I’m gonna drop a major truth bomb on you:

I have wasted so much money on marketing.

For all that cash thrown out the window, I could have…
🌴 Vacationed in an overwater villa in Thailand
✨ Taken the whole fam to Disney (like 5 times)
🎓 Paid for a whole lotta college tuition

Or, more realistically, I could have spent that money bettering my business in other ways.

But I’m a bookkeeper, not a marketing expert. I thought the best thing to do for my business was hire somebody who knew wayyy more about marketing than I did. Unfortunately, they sold me on things that, in hindsight, weren’t the right fit for my business.

Sure, spending bookoo bucks on Google ads is worth it for big corporations. But when it comes to a small bookkeeping business like mine, I might as well have flushed that money down the toilet.

I fell for the big, shiny expensive marketing “must-haves” a couple times. But truth be told, sometimes the low-cost, boots-on-the-ground strategies work best. Btw, if you’re looking for my favorite marketing strategies that don’t cost a dime, I shared them in my last post.

All of this to say, I think marketing is a bit like dating. Here’s why.

When do you know it’s not working?

I spent a looooot of money on things that ended up not mattering one bit—website audits, heat maps, Google ads, Instagram marketing, Facebook ad campaigns, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, there IS some patience that comes along with implementing new marketing strategies. But like a new person you’ve gone on a few dates with… at what point do you decide it’s just not working?

When can you say, “It’s not you, it’s me” to marketing that ain’t cutting it?

My best advice is to follow your intuition. You know who your ideal audience or industry is, especially if you’ve taken some time to create your ICA (ideal client avatar). YOU (not some big city marketing “expert”) knows where your clients spend their time online, who they follow, what brands they like, etc.

Why paid marketing isn’t always worth it

You might’ve heard me say, “Money is like medicine.”

As a bookkeeper, you’re getting up close and personal with somebody’s finances. That involves A LOT of trust and a level of comfortability akin to a doctor or friend.

It’s not uncommon for people to ask friends or family for referrals when finding a new doctor. People tend to go by word of mouth when it comes to finding a financial professional too.

Safe to say, that level of trust and reassurance doesn’t come from a Google ad or cold call. That’s why what works for the big guys won’t always work for you as a bookkeeper business owner.

If I could go back in time…

How would I do things differently if I had a time machine?

I can say for sure that my business would have been better served if I spent all that wasted marketing $$$ on investing in my business’s infrastructure. Hiring more help, overhauling our tech stack, and perfecting the client experience are – in hindsight – ways I could have used that money to grow my business.

Instead, I stayed in a bad relationship with marketing and ignored the red flags. 🚩


Truth be told, my firm has gotten to the point where we do very little marketing. Our business relies heavily on referrals—happy clients are truly your best marketing tool! So focus on providing an amazing client experience, and you’ll get to the point where clients are begging for YOU.

Go forth and prosper, my friend!

P.S. Come share your marketing triumphs (or failures) with other bookkeeper mamas over on my free Facebook group!