Do this one thing to position yourself as an expert

Stepping out on your own to build your own practice is a daunting challenge. When I made that decision in Oct. 2010, it was actually an emotionally charged, very rash decision.

Obviously, not the way to do things.

Fortunately, I had my sales and marketing skills, and using my marketing blitzkrieg method I was able to get those first few high-paying clients in the door quickly. However, it required a massive investment in phone time, and I was definitely chasing business, rather than being on the right side of the desk.

In all reality, it wasn’t until I did one thing in particular that shifted things around that I was really able to quit chasing business. Sure, I had people calling me from my postcard and letter mailings, as well as from my tax site blog and email newsletter for tax prospects. But there was one thing above all else that made things really take off for my personal tax practice. One thing that let me get into “cruise mode” and not really have to worry about incoming leads any more for my tax practice.

What was that one thing? I wrote a book.

Tax Resolution Secrets was conceived, written, and published in paperback all within the span of a single week. The book became (and still is) the best sales tool for my tax practice. It’s the best selling book on the subject on Amazon, which doesn’t really mean much since so few people actually purchase such books, but there are enough people interested that it provides a small, but steady, stream of inbound leads to my tax practice.

There is a definite process for creating such a thing for your own practice. I’m currently working on a new course to teach the process in all it’s glory, but the basic components look like this:

  1. Select a narrow, niche topic to write about (penalty abatements, OIC, streamline IA, etc)
  2. Write as much as you can about the topic in a single weekend.
  3. Format it to Amazon Kindle standards.
  4. Enroll it in the Amazon KDP Select program.
  5. Use the 5 free promo days to boost interest.
  6. Let everybody you know aware of it’s existence via your client newsletter, email, Twitter, etc.

It’s a pretty basic process, and one you’ve seen me repeat with other books over the past six months. The process has also worked successfully for other books I’ve written in non-tax related fields of personal interest.

With a little bit of reformatting, you can publish the same book for less than $5 a copy in a standard paperback size. Nothing says, “Hi, I’m the expert you should hire” quite like handing somebody a copy of your book rather than a business car. I occasionally buy 10 or 20 copies of Tax Resolution Secrets simply to have them around as something to give people when it comes up that they have a tax problem.

The point of writing a book like this isn’t for the royalty income. The point is to actually have something that you can point to as a published work for credibility purposes, and that gets your name and contact information into the hands of people that need your help.

In the world of marketing, there are two ways to go about things. You can get the market to come to you, or you can go to where the market already is. Amazon itself is one of the biggest search engines on the planet, and millions of people go there every day looking for all sorts of stuff. Why not let them find you there?

For a larger, highly active practice, this one method itself won’t bring in all the leads you need. But for a solo practitioner working from home, it literally could be the only lead generator you need.

In the future, I’m going to cover more about this, such as the simplest way to actually write a book, how to format things, how to get people from the book to your web site or office, and how to increase distribution.

Give a thought to what you’re doing this weekend. Is your plan to spend the next two days watching TV? Consider writing a short book instead, and create something that has extremely long lasting value to the growth of your tax practice.