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 take several different forms. Ideally, ask them to allow you to set up shop in their cafeteria or break room or other area one day a month, and allow employees to schedule on-site appointments for tax and financial reviews.

During tax season, find out about actually being on site a couple days a week to provide tax preparation. Perhaps the employer will pay this, or negotiate a special deal for employees with you. If nothing else, there’s a massive convenience benefit to the employees and the employer doesn’t have to worry about people taking time off work to get their taxes done.

There are countless options for running a Tax Expert In Residence program. But start calling around right now and get your foot in the door. Schedule some meetings with HR managers, and explore the possibility for this type of relationship.

Practice Management
Review your professional liability insurance needs.
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

If you don’t have professional liability insurance (E&O insurance), then you are setting yourself up for disaster.

Having anybody make a malpractice claim against us isn’t something we want to think about, of course. But the reality of our litigious society is that people often don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions (or inactions), and will pass the blame to the first person they can think of.

Even if ALL you do is 1040 preparation, you still need to have E&O coverage, because you just never know.
If you do have professional liability coverage already, then take a moment to review your policy. Good policies will include prior acts coverage, meaning work you did a few years ago, even if it was before the policy went into effect. Make sure that you have enough coverage, at least up to your state cap on noneconomic damages if there is one.

I personally think everybody should have at least a million dollars in coverage. This kind of policy, including prior acts coverage, will run approximately $300-$500 per year for most practitioners.

Make sure that your policy also covers any specialized services that you offer that might be “outside the box”. For the example, if you provide management advisory services, many basic tax/accounting policies won’t cover such consulting advice. In those cases, you’ll need to add a rider to the policy, but it shouldn’t be all that much extra on your annual premium.

Just like life insurance, E&O isn’t something we really want to think about neededing. But if something does ever happen, you’ll be glad it’s there.