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How do I market myself?

SuzySuzy New MemberRegistered Posts: 9
Hi, I have just become a MIP and am excited about working for myself (I also work as a Financial Controller 24 hours per week). I have the computer, Sage, business cards etc. The only thing I'm missing is customers! I have done a few leaflet drops through private and business addresses, put posters on boards and half a dozen people I know have showed interest but I haven't got any further with it.

I was just wondering if anybody out there has any advice on selling yourself (I am finding this really hard!). Is it best to advertise in the local press? How do other MIP's find their work? Should I write to all the local accountants and see if any of them have any surplus work I could take on? I am losing momentum fast!! Help!

Comments

  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    Getting the first few clients is the hardest part - after this, the best advertising kicks in, which is word of mouth.

    Just get your name out there, but don't spend a fortune. Look for cheap and free advertising - free online directories, local parish magazines, newsagent windows, local chamber of commerce free breakfast networking meetings, google maps entry (this worked wonders for my google rankings). My experience is based on a small rural town, if you are in a city it might be a bit different but the bottom line is get your name out the wherever you can.

    I believe ServiceStart has also worked for some people and may be worth looking into.
  • SeanSean Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    Hi Suzy,

    I am in the process of applying for my MIP licence, and am looking forward to going it alone, and no doubt I will also asking the same questions in the weeks to come. It may be worth setting up a free website by visiting the link below. I have already set mine up, and am in the process of adding the content. The site is free for the first 2 years, after which you will be invoiced. May I also ask what type of SAge package you will use. Is it a multi company licence?

    http://www.gbbo.co.uk/

    Good Luck

    Sean
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    Sean wrote: »

    http://www.gbbo.co.uk/

    Good Luck

    Sean

    Hey,
    I've not used them myself but have heard bad things about this site, that their customer support isn't great etc. Definitely worth shopping around before choosing a website provider, and make sure you read independent reviews for the ones you are considering before you go for it.

    A good website is defintely important.
  • SuzySuzy New Member Registered Posts: 9
    Marketing myself

    Thanks guys for your help and advice. I will definately look in to these suggestions. I suppose I have to be patient and keep plugging away.

    Sean - I have Sage 'Accounts Club Pro Plus - 5 company' which comes with free payroll.

    Suzy
  • MHaggerMHagger Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 17
    Hi Suzy,

    I also spoke to my child's school as they sometimes have adverts in the school newsletter and it goes out to over 500 homes in our small area. They are really cheap. Just an idea.

    Good luck I have just started out also.
  • sjkrsjkr Feels At Home MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 74
    I have been trying to get going for a while now. I used Moonfruit to construct a website, easy to do and doesn't cost a fortune, also got webmail addresses with it. I have tried advertising in local leaflets, these were unsuccessful. I have also gone down the road of writing to local accountants to see if they had anything they could subcontract to me, again this was unsuccessful. I have attended a couple of free networking events, people showed interest but nothing developed. I've registered with free online directories, Yell and do LinkedIn, this does drive people to the website.
    I picked up my first client after writing a press release for the local paper, easy and free! You can find help in writing a press release on the businesslink website.

    Hope you find this helpful, it really is difficult to get started!

    Julie
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    Until the word-of-mouth clients come rolling in, good starting points are the local charity newsletters, local shop window etc. This was there is little or no cost.
  • SuzySuzy New Member Registered Posts: 9
    I emailed the local newspaper yesterday and a business card size advert is £22 a month for 6 months - gulp. Have also written to 38 local accountants advertising my services. Also, going to advertise in the local supermarket. I suppose patience is the word!
  • MoneySavingBankMoneySavingBank Well-Known Registered Posts: 143
    Very good!

    Suzy,

    What you are doing is fantastic! I really believe this is the way forward.

    If you don't mind, please send text and email to all of your contacts about your new accounting services and thanks them whoever supported you through the process.

    That's how all of your contacts know that you are offering Accouting Services and they will try to remember you and your services when necessary.

    I got few referals from my relatives. ( I have spoken to them when i started my business and they are happy to riase my name in appropriate places in right time)

    That's all from me. Good Luck!

    Regards,
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