Greetings from the city of Lost Wages

Aww, Vegas. The place where people show up with big dreams, but usually go home broke!

I actually really like Las Vegas. In addition to being able to enter a poker tournament any time of the day or night, Las Vegas serves as a reminder that with enough ingenuity, you can transform sand and sagebrush into an ATM.

I come to Vegas at least once per year of my own accord. This time around, I’ll actually get to deduct the trip. I’m here to speak at Salim Omar’s Celebrity CPA workshop, and to meet with a number of Tax Marketing HQ members to discuss their businesses and work out some ways to help them prosper in 2014.

When I look around me right now, it truly is amazing that this city even exists. Las Vegas is made possible only due to feats of modern engineering, such as the Hoover Dam and other water and power projects. In addition, it’s a marketing marvel that Las Vegas is able to draw people from far and wide to one of the most inhospitable climates in North America. If you’ve been here during the summer, you understand what I mean.

Las Vegas is synonymous with gambling, of course, and the city and it’s casinos go out of there way to sell the dream of striking it big. But Vegas is also a major entertainment mecca, and is a common stop for major acts in many genres.

There are many marketing lessons to be gleaned from analyzing the success of Vegas as a destination location. There is also a practice management lesson to be learned from the experience of being at one of the casino-hotels.

The marketing lesson boils down to the classic “sell the sizzle, not the steak”. Gambling is not the commodity of this community. Rather, it’s the dream of striking it rich, the potential to turn a dollar into a million of them. The city and it’s business owners do a remarkable job of selling this dream to the American public. On top of that, they market the experience of being here.

What kind of dream do you sell your clients? If you’re marketing your services just from the standpoint of what you DO, you’re missing the mark. Nobody really cares what you do or how you do it, nor do they care where you went to college and how many years you’ve been doing what you do. This stuff is all your “steak”.

Instead, they care about the sizzle. How can you make their lives easier? What benefits, not features, do you provide? What kind of experience do you provide your clients? These are the things that really matter to your customers.

If a city in the middle the desert can sell the dream of striking it rich, while entertaining you, then you can sell a dream within your practice. In your marketing, focus on the benefits that your clients derive from working with you, not the features you provide. Doing this will dramatically improve the ROI on your marketing.

Next time, I’ll delve into practice management tips you can pick up from the casino/hotel operators here that directly apply to your practice. For now, I have that big win to go chase. 🙂

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