How To Enter A Niche Tax Market

Tax Marketing Premium member Ernie Neve, CPA sent me in a question via email a few minutes ago that I felt was worth answering to the benefit of all members.

In short, Ernie saw my references to figure skating and hockey, and got to thinking about his own hockey life. Specifically, he writes:

I have been a hockey player all my life, right through college and even now, my 10 year old twin boys are hockey players, and I am the treasurer on the board for my rink, a private skating club. I have done a great deal of networking there, have been there since my boys were 3. Problem is, there is a rule against direct marketing to members.

So, taking your cue, where can I find a list of hockey families in my area? As your stated, hockey, like figure skating not for the faint of pocket book. It seems it would be a nice niche to seek out, since we have a common ground to start with.

It’s very, very smart to take a look at the hobbies and activities that dominate your life. Ernie’s rink is rare in that the skating club owns the facility, and they appear to have a very active youth and adult hockey program. This fact says something about the financial condition of the club members, who have to bring in enough money to maintain an ice facility (which is not cheap, by the way).

If you really want to penetrate any particular market, you really should go in with all guns blazing. This is full court press time, and it’s easy to do since everybody already knows you. Here’s what I would do:

  1. Take out ads in game programs.
  2. Put an ad on the rink boards.
  3. Sponsor a puck.
  4. Sponsor a youth team.
  5. Run Facebook ads with “hockey” selected as a demographic interest.
  6. Find the list broker that manages the USA Hockey mailing list, and rent the list of local members.
  7. Do cross promotions and endorsed mailings using the customer list of your local hockey pro shop.
  8. Offer up a tax planning or financial planning seminar at the rink (rent the birthday party room) and “spread the word” around the facility.
  9. Get your brochures (with a compelling offer) into every place you can — pro shop, concessions by the register, etc.
  10. Where a t-shirt at the rink that says, “Ask me how to reduce your tax bill.”
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There’s a LOT you can do with an activity-based niche. This list should get you going in the right direction, but is just the beginning. Always be looking for opportunities to get your name and business value proposition into as many faces as possible. I know that an active hockey facility can quite easily have several hundred members, and these are all people with the the disposable income to participate in a somewhat expensive sport. Sounds like a perfect pool of tax clients to me.