Getting tax clients from Craigslist

There are hundreds of different ways to market your tax practice, both online and off. Some of these methods are time consuming, some are not. Some will bring in a lion’s share of your clients, some will bring in the occasional client.

Craigslist is one of those things that brings in just the occasional client. Craigslist is also one of those things that takes very little time. In fact, your entire Craigslist marketing strategy need only take about 30 seconds per week…literally. However, Craigslist should absolutely be part of the online marketing strategy for your firm.

People spend a lot of time on Craigslist. In fact, Craigslist is the 7th most popular web site in America, and people spend quite a bit of time on Craigslist when they go there. People don’t even necessarily go to Craigslist looking for anything in particular. Numerous visitors are just there to browse.

By posting your services once or twice per week in the appropriate category (usually “legal services” or “financial services” for us), you’re spending less than one minute per week performing a task that can bring you clients. Craigslist works great for tax preparation during tax season, of course, and you should be particularly vigilant during this time of year to make sure your ads stay up.

However, Craigslist can also work for getting tax resolution clients. In fact, the largest single tax resolution fee I’ve ever personally generated came in as a response to a Craigslist ad I had posted. Yes, a Craigslist ad generated a $25,000 client. That one client alone will forever make it worthwhile for me to continue posting on Craigslist.

Here’s the real beauty of Craigslist ads: You don’t have to re-write them over and over. You can post your Craigslist ad once, and then go into your account once per week and simply repost it. This literally takes just seconds, and you don’t even have to do it yourself. It makes significant sense to actually have another staff member perform this task.

Keeping up different Craigslist ads for all of your different services, in all of the relevant categories, is highly suggested. Craigslist lets you post the same thing in the same category once every three days — keep those ads up, at all times, and count this as part of your weekly marketing responsibilities.


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Generating tax leads from YouTube videos

In case it isn’t readily apparent by the fact that almost everything I produce for you is in written form, I am not a video guy. There’s an old joke in show biz about having “a face made for radio, and a voice made for print“. I personally believe I fall into that category.

However, I still occasionally make video presentations, and occasionally post videos on YouTube. These activities should, in all reality, be a much more significant part of my marketing strategy than they are.

Is video marketing really that important?

If you ask most people what the #1 search engine on the Internet is, they’ll correctly answer Google. If you ask them what the #2 search engine is, though, most people will incorrectly answer Bing or Ask. Believe it or not, the #2 search engine on the Internet is YouTube.

Even more important is the fact that Google bought YouTube a few years, and tightly integrates YouTube results into Google search results. While it can be difficult to get your own web site to rank very high for keywords on Google, getting your YouTube videos to rank high on the first page of Google search results is much, much easier.

People search on YouTube for videos relating to very specific questions. Spend some time searching around YouTube yourself, and watching some of the tax related videos that are posted.

Pick a handful of topics to make videos for, and just film them all at once. It’s easier to film ten 3-minute videos in one sitting than to start and stop, doing one video each day.

If you don’t want to be on video yourself, don’t fret: Just create a PowerPoint presentation or even just a Word document, and use screen capture software to record yourself talking as you go through the slides or information. I’ve even created videos where I essentially read a blog post and add additional commentary that is relevant to the topic.

Here is a quick summary of some “best practices” to use when creating videos for YouTube marketing:

  1. Keep your videos to between 2 and 5 minutes in length.
  2. Use the keywords you are targeting in both the title and description of your video.
  3. Begin the description with the full URL of your web site.
  4. Reiterate some of the video points in the text of the description.
  5. Address a single topic in your video, and make
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Are you working towards a big, audacious lifetime goal?

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for very long, you already know that I’m big on working for a reason, not just working for the sake of working. My question for you today, in that vein, is this: Are you working towards some big, bold, audacious lifetime goal?

It’s important to understand why you are doing what you are doing. If you don’t have a big “why” that motivates you, then the reality is that you’re not going to build the kind of tax practice that you TALK about building. It’s extremely rare for an individual to subscribe to an email newsletter like this one if all they want to do is keep going along the way that they are. If you’re reading this, I can only presume that you’re after something bigger, more than just paying the rent and putting food on the table.

Perhaps you have a concept of wanting to make more money. The question you need to ask yourself, however, is “Why?” Wanting more clients, more revenue from your clients, additional services to offer your clients, these are well and fine. But at the core, it must be asked: WHY do you want these things?

Let me tell you a brief story. This past winter, I was hit by a car while riding home one night on my motorcycle, and it tore up my left knee so bad that it effectively ended my ice dancing ambitions. Not being able to participate in my hobby, I started looking at other things, and sailing caught my eye. Not only was I watching the exciting Volvo Ocean Race, but I also followed the progress of a young Dutch girl that was trying to become the youngest person to sail around the world.

Dutch child protective services spent almost a year trying to keep her from leaving, even going so far as removing her from the custody of her parents for a while (it made international news). She wasn’t willing to let that stand in the way of her going, and at one point she simply LEFT Holland. When she finally came back, the courts relented, and at the age of 14 she departed on her voyage. She finished this past January, just 16. The international community no longer recognizes such records for “youngest”, in order to discourage such things for safety reasons.

Why do I tell you this story? Because she had her eyes … Continue reading