Firm Website Essentials–Part 1

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Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.
– Jim Rohn

I’ve been taking it easy this week after spending Wednesday-Sunday in Manhattan Beach, CA working with a select group of lawyers on taking their estate-planning practices to the next level. Though my primary work is with tax professionals, I’ve discovered that there are marketing truths which cut across different service industries–and failing to understand them properly…well, it can leave your business in the dust–especially in this information era.
And that’s a frightening reality.
I was brought in by Alexis Martin Neely to help her top lawyer clients cut through the crap when it comes to having a firm website that actually brings in clients. And, as I developed my presentation, I realized that I hadn’t quite done this subject justice with my tax professional friends. So, starting this week, I’ll be breaking down items you MUST include for your firm website to be at all profitable for you.
And here’s a hint: relying on cheap, monthly, “commodity-style” websites ain’t gonna cut it.
This was also the first time I’d been away from my newly-adopted children for any period of time…but they sent me a little picture message–which, being the proud Daddy I am, I had to share :).
Ok, but enough shameless gushing…onto this week’s Strategy Note, in which I begin the process of breaking down what you simply must include in your site, especially as tax season comes closer.
Let me know your thoughts…
Nate Hagerty’s
“Profit For Life”
Tax & Accounting Business Marketing Strategy

Firm Website Essentials–Part 1
In preparation for my session with these high-level lawyers, I decided to do some spying.
I knew that these lawyers had been personally trained by one of the smartest marketers I know, and I figured that they would have made sure that their website was up to par.
Sure, many of them looked nice and pretty–impressive, even. But even so, the MAJORITY (69% of 70+ lawyers who pay $1k+ per month for her coaching) had NO mechanism in place to capture the contact information from visitors. And that even includes the quite lame (and very tired) “Sign up for our Newsletter” box (I’ll address that one next week).
But this “capture box” is the most fundamental tool for the website of ANY service professional–tax & accounting businesses included (and, perhaps, *especially*).
Why is this? Well, you’re not running a charity and you’re not an info-tainment provider, so therefore your website has two primary purposes:
1. To get people to buy something or make an appointment to come see you.
2. To get someone to opt into your email list.
That’s it.
And, can we agree that you’re not going to be preparing many tax returns online? Yep, that’s not your competitive edge–especially with Turbo Tax and the other big-brand behemoths out there. Your edge is based on your relationship with your clients and prospects.
So…riddle me this: Just how many *cold* (non-referral) visitors can make any kind of decision regarding who they’ll trust with their most intimate financial details based on a website?
The answer, of course, is not very many. You MIGHT get a phone call (is your phone number prominent?), but even then–you’ll need to be well-prepared with a very good pitch to “close” a discerning prospect. That’s a subject for another time, as well.
But, if you build a relationship over time with these visitors, that “pitch” becomes much simpler.
Yep, an opt-in box is mandatory on nearly every page of your website. Some smart marketers I know even build it into the header of the website.
Because, once you collect the name and email addresses of your website visitors, you can build relationships with them and market to them for free using email. And that, of course, translates well for YOUR competitive edge…and to well-paying clients, month after month.
And there’s some specific techniques you’ll need to apply in order to do this right. I’ll get into that and a few other insider “tricks” next week.

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