Why should you even be thinking about marketing your firm during tax season? You’re busy, exhausted, and you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel yet. There’s an elephant in the room that is soooo tempting to ignore with the pressure of tax season bearing down. That elephant has a name- it’s COMPETITION.
People have so many options for getting their taxes done now that they don’t have to use a local accounting firm anymore. Clients who need proactive advisory services will seek and find them. In a few years (or less), you don’t want to be left with the clients you make the least on but who suck up the most of your time.
Marketing your firm during tax season is a great way to increase business with your best current clients and drive new ideal clients through your door (virtually or physically)!
Yes, this tax season has been insane. Despite that, you can set your business up for success after tax season by doing a few simple things now that won’t take any additional time.
1. What’s in the return vs. what’s on it…is key to new opportunities.
Before you present a return to your client, you will have obviously reviewed it. The question is, HOW are you reviewing it? Are you tediously and manually so in the weeds of a detailed review that you miss an opportunity for tax planning? A business restructure? A contribution to an IRA that could increase a refund or reduce a balance due? A Schedule C that indicates opportunity for bookkeeping or cash flow stabilization?
You have to find a way to spend less time reviewing 1040 returns in order to shift your focus to what the return is telling you. It is easier and less expensive to cross sell to existing clients than to bring in new ones. The tax return is your vehicle to get proactive and offer valuable services to clients that will help them improve their financial position moving forward.
2. Set an appointment for post tax season when you review or deliver the return.
For the clients who represent opportunity beyond the return, get an appointment for the next meeting booked on the calendar when you meet to review or deliver the return. It will save you time and phone or email tag later-and potentially lost opportunity.
3. Ask for Google and Facebook reviews and testimonials when you review or deliver the return.
This is a super easy way to market your firm. When you are delivering a return or reviewing it- you are adding value. You also have your client’s captive attention. Just like booking the next appointment at that point, ask clients if they would mind doing a Google or Facebook review about their experience. I suggested this to a firm recently who followed through, and guess what? They were shocked at how many clients did it!
Take it a step further and ask for a testimonial (quote or video) that you can include on your website or YouTube channel. 85% of consumers conduct online research prior to making a purchase. That same firm I mentioned that got several social media reviews? They also asked for testimonials. Not only did they get several, they also got clients offering to do video testimonials. What do you think that is doing for their advisory business?
According to this article about why and how social proof influences consumers, “an average of sixty-six percent of customers said the presence of social proof increased their likelihood to purchase a product.”
4. Create an incentive for a referral.
Another easy way to market your firm during tax season is to mention a referral incentive at the end of a tax return review or delivery. Your value is never more top of mind with your clients than when you are in front of them. Leverage that opportunity to offer a simple referral incentive. By offering an incentive, such as a discounted future service or gift cards to a local restaurant (client?), you’ll give them a reason to think of others they know who could benefit from your expertise.
5. Deliver value to your clients and prospects by posting FAQs.
You’re getting the same questions every day and answering them over and over again. These are also questions that your prospects have- but may not be asking you. Why not show how proactive you are as an advisor and post a few FAQs and answers each week on your social media?
It costs you nothing, shows that you are in tune with your target audience, and it serves up value at no cost to keep you in front of clients and prospects. Why would they go elsewhere if you are being proactive?
One of the firms I work with is killing it in their niche. When I asked them why these clients are coming to them, the managing partner told me that every single new client said “we needed someone proactive and our old CPA was not.”