You probably won't 'make a sale' online

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“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.”
– Jessica Guidobono

This week, as I sit in the Outer Banks with my family, I wanted to take the time and write to you–and continue the series we’ve started on cutting through the haze out there about successful online marketing for your firm. (You can see the last two installments here and here.)
We’ve already gone over how all of the “stuff” out there should be helping you do ONE major thing online: building relationships with clients and prospects.
That’s how you win new accounts face-to-face, and that’s how it’s done online.
Look, it’s no secret that I’m doing this with YOU! As I share stories from my family’s life, from my business successes (and failures), you get an authentic feel for who I really am. Yes, we run a very real and serious business here, helping tax & accounting professionals grow their firms–but you also get the sense of the “real me”. It’s one of the major reasons we have had the growth we’ve had over the last couple years–relationships matter, and they’re profitable.
But this week, I’ll go into more details about why this is “the only way to fly” for service professionals, like us in the tax industry.
Read on…
+++Client Story of the Week+++
“Dear Nate, I often get positive responses to the weekly emails you write.  I am not sure why, but something told me to forward this response to you, I guess as a way of saying ‘thank you’:
My goodness, this is amazing! Marianne you are more than a professional, you are purposeful.
– D. L. Williams

Marianne Lindsay
San Diego, CA
Get started with Marianne’s same system…

Your Intense Focus on Growth:

A Different Online ‘Sale’

You don’t sell widgets. You’re a service professional (who happens to deal with extremely sensitive and personal information), and that changes how you market your services online. Unlike many sellers online, YOU don’t have:
1) An online store
2) Physcial products
3) “One size fits all” solutions
Now, this is NOT to say that you can’t integrate these kinds of items into your firm (I’ve seen it done, and done well), but that’s a subject for another day.
No, you don’t win new clients until there is a measure of trust established–and you’ve gotta be REALLY good to cross that particular bridge on ONE website or page.
So…intuitively understanding this, many tax professionals sort of “give up” online, and slap up a “cheap”, commodity-style website. But it’s not cheap when you’re leaving so much future revenue on the table!
You see, it’s much easier to get a prospect to give you their contact details in return for valuable content, than it is to have them hand over their intimate financial details online without a phone call or meeting.
This is the essence of what I’ve been teaching you–how you should be *using* the online space for building a list of prospects with whom you communicate *regularly*, and who will turn to YOU…when they’re ready.
That’s why a cornerstone of your online marketing efforts should include a *weekly* “nurture” email (and a monthly print newsletter), to build that relationship–which leads to referral explosions, long-term relationships with clients and a practice that can withstand the tremors of ANY economy. That’s when your firm slurps in the new accounts and can grow like crazy.
Don’t “give up” on the online space–it’s incredibly powerful, when you understand what it really is.
Talk more next week.
Oh–and here’s a picture of my kids on the beach :). Not their first time seeing the ocean, but my oh my, is it ever fun!

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