Using marketing widgets to establish credibility and expert status

Another way of thinking about the type of direct response marketing I write about in this newsletter is to think of it as “educational marketing”.

Educational-style marketing allows you to separate your actual service from what you market. People love to know things, and if they have a problem in their life that is related to your services, they are going to be interested in learning about possible solutions.

Many of the widgets that we use in tax services marketing are educational in nature. There is an interesting byproduct of doing this: Your educational widgets for lead generation establish you as an expert in your field.

When you are perceived as an expert, you are definitely sitting on the “right side of the desk”, which is where you want to be. If they come to you as the expert on their particular problem, it also allows you to charge higher fees for specialized services. As the old saying goes, “You can’t be all things to all people.” So, use your lead generation marketing and accompanying widgets to establish yourself as an expert in a particular niche specialty, and specialists can command higher fees.

Using educational widgets in your marketing also serves to establish a special form of credibility for you and your firm: By providing free educational information, you avoid coming across as a pushy salesperson. This comes right back around to being on the right side of the desk. By using marketing widgets to build your expert status and credibility (really, these widgets are selling YOU), you aren’t put into a position of having to directly sell.

Putting together effective marketing widgets that demonstrate your ability to solve a prospect’s problem puts you in the driver’s seat with your clients. Through these marketing widgets, your prospects come to like and trust you, which are two of the most important factors in turning a prospect into a client.

Start using direct response marketing widgets that inform, entertain, and educate your prospects. Connect with your prospects through these materials, and communicate with them regularly in this manner, and you will have a long-term stream of good prospects and new clients.… Continue reading

How to use “widgets” in your marketing to increase response

The vast majority of the time, the purpose of any marketing you do is NOT to directly make a tax or accounting service sale DIRECTLY from the marketing you’re doing. Rather, the purpose is to elicit a response of some sort that allows you to separate out the interested people from the not interested people. Then, you can continue to market only to the interested people.

In order to get people to raise their hand and indicate they are interested, you need some sort of a response mechanism. I generally refer to these response mechanisms as “widgets”. A widget can be anything that allows you to identify the individual respondent and place them on a separate mailing list of people interested in your services.

Most of the time, a widget is an offer for free information that has high perceived value to your target market. You’ll commonly see free special reports, books, audio downloads, webinars, live small group seminars, and similar vehicles for delivering information being used as marketing widgets.

Having a widget to respond to is capable of increasing response rate to your offer by hundreds or thousands of percent. Depending upon the service you are offering, the type of widget you offer will have different response rates. This is a particular case of the “market to message match” phenomenon: What you say and offer to your target market must match what they want or the problem they are facing.

For example, offering a free report titled “5 Questions To Ask Any Tax Resolution Firm Before Paying Them A Dime” is going to resonate with tax debtors considering proposals from multiple companies. However, it’s going straight into the trash if sent to a mailing list of real estate investors.

This leads me to the most overused and ineffective “widget” used by the vast majority of tax, accounting, and legal professionals: The free consultation. In our society, the free consultation is no longer an effective marketing vehicle, and hasn’t been for over thirty years.

Why is this? Because a free consultation is assumed. It’s just a given that any service professional is going to give a free consultation. It’s just like a free estimate from contractors. The “free estimate” used to be an effective marketing widget for contractors decades ago, because it used to be the norm to charge for an estimate. At one point, it also used to be the norm to charge for … Continue reading

Effective Copywriting For Accounting Professionals [Available on Amazon]

Writing effective sales and marketing copy is one of those skills that we all need, but often lack resources for learning.

While there are a number of training courses available to people to learn how to become a full time copywriting professional, I’ve been hard pressed to find a guide, course, audio, book, or anything else that shows a simple, step-by-step method for actually creating effective marketing pieces for somebody that doesn’t want to be a professional copywriter, yet needs needs professional copy for their own business.

So, I wrote one for you!

Just from reading this newsletter, you should be getting plenty of ideas of how to market your practice, and how to pick your target market. But, you might still be confused about what to actually SAY in your marketing. That’s what this book is for.

Effective Copywriting For Accounting Professionals walks you step-by-step through the process of creating a marketing piece. In this book, you’ll discover:

  • How to write attention-grabbing headlines
  • What you can learn from looking at the marketing of other firms
  • A simple formula for creating an effective marketing piece that actually gets responses
  • How to use “widgets” to generate leads for long-term follow up.
  • How to get people to contact you NOW, rather than in six months
  • The single biggest mistake that accountants make in their marketing that costs them clients

If you’re ready to hit the ground running with your marketing, but haven’t been sure what to actually WRITE, then this book is for you.

Effective Copywriting For Accounting Professionals is available as a Kindle e-book on Amazon.com for only $7.99.

Even if you don’t have a Kindle device, Amazon offers Kindle apps for iPhones, Android Phones, and Windows and MacOS computers. These apps are completely free, and allow you to have a massive library of books in the palm of your hand (I’m a huge Kindle fan).

Order Your CopyContinue reading