30 Day Tax Firm Challenge: Day 25

Sorry about missing another day yesterday. That’s three now. And we’re so, so close!

Onward and upward…


Online Marketing

Choose how you will create landing pages.
Estimated Time: 2 hours

Your website exists to serve a purpose. It’s not there just because it’s 2016 and you’re expected to have one. In fact, you shouldn’t even have a website unless it’s serving these two functions:

1). Generating new leads.
2). Converting existing leads into clients.

Sure, your website is a great customer service portal, as well. But seriously, if you’re not capturing leads or converting leads, then don’t bother having a site.

At the core of this central purpose, you need to have lead capture mechanisms in place. That means lead magnets and landing pages.

We’ve already covered your lead magnet, and you should have been working on that in a previous challenge. Now you need to serve it up.

You should have a lead capture box on every public facing page of your website. Every page.

But then there are other pages that you should specifically send people to via your marketing. These special pages are called landing pages, or in slightly older Internet marketing vernacular, squeeze pages. They’re the same thing.

A landing page makes one offer, and gives visitors one option. E.g., it “squeezes” them into only taking one action. This action is to sign up for your lead magnet. There numerous tools that exist to help you build specific pages. WordPress plugins that do this are a dime a dozen, such as Thrive and OptimizePress. There are hosted landing page solutions, such as ClickFunnels and LeadPages.

What I want you to do today is spend an hour with just one goal: Looking over and reviewing the available options. If you use a site service such as GetNetSet or CPA Site Solutions, you’ll need to look at hosted solutions. Just Google “landing page software” and peruse the options. If you have a self-hosted website built on WordPress, look for “landing page plugins”. Explore the options.

After you find two or three that you like, spend another hour going through that company’s tutorials and examples. Sign up for a free trial. Play with it. Register for one of their webinars.

Find something you like and are comfortable with. Then sign up for it. Start using it.


Offline Marketing

Sell other businesses on going in together on a monthly mailer.
Estimated Time: 3 to 4 hours

This idea is one that I owe 100% to my friend James Orr, and it’s called the Free Flyer Method. Here’s how it works…

You know those grocery store circulars that land in your mailbox once a week? It’s kind of like that, but better.

You’re going to get into the direct mail advertising business. You’ll produce an 8.5×11 cardstock postcard, or even an 11×17 double folded booklet. What you do is divide the 8.5×11 postcard into four sections. That’s four advertising slots. One is for YOU, and you’re going to sell the other three.

Call a printer, preferably one that’s a client. Talk to them about how much it’s going to cost to print and mail this. They’ll even be able to brainstorm layouts and options with you. Aim for something that can be sent to residential addresses near your office, preferably at the Every Door Direct Mail reduced postage rates. Make sure they also tell you how many homes it will reach.

Then start contacting other businesses in your immediate area. If they’re accounting clients of yours, even better. Offer them an advertising slot in your mailer, and just quote them 1/3 of the hard cost of the mailer.

Yes, 1/3.

Four ad slots. One for you. Each other business pays a third.

That means yours is free.

This is your “fee” for putting it together.

Do this monthly from now through at least tax season. Free advertising for you to the homes around your office. Very affordable advertising for the other businesses participating.


Practice Management

Assemble a client advisory board.
Estimated Time: 2 hours

This is an extension of what we discussed in our last practice management challenge.

Once you have a formal customer satisfaction program in place, the next step is to improve upon both that and the overall customer experience in your practice.

This concept is something I’ve learned from my recent swims in Startup Lake. For startups, the key to success is ridiculously massive growth. Managing that growth while still delivering a good product or service is challenging. Many of these companies have employees called Customer Success Managers who are more than just customer service reps — they’re customer advocates.

These companies also frequently have customer advisory boards established early on, before they’re even generating revenue. These boards consist of early adopters that provide feedback on the product or service, in order to help the company improve.

You can assemble such an informal board yourself. Think about clients you have both very strong business relationships with, but that are the kind of people that you trust, value, and are willing to listen to what they say. Invite a mix of newer and older clients. Aim for 3 to 6 of them. Tell them that you are looking for feedback about your business and their client experiences. Invite them to lunch and do a round table.

Ask them about the good and bad experiences they’ve had with you and your practice. Ask for suggestions for improvement, as well as things you’ve done well. Be receptive and welcoming of all feedback, be it good, bad or indifferent.

Meet regularly with this group. Quarterly or monthly works well. From these meetings, implement improvements in your business.