The marketing tactic of the times

In the October issue of The Profitable Accountant, we are covering a marketing tactic that is clearly a sign of the times in which we live.

But, it’s definitely not new. In fact, I started doing initial testing on this marketing tactic in my tax firm in Q4 of 2013, and rolled it out in production mode in 2014. It was an excellent addition to the marketing mix of my firm, and had the additional benefit of providing immediate, up-front payment from new clients before I ever even spoke to them.

What is this magical marketing method?

Webinars.

Yep, webinars. To consumers.

Back in the day, it was not easy to get your average consumer to show up for a webinar. There was extensive follow up required, and it was not uncommon for me to have to provide a certain level of tech support to get them on the webinar because of the requirement to install the webinar app on their computer.

But now, in the current pandemic environment, more and more consumers have become accustomed to attending webinars. They already have Zoom, GoToWebinar, or Google Meet set up to use on their computer.

This strategy worked in 2013, and it works even better in 2020 as people have become accustomed to attending webinars.

So, questions you may have…

  • How do you choose a webinar topic?
  • How do you promote your webinar to get registrations?
  • What tech tools do you use to host the webinar?
  • What marketing automation software is best for doing follow to registrants and attendees?
  • How do you go about converting webinar attendees to consultations?

These questions, and many more, will be answered in the October 2020 issue of The Profitable Accountant.

But to get it, you need to be a subscriber. This issue goes to press next weekend, so you have until Friday night to get this issue. To start your monthly subscription to the most profitable newsletter in the tax and accounting realm, get to clickin’:

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The simplest way to find your tax firm’s niche

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article explaining a specific marketing paradigm through which you should examine your firm’s business development efforts.

Then a couple days ago, I made the case for why you should niche your tax firm.

If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to read both of those articles. Those concepts will put more money in your pocket, period.

Assuming that you accept the arguments I’ve laid out in those posts (which you should, obviously), the next obvious question is: How do you define the target market you’re going to focus your marketing on?

There are a variety of ways to do this, and over the next few articles, I’ll share some ideas on this.

First up: Look and see if you’re already naturally serving a niche market.

Based entirely on where your office is located, or the networking circles in which you swim, you may already be serving a niche. You may never have given it any thought, but you may already be there.

Look at your existing clientele. Are there any specific commonalities? Are many of them in the same industry, same profession, work at the same employer? Connected to the same organization that you’re involved in, such as a non-profit you volunteer for?

If you notice a significant number of clients with some commonality like this, then congratulations, you’re already serving a niche. Now you just need to embrace that fact, and pivot your marketing to dominating that niche.

Still not so sure about this whole “niching” thing? Let me give you two awesome examples.

First, check out the podcast interview I did with Katye Maxson-Landis, CPA in Portland, OR. Katye’s practice is focused heavily on serving Oregon’s growing cannabis industry. Regardless of your feelings about marijuana, listen to the podcast episode to learn about how she recognized the niche opportunity and pivoted into it.

Second, it just so happens that I received a press release yesterday from a reader in Fort Lauderdale, FL, announcing the sale of his CPA firm to his staff. This firm focuses their services entirely on helping aircraft owners. Because of the sale and the niche, the new owners are simply changing the name of the firm to “Aviation CPAs”. Excellent, very excellent!

In The Profitable Accountant newsletter, we provide you with in-depth marketing strategies, niche industry breakdowns, and practice management best practices to help you build … Continue reading

12 Reasons Why You Should Niche Your Tax Firm

In order to run a more profitable tax firm, I’ve always advised tax professionals to specialize.

That means niche down into one or two specific target markets and narrow your service offerings.

We’ve all heard the old cliche: You can’t be all things to all people. And if you try, you’re simply going to spin your wheels and go nowhere fast.

I’ve clearly seen this in myself over the years. A clear lack of focus, changing directions too often, trying to do too many different things. It all results in, well… Zero results. Put another way, he who chases two rabbits catches none.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of accountants effectively doing the same thing. They try offering preparation of every type of tax return, while also doing bookkeeping, while also doing attestation, while also doing tax resolution, while also doing advisory in twenty different industries. They try to offer every possible tax and accounting service under the sun, to every profession, industry, and walk of life, without ever developing deep competency in any particular area. While they might make a living, they never actually build a real firm.

While there are rare exceptions, the majority of highly profitable companies have a narrow focus. They know what they do, and they focus on doing it well. Salesforce doesn’t build cars, and Ford doesn’t build CRM software. Outside of the absolute largest public accounting firms, most of the remainder of the IPA 300 run specialized firms. These firms typically choose to specialize in one or both of the following manners:

1). By offering a very narrow range of services.
2). By servicing a very narrow range of industries or professions.

For example, I know one large accounting firm that specializes in tax, accounting, and auditing for car dealerships. That’s it — nobody else. If you’re a engineering firm, they won’t help you.  If you’re a magazine publisher, they won’t help you. If you’re a manufacturing company, they won’t help you.

Car dealerships. Nothing else.

When I operated my tax firm, I offered one service: IRS and state DOR Collection representation. That was it, nothing else. I didn’t prepare tax returns, I didn’t offer bookkeeping. Nope, just tax resolution. On top of that, I had two very well defined niches that I served: Independent trucking companies in five western states, and large TFRP cases post-assessment. That was my universe.

Early last year, during a … Continue reading