30 Day Tax Firm Challenge: Day 26

 

Online Marketing

Plan a prospect conversion webinar.
Estimated Time: 2-3 hours

I did my first two consumer tax resolution webinars in late 2013, and did a few more in 2014. At first, I wasn’t sure whether it was really the right approach to take or not, but by summer of 2015 I had the webinar part down pretty solid. Filling those webinars was an ongoing learning process, and I do wish I knew then a few things I know now. But even with that, the webinars were always profitable, and I wish I had started doing webinar-based tax resolution sales earlier in my career.

Putting on a webinar for consumers is much more challenging than doing webinars for you and other tax professionals. It’s much more difficult to dial in on what people want to hear, and it’s more difficult to be “in their shoes”.

But assuming you’ve done several other of the target market, elevator pitch, and lead magnet challenges in this series, you should be well prepared to enter the conversation going on in your ideal client’s head and figuring out what to present on a webinar.

So do that: Plan out a 30-minute presentation that you could present to your targeted leads. That means the webinar covers a specific solution to a specific problem. Don’t worry about making fancy slide decks at this point, just write out a logical progression of ideas that would reasonably fill half an hour of time.

While you’re at it, sign up for a 30-day free trial of GoToWebinar. While no webinar system is perfect, GoToWebinar is definitely the gold standard. Sign up for a trial, and schedule a date for two weeks out. In the remaining time, you’ll build out your PowerPoint deck and reach out to leads to get them signed up for the webinar. There’s nothing like having something like this on the calendar to force you to take the intervening steps.

 

Offline Marketing

Contact local coffee shops and pizza restaurants to “sponsor” cups/boxes.
Estimated Time: 1-2 hours

Ever ordered a pizza and seen a coupon stuck to the box for a future pizza?

Or seen a financial planning ad stuck to the front of the newspaper?

Or seen a promotional flyer for an appliance sale stuck in with your power bill?

These types of simple inserts work well, assuming there is alignment between the offer being made and the people getting it (good ol’ market to message match).

Pull up a Google Map of your office. Search nearby for coffee shops, take out restaurants, pizza stores, and the like. Call each business and ask for the owner/manager. Tell them you’d like to discuss the possibility of advertising on their take out containers, coffee cup sleeves, and whatnot. Order sticky notes or small flyers containing your offer, and have these go out with every pizza and sandwich.

A little bit of ad revenue for the other business, cheap advertising for you in your local neighborhood.

 

Practice Management

Implement an internal training program to help your tax preparers pass the SEE.
Estimated Time: 1 hour

If you have tax prep staff, either seasonal or full time, then you have an untapped resource for growing your business.

Adding a second person to your firm that can sign a Form 2848 is a powerful form of leverage. Not only does it immediately increase that person’s billable rate, but it also opens an entire world of additional services that they can provide. Imagine being able to double your examination or collections case load overnight. That’s money in the bank, right there.

Now I realize that not every preparer has the interest to go down this career path. Not every preparer is well suited for becoming an EA, and that’s OK.

But if you have a preparer that you feel very comfortable working with, and feel they could grow into a bigger role in your firm, then this is an avenue for bridging the gap between part-time/seasonal and full time, for sure. If you have multiple people, then even better.

Invest a few hundred dollars into a test prep program (Gleim, PassKey, and several other companies make excellent materials). Organize either informal study sessions at the office, or maybe even teach a formal weekly class to help your staff prepare for the SEE. If you’re going to teach live classes, perhaps reach out to some local colleagues and see if they have staff that want to become EAs, and start yourself a little school. This could become an additional income opportunity,or lead into other referral generation opportunities, such as teaching CPE.

It’s not that difficult to ask your preparation staff, and your colleagues, if they have an interest in creating new EAs. Building from within is a great growth strategy, especially with staff that you already know, like, and trust. Similar to bringing on a partner, adding an additional licensed staff person to your business could be a huge revenue generator.

 

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