Can bookkeepers use Instagram?
If you wish to grow your client base on a shoestring budget, social media can be a very attractive option.
In exchange for your time, rather than your money, social media has the ability to give you access to far more potential clients than traditional advertising or networking.
Many of the bookkeepers I speak to have at least one social media account. However, most are drawn to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
But have you considered Instagram?
How does Instagram work?
Unlike LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook; Instagram is primarily about the visuals.
You can still showcase blog posts, network with potential clients and peers and promote your services but the image that you choose to attach to your post will take centre stage.
This means that the stock photos, such as people stood around a computer that you may use on the other social media platforms, are unlikely to help you to stand out on Instagram.
Will my ideal client be on Instagram?
Instagram will not suit every business. Knowing who your ideal client is will help you to determine whether Instagram is a worthwhile investment of your time.
Due to its visual nature, Instagram typically attracts businesses that have products to sell, aspirational imagery or a creative nature.
These can include healthcare and beauty, travel and food industries as well as retail. But also, designers, illustrators, copywriters and business coaches.
If your ideal clients are subcontractors, IT contractors, lawyers or even accountants, then you are less likely to find them on Instagram.
How do I find my ideal client on Instagram?
Instagram relies heavily on hashtags, so you will need to attach these to each post to enable your potential clients to find your content.
You can use up to 30 hashtags and Instagram will helpfully tell you how popular each one is as you add them to your post. You can create your own hashtags but choosing popular ones will increase the likelihood of your content being found.
It is worth finding businesses within your target markets and seeing who they follow as well as what hashtags they use, to ensure that your content is being shown in the right places.
Will my potential clients want to follow a bookkeeper on Instagram?
Bookkeeping isn’t an obviously visual industry. If your potential clients are creating an Instagram feed filled with beautiful and inspirational images, the chances are they will not be drawn to photos of paperwork and arch files.
But this can be a good thing because it can force you to think differently.
Social media rarely works if you use it as a platform to sell. It is no different to networking in that respect. I imagine very few of you have been tempted to buy from the person at your local networking event who forces their business cards on you and talks about their own products and services non-stop.
Create your own visual brand
Instead of trying to visualise bookkeeping, think about your brand and your ideal clients.
- Are you targeting local businesses?
- Do you have a business mascot such as an office dog or cat?
- What is your overarching marketing message? Do you save business owners’ time for example?
Once you have thought of your brands visual hook, this can form the theme of your Instagram feed.
So, if you are targeting local businesses, your feed can consist of local landmarks. You can promote local events and those businesses that fall within your ideal client range.
The goal is not to create a feed that sales your service, but a community of followers who know you do bookkeeping and so will think of you when they, or a friend or relative, needs your services.
How are other bookkeepers and accountants using Instagram?
If you are after some Instagram inspiration, then here are a couple of accounts that are worth checking out.
@coneaccounting – targeting bloggers and creatives, Cone has a beautiful feed that has uses their brand colours throughout. They post aspirational flat lay images, questions and business tips.
@simplified_accounting – another feed that uses the brand colours throughout. Rachel uses a mixture of inspirational quotes, blog posts and flat lays to attract female small business owners.
@but_the_books – Zoe has a black and white theme that mixes blog posts with images of herself to build up her personal brand.
@loudandclearac – Bookkeeper Alliance member Claire uses cartoons to depict the ups and downs of being a freelancer alongside being a parent.