Today kicks off the 2018 30-Day Marketing Challenge! The entire month of November, we’ll be focusing on daily marketing tasks — yes, even on Thanksgiving day — that you can utilize to grow the 941 representation side of your practice.
Most of the marketing tasks across this challenge will be short, usually 10 to 20 minutes. Some may be up to an hour.
If you actually follow through on all the activities across the next 30 days, I would expect the typical practitioner to pick up at least 2 or 3 tax resolution clients this month, equating to roughly $10,000 to $15,000 in new revenue. Even more important than that, however, if you stick with it for the full 30 days, you’ll develop the single most financially important habit a business owner can eve develop: The habit of daily marketing.
To start, you’re going to need to create a small piece of 941-specific messaging that answers the classic question, “What do you do?”
Commonly referred to as an elevator pitch, this is a concept that’s older than dirt, but sadly it’s one that very few tax and accounting professionals take the time to craft. The LAST thing that should ever leave your mouth when somebody asks what you do is, “I’m a CPA.” Even though most of the general public knows what a CPA is, that answer provides ZERO information about how you can help them, or whom they can refer you to, etc.
Your answer to this question should also not be, “I do taxes”, or “I’m an accountant”, “I do tax resolution. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!
Your elevator pitch is what you use to communicate the kind of clients you’re looking for. It should be specific, and have a purpose. It should not be generic. You want people to be thinking about who they can refer to you when they hear your elevator pitch. You want them to evaluate their own life against your pitch to determine if they’re a prospect for you. Not everybody should be your client — this is a filtering mechanism.
Over the years, I had a few different elevator pitches. My oldest elevator pitch was very straightforward: “I help mom and pop small business owners with tax debts to screw over the IRS.” This was a message that resonated very, very clearly with my intended target market at the time.
A bit later in my career, when I broadened my market a bit, I made it more professional: “I represent small business taxpayers in front of the IRS to remove the stress and anxiety of seizures, levies, and other IRS Collections action. I deal with the IRS for you, so you can continue doing what you do best, which is running your business.”
Straight, simple, and to the point.
Let’s break it down:
1). Identify ONE specific target market that you’re looking to serve. I preferred working with family owned small businesses doing a few million a year or less. Thus, “mom and pop”.
2). Identify ONE specific service that you are looking to focus on for your target market. I have always been a one-trick pony, and focused solely on IRS Collections representation. It’s really all I know how to do, and so it was easy to target the service. By saying “tax debts”, I’m specifying the exact nature of what I helped them with. In the second example, saying “seizures, levies, and other IRS Collections actions”, I’m clearly identifying the things I help prevent on their behalf.
3). Identify ONE benefit you bring to the table. My clients in rural western America were predominantly blue collar, Republican, and generally frustrated with the IRS. “Screw over the IRS” clearly illustrated the end goal, and uses language that resonated with that target market. It also clearly communicates that I’m on their level, and won’t be one of those people that makes them feel bad about being in debt to the government. In the latter version, the final sentence is a huge benefit statement: I tell them that I’ll get the proverbial monkey off their back so they can focus on what’s important.
In summary: One target market, one service, one benefit.
“I help new homeowners realize the full tax savings from their new investment.”
“I show political candidates how to sound like a genius when discussing tax policy.”
“I work with Realtors and their clients to clear up tax lien challenges so that everybody can get to closing.”
“I help [target market] to [benefit statement].”
Your challenge for today is to create this for yourself. It’s something you should already have crafted anyway, and something you’ll use quite frequently over the course of this month. It’s such a fundamentally basic building block of your marketing endeavors that it’s worth putting as much time into it as is necessary.