Another tax season is nearly upon us, and the time for accountants and tax professionals to prepare for the rush is now. When you’re neck-deep in tax work for 14+ hours a day, it can be easy for other critical business functions to fall by the wayside. It’s important to remember, though, that things like communication and marketing are just as crucial as ever, if not more so, during peak tax season.
The good news is that, with a little bit of forethought and planning, you can handle your marketing without distracting from your core tax work in the coming months. Implementing one of the following strategies, or some combination of them, now will ensure that your marketing never falters during the depths of tax season.
It’s perfectly normal if you feel like you can’t adequately juggle marketing and client communications on top of handling tax returns. After all, your specialty is tax matters and that’s what your clients come to you for. Doing your own marketing during tax season is an extra burden you don’t need on your plate.
Consider outsourcing your marketing efforts to an outside marketing specialist. Marketing is critical to keeping your business up and running, and you need to know that someone’s on top of it at all times. When you outsource, you know it’s being handled by a specialist in the field whose job it is to focus solely on determining your strategic message, figuring out the best ways to deliver that message, keeping your clients in the loop, and reaching out to potential new customers to build your client base. They’re also on top of the latest digital marketing techniques that will keep your business at the top of clients’ minds.
You’ll also have year-round marketing consistency. Your external marketing team can devote just as much time and energy to your marketing in April as they can in August, even if your part of the business is exponentially busier.
Any business that’s seasonal needs to put extra thought into staffing, and tax providers are certainly no exception. Waiting till busy season to hire additional staff is a recipe for disaster – not only might you be unable to hire and train them in time, the best talent may have already been scooped up by your competitors.
It’s not just accounting work that ramps up during tax season. Most tax firms find it beneficial, if not necessary, to increase marketing during that time, too. It’s only logical that you’d want consistent and even extra communication with your clients at the time when they need your services most.
Consider your current staffing in marketing and the workload they handle on a daily basis in the down season. Do they have the capacity to take on additional work and increase your marketing efforts during tax season? If the answer is no, you should consider whether you need to expand your marketing team now, on either a permanent or temporary basis.
Not all marketing needs to come from within – word of mouth is still a very powerful marketing tool, especially today, when face-to-face contact with clients is limited or nonexistent. A great way to land new clients for tax season is to include a referral strategy in your overall marketing plan.
Client referral programs are proven to be an effective way of attracting new clients, because the person giving the referral is already trusted by the person getting it. Consider coming up with some unique or creative incentives for your clients who refer new business to you. Such programs are a win-win – you keep current clients happy while landing new clients, all without distracting from your core tax work.
If you’re like most tax professionals, each year you find yourself saying that next tax season your marketing will be different. It’s not too late to make that true for this year if you implement the right marketing strategies now.