Ready or not, we’re about to enter the holiday season.
Yes, it’s still October … but after October 31, retailers and the like start to pull out the stops on tying into that “joyful feeling”, and extending the time during which people shop.
But there’s some great opportunities to stick out from the crowd.
Firstly, instead of the standard Christmas/Hanukkah card, consider sending your clients and friends a “Thanksgiving” card.
Send it early enough, and you can even squeeze in a subtle tax planning appeal, on top of the fact that you got the jump on all your competitors by bumping ahead of the December season.
But this is just a start … the holidays are a great time to be creative, and it’s good idea to plan for it now. You CAN step outside of the tax pro cliche — and succeed wildly.
Because most tax and accounting pros are stuck looking the same as everyone else.
Because most of us:
1. Are analytical/left-brain thinkers who have a hard time jumping into our right-brain/creative side (creativity really is hard for some people); and
2. Assume everything must be “professional” to earn the respect of a prospect, leaving very little room for creativity and innovation. The stuffy type of professional image is a thing of the past. Today, people associate that old kind of “professional” image with a non-responsive, scary CPA who takes their money and won’t return phone calls, or with the guy who will bill them for every email, phone call or correspondence that crosses their desk.
Being creatively professional, on the other hand, helps remove the defenses and stereotypes people have when hiring a CPA or tax pro, and overcomes the presumption that you’re just like all the other ones in town.
With that said, here are the top three ways where a bit of creativity and right-brain thinking can go a long way in attracting clients to your firm:
1. Your website copy.
If your web copy reads like a CV or a text book, time to hit the delete button and include some personality. Use your website to tell the story of who you are, why you are different and why your area of practice matters so much. You can even get creative with the “look” of your copy.
Throw in some bullet points, contractions and folksy language (if that’s how you speak). Use those creative juices to prove you aren’t the stuffy practitioner prospects expect you to be.
2. Firm Story [or “About Us”].
Your firm story (the story you relay to clients about why you do what you do, how your business came to be and what makes you
different from other offices) should be about true life events and epiphanies that are relevant to the person you are speaking with, not a biography of your most notable accomplishments and awards.
Here you’ll creatively use your experiences outside the office to connect to prospects on a much deeper and more meaningful level. Did you grow up in foster care and now enjoy doing estate planning as a result? Integrate that into your firm story! Did you live through a bankruptcy and now watch cost controls and the books like a hawk to help other businesses avoid the same plight? Include that too!
The more outside-the-box your story is, the more likely it will stick with your prospects and make an impact.
3. Your office space.
Your office says so much about you and plays a huge role in attracting the right type of clients to your firm. Therefore, you’ll want to get the feel of it just right so your first impression with a prospect won’t be the last.
You can do this even if you use a virtual office space. Create something that you bring in before each client meeting that personalizes the space.
Look — thinking creatively will go a long way this tax season. I have some stuff up my sleeve to share with you, as we get closer … but in the meantime, get outside your stuffy box!