Have you developed your marketing plan for this coming tax season yet? Now is the time to start brainstorming and putting the pieces together for continued growth in 2015. If you’re not sure where to start, or just need some prompts, here is a checklist of things you should cover in your 2015 tax business marketing plan.
First thing’s first, you want to make sure that this year’s clients return next year. You need to develop a plan to remind them to call or visit to schedule their next appointment. This could be done in the following ways:
- Via postcard
- Via email
- Via phone call
You should also consider how to contact clients of tax preparers who will not be returning this season so that you don’t lose them as a client.
All of your digital communications need to be reviewed and you need a plan for moving forward this coming season. This means you need to look at the following:
- Enhancements to your website
- Content on your website
- A content plan for your blog (if you have one)
- Email communications (newsletters)
- Virtual tax service offerings
- SEO and content marketing strategies
- Digital ads (Google, banner ads, etc.)
Social media can really help build awareness of your business. You should be using it on a regular basis throughout the year and have a plan to ramp it up around the holidays when tax season is closer. Here’s how to prepare a plan for your social media strategy:
- Evaluate the ads you ran last year on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Plan your ads for this season to include specific target audiences.
- Evaluate your engagement from last year and write a content plan based on your findings.
- Flesh out any contest ideas.
- Have graphics created for social media posts.
- Have all tax preparers button up their LinkedIn profile and be sure that their current position is listed and linked to your company page.
- Make sure your LinkedIn company page is up to date and has reviews.
- Check your presence on Yelp! If you haven’t claimed your Yelp account yet do so and respond to any negative comments.
Print advertising is not dead – it’s just not as popular. You should evaluate the ads you ran last year and also decide on the following:
- Ads in local papers
- Ads in local magazines
- Flyers and brochures
- Direct mail for new home buyers or a targeted area
- Post cards for previous clients who did not return this year
Good PR can be way more effective than a mass media advertisement. PR opportunities don’t just fall into your lap; you have to plan for them. Here are some great ways to line-up PR opportunities for your business:
- Donate or volunteer your services to a group who may need help.
- Attend lots of networking events and connect to the people you meet on LinkedIn.
- Plan seminars to give around tax time.
- Pitch your media sources articles that are timely and valuable to their readership.
- Plan sponsorships at local events.
- Give out gift certificates as door prizes at other events.
- Plan your news releases.
Your tax preparers are not just tax preparers; they should be equipped to bring in more clients (aka sales). Here are some things you can do to prepare your office for increased sales.
- Make sure everyone is up to date on the proper phone answering protocol (customer service is sales).
- Everyone in the office should know how to give a price quote.
- If you have a refer-a-friend program, every customer should be reminded of it.
- Flyer distribution should be hashed out.
- Discuss a telemarketing strategy for bringing in new business.
- Everyone should know how and when to ask for referrals.
Promotions are always great marketing tools to get people in the door. Whether it’s a refer-a-friend, group tax discount, or any other great offer you can think of, plan it now and be sure to educate your staff.
If you plan on doing television, radio, or billboard ads you should start by evaluating their effectiveness last year. Next come up with a budget and a plan for this year and then decide how you are going to gauge effectiveness for next year.
People have to know where you are! If you are in a location that is hard to see from the road, you should start planning your signage options now so that you will be seen by drivers during their commutes.
If you need help putting all of this together, take a look at our Tax Marketing Manual. This manual has all you need to know to market your tax business the way national tax firms do…without having to spend as much. Learn to identify your target clients and reach them more efficiently and effectively. This unique practical guide is full of proven strategies and illustrations of marketing tactics and tools that build revenue.