What your Four Core Marketing Strategies accomplish for you

While writing the April issue of our print subscription newsletter, The Profitable Accountant™, I framed the discussion about one specific marketing tactic by using a framework I created in 2018.

This framework, which I call the Four Core Marketing Strategies (since I’m not creative enough to dream up better names for stuff) explain, well, exactly that… The four most important strategy components of your overall marketing plan.

Hmmm… Let me back up two steps and define some terms and hierarchies.

Whether you’re launching a tax firm or revitalizing an old one, having a written marketing plan is critical to the success of the venture. Within that marketing plan, you want to define your top-level marketing strategies for achieving the overall revenue goals of the business. From the marketing strategies, you’ll then select marketing tactics to actually generate leads, prospects, and paying clients.

In other words, you deploy tactics in support of strategies that together all form the big plan. For example, running ads on Facebook is a tactic that could apply to either your cold lead generation strategy OR your lead follow up strategy OR your client retention strategy. You’ll run different ads, with different offers, to different audiences depending on which strategy you’re trying to support. Same marketing tactic, but very different strategies.

In addition to that, I need to clarify what I personally mean when I’m using four other words:

  • list is a bunch of people or businesses that all share one or more characteristics. They are not leads.
  • lead is somebody that has in some way raised their hand and engaged with your marketing. They haven’t talked to you yet, but they have given you their contact information for future follow up.
  • prospect is somebody that has at least scheduled a consultation with you. I use the same term to mean somebody that met with you, but didn’t immediately convert to a client.
  • client is somebody that has both paid you and signed an engagement letter. Both the contract and payment must be received before I call them “client”.

With that background info, back to the Four Core Marketing Strategies, of which I already listed three of them in the Facebook ad example, in case you didn’t catch that. The core four were a framework I created specifically with tax resolution in mind, but the reality is that they apply to every service that you offer.

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Could there be more than four? Yes.

Can you implement more than four? Absolutely.

But these are the four that I think are “table stakes” for any tax firm. If you don’t have these, and focus on them in this order, then your business will either stagnate or die.

Each of the core four strategies is designed to accomplish a specific objective in relation to leads, prospects, and clients.

The short version:

  • Your client retention/upsell strategy is the most important. It’s easier and cheaper to keep a client than find a new one. It’s also easiest to offer new services to existing clients.
  • Your lead/prospect follow up strategy is next most important. Perhaps it should be broken into two strategies, since I define leads and prospects differently. But I lump them together because there is so much overlap between the tactics you’ll implement to achieve both.
  • Third most important is your referral generation strategy. Depending on which studies you believe, referrals are somewhere between 3x and 6x more likely to hire you than a cold lead.
  • Last, but certainly not least, is your strategy for generating cold leads. Your firm can generate 100% of it’s business through referrals, but you never want a single way of generating business. It’s good to diversify your business development methods. So yes, I believe all accountants should have a robust lead gen marketing strategy.

From the 633 words I wrote before this paragraph, you should be able to start writing your entire marketing plan. The basic concepts are all there, you just need to take the time to fill in the blanks for yourself.

But if you want the deep dive… The whole enchilada… More cowbell… Then I’ve assembled a collection of the four back issues of The Profitable Accountant™ that go crazy deep on each of the four core marketing strategies.

Our newsletter is normally $98/mo, making five issues $490, according to my Windows 10 calculator. But this 5-issue collection is yours for just $168.

In the near future, I will be consolidating these five issues into book form, and the book will be quite a bit more expensive. So, get this 5-issue archive at the lower price while you can.

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This is made up of the April, May, June, July, and September 2018 issues of the newsletter. To read full descriptions of what’s in each issue, see the back issue catalog at:


To jump straight to checkout and snag this 5-issue collection, order here: