How to Market Your Firm
Hello, my name is Nyrie and I am the owner of Tax Prep A-Go-Go. You have to say my company name with some pizazz. Tax Prep A-GO-GO! I have been preparing tax returns for over 15 years. It all started when my best friend came to me in 2006 and said, “I haven’t filed a tax return for 4 years”. I sprang into action and here we are today. From learning how to fill out a 1040 manually 15 years ago, to now – using TaxAct®, first-class professional tax preparation software. I’m going to share some of my thoughts with you today on the topic of marketing. I built my business from that one friend in 2006 to over 90 clients in TY 2020. Here are my suggestions…
Nyrie’s Top Three Marketing Musts
BUSINESS CARDS: I am still a big believer in the business card. I know that physical business cards seem ancient in these times of digital EVERYTHING. That said, giving a person your phone number or social media handle can just as easily get lost, buried, dismissed. It can disappear in a person’s phone just like a physical business card can get misplaced in a purse or wallet or junk drawer. But there is a key word to remember here… “PHYSICAL.”
You are handing someone something physical. Sure, it could end up in the trash but if it does not, it has the chance of resurfacing again one day. That could be the day where the one who finds it is reminded that they need to get their taxes done or perhaps they recall a friend say they needed help getting their taxes filed. The odds may be slim, but 1000 business cards cost less than $50. If just one of those cards come back to you in the form of a client, they will have paid for themselves and then some.
Next up, BRANDING: Branding is so important. Pick a company name, font, and logo and stick with it. Be sure to keep the same branding on your website, graphics, emails, invoices, and all your social media accounts.
In terms of your logo…I say get creative! I know, I know…we are a bunch of left-brained, un-artistic, nerdy folks. If necessary, hire a graphic designer because creating a memorable logo is of the upmost importance. People remember a logo more than a company name. I suggest steering clear of images or logos which are obviously specific to tax preparation such as the elusive “$” or an image of a calculator. I recommend a logo/image which has nothing to do with taxes but will be remembered, nonetheless. Like a cartoon frog wearing a red bowtie and a gold crown with a dollar sign on it. Wait a second, you can’t use that idea. That would be trademark infringement because that is MY registered company logo!
Lastly, NETWORKING: I may be throwing it back to the Old School again, but simply meeting people and shaking their hand and making connections goes a long way. When I first started my company, I found a women’s networking group that met once a month at a bar. The cost to attend the networking event was $45. I attended 4 events and landed 2 clients. My minimum tax return preparation fee is $250 for a straight 1040 return. You do the math. How much did I spend, kids? What did I make? Of course, opportunity cost needs to be factored in, but there is a thing called “sweat equity”. A few nights out at a bar, making new friends, and landing two clients, is well worth the time and “sweat”.
I recall in college learning about the “Sphere of Influence”. When you wanted to sell something, you first hit up your inner circle…friends, family, neighbors. Then you moved on to the next sphere…your optometrist, drycleaner, the barista who sees you weekly at the coffee shop. Don’t be embarrassed to introduce yourself and tell people what you do. There is no shame in it!
Finally, I want to close by telling you all this…we tax preparers are SO FORTUNATE! Hello! EVERYONE needs to file taxes. Thus, EVERYONE is a potential client. Unless they are dedicated to their long-time, family tax preparer, they are a potential client. We don’t sell cars or furniture. We don’t tailor clothing. We’re not travel agents. All those jobs require a consumer who is looking to purchase those items or procure those services. We are fortunate to offer a service that every adult in the country needs. Every single one of them. So, go out and get noticed! Represent yourself and your company well, and you will do well.
– Nyrie Sarkissian, Owner of Tax Prep A-Go-Go