How to find clients - A guide and experience study for GST Practitioners

Last udpated: Nov. 26, 2018, 9:29 a.m.

Do you practice in field of taxation, accounts? If yes, then I will tell you hundred percent working way to market your services and find clients for your successful practice.

Starting a profession is easy, but getting clients is difficult.

I started my practice around 3 years back and when I started, I did not have big contacts. I started my practice with few clients which were small traders and fee was very low to even rent an office. At beginning I started my practice from my home.

Before GST was implemented I was practicing in field of VAT and Income Tax. After launch of GST, everyone thought new opportunities will be available for professionals. However the basic question remained, how do we tap the opportunities and get new clients.

Tax regime changed, generations too changed

Marketing is very essential whether you are running a business or profession. Whether you chose a direct marketing method or go with indirect method, you have to market your services.

With change in tax regime from VAT, Service Tax and excise to GST, many other things changed too.

Here is a list of changes that GST brought with itself.

  1. Many older consultants and professionals left practice.
  2. Business owners are looking for new consultants.
  3. Consultants with no computer knowledge left practice.
  4. Those on retirement stage, finally retired.
  5. India is changing and the way business owners appoint consultants is also changing. New generation of entrepreneurs and industrialist are appointing tax consultants on different factors. Your marketing skills are important here.

You can see that GST brought not only opportunities but even gap between demand and supply was created. One bigger advantage we tax consultants got was that most of chartered accountants are not accepting GST works such as return filing.

So, we as a tax consultant have opportunities and we need to find ways to capture the market and grow our practice.

Different methods to market your tax services

As a tax consultant you need to keep yourself updated with latest happenings and take care of various due dates. We hardly find time to dilute our time in other non core activities.

However marketing your services is no more a non core activity. It should be top of your to do list.

It's better to concentrate on few high paying clients, than handling 200 low paying clients.

I will give you my own example, I used to file returns of around 100-150 traders and fee for returns was ranging from 500-1500. I took too much stress, I could not enjoy life because of work pressure. Condition got worse after GST was launched.

Filing GST return takes more time and clients were not ready to increase fee. There are tax consultants who roam around and are filing returns for as low as 250. You can check various facebook pages, consultants are offering to file returns for as low as Rs. 100.

Do you believe you can live a good life with such a low fee. I faced same problem and I had to come out of this.

I had to revisit my practice options and concentrate on living a good life rather a stressful life.

I had to set targets to achieve financial freedom and grow my practice. My target was to have few but high paying clients.

If you can replace your 25 clients with 1 client and earnings remains same, that's a good deal.

I divided my clients in 2 lists. Long term clients and short term clients. Short term clients list contains clients which I planned to drop. The list was prepared based on these criteria.

  1. Clients do not pay on time.
  2. Fee was low and work was more.
  3. Client does not respect your work.
  4. Client do not respond on time and sends information late on regular basis.
  5. Do not feel comfortable working with client.

Everyone of us have these type of clients, but we still keep them because we do not want our earnings to go down. However, we earn very small money from them but stress they give is very high.

Before I could drop these clients, I had to find bigger and high paying clients.

Getting clients by Direct Advertisement

I tried this method to get clients for my professional practice. Different channels and advertisement providers I selected for targeting clients were:

  1. Google Adwords
  2. Facebook Advertisement
  3. Linkedin Advertisement

Google Adwords, Facebook and Linkedin for advertising and targeting Business Owners

I tried Google Adwords, it is a service by Google, where you can set your target audience and budget. I initially decided to spend 50,000. The same amount I tried with Facebook and Linkedin.

So my total budget for all 3 platforms was Rs. 1,50,000.

You need to sign up on Google Adwords and than set your budget. Click per cost and CPM. I set Rs. 10 per click and target business owners in Bangalore.

You can also fix the keywords which if searched on Google, your ad will be competing with other bidders and shown on search results.

I tried advertisement on all these platforms by fixing keywords, demographics, income range and type of user visiting the page.

Believe me getting clients through these platforms was very difficult. By spending Rs. 1,50,000 on these platforms, I hardly got 5 clients. These clients were not big.

My experience with advertisement was not good. There are reasons that advertisements failed.

Direct Advertisement for professionals fail most of the time and there are lot of reasons. Main reasons I believe are:

  1. Ads are target based, but there are very low chances that right people at right time will click and visit your service providing web page.
  2. Ads disappear once you are out of your budget.
  3. CPC (Cost Per Click) result in wastage of lot of clicks. Even we click a lot of ads but hardly use or buy products.
  4. Just by putting online advertisement does not generate enough trust to avail our services.
  5. Big companies hardly appoint anyone by looking at Facebook, Google or Linkedin Ads. They need a track record and your brand value.

My advertisement strategy failed. I created accounts, placed ads and even got enquiries but converting leads into client is not easy. You need a brand name and established track record to lure clients.

Indirect Marketing and how I used it to get clients

The best marketing is one that is free and long lasting. Do it once and forget about it.

Yes this is what I did. I used a marketing strategy that worked for me. It was free and very cost effective. I did not spend any money and I got my best clients through this method.

I analysed different options available for indirect marketing and which could give best result.

Target of my indirect advertising were:

  1. Minimum cost, maximum returns
  2. Market/Advertise once and forget it, meaning your marketing campaign should stay relevant to your targeted clients.
  3. I should be able to create brand of myself.
  4. I should target myself as an expert and reputed in my service class.

Blogging to get clients

I thought of launching a blog to get clients. Blog is nothing but a website where you can publish your articles on different topics. People search for something related to your service and if your articles are ranking high on Google, visitors come to your site and may contact your for services.

This looks very straight forward.

I launched a blog and started writing articles on different aspects of Goods and Services Tax (GST). However there was one problem.

No matter how many articles I wrote, I never made it to first page of Google. There is lot of competition, your have many websites which rank on first page of Google. No matter how good your content is, those website always rank on top.

If you are starting a blog, you need to learn SEO.

I was again stuck. There are more than 100 crore blogs aof 2018 and everyday lakhs of people launch a blog. But how many blogs see success? Very few. If you search for tax related queries, there are 10-15 websites which come on first page. I tried a lot, paid to SEO consultants but got no results.

It is very difficult to outrank big websites already ranking on first page of Google.

I wrote lot of articles and my friends and relatives rated these article very high. But getting on Google results looked impossible.

Content writing to market services

I was sure that writing articles was best for professionals to advertise their knowledge and skills. However my blogging experiment failed. Actually I was late to launch a blog and already many websites established themself as GST leaders.

I still wanted to go with content writing.

Benefits of content marketing are:

  1. You write on a topic once and it stay there.
  2. Writing is cost effective and stay relevant for a longer period.
  3. Content marketing is best display of your skills and knowledge.
  4. Potential clients get their round of doubts cleared by reading article and chances of contacting for getting services become very high.
  5. Big companies love content marketing. I got my clients through content marketing only.

Now I had to focus on content marketing. Every big company now days use content marketing to get clients. You must have noticed that whenever you search for anything, it leads you to a website which tries to sale products to you.

Company did not spend any amount on direct advertisement. Hired someone and got the content and now Google sends free traffic.

I tried launching my own blog but was not successful as ranking on Google was very difficult. I knew about Pulkit and his passion for coding. He earlier launched a website and I used to read the website.

I was inspired by his success of getting clients from Tikshare articles.

He got clients like Healthkart, 1MG, Tyco, 3M etc. because of his content marketing skills.

I was looking forward to his next launch which was one other than KnowyourGST.

How I got clients from KnowyourGST and you can also get high quality clients

It's better to take advantage of existing resources than trying to establish one yourself.

As I told, I tried launching my own blog and failed with it. I was looking for a website which already have audience and I will be able to concentrate on writing articles instead of marketing them.

KnowyourGST was launched just before launch of GST and Pulkit shared details with me. KnowyourGST within 3 months of launch started getting 10 lakh pageviews.

KnowyourGST is now one of the biggest brand and people trust it.

I was lucky enough to join the site at time of its launch and started writing articles and answering question on site.

My first client came from my answers on the site. I tried to answer at least 5 questions everyday.

I wrote articles and answered questions on site. I was getting good views on site and finally my content were read by my targeted clients.

KnowyourGST is a big brand and it gives you good exposure.

If you are practicing and are looking for ways to get clients from online resources, I will suggest to join KnowyourGST right now and start answering questions or write articles on topics you target.

Today I have reached my goal. Now instead of 200 clients, I have only 25 but they pay me more than my 200 clients combined. I am now living stress free life and work pressure is reduced.

Big clients have a systematic approach and will not bother you every now and then.

My average billing is now Rs. 15,000 per client.

I have developed a systematic approach to my practice. My regular activities nowdays are:

  1. Spend 1 hour for marketing at KnowyourGST
  2. Spend 5 hours reviewing work of staff done for clients
  3. Billing and receiving payments

Best part is that even if I do not write much, I will still keep getting name and fame from KnowyourGST because I have already answered hundred of questions and they rank on top.

My final suggestion is to focus on content marketing and select a website that will give you complete focus. KnowyourGST is not our competitor but our friend in journey.


Posted by GST Payer under General

I am a GST consultant and write latest news on KYG and here to learn and share GST Laws. I get my clients from KnowyourGST. Need clients? Post answers and help public just like I do :) Check Profile

No comments yet, be first to comment.

You need to be logged in to comment.