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7 Budget-Friendly Marketing Tips for Tax Professionals

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A truly successful business is only as good as its ability to reach its desired audience. You've dedicated an immense amount of time, money and energy in order to become the best tax professional in your community — but now what? Your skill and experience will take you far, but only after you've made a name for yourself and garnered interest from potential clients.

That's where effective marketing comes into play. Contrary to what you may hear or read online, you don't have to break the bank on expensive advertising to promote your business. Today's marketing is not necessarily radio or TV advertising of the past. We've compiled the top seven ways to successfully market your tax practice in a way that makes sense for your budget.

  1. Facebook Advertising – Utilizing social media is a must in today's robust and competitive digital marketplace. Platforms like Facebook provide easy-to-use tools that will help elevate your messaging, ensuring consistent top-of-mind awareness within your intended audience. Digital advertising also allows you to target specific demographics for maximum effectiveness.
  2. Google AdWords – Another indispensable tool, Google AdWords allows you to home in on specific search terms, giving you a distinct advantage when your goal is to reach as many local taxpayers as possible.
  3. Optimize Your Website for SEO – High-quality, optimized web content is a crucial component of any successful tax practice. Research white hat SEO practices, take classes, or hire a professional to secure a solid ranking in common search engine results. A well-crafted logo, color scheme and design make a world of difference as well, and a relatively small investment upfront invariably proves invaluable for future business.
  4. Create and Maintain a Blog – Frequently updated with relevant content, a blog can be your most powerful tool when it comes to attracting search engine web crawlers to your site. Often called spiders, these indexing bots feed information to search engines, effectively leading more potential clients to your site over time. Utilize Google Analytics and customer feedback to create useful, shareable content that speaks to your audience's interests. Become the go-to expert and influencer in your network.
  5. Email Automation – Keeping in contact with your existing clients — and particularly new customers — doesn't have to be a time-consuming task, but it is an important one. Create automated emails that offer informative bullet points, pertinent tips and educational articles. This not only proves to your audience that you're serious about the business of tax preparation, but that you care enough to keep them updated on developments that may affect their returns come filing season.
  6. Create a Referral Program – There are few advertising principles more noteworthy than word-of-mouth marketing. First, establish yourself as a trustworthy and reliable source of tax preparation services in your community. When people talk about your practice, make sure that what they have to share is positive. Then, reward those people with incentives that matter in their daily lives. Whether it's gift cards to local retailers or coupons for a discounted rate from your practice, make sure they have something that incentivizes them to talk to friends and family later.
  7. Network in Your Area – Never underestimate the value of face-to-face interaction with both the public and other professionals in your area of expertise. Local networking events can provide unexpected insight, and many may even put you in contact with would-be clients in search of services like yours.

Bonus Tip: Go Old School – If it's within your budget and you want to stand out from the crowd even further, consider taking out some ad space in your local newspaper and sending postcards to your clientele. Many individuals prefer reading something they can hold in their hands, and some may not have access to the online platforms mentioned above. Just be sure that everything you send looks clean, crisp and presentable in order to make the best impression possible.

Keep a network of professionals in your area that offer other services. Your clients may look to you for recommendations that you have vetted. Referrals also go both ways. Look into joining your local BNI group or Chamber of Commerce.

Whether you prepare returns out of your own home or run your business in a separate location, you'll need to drive traffic to your practice to grow your client base and your career. Do keep in mind that sometimes, the easiest — and most affordable — method is best. As always, TaxAct Professional is here to help you navigate the entire process of developing and maintaining your tax preparation business from step one, giving you the confidence to let your practice advance, flourish and succeed.