Are you currently freelancing as an accountant or thinking of working for yourself? Navigating a freelance career can be stressful and can leave you feeling uncertain, particularly if you don’t know how to market your services and build on your experiences. Here are a few tips to help you accelerate your professional journey and market your skills as a freelance accountant:
MARKET TO START-UPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) include start-ups and small companies that can’t always afford the big financial services firms. Think corner shops and fledgling companies. These enterprises need accountants too. As a freelance accountant, this is a great market to tap into. Make yourself visible to younger, smaller businesses and target your service towards this gap. A good start is by offering free assessments to the small businesses. This will help them get a sense of what you are offering and how it can benefit their business.
JOIN A FREELANCE NETWORK
It can be hugely beneficial to network with other freelancers, both formally and informally. A popular online freelance network called Upwork (formerly called Elance) matches freelancers with freelance jobs. This site allows you to build a profile, market your skills, and find work online.
SIGN UP WITH A RECRUITMENT AGENCY
Given the many recruitment agencies out there, it could be worth your while to sign up with at least one of them. Specify that you’re a freelancer looking for short-term contract work. This will help you build up a portfolio, broaden your experience, and maintain a stream of work. Also, consider BAN (Business Accounting Network), which is a franchise structure of accounting professionals working for themselves.
MAKE USE OF DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MARKETING
Build a website for yourself. There are many free platforms available if you don’t want to pay for one, and there’s always the option of outsourcing if you do. Your website should outline your services and let people know how to contact you, at the very least.
Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that it reflects the very best of who you are, what your experience entails, and which skills you have to offer. Needless to say, you should fully familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of LinkedIn.
A professional Facebook page can be helpful too. This makes you accessible and can go a long way in building up a client base. Be sure to include testimonials from satisfied clients and keep your page professional and updated. It should have a distinctive feel from your personal Facebook profile and should focus solely on marketing your business.
BUILD A CONSULTANCY
When your freelance career starts really taking off, you could explore the option of growing it even further. Consider the possibility of elevating your individual freelance business to a small consultancy firm. This would entail building your brand, probably recruiting a small team, formalising your company, and possibly continuing your education through additional bookkeeping and accounting programmes while maintaining business operations.