Wrecked, but still standing

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.
- Miguel De Cervantes

I'm not quite sure when this Haiti thing broke in my heart, but I *do* know that driving to a weekly prayer group this morning, listening to NPR describe the horror down there, I was overcome. I actually started crying.

Maybe it was because I thought about my children (10 months ago living in abject poverty in Ethiopia, and last night gallavanting in the bath tub); perhaps it might have been hearing about my Operations Director, Troy's best friend--a former Haitian orphan, adopted into a loving American family as an adolescent, who's remained in touch with his biological mother and relatives still living there--but hasn't heard anything from any of them this week. He's leading a small team to go down there, today, to provide relief...and search for his family.

I just know that I was emotionally wrecked this morning. And I've been plenty numb to these kinds of events in the past.

But here I am--at my computer, tweeting and writing newsletters for tax pro clients, email messages for my lawyer clients, and writing you this note. Life doesn't have a "pause" button, eh?

And YOU--well, it's about to be "go" time for you as tax season kicks into gear. Whatever personal feelings you're dealing with, family issues, staff issues, operations issues--you're still needing to "pick up" and focus on your clients.

And growing your business this tax season.

Yesterday, I conducted a short (1 hour) coaching call on that very topic, and I'd like to expand upon something I briefly touched on--because it will make a HUGE difference in your marketing outcomes.

And, I've changed my mind, and want ALL my contacts to have access to the recording of this call--we had a ton of great feedback, and if you listen to it--and implement the advice--you'll kick some butt this tax season. Again, nothing 'sold' on it, just some killer marketing advice for your business, free of charge.

Here's the recording (link will take you to a page where you can stream and/or download an mp3 of the call): http://www.attendthisevent.com/?eventid=10798734

Hey--they're the same principles which grew the tax firm I started with from $50K in annual tax prep fees to over $4 million in under ten years.

This short "checklist" expands upon the "Message" portion I spoke about yesterday, and if you AVOID these "copy killers", your marketing will double in effectiveness.

7 Marketing Piece Killers 

Follow this simple checklist BEFORE you approve any marketing piece to represent your firm.

Remember--what counts MOST is effectiveness. These are proven principles, in EVERY service professional industry.

1) Being Boring
*Cardinal sin for tax pros. You can avoid it! Hey, just add a descriptive picture at LEAST!

2) Not telling your reader how to take action
*MANY, many ads or letters bomb because the reader doesn't know what to do next!

3) Writing from "Me"
*The best way to form a relationship (or make a sale): talk about YOUR PROSPECT

4) Underestimating the difficulty of the task
*In the age of internet and media saturation--you better not expect one sales letter to do it all!

5) Too much "White Space"
*Riddle me this: when did white space EVER make a sale?

6) Failure to tell your "story"--why you do what you do
*Believe it or not, your prospects and clients want to be reminded of your story!

7) Logo/Business name/Address at the top
*Why not turn your "letterhead" into "letter-footer" and use headlines that actually work?!

Frankly, there's so much more to discuss related to new-client marketing that *works*. So check out the call. It's well worth your 50 minutes.

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