Sharing Effective Marketing Tips & Ideas — What Works and What Doesn’t

Sharing Effective Marketing Tips & Ideas — What Works and What Doesn’t

Getting new customers or clients is an ongoing challenge for many accounting professionals and small business owners.  Common questions or comments  include:  How can I get new clients?  What are the most effective marketing methods? I’m an accountant (tax professional, or whatever) and I’m not good at sales.  I don’t want to seem pushy.  I don’t know how to get clients to grow my business.  Read this post for some marketing tips and ideas for accounting professionals, CPAs, tax professionals or other service providers.  We want YOU to share your marketing tips — what has worked for you and what didn’t work.

NOTE:  To enter the weekly contest this week to win QuickBooks Accountant 2012 ($499), you need to subscribe to this blog AND comment on this post.  Hint — your odds of winning this week are better since not all subscribers will post a comment on this post.

Here’s a few marketing resources you may want to check out:

  • Duct Tape Marketing – John Jantsch webinar – 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success

  • Share your favorite marketing tip and how it worked for you or something that didn’t work.  What is effective marketing for you?  Post a question for your peers to provide their advice and opinion.   Subscribe to the comments of this post so you won’t miss the great information shared by others.

    NOTE:  To enter the weekly contest this week to win QuickBooks Accountant 2012, you need to subscribe to this blog (if you have not already subscribed) AND comment on this post below by midnight (CT), Tuesday Oct. 11, 2011.  Then, Wednesday, Oct. 12 check your email in the morning to see if you won and reply to confirm you’re the winner!  You can subscribe here and comment below. Good luck!

    E-mail addresses are kept confidential.

    119 thoughts on “Sharing Effective Marketing Tips & Ideas — What Works and What Doesn’t

    1. Pingback: Ideas for Effective Marketing for Start Ups | |

    2. Cheryl Pear

      I feel word of mouth drives clients to your door most of all. If you give great service and perform with integrity and happiness, this will always work the best. I personally have been using different advertising across the web like, craigslist, thumbtack, etc. for my bookkeeping and home improvement side of business. I am staying hopeful!

    3. Val Barschaw

      I LOVE to do a QuickBooks fundamental training class where all proceeds benefit a local charity. It is not just a marketing win-win – it is also an emotional win-win because not only am I sharing valuable QuickBooks tips during the class – I know that the people who are attending are like minded since they were willing to put up the class fee for the benefit of the charity.

      In other words, I’ve found a common interest that we both have which immediately connects me better to prospective clients.

    4. Nancy McClelland

      I find that my best source of marketing is current satisfied clients referring me to their contacts. When I am in a position to accept new work, I simply mention it to my clients, and they pass the word along. Soon I am overwhelmed with new clients and have to let current clients know that I’m back to not accepting new work! Another thing that has been helpful is connecting with the local chamber of commerce; simply being listed in their annual guide has been a good source of leads, but what is really effective is when a potential client calls the Chamber and asks for an accountant recommendation. I do work for them at a discounted rate, and they are always very appreciative, so the Executive Director always points potential clients my way. Just doing a great job and making sure your clients know you are looking for more work is the most effective tip I can offer.

    5. Cathy Feltman

      I get many clients thanks to the accountants who I work with. When one of their potential clients question or ask for a discount rate, they introduce my services. The accountants retain the client in the long run (tax prep and any related accounting issues) but they don’t need to be involved in the day to day bookkeeping so it’s a win win situation.

      I’ve been lucky enough to pick and choose who I work for…a very nice feeling.

    6. Karen

      I started my bookkeeping business around the beginning of this year. I was fortunate to get some marketing help through the Universal Accounting bookkeeper and quickbooks certification courses. They give you not only questions to begin the discussion with the potential client, but also include examples of marketing letters to different contacts, such as friends, businesses you’ve frequented, etc. They also host and help with setting up a website, which I did, and set up a Google Places and Adwords accounts, too, but only recently did I actually use the adwords. The first advertising I did was to put ads in two of the local papers for my area and opted for banners on their websites as well. I also joined a local chamber and have received several good responses from other members who need my services. Since I’m not very confident when meeting new people, I’ve done very little foot work with cold calling on businesses in my area, but I did create a fan page on FB and recently started using FB Ads. You can visit my fan page at In the last couple of months, I’ve been getting more and more inquiries and even signed up a few more clients. Just a couple of weeks ago a business owner contacted me after reviewing my website. Said he found me on Google! I also have signed up one client from a referral. It takes a little bit of time for things to get started, but you eventually begin to see the end results.

    7. Mary Clarke

      I am getting ready to try and expand my client base. I was thinking about doing a free open seminar on tax issues that relate to the client base I am focusing on. Small business owners would be attracted to a free seminar about what expenses can they deduct? At the end of the talk I would have Q&A along with hand-outs. I would also offer a social hour and promote it as a time for networking. I also promote my clients businesses to my other clients. If someone mentions they are thinking about adding an addition to their home, I might refer them to one of my small business owners that works in that field. I find that my current clients are willing to refer me when they know I am also referring them. Thanks for all the comments.

    8. Cheryl McCarthy

      Thanks for letting everyone post these ideas Michelle. I never even considered Craigs List and will look into that idea. You provide a great service to us! Thanks. 🙂

    9. Sol

      Traditional Advertising for Professionals really does NOT work. No one will use an doctor, attorney or accountant based on a newspaper ad or subway poster. Rather, a good way of getting customers is by networking with other professionals and refering each others work. Example: Accountant & Financial Planner, Attorney & Expediter, etc. Professionals build trust with their clients, hence client trusts professional when he recommends another professional for their services.

    10. Paul Calvin

      I have added my business profile to several free online locations, such as Google Places, Yahoo Local,,, etc. Over the years, I have asked my clients to add customer reviews. I get a steady flow of new clients calling me because of my great customer reviews. Many new prospects are searching the web. Make sure you have a great website and also have a local presence on a number of these business profile websites. The more websites you are listed on, the more the organic search engines will find your business and list it close to the top of the search results. Find companies that provide website for your industry. I use CPA Site Solutions. They do most of the design and work. They provide a ton of bells and whitsles fore the monthly fee, starting at $49 per month, including monthly newsletter, client portal, content, email marketing, etc.

    11. Debra Kilsheimer

      Best Marketing? Talk to everyone that’s within 3 feet of you. Give them your card and say, “Do you need a great accountant? Because I know one – ME!!”

      Amazing the number of people who need one of know someone that does. The “worst” thing that happens is you made a new friend!

    12. Madhavi Vedantham

      As a newbie bookkeeper, I find the advice here invaluable. I finally started asking
      all my clients for referrals, this has helped my business immensely. I hope to
      grow more in the coming months.

    13. Jo King

      i have been in business for 20 years and most of my clients have been word of mouth! I get a lot of new clients from the advisor referral site. I also believe the more you put your name out there the more clients you’ll get. Blogs, websites and social media are great client magnets. Michelle is proof of that!

    14. Chris Bjorge

      This is very helpful. I am taking the ProAdvisor and hope to start a business beginning of the year. Would you say that the tips you gave apply to a new business as well? Would it be premature to do Google Analytics, etc.? Since everything is so web focused, should you wait until you have worked out any “glitches” in your page? I would appreciate any thoughts.

    15. Patty Mory

      The best way to increase your business is with excellent service. Your clients will refer you to other clients all day long. In the last 7 years I have not marketed except for the very beginning of my business. Then I used a new business list from the local business journal and it was a slam dunk. New business and quickbooks go hand in hand. I got calls off the original 1500 names I sent out for at least 4 years.

    16. Jesse Braswell

      I love the ideas, thanks for sharing. As a startup business this year, the one thing that I lack in my business arsenal are good marketing ideas, and your blogs have been filling in the holes for me. Thanks!

    17. LaVone Burnette

      What I have found that works for me is to offer free classes at my local library once a month on some basic bookkeeping, computer and/or QuickBooks. The people that attend receive just enough information to get them started and normally within 2-3 days someone always contacts me for more information and at time it becomes a paid service. Craigslist has also been another effective marketing tool.

      What hasn’t worked for me in the past for me: postcards, brochures, cold calling.

    18. Scott

      I liked your article about creating a mailing list for free through your library. Direct mailing can work well if you target potential customers based on some criteria. For instance, a tax preparer I’m very close to sent direct mail to families who moved to the area recently in anticipation that they might need a tax preparer.

    19. Don Bobbitt

      A source that gets overlooked is Craigslist. It’s free to run an ad there, and it can generate business. However, because of spammers I’d suggest putting something in your ad which clearly shows you are local and asking for something like that from anyone who replies to show that they are also a real local client.

    20. Helen Lee-Bryant

      Thanks for all your information Michelle!!!

      I market my services to local CPA’s and ask my existing clients for referrals. I live in a smaller community north of the San Francisco Bay Area and reputation is very important here. I’ve been an independent bookkeeper since 1995 and local CPA’s and referrals have stood me in good stead.

      We also have a very vibrant community of local bookkeepers that get together monthly (at a local CPS firm) and discuss various topics related to our businesses. Several of the “tech savvy” members have set us up with a Yahoo Group (we pay $20 a year to be listed on the site) and we refer to each other via postings on the bookkeepers site. Thank goodness for these hardworking generous folks!

    21. Angela Singletary

      Thanks for the tip. I’m trying to put my marketing plan together and tax year 2012.

    22. markcpa

      I have never spent a dime on advertising. I meet people all the time and hand out my business cards and tell them what I do. If I do it well, they will tell their friends and I will get repeat business. So far it’s working well.

    23. Laure Mackey

      I think that it is important to have a marketing strategy, but equally important is to budget the time to seek out new clients. Even if it means hiring an outside firm to canvas potential clients who you then meet with and try to get as clients.

    24. Angel Heath


      Thanks for the links to the webinars – I’ve found that being a visual person, I don’t always “get” it when I hear someone talk or see it written. Actually viewing the webinar helps me LOTS!!!!

      PS Word of mouth has been the best marketing for me.


    25. Michelle Seoane

      I wish I didn’t have to work, I want to take all these webinars and learn more, more, more. I thought I knew a lot until I started going to places like this. Oh so much to learn, oh so little time.

    26. Rayanne

      Great tips, Michele. I tend to reach out to my target market and become active in their communities. The more they see me and my name, the more likely they are to do business with me.

    27. Cheryl Pear

      I find that word of mouth is the best, people that know your work habits and can let others know you come highly recommended. I also use and my website, as I offer bookkeeping and home improvement services. Maybe offering a discount for the beginning of services to, sometimes that will draw new clients to you.

    28. Scott Bonacker CPA

      Word-of-mouth and referrals are mentioned frequently in these suggestions, and for that to work well there are two underlying principles that have to be followed:

      Tell the truth, and do what you say you are going to do.

      Assuming the things you do are the things you should be doing, there is no stronger recommendation that someone can give to a potential client.

    29. T. Morinaga

      Sometimes marketing is simply doing little things for a client that others will bill for. later on the client will remember you and contract your services again or give your name out as a reference. And the beauty is that it doesn’t cost a lot

    30. Larry DeForest

      Great tips!
      Thanks Michele for all you do that helps us all.

      Thank You, Larry

    31. Ruth Solberg

      I leave cards at the local SCORE office and a business development center.

    32. Mindy

      Marketing currently working for me: Face-to-face networking consistently at a few meetings: the local chamber, the local Meetup ( group for business networking.

    33. Sherry Giando Foster

      I got my most recent call from someone who saw that I had a recommendation on the ProAdvisor website when they looked up people in the area. I really had to ASK my clients to do this because everyone is busy they don’t realize how important it is. ASK someone to recommend you on the website today.

    34. Holley

      I have found that building relationships that radiate through the small business community has helped to get referrals.

      And, Thanks Michelle, for the setup to gain the extra knowledge!

    35. Vickie

      I am still learning how to market my bookkeeping business, so I find Michelle’s tips to be extremely helpful. I haven’t been super successful in the past. What once worked for me (Craigslist posting) no longer works, and with me going to school (just graduated with my Associate of Science in Accounting and working on my Bachelor of Science in Financial Forensics) and working part time I find my marketing time extremely limited. I am looking forward to learning more and getting my business off the ground. Thanks, Michelle!

    36. Laura

      I have also partnered with another PA who specializes in POS and Enterprise. I deal with Mac, Pro and Premier. She does the initial setup and training. When she feels that they only need the services of a monthly or weekly bookkeeper she refers the client to a number of us in the area. Great arrangement for all of us.

    37. Laura

      Great tips. A fair number of my clients have been obtained through the PA website. I find it critcal to keep up with certifications so that my name appears near the top of the list.

    38. Lorelei

      These are great ideas. I’ve found that if you take the time to find out what people need instead of just telling then what you can do for them, they tend to listen to you more. Once you know how you can help them, tell them how your area of expertise will help their area of need. It’s really simple: just care about people.

    39. VQ

      I have found the Intuit ProAdvisor website a very effective marketing tools. In addition, having a professional website available also complements online marketing tools I use.

    40. Sandy

      I have used craigslist to post my services and got a few new clients. Referrals from clients and friends has been by far the most effective.

    41. Carla

      I own a bookkeeping firm so I send out letters to local CPAs introducing my firm and the services we provide. I target small firms and independents who are less likely to have bookkeepers on staff. When they refer their clients to me I already have a shoe in because of the trust factor. I’ve gained more clients through CPA referrals than any other method.

    42. Michele Ball

      I’ve joined a networking group. Hoping to get referrals that way once they all learn exactly what I do.

    43. Sylvia Hopper

      I have found that the best ways to get new clients is by attending networking events and word of mouth from those you have done business with recently or currently.
      Another good way to get new clients is to get recommendations from those you have worked with and put their recommendations on your website/blog areas.

    44. Leona van der Meer

      I joined my local BNI group 8 months ago and have so much business that I have been referring out to other QB Proadvisors. I am following the BNI motto, “Givers Gain”.

    45. Mimi Porter

      I’ve found referrals have been my biggest asset. I’ve also found a professional website helps. Many people that have called tell me have been to my site. The more I read, social media is the next wave to be on.

    46. Weaver, CPA

      A marketing method I’m checking into is HARO –

      Seems like it could be worth the time to generate positive publicity.

    47. Susan

      Initially, word of mouth and referrals got me started in building my client base. Then getting exposure via the ProAdvisor program added more clients. Developing a tandem business relationship with a local CPA was very successful as well. Now I believe developing a website cannot hurt. It seems that there are many tools, not just one, will help expand a business. Of course, subscribing to Michelle’s blogs such as this is really informative and helpful!!!!

    48. Contina

      First of all let me say thank you for the information you share on Quickbooks, it has been very valuable to me and I look forward to hearing/learning more. What appears to have started working for me is being more open. I’ve started a blog for women business owners to discuss their issues and concerns regarding running a small business in this community. The site has a kind of let your hair down and talk kind of feel to it and I’m hoping that many business owners join the conversation.

      Please continue to provide us with these tips and tricks. I really appreciate it. In this economy we need all the assistance we can get.

    49. Sholom

      Any time you meet people, (gym, coffe shop, doctor’s office, etc.) just talk about the work you do & how you saved a client tons of $ in taxes or uncovering fraud by their employees, etc.

      Also, if you attend conferences, come a few minutes early and get in front of the group and show your expertise of what you do. Don’t think you can do it in public? Just try it, and let me know how it went !

    50. Stephanie

      Some great suggestions here. There are so many ways to connect with potential clients (sometimes I’m mystified that bookkeepers complain they can’t find enough). Simply get out and connect with people in the business community. You don’t need to actively try to sell yourself – just let people know what you do – have business cards and a website (or PA listing). Every business needs bookkeeping in some form or another.

      Visit online forums for professionals in industries you service. You will often find small business owners asking accounting or tax-related questions. Be helpful and always let people know how to get in touch with you. No need to hard sell. If people like you and appreciate your know-how – that’s what will entice them to hire you.

    51. Nancy McClelland

      This may sound crazy, but creating a sense of demand has been the most effective marketing strategy I’ve used, and it started accidentally. I mentioned to someone who I did not think of as a potential client that I only take clients on referral, and the next thing you know, they wanted to figure out how to get a referral to work with me. During a crunch time, I explained to a neighbor that I was really busy, but would take them on as a client only because we had a common friend. Next thing I knew, that “common friend” was recommending me left and right, wanting all her friends to hurry up and book with me before I could no longer handle any more clients. Obviously, this can backfire, because I really do end up being way too busy, but at that point, I refer people to a trusted colleague, which builds goodwill.

      I find this works especially well when attempting to convert interest into engagements. My standard response when I am contacted is to let people know that I am not officially accepting new clients, but that I’d like to learn more about their needs to see if the industry or connections are so compelling that I’m willing to find a way to fit them in. At that point, it’s up to the potential client to convince me that I should take them on — not the other way around. I’ve found that it allows me to be pickier in screening potential clients, and making sure the ones I accept are truly an excellent fit for us both.

    52. Ann Stuck

      I have volunteered on two boards as Treasurer – one for local PTA and the other for a local nonprofit basketball league. This increases my exposure to people in the area that now know me as something other than a mom!

    53. Carolyn Angus

      For me networking, networking, networking has been effective. It takes about 3-6 months, but I have about a 95% close rate on those referrals and contacts I make.

    54. Carie Whitstone

      I have found that word of mouth is the best way of Advertising. I just started my business July 1, 2011, and already have 5 Clients. One happened to be a friend of a friend and then some came from my mom talking to her friends and so on. I also have a contact person that works at a payroll company that I have given my business cards to. I think that if you are good at what you do, your Clients will want to “brag” about your company. I have a long way to go, but it is a great start.

      Thanks for all of the tips!

    55. Kathy Byma


      Thank you for all your helpful advise. We are starting to try some new marketing strategies. One will be a joint marketing event with an IT company for QuickBooks users

    56. Anthony Noronha

      Hi there Michelle,

      Thanks for the tips and insight about growing your business!

    57. Miranda Cross

      Thanks for great tips from you and the comments. I always learn something from your site.

    58. Bruce

      My best marketing is my current Clientele. Referrals work best. I have worked with Local TV, News paper and such, word of mouth is the best.

      I make a presence on the web and Google is my second best answer to getting the word out that I am here.

      As a ProAdvisor I don’t need the copy of 2012 Accountant, but I have a colleague in NJ who is a stubborn old German who besides my suggestions just download the Free Sage product… I hope to win this week as I need to send him a product that he will be much happier with.

    59. Gina Rodkey

      Michelle, as usual has great tips, thanks.
      I try to get listed where ever possible. I have Facebook and Linked in accounts. I participate in group discussions.

    60. Carol Buckley

      Most of my leads come from referrals by my current clients and from SCORE, a team of professionals that offer free support, consultation and advice for new and established small businesses. They have been very instrumental in helping me build and improve my business. They are a nationwide organization.

    61. Robyn Smithson

      Thanks Michelle,

      Great tips in both your article and the comments. Word of mouth has always worked great for me. However, since we moved to another state, I have found that social media and networking have helped as well.

    62. Tiffany

      My husband is the one who brings me most of my clients so far! He refers accounting/tax clients to me and I refer financial services clients to him. Works both ways!

    63. Jeneen

      I have found success with word of mouth. Recently, I expanded my service offerings and found that my current clientel is spreading the word more effectively than my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles.

    64. Leslie

      I have found word of mouth has given me great results. My clients and their accountants have been my best sources for new business.

    65. Lynn Miller

      I usually go through our list of clients in the middle of the year during our slack time and make phone calls to those using Quickbooks to see if there is anything they need or to answer any questions they might have. This usually opens up some new business because they hadn’t thought to call me.

      I also think being an Advanced Pro Advisor brings me extra business when my name is the first one that pops up in my community.

      I also like to share Quicktips with my clients to use. they are always so grateful.

    66. Lisa A Smith

      Word of Mouth has been my best source for growth. Now I am finding I have to hire on additional staff to keep up with my work load. Thanks Michelle for all you do. You are a great resource for us all.

    67. Jo Ellen Peters

      I don’t really have a lot of experience yet at getting clients, I think I have more experience at not getting clients. And I think the reason is, which I finally figured out, when they called and asked questions about my services and how I would fix a particular problem, I would go into detail about what I would do. I would never hear from them again. I think I was trying to hard to impress them over the phone, instead I gave them the solution and they didn’t need me! I have done the same thing in consultations.

      As for referrals, I have asked several clients that I have worked with in the past to write a referral on my ProAdvisor site and no one will. They say they will, but they don’t. I have one referral from a client that I do work for for free (a non profit – she does it free for her church).

    68. Susan

      Looking forward to growing my business using your helpful tips and how to’s! Thanks Michelle!

    69. Tracie Dreyer

      A few key strategies which worked for me (bookkeeping and payroll service provider):

      – Get to know the local CPAs in my town. Offer to help with any extra work they have. It’s usually the bottom of their barrel in the beginning, but after repeated quality work by me, they begin to call on me for more and more jobs. Eventually giving me some of their clients, for book work, to free up their time for more tax work.

      – The local chamber puts out a newsletter every month. I put a flier in there every 2-3 months, which is very cheap, and reaches hundreds of businesses in my community. Mostly new businesses, who are looking for someone they can trust.

      – Having my name every where; phone book, website, ProAdvisor site, fliers, non-profit event sponsor, etc… This makes it easier for them to remember my name.

    70. Lorraine

      Great tips! I have found that being a Pro Advisor and listed on the website has really helped with getting leads.

    71. Debbie Winn

      Great ideas from the blog, but also some great ideas in the comments. As always I’m impressed with Michelle’s knowledge and willingness to share.

    72. Brenda Ellis

      Becoming a Certified ProAdvisor and keeping your ProAdvisor profile up-to-date is the best way to generate many local contacts. The next best is FREE by utilizing the search engines such as Google Places.

    73. Marie Hausner

      Becoming a QB Certified Pro Advisor has helped me build my client list tremendously. I have gotten several clients this way. Most of them started out as QB training and almost all have led to long-term bookkeeping assignments. I also have a good working relationship with one of our local IT companies; they refer clients to me and I call them when I have computer problems… well for both of us. DIrect mailings NEVER worked for me. I did a few several years ago when I started my business and did not get one client from them. Just a big waste of money.

    74. Deb Frawley

      I know one thing that doesn’t work that I’m guilty of and that is, not being consistent. If you aren’t consistent you’ll get nowhere fast. Pick 2 or 3 marketing tactics that work and stick with them, be consistent and you’ll see results.

    75. Samprit Shergill, CPA

      Hi Michelle,
      What would you suggest will be the most effective method for me to reach out to my tax cilents when using the mailing list which u had mentioned in ur presentation, letter, flyer, brochure etc since its a start up tax business for me?

      You have great helpful information in your presentation. I am using those information to target my clients.

      Thank You.

    76. Brenda

      I joined BNI (Business Network International) the group meets weekly the referrals that I have received have doubled my clients.

    77. Caren Schwartz

      Particpate in forums for the programs you support. While you will give away information, I have found that this often leads to people calling me because I come to be viewed as an expert. It also contributes to your rankings in search engines.

    78. Cheryl L

      I think that staying in contact with your current and past clients is a great idea. Like I read referrals are a positive part of getting your foot in the door. I also like the idea of sending out tips and tricks to your clients. I think they will benefit greatly from not having to recreate the wheel themselves.

    79. Danielle Belyeu

      These are some great tips. I was doing some contract work, but now need to widen out for more clients. Hours were cut. I will defintitely implement several of these to get more work. Thanks a bunch.

    80. Anne-Marie Johnson

      I have success with asking current clients for referrals and keeping in touch with my local community through volunteer work.

    81. Celeste

      This time in my career (have built an accounting/bookkeeping practice twice), I found an accounting firm through Craigslist, who contracted out accountants and bookkeepers, and also had joined a referral service in my area. After that it was talking to friends and social connections about what I do. And lately I have been finding contract jobs from connections trhough my other career as a Dancer/Choreographer/Dance Teacher. One students father hired me about 2 -1/2 years ago to switch him from Peachtree to Quickbooks and then monthly upkeep on his books which led to his wife, who is a Tax Lawyer and does taxes, referring me to a client that actually needed 3 sets of books cleaned up and 2 of them to be ongoing clients. I also found a position through a theater website that I was purusing for auditions and decided to look at their Jobs page and lo and behold they were looking for a contract bookkeeper. Guess who got the job?? And I am now helping a client, referred by a choreographer I have worked with who knows and works with the client’s wife in his other career as a film producer, convert their excel manual system to Quickbooks and then upkeep on the books. So you never know where the referral will come from, you just need to let everyone you know what you do best. Mine is converting and cleaning up books.

    82. Tammy

      Michelle, we are going through many of these changes in our office such as updating our website, revamping our marketing plans. Thank you for your timely post!

    83. Pam

      Thanks for the tips! I’ve found that keeping up-to-date on all certifications helps to keep your name up towards the top of the ProAdvisor website. Also I’ve paired up with an IT person – he quite often is helping someone with computer issues and they ask if he knows any QuickBooks people.

    84. Mary Ann

      I have found that no one thing will bring in the clients. I work with a CPA who only does taxes, and he sends me bookkeeping work. In return, I refer the more complicated tax returns to him. It works well for both of us. I also use networking through the local chamber office, Enrolled Agents chapter, and the local chapter of the Intitute of Management Accountants. I also get a lot of referrals from existing clients. Don’t rely on only one avenue of marketing.

    85. Jennifer P.

      Building relationships is one way to grow without spending money. Word of worth is worth its weight in gold, especially when people are looking for someone to mind their books! A good relationship with other accounting professionals will enable an overflow to flow your way!

    86. Stacey Byrne

      Many of my referrals come from another CPA who does not want to know the ins and outs of QB. I choose not to do taxes and refer tax work to him. He is also my landlord, renting me an office and use of the conference room, kitchen, copier, fax, shredding services etc. This has been a great partnership in a lot of ways and been a good source of new clients. I leave my business cards on the counter so all of his clients coming in throughout the year become potential clients.

      A smaller portion of new business comes from the QBProAdvisor Program website.

    87. Cynthia D. Smith

      I am just getting started and my friend (a marketing whiz) has given me all sorts of tips, but by far the easiest is to ALWAYS have your business cards on hand and give them out to everyone. She also had a “skin” made for her netbook, so when she is out and about the logo and website of her non-profit is in sight. She says alot of people will start up a conversation based on that alone.

    88. Marva Goldson

      I have found it is really who you know that gets you in the door of many companies. I have found success using recruiters and prior co-workers.

    89. Amy Reger

      We have always found treating each client as if they were more important than any other, not like they were only one of several, went a long way to keeping them happy, which, in turn, had them telling friends, family, and business contacts that we were the best around! In effect, we marketed ourselves to our existing clients. We were always busy, always asking for referrals from our clients, and always generating new work. Thanks for the marketing tips and ideas — it’s exciting to try something new that has proven successful for others.

    90. Nancy Swallom

      Referrals and getting involved in the community work well for the firm I work for.

    91. Cyndi Menard

      I have found that networking and association groups work well for me. I find that the best referrals/clients come from people that have a connection to me. Lately I have received several new clients through this method. When I receive a referral from someone that knows me typically that potential client falls into my “perfect client profile”. Thanks to all who have commented – some wonderful ideas have been presented which I plan on trying.

    92. GFeeder

      Referrals have been our best marketing tools. By establishing relationships with key vendors that we can refer to each other has been very helpful (i.e. financial planners, payroll companies, attorneys). Additionally, we have just started sending personal thank-you notes and sometimes a small gift card to the source of a referral when a new client is secured from that referral.

    93. Cheryl McCarthy

      I find that having a great website is very helpful in marketing a practice or any type of service. In this electronic age, everyone expects to be able to see your product or service on the web before they approach you for your business. Without a website you are at a disadvantage, since I find, especially with the younger generation, that if you don’t have a website you don’t get a call. Hope this helps.

    94. Rebecca Neilson

      I find that working with the community is very helpful. I have offered free tax returns for non-profits school organizatiosn the first year they come to me. In many cases I have also had to help them clean up and organize their bookkeeping. While these services are donated the first year I work with them, most come back and pay for continuing years of returns and bookkeeping help. But the best part is I help these non-profit clubs to meet their IRS and state requirements so they can benifit our children. In turn many parents have come to me for their personal and business tax returns and bookkeeping needs.

    95. Lisa

      Creating contacts for referrals is a good way but keeping in touch with those contacts can slip through with busy schedules. Some contacts can take awhile to refer where others will refer some that don’t work out. Always keep in touch by stopping by or bringing a treat. People remember those that brings things and it doesn’t have to cost much with coupons. I have learned referals can come from unexpected places. Keeping in touch with people will make them feel comfortable with referrals to you because you communicate. I believe communication is lacking in our society on a personal level.

    96. Laura Moncrieff

      Thanks for the great marketing tips. I especially appreciate the online tools like using the library to find new clients. I am able to access my library’s online databases remotely, which saves me a lot of time. Your other tips on online tools and resources are great. Thank you.

    97. Brian Anderson

      I have always found that getting involved in the community helps. People see you working with others on a Habitat for Humanity house or volunteering in hospice and they think “Wow, this accountant really cares and they haven’t hit me up for business one time.”

    98. Don Hayes

      It might sound simple, but the best marketing I’ve done so far has been the result of just being friendly and interested in people I talk to. In conversation I find out about them, and tell what I do.

    99. Donna

      Hoping this will help me out as I start my new adventure with my own bookkeeping services after roughly 40 years working for others. Looking forward to learning information that will help me to establish this goal.

    100. Melanie

      I’ve tapped into my network of former co-workers and friends for most of my work and used a few freelance boards to supplement my workload. My work is no longer traditional accounting but a variety of areas that use the skills I developed over my years in corporate finance.

    101. Pat T

      Great tips and ideas. I use Facebook and LinkedIn to post leads about articles in my monthly newsletter with a link to the newsletter and the entire article and have had great response.

    102. Cathy Feltman

      I am not an accountant, I am a self-taught bookkeeper. I work for accountants and one marketing strategy I have (that often works) is the advantage that my background involves IT. I’m clearly more equiped to work with clients from the computer perspective while the accountants handle the “not so ordinary” bookkeeping aspect. My expertise in computers and being a proadvisor provides another avenue of services the accountants I work with can offer to clients.

    103. Deb Howard Greenleaf

      Teaching classes at the local SBDC and the local manufacturer’s group has been my most successful marketing effort by far. People in town know I’m “that QuickBooks lady!”

    104. SDavis

      Hello all,

      I have discovered that simply asking for the referral is quite effective. By not assuming my clients will automatically refer me and asking for referrals has helped me more than any other marketing campaigns I have done in the past. Now i am working to incorporate a referral system into my webpage and social media pages.