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Hello, I'm stepping into this business full force after the company I worked for made cutbacks due to slow business. I am wanting to get my bookkeeping service up and running from home. I already have two clients that came from Craigslist about a year and a half ago. It started as a rebuilding files and bringing the companies current. The files were lost due to a computer crash and past bookkeepers who couldn't maintain correct information. I rebuilt one company going back at least 2009 and the other I think to 2011. It was a full time job but once completed I still maintain both companies. I'm hoping to continue this path of working from home and want to grow my business. I've done the business cards and going out meeting small businesses and introducing my company. I have meet with my chamber of commerce, but have not joined due to the cost of joining. I have promised myself that if I land other client I will join. I've gotten post cards and put some in the local library a long with my business cards. I've also mailed post cards, but found most came back undeliverable. I still continue to run ads on Craigslist. I have a Facebook business page I run ads on sometimes. I have a yellow pages ad and also another website called manta. I am on Adwords with google, but it might be costly. I have went into some CPA's office, but no one is usually there that I need to talk to. I have a Upwork page and have had zero success. I'm looking for advice as a freelancer or virtual bookkeeper or both would be great. Is there something I am missing or something else I did to do? I know a lot of people say network, but I'm confused on that term. Could someone please explain and get an example? I target small businesses. I offer catch up, short/long term bookkeeping, tax prep, but I do not do taxes (I just get it ready for the CPA, more time taking off your CPA's fee), special projects and of course on going bookkeeping. I'm currently enrolled in college trying to maintain a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. My eyes/ears are wide open for any advice you may have. Thanks in advance. :crossfingers: :crossfingers:

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Hi, it is nice to meet you and welcome to VA Networking. It seems you have indeed tried a lot of marketing methods perhaps with disheartening results. My suggestion would be to focus on one or even two sources for traffic and try and master that.


For example, you might want to run facebook ads and get really good at that but build a list while doing so.


As for book keeping and accounting, I'm not sure what would be the best approach to getting the most exposure. Perhaps Lily could help out because I believe she is an accountant.


The toughest part of getting started with acquiring more clients is a trust issue on their part towards you.


But let me start by asking you a couple of questions to seed your positioning.


1. Who is your target market? What problems are they facing.


I think you already answered this. Small businesses who have let their lack of organisation regarding book keeping get out of hand? Is this correct?


2. Secondly, how can you position yourself. I would say use your history and experience as a credibility building factor. You have a proven track record.


3. Now what exactly is it that you do? Can you describe your service?


Here's an idea...

Let's say you do help businesses sort out their book keeping so they don't get lost in a maze of unfiled receipts (a problem I personally have). You could from that create a $5 - $9 report around a specific sub-topic. Within that report, you can offer them a $97 health check which is 50% off your regular price for example at the end of the book.


Now you'll need to take that $7 report and create something free related to the report, like an infographic that tells them why NOT tracking expenses can cost you your business etc.


Find a traffic source and drive traffic to a optin page where they get on a list to get your free report. Immediately after they optin to your list, you'll offer them the $5+ report to cover your facebook costs and get a "buyers list".


Hopefully this will help build trust in steps as well as an email list. I know this is scary but the fact you have tried so many marketing tactics, proves to me you are willing to take this scary step!


Good luck.

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Yes, Mark, I'm a bookkeeper. :) I have had best luck by choosing a target market (I focus on start-ups) and then I joined a local meetup group to network and get to know the other members. I am also involved in a few forums for entrepreneurs on linked-in and a couple of other forums. The bulk of my business, however, has been word-of-mouth. I am heavily involved in the micro-brewing community in the area and tell EVERYONE about my business if the opportunity arises. That is how I got my first few customers and they are providing referrals that help me grow. :)

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I am also new to the industry as well and what I have observe so far is that it's best to join a group or forum that your niche is in. Trust me you are bound to find what struggles that they are facing when you find these problems, track them down by saving the results in a spreadsheet or word document. Then the bulk of the work is for you to either create a blog with solving this information or creating a landing page that will solve their problem with these individuals coming to your site. I will be trying this as well but what the others have suggested is what I have put into practise as well such as networking and adding value when I can. All the best.

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