A better use for your “Black Friday” dollars


It’s a concept that I’ve embraced for most of my life, in one form or another.

When I was traveling around the world, I took only what I genuinely needed. I reached the point where I could travel indefinitely with just a 9 pound carry on.

Even now that I’ve bought a house and “settled down”, I’m still a minimalist. The house I bought is actually a duplex, and I live in the smaller of the two units. And I have no furniture. The living room is simply the dog’s room.

The dining room displays the only sense of human habitation, due to the three computers, five screens, video equipment, etc. In other words, my office.

Now I realize that this sort of minimalism isn’t for everybody. I get that I’m a rare kangaroo on the landscape of American materialism. So I’m not going to get preachy about it.

But here’s what I will get preachy about: What you spend your money on is a direct reflection of your priorities in life.

Personally, I value life experiences over possessions. Thus, I try to spend my time and money accordingly.

“Hey Jassen, what does this have to do with tax and accounting practice marketing?”

I’m glad you asked. Or, I asked, and I’m answering myself. Maybe that’s a bad sign.

If you actually read the TaxMarketingHQ.com blog, actually read the emails, belong to any of my programs, then you’re indicating an interest in a particular subject: Marketing your practice.

What do you do with this information? What actions do you actually take with what you learn from being part of Jassen’s World?

As you’re being pounded with Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday, and Cyber Monday promotions, I’d like you to think carefully about the material possessions that you’re spending money on. Ask yourself an important question: Does this purchase further my real objectives in life?

To be more specific: Could this money be better spent on something that creates revenue?

Before you spend $950 on that new Sony 55-inch 4k moving picture box (an actual deal on Amazon right now), give some consideration to whether or not that money could be applied to multiplying itself.

For less than that new TV, you can get started with a program like Gruntworx, which eliminates the manual data entry for tax prep. How many additional returns could your team do if you eliminated this manual grunt work?

For less than this TV, you can purchase a year of Canopy, which will allow you to significantly increase your tax resolution case load, significantly boosting your revenue capacity.

For less than $950, you can buy a new homebuyer list and send direct mail to upper-income homes in your area. To people that just moved in. That need a new accountant. If you do no other 1040 season marketing, at least do this.

For $950, you can get a lot of new eyeballs through PPC ads to your free report or webinar registration landing page. That’s a lot of new people into your sales funnel.

If you’re serious about growing your practice, and making more money, you have to start thinking long term. Seriously, is your current TV really all that bad? I watch Hulu on a 10.4-inch laptop screen because I haven’t owned an actual TV since 2007, and I get by just fine.

Purchase decisions that you make TODAY, on this busiest shopping day of the year for Americans, can literally have an impact on your future revenue.

I’m all for spending money on personal gratification. I’m just as gluttonous as anybody else — spending three months at a time in western Europe isn’t cheap.

But I’m also willing to accept a tiny bit of personal discomfort to make bigger things happen, and I would encourage you to be willing to the same. I’m not saying you need to live in a van down by the creek in order to get ahead, but doing so definitely worked well for me!

So give this some thought today while you’re shopping, and instead of that new big screen TV, give consideration to investing some capital into the future growth of your business. The payoff only needs to be delayed by a few months, and I think you’ll come to enjoy the thrill of multiplying your money.


P.S. Were you expecting a Black Friday offer from me? I mean, I know I’ve done a lot of that in past years. Made pretty big productions out of it, actually. This year… Sorry, I got busy with other stuff. Ya’ know, that CPE thing I’m doing. But I hear ya’, you have expectations based on prior years. Hmmmm…. OK, let me think. What can I do…. Ummmmm…. How about this. If you don’t already have it, I’ll let you pick up the A to Z Tax Resolution Business Blueprint for, ohhhh, let’s say 52% off. It’s normally $497, so that bumps it down to, uhhhmm… $238.56. You probably already know what’s in it, since I’ve promoted it heavily before. If you don’t know what’s in it, well… I’m not going to create a promo page, or a lengthy listing. If you want to see what’s in it, just go order it, and if you don’t like it, send me an email and I’ll refund your order. Yep, this is quite likely the lamest, laziest sales pitch you’ll see all weekend. No, wait, the folks at Cards Against Humanity are charging $5 for nothing in return. Literally, Google it. It’s hilarious.

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Creating Effective Lead Response Widgets For Your Tax Firm

When you boil lead generation marketing down into it’s most fundamental components, the thing that you offer to potential leads in order to compel them to take action will always make the top five list of such fundamental components. Perhaps even the top three.

This thing I’m referring to goes by a number of different names:

  • Carrot
  • Widget
  • Lead magnet
  • Response mechanism
  • Funnel entry point

No matter what you call it, your lead response widget plays a critical role in your marketing funnel. Offering the right lead magnet to the right person is the key to generating the lead.

What’s the difference between a lead magnet and my offer?

It’s quite common to use these two different terms interchangeably. Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with that, as most people will understand which one you mean via context. But I do want to point out that the two actually are different critters.

The lead magnet itself, which is the focus of this month’s Action Plan, is the thing. The offer, on the other hand, is the mechanism which entices somebody to obtain the thing.

For example, let’s say that I’m offering one of my best performing special reports: 5 Things To Ask Any Tax Resolution Firm Before Paying Them A Dime.

The lead magnet, the thing, is the actual report. The physical, printed pages that are mailed to the lead, or the PDF that is digitally delivered to them.

In order for them to obtain the report, I might have them call a special voicemail number, or enter their information into a web page. An example:

Don’t get ripped off by fly-by-night tax resolution firms! Before giving one single penny to anybody that wants to represent you (even me!), be sure to read this special report outlining 5 Things To Ask ANY Tax Resolution Firm Before Paying Them A Dime. To obtain your FREE copy of this report, simply enter your email address in the box below.

This, my friends, is an offer.

In some marketing circles, you may hear of the offer referred to as the Call To Action, or CTA for short. Same thing, different name.

This brings us to an important marketing lesson:

Thou shalt always include an offer/Call To Action in all thine marketing.

I don’t care what you’re selling or who you’re selling it to. This is a fundamental rule of direct response marketing that, if violated, will result in nothing but wasted money and endless frustration.

Since the purpose of your lead generation marketing is, of course, to generate leads, then you must ask them to take an action in order to create the lead. This may seem obvious to most readers, but when I conduct critiques of marketing pieces or web sites, it’s amazing how often this critical component is simply missing entirely.

Now that you understand the important of a lead response widget, and the connection between your offer and your widget, the obvious next question is: What should my widget be?

Lead Magnet Considerations

Your lead magnet is such an important actor in your overall marketing funnel, you should give it serious thought in order to make the right casting call. Too many firms try to create an unholy alliance between a great lead magnet and the wrong market, or with the wrong end result in mind.

Remember Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? One of them is to begin with the end in mind. Here’s what this means for your lead response mechanism:

  • What are the demographic, psychographic, and geographic criteria that this particular lead magnet is direct at? (aka, your target market).
  • How does this lead widget tie in with the rest of my marketing funnel that the lead will be entering?
  • Similarly, what is the desired end result for leads that acquire this particular lead magnet?
  • What solution does my lead magnet provide to the end user?

The answers to these questions in particular will help determine several things, such as what to include in your lead magnet, and what form it should take (media format). Let’s take a look at each of these factors in greater depth.

The rest of this tutorial is restricted to subscribers only. This content is available to Digital Pass, Gold, and Platinum Inner Circle members. To continue reading, please login here or subscribe to the Tax Marketing HQ Digital Pass.

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Setting Up Lead Capture Systems

Leads are the lifeblood of any service business.

Without leads, you have nobody to sell your services to.

Without leads, you starve.

Make no mistake about it: You are first and foremost in the marketing business.

Not the 1040 preparation business. Not the payroll business. Not the tax resolution business.

Your law degree…MBA…Stanford accounting degree…are all absolutely worthless if you’re in private practice and can’t generate leads.

This is the harsh reality of being a tax, accounting, or legal professional in private practice.

Now, many practitioners are able to get their marketing up and running, at least to some degree, without too much hassle. It may be stutter-stepped, and maybe a bit hit-or-miss (both things that can be fixed, by the way), or even completely outsourced.

But if you have direct mail going out…Google Adwords campaigns running…display ads in the local business journal…Val-Pak coupons during 1040 season, etc., etc., you may still be missing one critical piece: The ability to effectively capture leads.

Without lead capture systems, you’re wasting money and time on doing marketing in the first place. The two are intimately linked, and you should never have on without the other.

Fortunately, we live in an era with more lead capture options than at any time in history. Back in the stone age of marketing, the only lead capture option was a face to face interaction. At some point in history came paper and writing, which increased options substantially. Alexander Graham Bell blessed us with long distance talking technology, and lead capture technologies have grown exponentially ever since.

What exactly is a lead capture system?

A lead capture system is ANY process for collecting contact information from a lead.

What, you were expecting something more complicated?

Let’s think of it this way: How many different channels exist for people to communicate with you on a 1-on-1 basis? My top-of-the-head, not-all-inclusive list…

  1. Face to face
  2. Telephone (voice)
  3. Video chat (Hangouts, Facetime, Skype, etc.)
  4. Text message (SMS)
  5. Online text chat (Facebook Messenger, AIM, etc.)
  6. Email
  7. Twitter tweets
  8. Twitter direct messages
  9. Facebook timeline posts
  10. Facebook direct messages
  11. LinkedIn InMail
  12. US Postal Service
  13. Common carrier (FedEx, UPS, etc.)

Again, this is by no means an all-inclusive list.

What do all of these things have in common? Seriously, noodle on it for a moment before reading ahead.


Here’s the answer: Each of these services has a unique identifier for a specific individual.

Telephone numbers, postal addresses, Twitter handles, email addresses — all of them are unique. There cannot be any two that are the same. Therefore, communications intended for the dedicated recipient can generally be targeted to reach that specific person.

Too obvious? Doesn’t sound important?

Here’s why it’s important: The goal of all your marketing is to find specific individuals with a specific interest in a specific service, collect one or more specific pieces of contact information, and provide specific follow up over time.

Specificity is important.

Don’t forget that one of the core tenets of marketing is making sure you send the right marketing message to a specific target audience at all times. Marketing legend Dan Kennedy calls this “market to message match”.

Here’s how this applies to your lead capture systems…

The rest of this tutorial is restricted to subscribers only. This content is available to Digital Pass, Gold, and Platinum Inner Circle members. To continue reading, please login here or subscribe to the Tax Marketing HQ Digital Pass.

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