Independent accountants and tax practitioners are knowledge and subject matter experts. You’re in a profession where you’re called a practitioner for a reason, you practice doing all things that are of importance to your client. It’s usually not something you can farm out.
With your time dedicated to production, you just ain’t got the time, or probably even the budget to delve into all of the modern marketing techniques, tools and toys, mainly because they take you away from your prime responsibility, solving your clients needs.
But, lose touch with your clients and prospects and you lose them. You’ve got to stay in touch, and you have to make it a priority. Ahead of getting the repetitive mundane in-house stuff done that you piddle with early every day while you try to find a way not to get any work done. Yeah, I know how it feels. Stress and avoidance are the key words here. Stress and avoidance..
You gotta stay in touch with your clients, or they wander away.
But, all this staying in touch takes time and effort. You need to be contacting your clients, following up with prospects, closing deals and generally maintaining relationships.
The important things are phone calls, emails, personal visits and the old standby, snail mail, all listed in a descending order of importance as seen from the clients point of view.
Let’s start with the least important, postal mail, or “snail mail.”
In their research on “The Impact Of Communication On The Accounting Firm/Client Relationship,” Professsors Koski, Ehlen and Saxby discovered that while less than 10% of an accounting firms clients wanted to hear from their accountant by regular mail, accountants went ahead and used regular mail almost 20% of the time. Meaning that most accountants who were communicating with their clients by mail were disrupting the communication and alienating their clients.
The data wasn’t much better for that classic of the big boys, the all important personal visit to the clients office.
Just over 10% of clients liked having the accountant drop by. Accountants apparently don’t want to to spend the effort or time, so they only go to the clients business around 5% of the time. Sort of a missed opportunity, but one probably based on economics since what the client wants doesn’t mean they really want to pay for it.
Email was another lost opportunity. Close to another 10% of clients expressed a preference to being contacted through email, but less than 2% of accountants used email to communicate with clients.
Phone calls was where the two seemed to be in sync, almost.
Two-thirds of accounting clients expressed a preference for being contacted by telephone, while three-fourths of the communications from accountants was made by telephone. Probably trying to avoid that personal visit, but still have some live contact with the client.
So, what we discover is that communication is still time intensive as three-fourths of client contacts are made in a one-to-one conversation either on the phone or in person. Methods that have the potential for automation seem to be way down on the list of preference or implementation.
For most marketing, we can kick regular mail to the curb. Why? It is not appreciated, and it costs.
And then there is email.
Even though it is low on the preference scale, email marketing is virtually free, and is producttive just based on the sheer potential it has to scale.
Professional firms that implement email marketing automation are growing at a 60% faster rate than their counterparts who have not implemented a strategy of automation.
Sure, you can sign up and get yourself an account at one of those online services like MailChimp or Aweber. But you still have to write a bunch of emails, or get someone from Fiverr to write them for you. Which is a bit tricky because you still have to edit their work for relevance since most freelancers won’t have the faintest idea of what to write about.
Any system you try that requires your involvement is counterproductive. A total waste of time and energy. A loss of time and money. Time when you could be getting some serious production done, or doing some in-persson marketing. Money, because all those folks you hire to write are lost when it comes to your subject matter.
Remember, we’re trying to automate, to scale, and to be economical here.
Email marketing is something everyone says you need to be doing it, but with all the detail of monthly writeup, tax season deadlines, or handling the needs of some grumpy clients, you just don’t have time to write, proof and schedule a regular weekly email newsletter.
Of course you can subscribe to a service that specializes in email marketing for accountants, and there are several of them out there, some fantastic, some good, some not so good and some downright poor.
One thing they all have in common is they don’t shy away from price. Take a look. The prices on the low end of these services is over a hundred dollars a month, and goes to several hundreds on the high side.
That is, except for Practice Builder Publishing and the email automation system included in the regular monthly subscription.
In addition to all the stuff you get with your Practice Builder Publishing subscription, such as mothly ready-to-print newsletter templates and content, online content and promotional materials, if you are a member of, or a subscriber to Practice Builder Publishing, we will write and email a weekly, branded and personalized, email newsletter, to your list of subscribers.
We’ll even give you a good looking subscription form, which you can add to your website, and which will automatically add your prospects to your email list, each time someone visits your site and signs up to receive your newsletter, whether you just offer the newsletter, or entice them with some sort of bonus, such as a free small business management e-workbook, labeled to show you as the author, a free consultation, or even a free vacation in Tahiti (Yeah, we’re kidding about the vacation in Tahiti, but you get the idea).
Weekly Newsletters With A Personal Touch.
Your newsletters are your newsletters. They are branded with your name and practice information, just as you instruct us in your practice profile. Prospects will see your name, your practice name, your practice address and phone number, as well as up to three special offers or messages you might want to include.
Want to change a message, offer or advertisement? Just log into your Practice Builder Publishing membership account, navigate to your custom adverts page and add or change whatever you want your current insert to say, and “Voila,” your offer or message will be included in your newsletter broadcasts until you’re ready to delete or change it.
Simple, Easy, Branded, Personalized And Time Saving
In the accounting business, time is money. We polled practitioners, and the average hourly billing rates range from $65 an hour to $500 an hour. We also found that it can take from two to eight hours to write a single well written newsletter each week.
Your Practice Builder Publishing sbscription costs less than one-half hour of the lowest average hourly rate we found. Imagine how much your savings are when you are getting a fresh, professionally written, newsletter each week, plus, all the other benefits that come with your Practice Builder Publishing membership subscription. Benefits such as a monthly print ready client newsletter, pre-written speeches, seminar instructor guides, private label workbooks and publications, and more.
Compare this to doing your own newsletter, where you have to do your own newsletter writing, posting to an autoresponder script, scheduling and setting up broadcasts which can easily add up to several hundred dollars per month in lost productive time. Also, if you are hosting your own autoresponder, there are the software or script licenses, plus additional hosting fees. If you are using an autoresponder service such as Aweber or Constant Contact, your costs could easily top several hundred dollars per month.
These are hours and money that you save through your subscription membership in Practice Builder Publishing, while at the same time keeping an open line of quality, on-time communications open with your clients.
With the many demands of a practice pulling you in all directions, you just don’t have the time to make a personal phone call or write a personal letter to each client or prospect, while a professionally written client newsletter can keep the channels of communication open, and ease your need to phone or write each client or prospect on a regular basis.
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Best to you and yours,
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