After dropping Dan Henn, CPA off at Sea-Tac airport for his flight back to Florida, I finally made it home at nearly midnight last night (I-5 traffic jams never let up).
From Monday through Wednesday, Dan and I were up in northern Washington state teaching a 3-day tax resolution CPE seminar to CPAs and EAs. Then on Thursday, we spent 12 hours together in a board room recording some very candid conversations about what it takes to properly manage a small tax practice and really get the ball rolling on marketing (look for more information regarding than in the next month or so).
I have an insane amount of work to catch up on from the past week and a half or so that I’ve effectively been out — between final preparations for the seminar and actually being there. If you’ve emailed me in the past week and a half, well, that’s why you haven’t heard from me. I’ll be working on catching up today.
But before I dove into this mountain of stuff I have to do, I wanted to report to you on a recurring theme that came up multiple times, every day this week at the event: Where to get ideas for what to cover in your marketing communications.
In other words, how to find material to write about and talk about in your:
- Blog posts
- Follow up emails to leads
- Monthly client/prospect newsletter
- Radio interviews
- Newspaper columns
- YouTube videos
- Lead magnets
- Book chapters
- Tax Talks in front of niche groups
…and all those other marketing communications that are necessary for building and maintaining rapport with your clients, prospects, and leads.
Sources of inspiration are all around you. Next time you’re perusing…
- Internal Revenue Code
- Internal Revenue Manual
- State/national society email newsletters
- Your favorite accounting industry news site
- IRS Forms & Publications
- Your favorite tax prep reference guide
- Continuing education materials
…and something strikes you as interesting, make note of it. That’s a potential topic to cover in your marketing communications.
Now, while I highly encourage you to catalog these moments of inspiration that you obtain while reading various publications, and to create a marketing calendar from that which goes out at least a few months, I would be a hypocrite if I told you that all your content should always be planned out. This article itself was not planned in any possible way.
That said, I think it’s best to set yourself up for success by adding marketing prompts into your life. What I mean by this is that you should add things such as calendar reminders, occasional notifications on your smart phone, and receive emails that prompt you to take marketing action (hopefully being on my email list helps remind you to take action on your marketing occasionally).
Here’s one of the simplest and easiest things you can do to obtain regular inspiration for your marketing communications: Sign up for IRS tax tips emails.
The IRS publishes a slew of email newsletters. Most of us receive the ones intended for tax professionals, such as IRS Guidewire (if you don’t receive that, definitely sign up). However, most tax professionals do not subscribe to the email newsletters intended for the taxpaying public, and I think that is a travesty.
Essentially, the IRS provides you well written, timely information that is of interest to a wide range of taxpayers. This content is great for use in your marketing communications — in blog posts, newsletters, follow up emails, etc. Here’s the best part, though: Written communications produced by government employees at taxpayer expense is public domain.
Now, I don’t suggest that you copy IRS Tax Tips verbatim and leave it at that. Reword some things, add an introduction and a conclusion, etc. But, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing a copy and paste on those IRS emails and using them as a base to start with. Even better, the IRS publishes these tax tips three times per week during the summer, and every business day during filing season. They also issue “special edition” tax tips relevant to timely topics throughout the year. Thus, you’re never more than a few days away fro ma new thing to cover, and this makes it very easy to hit the suggested blogging/email goal of at least once per week.
So, sign up for IRS Tax Tips today and start using them as a strong starting point for your own marketing communications to your visitors, leads, prospects, and clients.