Find your ideal client
Find your ideal client

How to find new clients during COVID-19

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Just as many parents have suddenly had to become teachers during COVID-19, accountants need to become creative spirits. Networking and meeting with potential new clients aren’t happening much in the face-to-face arena these days, so consider using the power of social media. Many of us are finding new clients though creative posts on social media because those are the faces most work-from-home people are seeing these days.

Here are some key tips on how to find new clients through social media:

Choose a theme for your social media posts and stick with it through a series. Perhaps you focus on new business opportunities, neighborhood events, new regulations or changes in the SBA loans arena, then select a topic to talk about and make yourself known.

Answer questions on social media when questions are asked. People do business with people they know, like, trust, and appreciate. Be the person whose name is associated with good answers that are thorough and complete. Sending them to your website and saying “call me for more information” are sales pitches. The willingness to solve a problem shows you are a valuable source of information. If a post gets too personal, ask if a direct message is preferred.

Make your information timely and relevant. Telling someone the deadline was last week won’t help. Be creative, make it interesting, keep it short, and make it fun. Social media looks for the positive, not the negative, so be sure you are sending a unified message with your social media presence.

Show your human side. People do business with people. Think of the times you decided against doing business with a brand or company because of the people you encountered, despite your love or want of their products. The sharing of common interest, likes, and situations make people feel comfortable. If you can demonstrate how you have overcome a challenge in this current environment, people will gravitate toward you. They will look to you to solve other challenges.

Look to social media that isn’t just mainstream. Posting helpful comments on sites such as Nextdoor, Yelp, and Google also gives you a stronger online presence.

Create a plan. One year I made posts every couple of days with jokes, stories, and lighthearted humor during the first part of the year. The comments and referrals to new clients had a marked increase. This undertaking was a substantial effort to come up with content, but I gathered that from many sources, and kept it varied and different.

In addition, now that we’ve been working remotely during COVID-19 for more than a year, here are three big differences between March 2020 and now:

  1. Videos are great for a potential client to get to know you without meeting in person.
  2. Zoom and other online meeting applications are routinely accepted now, so why meet in person, even if you could?
  3. Expand your reach outside of your immediate delivery area if you can function totally virtually. Clients don’t have to be close anymore.

Reaching potential new clients doesn’t have to be all about direct selling. Think about how quickly you skim over ads on social media, then think about what attracts you in terms of articles, stories, and antidotes. Accounting is all about the law of numbers.

The more people know what you do and like how you solve problems, the more they will trust you with their needs.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 6, 2020, and updated with new content on March 19, 2021.

Diana Crawford, CPA

Diana Crawford, CPA, is managing partner of Crawford, Merritt & Company, a firm in the Atlanta area that serves unique businesses with unique challenges. She is a business coach who champions her clients to succeed, and a networking titan who has built a firm through relationships. Diana has 30 years' experience in bookkeeping, tax, government auditing and fraud investigations. She has authored and delivered education/certification courses on QuickBooks® and Intuit ProConnect™ ProSeries® for Intuit, the North Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Find Diana on Twitter @DianaCrawford. More from Diana Crawford, CPA

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