30-Day Tax Firm Challenge: Day 28


Online Marketing

Delve into how to use the latest/greatest social app/site for marketing.
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

The world of social media and apps are constantly evolving. What’s popular today is displaced by something else tomorrow.

What’s even crazier, at least to me, is that a lot of these services don’t have any web capability — they function only via their mobile app.

With this world forever changing, it’s important that we as marketers keep up with the changing times. We have to decide what platforms we’re going to embrace, and which ones we’re not. We should participate or not participate on a platform by choice, not by “default” one way or the other.

For example, I have made a choice to not participate on Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat. I don’t believe I have anything to contribute to those types of graphic-based media, so I choose not to participate.

But plenty of service professionals have turned to Snapchat and are using it successfully for marketing. There are services such as LINE that most Americans haven’t heard of yet that have massive future marketing potential.

What I’d like to encourage you to do today is spend some time fiddling with new gizmos. Definitely play with Snapchat, but spend some time on Techcrunch, Geekwire, and other tech sites to look for these new fangled social media networks. I’m not asking you to predict the future and pick the next big thing, but dig into some resources to get your finger on the pulse. Getting in on some of these networks early is often the key to long-term success on them, so schedule some occasional time each month or quarter to stay up to date on these new developments.


Offline Marketing

Advertise in other business’ customer newsletters.
Estimated Time: 1 to 2 hours

As you may already know, I keep my junk mail. I love junk mail.

I look for patterns in my junk mail, and keep track of changes in mail pieces and frequency.

You should keep your junk mail, too. In particular, I’d encourage you to make note of the businesses in your local area that send you regular newsletters.

These newsletters that are going out to medical and car wash customers could be carrying your marketing message to doors in exactly the neighborhoods you want more clients from.

Collect these newsletters, and seek out who is sending them. Note that real estate agents tend to be significant centers of influence in the community, and often know who is doing good marketing. Ask real estate agents for what businesses are sending newsletters and doing other strong marketing in your community. Reach out to these businesses and see about advertising in their marketing that’s already going out.


Practice Management

Create a client service guarantee.
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

As a professional service provider, you should be willing to stand behind your work. Otherwise, why do it, right?

Money back guarantees are a solid way to instill trust and confidence with new clients. You don’t see such guarantees in our industry very often, and some practitioners denigrate the very idea.

But the fact of the matter is that guarantees help you sell. Most companies that implement service-based guarantees often see significant increases in both new revenue and long-term customer retention.

Create a guarantee that you can back up and hold yourself to. Guarantees can be based on turn around time, accuracy, penalty protection, etc. What can you guarantee? Especially think about those things that you already do that other practitioners don’t do.

Don’t be afraid of creating these guarantees. They are a powerful marketing device, and you risk very little. Think about it this way: If a client wants their money back, you don’t really want them around as a client in the long run anyway, right? Refund them and cut them loose.

If you already have an internal refund policy, then you might as well utilize it publicly. Some practitioners have either a formal or informal refund policy, but don’t communicate that to the public. Do so, and frame it as a guarantee.

Stand behind your work. Communicate your value proposition by guaranteeing the service you provide. Articulate this value in your marketing via the guarantee, and watch the profits roll in.