We provide bookkeeping services to small business clients in the UK. I'd guess that the setup is fairly similar to in the USA.
We do find it difficult to recruit good calibre bookkeepers who have good customer skills as well as the solid bookkeeping and accounting knowledge and experience needed.
We advertise for bookkeepers, pick the ones who look the best on paper and then interview them. We then pick the best from the people we interview and follow up on references from some of their previous clients.
It takes a while but there are good people out there if you look hard enough.
Finding good quality regular clients is of course also never easy. We focus on optimising our websites and spending money on online campaigns as well as getting referrals from existing customers. It works for us.
We are based in London which has a big market and I think it could be more difficult if we were in a location with fewer businesses.
I'm not sure of the best way to get traffic and backlinks using social networking yet but I use some of the other techniques mentioned. Social bookmarking is also something that I need to look into more. Is it a good effective technique?