30-Day Tax Firm Marketing Challenge: Day 20

I’ve spent most of this morning preparing for Tuesday’s webinar, where Dan Henn, CPA and I will be discussing some specific tips for assembling your marketing plan for the upcoming filing season. I got so focused on what I was doing, that I almost forgot to send out today’s challenges!

If you haven’t yet registered for that webinar, be sure to do so by going here. It’s on Tuesday at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern), and it is the only training session I’ll be delivering on the subject prior to the start of the filing season.

Some nice and simple challenges that anybody can complete today…

 

Online Marketing

Spend $5 on Fiverr for a web profile gig for SEO purposes.
Estimated Time: 10-20 minutes

Fiverr and Upwork (formerly Odesk) are my secret weapons for getting more done. Both my current virtual assistants are from Upwork, and I use Fiverr routinely for a variety of simple tasks, especially digital marketing stuff.

One of the SEO tasks that I occasionally hire for on Fiverr is a very simple, and very straight forward SEO task: Hire somebody on Fiverr to write something on their website about me or my websites.

There are a lot of gigs on Fiverr that you most definitely should NOT purchase. Anything that says anything about creating massive numbers of backlinks? Yeah, those can actually hurt you far more than they help.

But there are people that run blogs or other sites that are reasonably respected by the search engines, and you can purchase a blog post about yourself or your business. These get you ONE backlink that is far, far more valuable than thousands of spammy ones.

I’m hesitant to link to a specific gig on Fiverr, because that can obviously backfire, but I think it’s important for you to see one. So, with the caveat that I’ve never used this person and I’m not endorsing or recommending them, here’s one that I found with a random search. That’s the kind of gig you’re looking for. In this particular example, they want you to write the article that gets posted. Ideally, you want a gig where they write a review of your website or ask you a few questions.

Suggested Fiverr search phrases to find such gigs:

“write profile on high pr blog”
“5 questions with on blog”
“write and post 500 word article on my site with backlink”

The key thing is that you’re not after the writing service — you’re after the posting service. Search, peruse, and try one.

 

Offline Marketing

Brainstorm press release ideas.
Estimated Time: 15 minutes

While not as important from an SEO standpoint as they used to be, press releases still play both an online SEO role plus just a basic business promotion role.

Nearly anything that happens within your business or for yourself professionally can be crafted into a press release. Literally, almost anything.

Did you attend a 3-day conference on some specialized tax or accounting topic? Bam, press release!

Did you recently hire somebody? Write a presser.

New office location? Expanding service offerings? Obtain an industry certification that nobody outside our industry has ever heard of? Pass the CPA exam? Finish that graduate degree?

Any and all of these can be turned into press releases.

Your challenge today is set a timer for 15 minutes and create a list of every press release topic you can think of for yourself. Don’t think about writing it, just ideas. Go!

 

Practice Management

Purge your lead/prospect databases.
Estimated Time: 5-90 minutes (highly variable!)

Yesterday, I did something that is almost unthinkable to most business owners: I deleted almost 1/3 of all contacts in my Aweber account.

If you’re not aware, Aweber is the email service provider that I use for sending out just about everything, including the Tax Marketing Tips email newsletter. It’s been the email system I’ve used for about 12 years now, and it’s been an integral part of my business dating back to my days as a real estate agent.

We spend years upon years, and thousands upon thousands of dollars, building our lead lists. So, why on Earth would I purge 1/3 of them in one fell swoop? Especially when you hear me saying over and over to follow up with people until they either buy or die?

Follow up is one of the most critical things in your marketing funnel, but it needs to be managed intelligently. When I was still in tax practice, I capped my long-term monthly direct mail follow up spending at a fixed amount. This meant that I had to constantly shuffle and filter that list, so as to keep only my best prospects on it — those that were not only the most likely to hire me, but that I actually wanted to work with and that would be most profitable.

Even though email lists are cheap cheap, there is still a cost to maintaining them, and it’s not just financial. In short, if you have people on your list that aren’t actually reading your emails, it negatively impacts the deliverability of all your emails. Higher percentage open rates mean improved deliverability. To increase open rate percentage, you have to reduce the denominator.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I still had my entire old tax resolution client lead list. In fact, I even still had an ancient real estate lead list. While I wasn’t emailing them, and thus it wasn’t effecting my delivery rates, there was still a “mental overhead” to seeing them in my Aweber account. They no longer held any value as leads, since they were so old, so I nuked them. I also removed all tax professionals from the Tax Marketing Tips newsletter and the CPE webinar announcement lists that hadn’t opened an email in the past six months. This will directly improve my deliverability for these emails, and also cuts a few dollars off my monthly Aweber bill.

Do the same thing. If you’ve been reaching out to leads regularly for a long time, it’s time to prioritize and purge. This is simply a budget issue.

For your email lists, if they’re not opening the emails, then they are probably going into spam folders or otherwise being automatically trashed. So purge people that haven’t opened emails in some time period.

Yes, you should follow up until they buy or die. But if your prospect aren’t engaging with your follow up marketing, then stop wasting time and money on them. This is smarter, more efficient marketing.

 

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