ways to stand out from them.
It’s also worth focusing on other areas of social media to get your name out there, like Facebook, LinkedIn, or even starting your own blog. If your budget allows for it, it might be worth hiring a social media manager to oversee your presence on social media.
3. Focus on Referrals from Existing Clients
You’ll never find a better salesperson than a satisfied client. Reach out to the people and businesses you’ve worked for and ask them to pass your name onto others. Your clients don’t exist in a vacuum and will know plenty of people (both personally and professionally) that could use your services as well.
These new prospects are far more likely to trust the words of a friend than an impersonal marketing brochure or email. To make this work for your firm, you’ll need to:
- Keep existing clients happy – Look for ways to develop and grow your relationship with your current clients. Upselling them to new services is a great way to do this.
- Offer the right mix of services – Always stay abreast of what your clients’ need and offer those services to them through packages and discounts for repeat service.
- Incentivize client referrals – Create a client referral system where clients will receive rewards for bringing in more business. This could be a free project or a price reduction.
4. Use Tech to Improve Your Value to Clients
Like marketing, your business cannot survive today without the latest management and accounting software.
Your clients themselves may be pretty tech-savvy and they’ll want to see that you’re keeping with the times as well. Making use of technology will also make your job, and those of your staff, far easier and more streamlined.
One of the best ways to do this is through an automated time and attendance system that tracks your employees and handles their payroll. The cost of setting up an automated payroll system for your CPA firm can more than pay for itself in the long term and bring great benefits in terms of team management.
5. Hire the Right People
Technology may be making the job of running a business far easier, but at the end of the day, it’s the people you hire who make your business what it is.
Finding the best clients means first finding the best staff with the right technical and interpersonal skills. As you work on your marketing for finding new clients, you should also be proactively looking to attract new talent to your firm. You can do this through the following:
- Define the roles needed for growth – What sort of skills do you need to grow your business? Find out what areas your firm is lacking in and develop a strategy to attract the types of people who can fill those roles.
- Look for personality and the right attitude – Technical competence is a huge part of any CPAs job. But the very best CPAs also have the right attitude and personality for the job. Look for staff with the right personality that can easily relate to your clients.
- Use your marketing to attract new talent – Use the digital marketing techniques that you’re already developed to find new staff. Social media, direct messaging, and recommendations from current staff members can all bring dividends.
Growing a CPA firm and finding new clients isn’t just about being a good problem solver.
You also need to have the right attitude to help you understand what your clients are looking for.
The most successful CPA firms make most of their profits from a select few clients that they’ve been working with for years. It’s knowing how to attract those clients and develop a strong relationship with them that will be the key to your success.