“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
That’s a quote I’ve used before, isn’t it? Likely, you didn’t even notice it…your brain is trained to sort of just skip over things like that.
I’m using it this week, though because I want to make a larger point about your marketing, and your business. It has to do with Halloween (which I’ve never really understood, personally. I mean–Let’s all get together and celebrate evil and death, why don’t we? Sorry, I don’t see the appeal. But moving on…), and it has to do with the “noise” your clients must constantly wade through. It can be overwhelming.
Flee The Madding Crowd
I’m going to keep this short and sweet, as my point is simple–yet it does have profound implications for you which can change the results in your business.
You’ve heard me talk about “Marketing Incest” in the past. That’s when tax professionals “copy” the same, broken marketing & advertising methods seen around our industry, simply because it seems like it works. After all, if the Big Firms are using it, as well as my (seemingly-successful) competition down the street, it must work … right?
You see, there is a genius to be found in being different, in cutting through the clutter. But do you know how most tax professionals seek to accomplish that generally-accepted principle? Snappy slogans, nice logos and pounding the pavement/phones in order to communicate value in either “subtle” ways (slogan/logo) or “in your face” (in-person sales). Really, most differentiation in our profession seems to occur in that face-to-face encounter. Because that’s how you’ve made your value proposition most effectively in the past.
Well, let me suggest a third way: Run “direct-response”, emotionally-oriented advertising which speaks directly to the specifc hopes, fears and passions of your (exact) target market. Don’t cite the same, boring “list of services” in your materials (your website, your print advertising, etc.). Use headlines, make offers, write letters to your recipients–like they’re real people…and like you are too!
That’s the sweet spot, the third way of success.
And here’s one quick suggestion, pertaining to Halloween cliches. You know how everything right now is “spooky” and “tricky”, blah blah blah? Well, in two months, we’re gonna be jumping into a whole ‘nother pile of cliche-ridden marketing pabulum: the Christmas / Hanukkah season. And you know how you send those holiday greetings to your clients? Try something different this year: send a Thanksgiving card. Leave the holiday cards for the rest of your clients’ and prospects’ 73 different friends, business contacts, etc. and cut through the holiday clutter by getting a jump start on extending your appreciation.
Even better, make an offer while you’re at it. Do it “direct-response style”, and watch the response pour in.