30-Day Tax Firm Marketing Challenge: Day 18

Premium member Dennis Bridges, CPA reminded me of an important lesson this morning. It’s the classic story of a physician that spends his entire career building medical practices in small towns, and then selling the practice and moving on to the next town to repeat the process. At a conference, he’s asked how on Earth he’s able to add 72 new patients to a new practice so rapidly.

His answer is an incredibly important marketing lesson: “I don’t know one way to add 72 new patients to a practice. But I do know 72 ways to add one new patient to a practice.

That, in a nutshell, is what this 30-day challenge is really all about. Even if you only do a fraction of the tasks, each one will still move your practice forward, one new client at a time.


Online Marketing

Write the teaser copy for your digital lead magnet.
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

It’s been stated countless times by countless experts across countless decades: All successful marketing relies on the headline.

It’s even more true here in the digital age. Some studies indicate that the average American is bombarded by an estimated 4,000 marketing messages per day. In order to get noticed through all that clutter, you must have a good headline for your lead magnet.

Today, I want you to brainstorm as many different headline variations as you can for the lead magnet you started outlining in yesterday’s challenges. Remember that a good headline poses a problem, and offers a solution. The best teaser copy also incorporates the target market.

This is an important exercise, and is worth spending quiet time on. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and just brainstorm teaser copy.


Offline Marketing

Create five possible book/CD/DVD titles.
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Slightly similar to above, but with a slight departure from the parallel tracks we’ve been on the past few days.

Grab your outline from yesterday. What physical format did you envision it in? CD? Book? Long form sales letter?

Whatever the format, it’s time to put a title on it. Go to Amazon and search in the book section for similar titles, even if you don’t plan on making this a book. Look for the books with a lot of 5-star reviews. Read the reviews, and make note of the kind of words and language that the readers (e.g., customers) use. Write down specific phrases and words that catch your eye, particularly in relation to benefits and problem/solution fit.

From these words and phrases, craft at least 5 titles for your physical lead magnet.


Practice Management

Mystery shop your own office.
Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes

Do your staff follow your telephone scripts? Are they asking the right questions, collecting the right information when engaging with prospects and clients?

If you have staff that answer the phone, or an answering service that does so for you, it’s time to make sure they’re doing it right.

Several years ago I was doing private consulting with a CPA firm in Texas. We started a $5,000 per month direct mail campaign, and a couple weeks in I touched base to check the numbers. They had received ZERO new consultations from the campaign so far. This sounded ludicrous to me, so I checked the tracking phone numbers. They were getting plenty of calls, but no leads.

So, I enabled the call recording feature on the tracking number, with the firm’s permission. After listening to just a few recorded calls, the problem was obvious: The receptionist.

She was simply answering the phone with “Hello?” or “Hi, how are you?” instead of the script she had been provided and trained on. Retraining commenced, and things were fine for a couple weeks, but then the numbers started drifting off again. Long story short, she had reverted to her old habits, and the firm had to let her go.

This challenge is simple: Have a friend, family member, or colleague call your office and pretend to make an inquiry about services. Listen in on another line, or record the call (check local call recording laws first). Evaluate how your staff or answering service handles the call.

If they’re way off script, it’s time for intervention and training.