30-Day Tax Firm Marketing Challenge: Day 7

pearlYesterday afternoon, in between the two passing storm fronts, I took the time to do something I rarely can: Take Pearl to the dog park. She’s not a very high energy dog, so all she did was walk around the perimeter of the fence like this, but it was still great to get out and spend some quality time with her outside the house.

What did you do yesterday to relax and unwind a bit?

Three quick and easy challenges for you here on day 7…


Online Marketing

Send a quick “thank you” email to all your clients.
Estimated Time: Less than 10 minutes (assuming you already have a list built)

The vast majority of small tax firms only contact their seasonal return preparation clients once per year: When they send out an organizer and reminder to schedule their seasonal appointment.

If you’re guilty of this, then you’re doing yourself (and your clients) a serious disservice. This basically tells your clients that you only care about the transactional nature of your business relationship with them. It essentially communicates the message that you don’t really care if they go to another service provider. If you want to keep clients for life, and nurture these relationships, once a year contact is just about the dumbest thing you can do.

So, for today’s challenge: Send ALL your clients a simple email, thanking them for there trust and patronage this year. No offers, no appointment requests. Just saying “thanks”.

Simple gestures like this go a long ways toward maintaining long-term client relationships.


Offline Marketing

Compile a list of possible joint venture marketing partners.
Estimated Time: 10-30 minutes

I’m not so naive as to think this is the only marketing or practice management blog you read. I’m sure you’re subscribed to other email lists, also. Well, have you ever seen a nearly identical email from multiple senders all promoting the same webinar, book, or event?

That’s joint venture (JV) marketing. Several businesses with the same target market take turns offering their complementary services to each other’s customer and prospect lists.

Think about your target market. They obviously need your services. But what other professional services do they use? Who might you know that serves the same target market?

Your challenge today has nothing to do with actually trying to arrange the joint venture — we’ll cover that down the line. But just make a list. Who could you work with? Who in your local area would you like to work with?

Make a list, check it twice. There just might be a goldmine awaiting you in JV land.


Practice Management

Time block your upcoming week.
Estimated Time: 10 minutes

Time blocking is the process of filling your calendar with appointments with yourself to complete essential business tasks. During these times, you only work on the task at hand, and nothing can overwrite these appointments, unless a real emergency exists.

And “emergency” means exactly that: If you wouldn’t call 911, it’s not an emergency. During your productive time blocks for working ON your business, you don’t take phone calls, you don’t take walk-ins, and client appointments cannot be scheduled during the time block. You’re simply not available. Period.

Most practitioners guffaw at the idea of not answering their phone, only checking email twice a day, etc. But the simple fact is that the most profitable service professionals all around the world operate this way, and you should, too.

So pull up your calendar for the next week. I’ll assume you’re doing returns all day tomorrow. But for Tuesday through Friday, block out one solid hour every day for working ON your business. I don’t know what you need to get done: Marketing, staffing, evaluating new software, etc. But block out specific time to just get that stuff done. If you have no pressing needs in your practice, then you need to default that time to marketing.

Do this for just one week, and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve achieved by the time next weekend rolls around.