30-Day Tax Firm Marketing Challenge: Day 16

Yesterday I hit a bump in the road in my own habit-building exercise, which you’re benefiting from via this 30-day challenge. I missed a day due to other business stuff that kept me wrapped up the entire day.

It happens. And we just gotta roll with it.

If you’ve missed one, or even many, days of the challenge, don’t sweat it. The important thing is to get back on the horse.

To help give you a “push” in the right direction, I’m trying something new for the first time tomorrow, and you’re invited:

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30-Day Tax Marketing Challenge Round Table
Thu, Oct 27, 2016 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Pacific Daylight Time 

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/859745917 

You can also dial in using your phone.:
United States +1 (408) 650-3123 
Access Code: 859-745-917 
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This is not a webinar, and it’s not a Q&A call with me. It’s a participatory round table discussion. You will have the opportunity to share your experiences with the 30-day challenge, and you’ll receive feedback and suggestions from other practitioners. I will simply be serving as moderator and discussion guide.

That’s the idea, anyway. Of course, it only works if people show up, so if you’re able to join the online meeting during that time, please do so.

Now, on to today’s challenges. You’ll quickly realize that these all look very, very similar, and that’s no accident. To complete ALL of today’s challenges will only take you 30 minutes.

 

Online Marketing

Brainstorm a list of digital lead magnets.
Estimated Time: 10 minutes

A lead magnet is the carrot that you dangle in front of a potential future client in order to get them to enter your marketing funnel.

Lead magnets are things like white papers, special reports, case studies, books, interview recordings, videos, email mini-courses, and the like.

Based on the exercises we’ve discussed in past challenges, you should have a pretty solid image of what your IDEAL™ client looks like. With that person fixed firmly in your mind, answer this one question: What resources and information are they looking for?

Get a piece of scratch paper, open a blank spreadsheet, send yourself a new email, whatever you prefer. Set a timer for 10 minutes. And just brainstorm.

What purely digital, downloadable things would these clients be interested in? What formats? Do they prefer to listen, read, write, interact?

What common questions do … Continue reading

30-Day Tax Firm Marketing Challenge: Day 15

Online Marketing
Check out social media automation options.
Estimated time: 30-45 minutes

I’ve already mentioned in this 30-day challenge series that I’m not a fan of social media, and outlined my 10-15 minute per week Twitter strategy to you.

Here’s the next step in our social media minimization strategy: Automate your posting.

One of the things to understand about social media is that hardly anybody actually sees what you post. There is such a constant stream of stuff coming across on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites that people don’t actually see much of what their friends/connections post.

Thus, repetition is your friend on social media. Major content brands such as the New York Times and Huffington Post are notorious for posting the same tweets multiple times over the day in order to ensure that their followers all get a chance to see their content. You should take this to heart and do likewise.

The easiest way to do this is to use automated tools. I personally use a service called Meet Edgar, which runs me about $500/year. There are other options, such as Hootsuite and Buffer App for paid services with a lot of options, all the way to simple WordPress plugins that simply post random blog posts from your website onto Facebook and Twitter. Tweet Old Posts is one such plugin that I used extensively prior to purchasing Edgar.

Your challenge today is to take a look at each of the aforementioned tools, and also do some Google searching of your own to find others. If you use a pre-built website from a service, look into what options they provide or support.

Social media isn’t all about just being a broadcaster, but it’s definitely a big chunk of it. Look around at the various tools, and choose to do an extended trial run with.

Offline Marketing
Make inroads at a local major employer.
Estimated time: 15-30 minutes

Most localities across the country have a small number of primary employers. These are the employers that provide a large quantity of high paying jobs. These jobs provide money to the local economy that trickles down to support secondary employers, such as restaurants, plumbers, and accountants.

Many HR departments at these primary employers are tasked with finding perks and benefits for employees. Contact these HR departments and form a relationship. The goal: Become their Tax Expert In Residence.

The nature of the relationship could … Continue reading

30-Day Tax Firm Marketing Challenge: Day 13

Enjoy these tasty marketing challenges to help you move your tax practice forward today!

Online Marketing
Create and post one YouTube video.
Estimated time: 10 minutes

Yesterday, your challenge was to create your YouTube channel. If you didn’t get that done, do it now.

Then, take a look through your recent emails from IRS, a recent CPE course, a professional journal, etc. Look for an interesting topic that you could spend 2 to 5 minutes talking about.

Using the camera on your smartphone, the built-in camera on your laptop or tablet, or even just a microphone and PowerPoint, record a short video about the selected tax topic.
Upload to YouTube. Put your website URL as the first thing in the video description field. Use keywords as your title. Save. Tada!

Offline Marketing
Define your criteria for client acceptance.
Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

We all know that we can’t be all things to all people, and shouldn’t try.

What you may not be familiar with is a corollary: If you have problem clients, it’s YOUR fault for accepting them into your life.

When you take anybody and everybody as a client, with zero selectivity, it creates a lot of problems. Payment issues, phone calls at 11pm, etc.

Your marketing funnel is primarily designed to move people along from lead generation to paying client. However, another function of your marketing funnel is to filter out bad apples. Throughout your marketing funnel, I encourage you to incorporate “safety valves” that help you eliminate bad clients from ever becoming customers in the first place.

Spend 10-15 minutes thinking about the worst clients you’ve ever had. Think about the worst clients you have now. What makes them bad? What characteristics do they have in common?

For example, I conducted a similar analysis fairly early on in the the firm I was employed at back in 2008. For a variety of reasons, I determined that daycare centers were our worst clients. So, we proceeded to gradually shed the ones we had, and refused to any more of them on as clients in the future. Thus, part of our criteria for client acceptance was “not a daycare”.

Later on, while in private practice, I made a decision to no longer accept clients that came to me while under levy. This is frequently a trigger that compels people to finally seek professional help, but it also introduces a tremendous number of problems, such … Continue reading