Louise O’Hara spent 17 years working in the finance industry including insolvency and accountancy. 2 years ago she decided to start up my own company and offers bookkeeping services, data cleansing, proofreading and business services.
A few months ago, Louise booked a Social Media Training session with Altrincham HQ and we caught up with her to find out what a huge success it had been; how clients are flowing in from social media and how she’s coping now she’s busier than ever.
If you’re in the bookkeeping or accountancy industry you’ll find this case study on Social Media For Bookkeepers particularly interesting.
Q: You launched Walton Business Services in 2021. Do you want to introduce your business to our readers?
Andy and I had often joked about starting our own business together, but in January 2021 both of us were made redundant and we decided it was time to take the plunge. Initially I was helping out with overflow from the consultancy side of the business to help Andy and doing our bookkeeping. I had worked in the finance sector ever since leaving university but had never actually got round to taking my exams. I decided to study to gain my bookkeeping licence and then decided to continue and go for my accountancy qualifications too. It wasn’t easy at times as our daughter Freya was only 1 when we started the business and it was a juggle fitting in being a mum, running a business and studying but it was worth it. The bookkeeping side of the business has really taken off in the last 12 months and I’m love my job!
Q: Today we’re looking at your social media marketing and success. Could you explain how you came to the decision that you needed social media training and out of all the hundreds of social media trainers in the UK why you chose us?
I’d used Facebook and Instagram for years but not for business and LinkedIn had changed so much since I’d last used it that I didn’t know where to start! I also wasn’t posting consistently so I realised that I need a bit of guidance from someone who knew what they were doing! I’d seen a lot of Altrincham HQ’s posts on social media promoting local businesses and you had so recommendations so seemed like the logical choice.
Q: The training took just half a day. When you left the training how did you feel and what was the biggest takeaway?
I came away from the training feeling really positive and full of ideas. It took a few weeks to properly digest and implement what I’d learnt but I found that the more I posted the more ideas came to me. The biggest takeaways from the training for me were that it isn’t necessarily about how often you post, it’s about being consistent. And that it’s okay to repeat your message because it needs to be heard and not everyone will necessarily have seen it the first time round!
Q: Bookkeeping and social media. Was there anyone in the bookkeeping world you looked up to on social media or did you feel it was a totally blank canvas in terms of Social Media for bookkeepers? is the industry very active on social media?
There are a few bookkeepers on social media but I wasn’t aware of many others when I started. I am starting to see greater presence on social media but that may well be the algorithm!
Q: We’re about 3 months after the social media training session now. What type of content has particularly worked for you?
I have found that sharing more personal or humorous posts from time to time seems to get more interaction but the informative pieces seem to generate more queries from clients. I try to do a mixture as I think the information needs to be out there but we’re a family business so I think it’s important that people can see that and see the fun side from time to time.
Q: Have you faced any unique challenges or hurdles while implementing social media?
Bookkeeping isn’t the most glamorous thing to post about and I struggled at first with what images to use as I don’t have a product that I can take dazzling photos of! Originally, I used a lot of stock images but I’m starting to use tools such as Canva for some of my posts and more of my own photos. You have to get creative sometime – I resorted to using Freya’s fridge magnets for one of my posts! Emoji
Q: How much time do you spend on social media per week?
I aim to spend 30 minutes each day on my socials interacting with others and I set aside half a day each week to draft and prepare my content for the next week freeing me up to focus on the bookkeeping and meeting clients the rest of the week.
Q: How long after training did it take to generate your 1st sale from social media?
It was around 8 weeks but I was a little slow getting started in the beginning. It took a while to build up my profiles but after the first social media sale I had another 4 the following week. All my work previously had been from word of mouths recommendations so having people wanting to work with me purely on the basis of what they’d seen on social media was amazing!
Q: Now that you’re busier, from client wins. How are you managing to keep up your marketing?
I’ve started building in more structure to allow myself more time to focus on the bookkeeping itself. I now sketch out a rough plan for the next month’s ideas once a month and then flesh them out and add images weekly. I’ve assigned 1 afternoon a week for preparing posts, and use buffer to schedule for the week ahead, but the schedule sometime gets changed if something else crops up that is post-worthy during the week! My aim now that I am busier is to prepare information-heavy content a full month ahead and schedule it in and leave a few spots for more the more personal or funny posts to break it up a bit.
Q: How much of your personality do you put into social media?
I’ve started to write more in my own authentic voice, but I think I could inject more of my personality into my factual posts. I am finding it much easier to come up with ideas of what to post now and think that my personality definitely comes across much more in those posts. I think a lot of people find bookkeeping boring and I’m a pretty energetic and outgoing person so I want that to come over in my posts!
Q: And the next 12 months. How would you like to grow your social media
I’m planning to do more video content in the coming months as this is something that I haven’t been that comfortable doing previously. I’m also hoping to make more use of Instagram stories too as I love the idea of the interactive element of doing polls or open questions.
You can connect with Louise on LinkedIn here or on Instagram here or find out more about Walton Business Services at https://waltonbusinessservices.co.uk/
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