Many tax professionals live via a “boom and bust” cycle. In order to break out of this cycle of doing work for a client, then having to find another client in order to put food on the table, a successful tax firm utilizes a marketing strategy comprised of three distinct components. In today’s article, we’re going to discuss each of those components.
First of all, the marketing strategy utilized by a successful tax firm is planned. In other words, it’s not a random assortment of marketing efforts with no cohesion. A real marketing plan might consist of multiple, individual marketing campaigns, but they all have a fairly universal message, look, and feel.
The smart tax professional is not swayed by the latest slick advertising salesman from the local newspaper, radio, or television outlet to buy ad space that is inconsistent with their plan. Planning allows you to set goals, set budgets, and track and measure the effectiveness of each piece of your marketing strategy along the way.
Second, any marketing strategy, in order to be successful, needs to be consistent. Successful marketers are persistent and consistent marketers, and one of the key things for you to understand is that, as the owner of a professional practice, your first job is NOT accounting…not taxes…not bookkeeping. Your primary job is to bring in clients….to generate revenue….Because if you have no clients and no revenue, there is no tax and accounting work to be done in the first place.
Therefore, your first job is marketing and sales (I lump these two together, because they are two components of the same thing). Consistent marketing, rather than starting and stopping, is critical to the success of a marketing plan. Without consistency, you’re not really following a plan, as discussed above, nor are you really able to effectively track and measure things, which is discussed next.
The third characteristic of an effective marketing strategy for any tax firm is that the effect of your marketing must be measurable. PT Barnum, the circus guy, once said, “I know I’m wasting half of my advertising dollars. The problem is that I don’t know which half.” Don’t be PT Barnum. Every marketing dollar you spend must be held ruthlessly accountable for results.
Every piece of marketing you send out needs to have an offer that entices people to respond, and you must have a way of measuring that response. This type of marketing is generally referred to as “direct response” marketing, and for the professional practice, I firmly believe that it is the only type of marketing you should be doing. You should be able to track where every consultation, every client walking through your door comes from. Not only that, but you should know a variety of other important statistics regarding your marketing.
After all, we like numbers, right? So it should simply make sense to want to know where our marketing dollars are best applied, based on statistical comparison.