Lovin' What We Get To Do

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There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
– Henry Ford

Every morning, I have a ritual.
I brew myself a cup of joe, and sit down on the couch in our family room, and spend time reading, praying, thinking. The kids don’t wake up for an hour, and my wife is at the gym–so, I’m “alone” (though I happen to think we’re never alone).
This week, as I’ve thought about all that has happened recently (and in the past few years), I’ve been overcome by this thought: I *love* my work.
I love that we get to bring breakthroughs for so many clients. I love that I can be a small part in making marketing “headaches” go away for so many people. I love the team I get to work with. I love helping tax professionals form real relationships with their clients and prospects. I love hearing stories (weekly) about businesses being transformed with simple, “no frills” marketing.
Just last night, I received a note from one of our clients:
Hello Nate and HerdBuilder Team,
I have received a great deal  of positive feedback and requests for appointments from the “Haitian Blues” and “Haiti/Planning your cashflow” emails. Dr. Rosie Milligan, a highly respected community leader, said “excellent”.  Good Job, Good Job!
LC Green, Jr.
Los Angeles
So, I’d like to ask YOU: Are you loving what you’re doing?
You’re about to get crazy–I know. I remember those days from the tax firm. Short nights, long days, clients clamoring. Kissing the family goodbye for months. But it *is* worth it, when you remember the very real difference you make in the lives of your clients. Keep that in your mind when the bullets start flying here.
Look–I’ve already gone on a bit. I want to give you some good tips here today. I received a bunch of questions after last week’s Marketing Coaching Call (now a complimentary service for all clients), and I thought I’d show you my exchange with one client– there’s good stuff in there re: referrals, positioning and fees.
[ Here’s the recording of the call, btw (link will take you to a page where you can stream and/or download an mp3 of the call): ]
Oh, and a WONDERFUL update: Last week, I mentioned my Operations Director’s best friend who is Haitian, and went down there to find his family (who he hadn’t heard from). I don’t have full details yet, but I do know: they’re alive! Amen.
In Which I Answer Questions…
1)    As far as the referral fee, I’m not too comfortable giving out my hard-earned money, is it ok to give out a limited amount of referral fee?
I think you’re thinking too small here.
YES, I understand your concern about giving away your revenue–but you MUST take into consideration that all of the marketing, etc. that you do DOES carry a cost. Call it the “cost for a new client” . That’s a very common number for marketers, and it’s one which you really should look at. IE–How much does it cost me to get a new client, with my current marketing? That’s a number, obviously, that you want to keep down–but it can also be a position of *strength* when you are willing to use it to your advantage.
Obviously, it should be weighed against how much a client is worth to you–but I would not simply look at that figure as first-year revenue. Factor in your retention and referral rate as well, and crunch THAT number.  That will show you how much a client is worth…and it will drive all of your marketing decisions from here forward .
It’s a liberating and powerful number to know.
2) Is there a particular website for the NCOA (National change of address), I tried google but there’s a lot.
I believe we’ve already answered this? If not, contact our friends at McClung: and let them know you’re one of our clients.
3) Last question, I promise.
My lawyer friend yells at me because I don’t charge a consultation fee–is it appropriate to do so in this business?  I am a little reluctant to do this because most of my clients are loyal and I don’t want to do anything to deviate that or mess up my business.  On the other hand, I have some clients that owe child support, student loans or have IRS or debt that I know I’m not going to get paid when I prepare their taxes, would it still be appropriate to charge them a consultation fee?
Here’s my take: I *would* charge a consultation fee but “waive” it for certain clients, and/or those who you’d like to incentivize. Not only will you get a bump in revenue, but you’ll also be pegging a real & true value to your time (so it’s not just air). Your lawyer friend is correct, IMO.

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