This article originally appeared at https:\/\/www.freeagent.com\/blog\/market-your-practice-to-sole-traders\/?channel=accbook\r\n\r\nMaking Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA) will be introduced in April 2024, HMRC has announced.\r\n\r\nThe initiative will bring huge changes to the way self-employed business owners record and file their accounts, and many sole trader clients will be in need of support during the transition.\r\n\r\nTo help you reach these clients and highlight the benefits you can offer them, award-winning software provider FreeAgent has created this handy guide to marketing your practice to sole traders.\r\nHow are sole traders affected by MTD for ITSA?\r\nMTD for ITSA will affect sole traders with an annual income of \u00a310,000 or more. From 6th April 2024, they\u2019ll have to use MTD for ITSA-compatible software to keep their financial records digitally.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThere will also be changes to the way submissions are made to HMRC. Rather than an annual Self Assessment tax return, sole traders will have to provide HMRC with quarterly updates about their business income and expenses via accounting software, as well as an end of period statement (EOPS) and a final declaration at the end of the accounting period.\r\nHighlight how you can help sole traders\r\nTo help your practice stand out from the crowd, consider the ways in which you can support sole trader clients and how to make this value clear in your client communications. Here are some possible ways to position your practice.\r\nPowerful problem solvers\r\nWhile MTD for ITSA is designed to make it easier for sole traders to record and file financial information themselves using accounting software, you can still offer invaluable support to these business owners.\u00a0\r\n\r\nMake sure your clients understand the value of your knowledge and experience, from providing guidance on tax relief to ensuring there are no errors in a client\u2019s final declaration before filing.\r\nCompliance experts\r\nThe new legislation around MTD for ITSA may cause many clients to feel uneasy about their responsibilities as sole traders. By marketing that you have your finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest announcements from HMRC, however, your clients can rest assured that you\u2019ll keep them informed of any changes so that they remain compliant.\r\nCloud accounting specialists\r\nMany sole traders may be unfamiliar with cloud accounting software, but you can reassure them that you\u2019ll be on hand to guide them through the setup process and alleviate the potential stress of adapting to a new system of bookkeeping.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIf you use FreeAgent, you can access a host of helpful resources to make onboarding a new client run smoothly.\u00a0\r\nBusiness development advisors\r\nYou may decide to offer more business advisory services and highlight to clients that you have the expertise to help them grow their businesses.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThis approach will help to establish a strong relationship with your sole trader clients, who\u2019ll look to you for business development advice as well as accounting services. Some clients may agree to take on more bookkeeping tasks as a result, allowing you to reduce the number of time-consuming tasks you have to undertake.\r\nSpread the word\r\nOnce you\u2019ve outlined how you can help sole traders, it\u2019s important to reflect this messaging across your website and any other marketing channels you use.\u00a0\r\n\r\nFor example, you may want to review your social media bios and the services listed on your website to specifically mention your work with sole traders and detail how you can help them.\u00a0\r\n\r\nYou may also wish to review your SEO strategy so that your website incorporates keywords that relate to the most common sole trader questions.\r\nAmplify your existing audience\u00a0\r\nYour existing clients can be invaluable when it comes to securing new business. You could encourage existing clients to recommend you to any sole traders in their network, as this could help you find more like-minded customers.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIf it\u2019s feasible for your practice, you could also consider a referral scheme that offers incentives for successful referrals, such as discounted services, free gifts or complimentary consultations.\r\n\r\nPrompting your clients to review your practice on search engines, social media and your own website may also help to bring in new business. The seal of approval from a fellow sole trader could be all the incentive a new client needs to join your accounting practice.\u00a0\u00a0\r\nCreate a follow-up strategy\r\nOnce a potential new sole trader client has got in touch with you, it\u2019s important that you engage with them to establish a positive first impression. By creating a simple follow-up strategy or checklist, you can ensure that you remain in contact and that you share all the information they\u2019ll need about your services.\u00a0\r\n\r\nWhen your new client has signed up, welcome them with an efficient onboarding journey so that they can feel confident that they\u2019ve made the right decision.\r\n\r\nKeen to fine-tune your marketing strategy ahead of MTD? Watch\u00a0FreeAgent's webinar\u00a0as it explores how to successfully market a practice as MTD-ready.