As a major advocate for year-round marketing, even for practitioners whose primary business will always be seasonal tax return preparation, I’d like to share some tax marketing ideas for tax preparers to use during the off season.
First and foremost, I suggest having a client newsletter that you publish at least quarterly. This need be nothing more fancy than a two page page newsletter printed on your office printer in black and white.
Ideally, this should be sent to all of your existing clients, as well as your prospect list. Your prospect list consists of folks that have contacted you in the past via any of your routine lead generation mechanisms, but whom have not purchased any services from you.
The second major tax marketing idea I’d like you to consider during the off season is targeted direct mail lead generation for ideal clients.
Direct mail marketing for tax preparation in July? Absolutely.
Every single day, new people are moving into your service area. In addition, new businesses are being started right in your own part of town. These new residents and new businesses need your expert assistance today, not just in March and April. If you offer bookkeeping, are a Quickbooks expert, offer payroll service, etc., then these are all services you can sell to new businesses right now, when they start.
For new residents, why wait until January and let the local retail tax store franchise get a new 1040 client, when you can get them instead? By contacting these new residents right now, and beginning to establish a relationship with them long before tax season, you give yourself a massive advantage over every other tax preparer in your area.
In order to identify these new residents, simply purchase a new movers or new business filings mailing list for your local area. Send them a simple letter of introduction, along with whatever normal offer-carrying marketing device you normally send out, such as $25 off referral cards for their friends, invitation to local financial seminar you hold in your office every month, etc.
Which leads me to my next tax marketing idea for you: You do have an offer mechanism as mentioned above, don’t you?
If this is not something you have, now is the time to assemble it. In last week’s article, I wrote at length about how to create an active referral generation system for your practice. That same system can also be used for new lead generation, and is the perfect way to jump start your off season marketing and prime the pump for next tax season.
Lastly, don’t forget about year-end tax planning. A very simple business model for a very successful tax practice is to create for yourself three distinct tax seasons of your own making, consisting of tax prep, taxpayer representation, and then tax planning.
There is no reason you cannot be doing new lead generation marketing, through any media, for new clients to start working with you on the tax planning side first. These new tax planning clients then, of course, become tax prep clients the following year. With the ongoing uncertainty regarding Congressional action on the federal budget, and the inherent relation of tax code changes to that budget process, there is a greater need for tax planning for middle class taxpayers. In addition, there is certainly greater public concern in this regards, and the media attention that occasionally focuses on it provides a perfect marketing opportunity for you to piggyback on that media coverage.
These five tax marketing ideas can be used year round, and can be scaled to fit any marketing budget. Perhaps best of all, these marketing ideas are all very simple to implement, compared to any number of more complex ideas such as social media, SEO, multi-hit coordinated direct mail sequences, and radio advertising, just to name a few.
Start working on your tax season marketing during the off season, and you’ll be rewarded handsomely when February rolls around.