The marketing tactic of the times

In the October issue of The Profitable Accountant, we are covering a marketing tactic that is clearly a sign of the times in which we live.

But, it’s definitely not new. In fact, I started doing initial testing on this marketing tactic in my tax firm in Q4 of 2013, and rolled it out in production mode in 2014. It was an excellent addition to the marketing mix of my firm, and had the additional benefit of providing immediate, up-front payment from new clients before I ever even spoke to them.

What is this magical marketing method?

Webinars.

Yep, webinars. To consumers.

Back in the day, it was not easy to get your average consumer to show up for a webinar. There was extensive follow up required, and it was not uncommon for me to have to provide a certain level of tech support to get them on the webinar because of the requirement to install the webinar app on their computer.

But now, in the current pandemic environment, more and more consumers have become accustomed to attending webinars. They already have Zoom, GoToWebinar, or Google Meet set up to use on their computer.

This strategy worked in 2013, and it works even better in 2020 as people have become accustomed to attending webinars.

So, questions you may have…

  • How do you choose a webinar topic?
  • How do you promote your webinar to get registrations?
  • What tech tools do you use to host the webinar?
  • What marketing automation software is best for doing follow to registrants and attendees?
  • How do you go about converting webinar attendees to consultations?

These questions, and many more, will be answered in the October 2020 issue of The Profitable Accountant.

But to get it, you need to be a subscriber. This issue goes to press next weekend, so you have until Friday night to get this issue. To start your monthly subscription to the most profitable newsletter in the tax and accounting realm, get to clickin’:

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Success loves speed

For pretty much any rapidly growing business, the secret behind that success is speed of implementation.

This mantra is most commonly associated with the Silicon Valley tech bro culture. In the early days of Facebook, for example, it was common for new feature releases to break something else on the rapidly growing social media site. Mark Zuckerberg famously embraced this concept, saying, “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”

Speed breeds success in other ways. It means launching new services before your local competitors do. It means implementing marketing campaigns in new types of media before your competitors do. It means accelerating your prospect follow up efforts so that you close new clients before your competition does.

Speed implies taking decisive, immediate action. The tax firm owner that attends a conference and purchases a marketing widget, but leaves it sitting on the shelf, would have been better off not buying the marketing widget at all. In contrast, the tax firm owner at the same conference, buying the same marketing widget, but that implements it right then and there, before even leaving the conference, will be the winner that sees the results.

If you’re the tax firm owner, you need to move fast, and not be timid about taking action if you want to grow your business. As Zig Ziglar once said, “Timid sales people have skinny kids.” (And yes, if you own the tax firm, you are a sales person, whether you like it or not).

This is why I created my 60-day tax resolution firm startup plan.

It guides you step-by-step, through specific actions, each day for 60 days. At the end of that 60 days, you have multiple marketing campaigns going on at the same time.

And even if you don’t like a specific marketing tactic I mention in the 60-day arc of things, that’s fine — swap it out with something you do like. Heck, the core of the whole 60-day plan is tax lien marketing. Since ACS isn’t recording NFTL’s right now, it’s kinda hard to implement the low hanging fruit new lien marketing tactic. OK, fine, do something else (such as mining the PTIN list for professional referral sources).

Point is… Do something. Do it every day. Implement. Quickly.

The sooner you start…the faster you implement…the more you do in parallel… The faster you’ll see results.

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Do I need to be a CPA, Enrolled Agent, or attorney in order to do tax resolution work?

This is a very common question that I get from unenrolled preparers, particularly those from states like Oregon , California, Maryland, and New York that have their own state-level tax preparer licensing in place.

Short answer: Unequivocally YES, you need to be an EA, CPA, or attorney in order to represent taxpayers in IRS Collections.

In order to sign a Form 2848 and represent somebody in front of IRS Collections and/or Appeals, an individual must be an EA, CPA, or attorney. Under current IRS regulations, this is non-negotiable. The IRS does not recognize any of the state-level preparer licensing programs for representation purposes.

Connecting with an EA, CPA, or attorney is a great way to be engaged in this work, but the unenrolled preparerer is limited to the tax prep and bookkeeping in support of the case. We have plenty of preparers that attend our classes in order to better understand the process that they’re supporting when working with an EA/CPA/JD on IRS Collections representation cases. In fact, many CPAs and attorneys send their admin staff to our classes in order to learn how to work cases.

But never forget that the tax prep and bookkeeping is the lower dollar value work, compared to the actual representation component. It’s the most labor intensive component of tax debt resolution, but it’s the lowest value work for the client case.

I personally encourage all unenrolled preparers to simply go take the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) to become an Enrolled Agent. Most preparers can pass Parts 1 and 3 with limited or even zero study, and Part 2 is passable by most folks with a few weeks of intense study. Becoming an EA literally doubles your earning potential overnight, plus it’s also a hedge against the inevitable passage of a bill by Congress to give IRS authority to regulate preparers. Become an EA now, and you’ll bypass any impact of future legislation in this arena.… Continue reading