Creating engaging marketing campaigns is key to attracting and retaining clients. By devoting the time to develop detailed, specific strategies to promote your business, you can generate value, expand your client base and successfully build your business for the long term.
In some cases, this might mean enlisting the assistance of marketing professionals, but if that’s not in your budget, there are several strategies you can pursue on your own.
Start by developing a solid business network. Bill Armstrong, founder of Dallas-based Armstrong & Associates Public Relations, suggests building your network through strong organizational connections.
“It is not the best way to do it, but many people choose a firm just because, for example, their brother went to high school with someone at the firm,” he says. “Tax professionals should consider joining fraternal, business, religious, educational, alumni or civic groups.
“The key is pursuing connections with people in these organizations who may have a need for the services you provide,” continues Armstrong. “As you get to know other members and learn their professions, you will develop a relationship and begin to build trust based on a mutual belief or support in an organization or cause.”
Another successful tactic is developing and cultivating a solid reputation as an expert in your field. You can do this by pursuing public speaking engagements and writing projects, as well as creating and participating in professional seminars. It’s a great way to build a personal brand and develop name recognition for your firm.
Start by building a list of news and information publications and websites in your area. Then:
- Engage reporters and editors who cover tax or business issues.
- Offer yourself as a tax expert.
- Substantiate your status by publishing white papers, journal articles and books.
- Develop videos, podcasts, and/or slide presentations exploring tax policy and its impact on individual taxpayers.
“Reporters will become familiar with your name and begin to contact you for assistance and quotes for articles,” he says. “Being quoted and having your ideas publicized gives you a level of credibility you cannot get any other way. It says to others that you have been vetted by an objective reporter or editor, and you can, therefore, be trusted.”
Many local publications and websites include sections for business announcements publicizing new hires, promotions and upcoming events. These publications may also highlight community, charity and business events in calendar listings and through small features with photos. Firms can leverage this coverage by organizing and participating in events and alerting the local media. Promote these events with photographs, video and interviews for posting on websites or for distribution through your social media channels.
You can also share your knowledge, expertise and experience by developing a website that includes a blog on exploring timely tax issues and tips. Update it regularly and include any videos and white papers you may have developed, as well as articles, books and manuals you may have published.
Generating positive buzz doesn’t necessarily require big budgets. Potent opportunities for successful marketing are all around. Seize those opportunities by dedicating at least a couple of hours per week to strategize and develop campaigns tailored to your business and available resources.
Tax professionals can effectively generate buzz by adopting a three-point strategy:
- Marketing strategy: Develop a marketing campaign to engage clients and potential clients. Use the campaign to establish your professional brand.
- Connections: Build a network to generate referrals. Join fraternal, business, religious, educational, alumni or civic organizations, and pursue relationships with members who may benefit from your services. Forge connections with local media.
- Exposure: Establish yourself as an expert. Publish books and professional journal articles. Cultivate public speaking engagements and writing projects, and create and participate in professional seminars. Develop informational videos and podcasts, and post them on your website and/or distribute them through social media channels.