How I get inbound tax resolution leads with no marketing

In a typical week, I get at least one, and sometimes as many as three or four, people contacting me completely out of the blue that are telling me that they think I’m the best person to help them with their tax problem and wanting to hire me.

These are folks that I’ve never talked to before, never marketed to before, never had any one on one contact with at all. But they’re reaching out to me, with their checkbook open.

How is this possible?

It’s actually quite simple: I took the time to establish myself as an expert.

Never forget that people do business with other people that they know, like, and trust. This is the single most important thing you can ever learn about running a service business. Period.

Establishing yourself as an expert, as the go-to person in your area or specialization, you automatically build credibility. Providing ways for people to get to know you, even if you never actually speak to them, builds on this. Over time, people that know you will get to like you and trust you (assuming you’re likable and trustworthy, of course).

People get to know you via the content that you produce. On my tax firm web sites, I provide a ton of free or extremely low-cost information for people, including how to negotiate their own Installment Agreements and how to draft their penalty abatement applications. I also provide pointers to appropriate IRS resources and other information that can help them.

This material costs me nothing but time in order to create. After the initial creation of a few backlinks to those sites via press releases, articles, or videos I post elsewhere ,I do no further active promotion of those sites, I just let Google and Bing find them on their own and determine whether they are worth including in search results or not. I don’t try to “game” the search engines, and I update the sites far less frequently than the so-called SEO “experts” say that I should.

It also helps that a little over a year ago, I took the time to write a short book and self-publish it on Amazon. That book is now one of the best selling books on Amazon on the subject of settling tax debts. The end of every chapter includes a call to action referring back to my primary practice web site, which offers additional resources. Many people that visit the web site for those additional resources end up joining my email newsletter on that site, which means they receive a series of automated messages from me, even though I’ve still never spoken to them.

Think you can’t write a book? Neither did I. I’d been wanting to write that book for over two years, but just never “got around to it”. So how did I do it? I literally locked myself in a room with three days worth of junk food and Red Bull and just did it.

Yes, I wrote that book over a 3-day holiday weekend. Christmas 2011, as a matter of fact. To some people, that might sound like a horrible way to spend Christmas, but the truth was that I was snowed in at the office anyway due to a major blizzard, and my flight to Portland was cancelled because of the snow. I didn’t have any family in the area where I was at, and I was recovering from injuries sustained when I got hit by a car while riding my motorcycle a few weeks earlier. So, I literally had nothing better to do. In retrospect, it was my best Christmas ever, because I’m still profiting from it to this day.

Between the book published a year ago, and three small web sites that were all created in 2010 and 2011, I generate a tiny trickle of highly qualified tax resolution leads that already like me and trust me enough to want to hire me. When I want to bring on ONE new client, I can just wait and sift through those inbound leads to find the one I want to work with, and refer out the rest. The only time I need to turn on my 72-Hour Blitzkrieg Marketing Plan is when I want a very specific type of client, or when I want to quickly fill more than one empty client spot on my case roster.

The bottom line is that, because of work that I literally did a year ago, even three years ago, I get enough inbound leads to support myself as a solo practitioner. That lead volume obviously won’t support a larger practice, by itself, but it can definitely be part of an overall strategy.

If you run a small tax practice, you can do small things that result in big differences because of your size. Some things to consider:

  1. Host regular local monthly financial seminars, and invite everybody you meet to them.
  2. Have an email newsletter, and prominently display the signup box on your web site.
  3. Write and self-publish a book on a subject of interest to your ideal clients.
  4. Record yourself giving tax or accounting tips and post them on YouTube.
  5. Write epic, informative “how to” blog posts and make sure Google knows about them.
  6. Broadcast your content out to social media networks.

None of these things are difficult. In fact, other than writing a book, all of the above items take one hour or less per month to complete. These six tips alone can create a very nice six-figure income for a solo practitioner. The best part: None of these things are hard, and none of them cost a dime.

Marketing your professional tax services really doesn’t get any easier than this.

Comments on How I get inbound tax resolution leads with no marketing

  1. Harvey Bezozi says:

    Jassen:

    Can you build something like this for me ?

  2. Jassen says:

    Harvey:

    Of course I *can* build something like this for you, but you wouldn’t like the bill! 🙂

    The complete system of what I’ve layed out in this blog post is something that took a couple years to build. Creating a few different web sites, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page can all be done in an hour or two by the 12 year old kid next door, and he’ll do it for $50 (maybe even less). But creating the written content, spending time engaging with readers and prospects, answering Twitter/Facebook tax questions, filming YouTube videos, etc… those are all tasks that take time and commitment — they don’t happen overnight.

    And writing and self-publishing a tax book? Yes, I wrote one in 3-days, published it in a week. But it also happens that I’m a fairly fast typer and I am fortunate to have the gift of gab, especially in written form. That’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Having a book ghost written? Expect to spend $10,000 or more.

    In order to replicate this system for you, or anybody else, you’d basically need to hire me on part-time, for about 10 hours per month, for a period of at least one year. That’s a financial commitment of about $30,000 on your part — and that does NOT include ghost writing a book. At the end of that, yes, you’d have something amazing. But it would all be in my “voice”, and would still create something that requires at least an hour per week of ongoing maintenance that you would have to do yourself or still pay somebody else to do.

    A system like this really needs to have *YOU* as the star. The entire purpose of reaching expert status in a niche is to be “the guy”. You don’t want me to be “the guy” in your organization, because then what happens when I leave? On top of that, when it comes to the local seminars and meet and greets, they should be meeting you, not me. Networking with other local financial professionals to speak for you? Those need to be your local buddies. Tax tip YouTube videos? That needs to be your voice.

    I do provide some shortcuts to some of these things in the existing membership options. Client newsletters that are mostly written for you, monthly packages of social media content, even a couple pre-written tax blog posts each month (for Platinum members). Using all the content that I provide for members makes the entire process easier, but it really needs to be set up to be coming from you, tweaked slightly to sound like you, etc.

    Now, in case I *totally* misunderstood your question, and you were just talking about the “techie” stuff — creating a blog, configuring WordPress, setting up an email newsletter in AWeber or MailChimp, creating an online scheduling system and client document portal, etc. — then I’m not your guy for that. First, that’s not work you want to be paying somebody $250 per hour to do when you can hire a high school kid, a local web developer, or somebody on elance.com or guru.com to do it for you for much, much less money. Second, hiring a techie expert is going to get it done better and faster. I do all my own tech stuff because I can and I like doing it for me, but a rent-a-nerd is going to be far, far better at it then me.

    (Do you see that gift of gab I alluded to earlier?)

    I hope this was helpful. Above all else — get started. Don’t delay. Take action on implementing these things NOW, so that a year from now, you’ll have results (leads! clients!), rather than just thinking about what you should do next.

    Take care!
    -Jassen

  3. Jassen this is an excellent article, I will be putting some of your suggestions into practice.

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