The Ambitious Bookkeeper Podcast

How to help clients that want to DIY

March 30, 2022 Serena Shoup, CPA Season 1 Episode 42
The Ambitious Bookkeeper Podcast
How to help clients that want to DIY
Show Notes Transcript

Wondering how you can serve DIY clients?

In this solo episode I go into some ideas, experiences, and lessons learned around offering a DIY service to clients, questions to ask yourself before going down this path, and as always, some actionable tips for getting started.

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Before we get into today's episode. I wanted to let you know that you can win the workshops bundle, which is on sale for $79 right now. But it includes the last round of the workshop replays, a 10 99 workshop and a sales tax workshop. If I were to sell all of these separately. You'd be paying. A couple of hundred dollars, but it is on sale for $79, but you have the chance to win this bundle. You just have to screenshot this episode type out the action that you're taking from this episode. And tag me at ambitious bookkeeper on Instagram or at Serina shoot. CPA on Facebook to be entered, to win. Type out the action you're taking from this episode and tag me. I will be drawing a winner every week that I talk about this on each episode. So you have to listen in real time, so make sure you're subscribed. In today's episode i'm going to be sharing some insights and actionable tips for serving the dei wires so stay tuned Hey, and welcome to the ambitious bookkeeper podcast. I am Serena Shoup. I am a CPA and mom of three, and I'm running a virtual bookkeeping business. Mostly from my home. You're in the right place. If you're a bookkeeper accountant or an accounting student, and you know that your purpose is bigger than sitting in a cubicle. If you're ready to learn some actionable tips and strategies to help you start and grow a bookkeeping or accounting business, I hope you stick around. Like I said in the intro today, I'm talking about how you can help businesses that want to DIY their books. First, I like to ask, what is your goal with this? Do you want to be attracting D I Y. Business owners. Now, I'm not saying that there is a right or wrong answer here. I just want you to be intentional with this. Is there a strategy behind helping these business owners and making it a part of your longterm sales strategy? So in essence, are you going to be doing this for clients who are growing? You know, they're on the growth trajectory. They have a plan to grow their business and eventually we'll need. One-on-one or done for you services. Then, if that's the case, keep ongoing. I, I totally agree that this is a great strategy for rolling people into your. Uh, you're done for you services. However, if you know that the. Group of business owners that want to DIY their books typically are staying stagnant in the revenue range that they're currently in. They don't really have any plans to eventually. Hire a bookkeeper. Then I would reevaluate. Offering this, but there's some more questions I'm going to ask you. So then who is actually your perfect fit client. And what is their revenue range for your one-on-one done for you services? Can they afford to even work with you? One-on-one. Or not. And this is why you're kind of dabbling in this. DIY. Maybe creating a course or figuring out how to serve them. And if you do this, if you go this route of supporting DIY clients, will that detract from your higher paying clients? At, uh, the level of service you're able to give them. For, for example, if you're spending a lot of time marketing a course or marketing a DIY service. But you're not really fulfilling on your one-on-one services for the clients that you're, that are paying you more. Is that going to like, are there, they're probably going to notice. And is that going to detract from the energy that you have to serve your current clients? Um, So I wanted to kind of give an example of like, when I first started out. I offered a DIY package for clients who couldn't afford to work with me. I still offered. And there's so many different ways that you can do this. So take this with a grain of salt, take some ideas from it, make it your own. But what I did, what I did was I had a. I gave them the option of a quarterly fee or paying the quarterly fee over each month. But they only got a quarterly meeting every quarter. I would go into their books and essentially do a diagnostic to see what things they had messed up and then tell them what needed to be corrected. Where. Where this kind of fell apart was that a lot of times. They wouldn't, they wouldn't even want to deal with having to correct it. So they would either offer to, uh, pay me to do it. Or sometimes I'd be like, it's not even worth having a conversation I'm in here right now. I'm just going to fix it for this. So be aware if this is a service that you're offering. I think there's obviously other ways to offer DIY services. You don't have to offer that like, I'm going to go in and check your book sober. So, um, essentially I was doing a diagnostic every quarter, and so I eventually raised the DIY price to 500 a quarter because that's what my da diagnostic fee is. And it made sense, but they were still getting more than the diagnostic, right. Um, they were able to contact me if they had questions, I would record trainings and provide those for them, like on a customized basis. So it was actually. Really not worth my time. In the end. And I also discovered that certain businesses are just, even if they can't afford. One-on-one services. They are just not a fit for DIY. Uh, if they're not keeping up with their books, if they're not. Um, If they just really have no desire to learn or figure these things out, they're not a good fit and they're not a good fit if they have sales tax. If they're e-commerce, if there's. Any type of product that they're selling, it's not a good fit for this type of, of service offering. So keep that in mind as well. Um, So essentially, if you, if those, if those businesses do have that level of complexity, you're actually acting in like a controller position going into their books and reviewing things and, and training them on how to do things. And that is actually worth more than your done for you bookkeeping services. So keep that in mind. So that those are some lessons that I learned from offering DIY. When I first started, I was only charging a hundred dollars a month for DIY services. Maybe even less, honestly, it was like 90, it ended up being like $90 a month. For DIY. And then each time I brought on a DIY client, I would raise the price because I was like, there's a lot. It's just a lot more work going into it. Cause I would have to log in and check on things and then they weren't done. And then I would have to go and tell them, like, you're not keeping up on your books. So, what we ended up doing is we rolled a few of my clients is actually was a good strategy for. Bringing on, um, one-on-one like done for you services for the clients that were in growth mode. Like they were just starting out. They had big goals. They knew that eventually they would be hiring us. Um, to just take things over. But in the meantime, they also went in to get a handle and a grasp on what should be done so that when they did outsource it, they kind of knew what to look for. Um, And knew how to review the reports and all that kind of stuff. So there is a, there is a good fit for DIY services. I'm not saying there's not so too. Um, I think two or three of our clients rolled into done for you services because they got to the volume. That they were ready for it. And then one client just kind of stayed stagnant. She had plans to grow, but she just has not gotten there yet. And. She just wasn't keeping up on things. It wasn't fun for her to do the bookkeeping. She didn't really care. She just wants it done for. For tax purposes. So for her, we offered her like a very, a lower level package that we actually don't offer any of our other clients because it was in the end, easier for us to just take it over because it was very simple and straightforward then having to pester her to do it. We knew she didn't want to do it. We hated going in there and seeing it not being done. And so we just offered her. A very basic bookkeeping package. Like I said, that is well below our minimum for any other client. And rolled her into done for you services that way. All right. Now that my little story time is over. If you are still wanting to. Figure out how to help DIY wires. I want you to figure out your why behind it. Like I said before, Do you have a strategy for it? Um, Figure out why it is you really want to help DII wires. Are there truly a large group of people wanting to work with you that can't afford you? Or is this perceived based on one or two discovery calls where maybe they rejected the proposal because they couldn't afford it? I keep that in mind, like, I want you to dig in, like, why do I actually want to do this? Are there, is there actually a large group of people following me that want to work with me, but really can't afford it. And then the other question is. What, if you just change your intake process or your discovery process to filter people out who aren't a right fit budget wise. So that could mean putting your prices on your website. You can refer back to a few episodes back when I talked about, should you put your prices on your website? Um, you can change your discovery call process, where you require them to fill out a questionnaire before you get on the phone with them. So you can, you know, get their acknowledgement of what your minimum price is. And that kind of stuff. So that could be an option for you to evaluate if. Maybe, I won't feel the need to serve these DIY businesses. If I just changed my filtering process and my qualification process for clients. Before I even spend time on the phone because it is really hard to basically reject the client that is coming to you for help. When you know that you can help them, you know, it will be easy, but are they actually your perfect fit client? So instead of adding more complexities to your business, by adding another. Totally different type of service or a course, or however it is, you decide to help these DIY. And instead of adding more complexities, Unless you have the capacity and the desire. So if that's the case refer to last week's episode on how much time courses require. Um, if you're offering touch points and how much that will detract from your higher pain one-on-one clients. And then the next step is to figure out how you're going to do this. Now let's say that you're going into this with a strategy and intention. So you're targeting. A niche that, um, is in high growth mode, they do intend to hire you later on. And so it's kind of like a guarantee, like maybe we'll work together for a year DIY, and then after that we roll you into. Uh, one-on-one services or we end the engagement. You can do, you can structure things that way, too. So let's say you have the strategy going into it and you sit, let's say you have capacity and the creative drive to do this because it takes a lot. It takes a lot of creativity. And I know that a lot of accountants are like, I'm not creative, which I. I disagree with you. We're all creative to an extent. But it does take some creative drive and. Um, you know, uh, LA. There's a lot of writing that goes into creating courses. Even if you're going to do a screen-share and record, there's still a lot of writing that goes into it with the emails, with the sales page copy with all sorts of stuff. So if you really don't like to write. Probably don't create a course. And then let's say you truly have a big why to help more businesses that are already coming to you for help. Not a perceived need to help them. But you truly have a group of business owners that are just not there yet that need your help. And they are wanting to work with you. They're coming to you. They're like, I want to work with you. I can't afford you yet. I'm going to work with you eventually, but what do I, what do I do in the meantime? So let's say this all exists. First. You really need to narrow down your niche, even if you don't have one for your bookkeeping business yet. I want you to choose one that you could market about and for directly to. Your course, niche needs to be more specific than what you're likely comfortable with, because you're going to feel like, again, you're filtering people out and you're excluding people, but you have that's how specific it needs to be because you have to be able to market. Directly to that. Niche in their language, in the language that they use in their business. So let's say right now you actually serve. Lots of different service providers in your bookkeeping one-on-one work. Let's say you have maybe, um, a consultant, maybe have some coaches. Maybe you have. Um, A public speaker, like someone that does keynotes and stuff like that. So those are all technically service providers, but they all are in very different niches. If you see what I'm saying? So you would have to be very specific and pick. One client that you work with and be as specific as that one client. So say you decided I'm going to create a DIY course. For service providers? Nope. That's way too broad. We do broad. You would have to say. Okay. I'm going to look at my current client base. And, um, with the examples I just provided and I'm going to go with. Um, The keynote speaker and I'm going to create a bookkeeping course, a DIY bookkeeping course for keynote speakers. They have a very specific revenue stream. They either do keynotes or workshops. So you have to talk in their language. They're likely to go to lots of events. So there's going to be a lot of travel. So you start thinking through the things that are going to happen for that business specifically, and how you would do the bookkeeping for that businesses, but specifically that's how specific you have to get. If you're going into a DIY bookkeeping course, because bookkeeping has way too many nuances to be able to teach it broadly to a business owner who doesn't have the accounting background or bookkeeping background that we have. Otherwise, you will get bogged down with nuanced questions. All right. For more help on this. I want you to head over to ambitious N I C H E, or niche. If that's how you like to say it, to download a free guide that will help you narrow your niche down for a digital product or course business. This is an affiliate link. As I mentioned last week, I am an affiliate of James Wedmore's business by design program. It's a free guide. However, when you click on the link, it will take you to his website. So don't be alarmed. It's not a scam, but he is one of my online course mentors. And so I fully. I just love the way he teaches. You may or may not download the guide and see for yourself. So once you have your niche, your next step is to actually start building the audience for it. Hopefully you have this already, because that should be why. Partially, you're wanting to offer this service to serve people who already want to work with you. But if not, Don't create another Instagram or social account, even if the niche is different or more specific than what your current client base or following is, just start where you're at. Don't don't overcomplicate. This does not have to be perfect. And then I want you to build some sort of community. This does not have to be a Facebook group, but a community of your following. Okay. And then you want to start collecting email addresses. So go back and listen to episode 13, I did with Liz Wilcox on building an email list. Um, and then from there. Just work on this for the next few months, before you even start creating the course, you may find that your audience needs something totally different than what you're thinking in the first place or a different style of instruction, or maybe you'll narrow your niche in a different direction. So stay open to the possibilities. And when you start building your community and email list, you'll learn a lot from your audience, especially if you ask them to respond to your questions in email or on social, everything. Everything is an opportunity for market research. Okay, this is where I'd like to leave you today because I've given you a few actionable steps to tackle. Um, like I said, I'm an affiliate of business by design, which doesn't actually open until June. But I'm thinking one of the bonuses that I'm going to offer is to help you create a lead magnet. That will feed into your whatever course that you decide to build. If, if however you wanted to go the, go down the path, of course, creation and create a DIY course or some sort of course, and your business. Uh, so don't forget about the giveaway I'm doing. You can win the workshops bundle, which includes the last round of the workshops replays. A 10 99 workshop and a sales tax workshop. You just have to screenshot this episode. Type out the action you're taking from this episode and tag me. At ambitious bookkeeper on Instagram or at Serina Shupe CPA. On Facebook. And I will be drawing a winner every week. So make sure you are subscribed. And also I would love it. If you rated and reviewed the show, this helps more people find it. And I will talk to you next week. Thank you to everyone who helps make this podcast possible. Content and interviews are produced by me. Cirina Shoop our intro and outro music is written and performed by my brother. Ian Gilliam editing is also by Ian using his awesome sound engineering skills along with the script software hosting and publishing is by Buzzsprout and you can. The show notes for links to all of these amazing resources and resources mentioned in the episode.