Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to be writing and speaking extensively about a topic that may be new to you.
It’s a simplified, holistic way to approach the entire subject of client attraction — from lead generation to prospect follow up to conversion to client to upselling and cross-selling of additional services.
The marketing philosophy, business growth paradigm, or practice growth dogma — whatever the heck you want to call it — is pretty simple. Here’s the basic 3-step formula behind database marketing (yet another term for it):
- Choose a specific industry or profession + a geography.
- Build a list of people that know, like, and trust you.
- Send educational information to that list, along with occasional solicitations for your services.
To put it in shorter marketing parlance for any business school folks in the audience:
- Define your target market.
- Build a prospect list.
- Make offers.
Easy peasy, extra cheesy.
Now, just to be clear, this is no different than how you’ve seen me talk about marketing in the past. All the same concepts apply. I’m just giving you different packaging.
Because defining a simple paradigm to work from makes all other conversations about growing your tax firm easier. It gives a starting point of reference. A place from which to start conversations, anchor initiatives, narrow our focus, and align our strategic objectives. (Can you tell I’m working on MBA coursework? Hmm.)
In reality, all we’re really talking about is direct response marketing. There’s nothing new about that.
But, I want to give you a new structure from which to view it. A structure that will hopefully make it easier for you to implement and profit from.
Let me give you an example. When I was running my tax resolution firm, about 70-80 percent of my marketing was to small trucking companies, with 5-10 trucks, in five states (e.g., my target market). Through a variety of marketing media, including direct mail, telemarketing, Google ads, Facebook ads, and the like, I generated leads (e.g., a list of people that knew me). Some of those businesses moved from the lead list to the prospect list by having a consultation with me. Some (not all) of those prospects became paying clients. So, I was creating three separate lists within my database: Leads, prospects, clients.
All of my follow up marketing to those leads and prospects was about tax resolution. To my past clients, it was all about my POA Monitoring service (one of only three original ideas I’ve ever had in tax resolution). I had nothing else to offer them. I had made the choice to not offer seasonal return preparation, bookkeeping, etc. And, quite frankly, I’d never heard the term “advisory services” yet, so that wasn’t on the menu, either. If I had been far more ambitious at the time, and hadn’t later wandered off and started a software company, I think (hope?) that I would have eventually started offering other services to my lead, prospect, and client lists. I would have figured out a way through the regulatory red tape to directly sell them accounts receivable factoring and get paid for it. I would have become a vendor for several types of software used for freight tracking, dispatching, digital driver logs, etc. I would have connected with Pilot and Flying J corporate, to forge partnerships that allowed me to offer rewards points on those company’s loyalty programs. Etc., etc.
Oh, and yeah, I would have hired a couple people by now to prepare tax returns and keep books, of course.
But, you see, the business could have been so much more, simply because I had a list and a relationship with those truckers and trucking companies.
You can take what I’ve written so far, and go off on your own and create your own target market domination. The paradigm is yours to run with.
But if you’d like a little more direction, some specific instructions, then I’ve got a special offer for you. Hint, hint: This is me practicing what I just preached.
With the 9/15 biz return deadline looming, it seems prudent for me to suggest that you focus on that side of your practice. I’ll spare you my normal rhetoric about how RPA has already started to kill 1040 prep, and will continue to accelerate. Instead, I’ll keep things positive and remind you that, while more complicated, business returns have higher fees, usually come with accounting work attached, and allow you to generate a high income while managing fewer client relationships. Plus, if you specialize in serving a specific industry or profession, you will develop expertise that you can then sell in the form of advisory services.
So, I’d like to offer you up a short training course: How to Rapidly Accelerate Your Tax Season Profits Via 1120S Returns
Yes, this is being offered and hosted on a site you’ve probably never seen before. That’s on purpose, and I’ll explain more about that at a later date.
But for now, pick up this business return marketing course, and then forward me your receipt. Once I receive your receipt, I’ll send you a special bonus that will help you further implement what I’m talking about here. That bonus will include:
- A copy of my IDEAL Client Profile Exercise worksheet
- The 75-minute explanatory video walking through that exercise to help you define your niche target market
To your success,
~Jassen Bowman, EA, CTR™
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