Tough Lessons from Tax Season

How to conduct an after-action review for a better season next year: 8 essential questions, 11 new opportunities.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

Now that the initial tax deadline is past us, it’s a good time to take a look back to see how things went and how they can be done better. This is called an after-action review, and it’s not the same as a de-brief or a post-mortem. It’s a great tool for large companies, and small businesses can benefit too.

More from Sandi Leyva: Change Overload: 5 Simple Coping Strategies |  39 Advisory Services for Accountants  |  Mix and Match Marketing Channels  |  Marketing Materials 201: Some Advanced Tips  |  Testimonials: Why and How  |  10 Marketing Materials You Need  |  Make Direct Mail Work for You  |  How to Use ‘Warmed-Up’ Telemarketing  |  Content Marketing Types and Tips  |  Write Your Way to Expert Status    |  71 Places to Find New Clients  |  Awards Can Boost Your Reputation  |  Are You Newsworthy?  |  Step-by-Step: How to Make Newsletters Work for You  |

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An after-action review is a fantastic process to help you look back at a project or period of your business to see what, why, and how things occurred and how they can be improved for the future. Taking a profit-focused view will help you get the most out of the idea.

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Change Overload: 5 Simple Coping Strategies

Master the change around you with some healthy new habits. 

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

This busy season brought with it massive changes in tax laws, form layouts, technology, and client confusion. If all this change seems to be a bit much, you’re not alone.

More from Sandi Leyva: 39 Advisory Services for Accountants  |  Mix and Match Marketing Channels  |  Marketing Materials 201: Some Advanced Tips  |  Testimonials: Why and How  |  10 Marketing Materials You Need  |  Make Direct Mail Work for You  |  How to Use ‘Warmed-Up’ Telemarketing  |  Content Marketing Types and Tips  |  Write Your Way to Expert Status    |  71 Places to Find New Clients  |  Awards Can Boost Your Reputation  |  Are You Newsworthy?  |  Step-by-Step: How to Make Newsletters Work for You  |

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Handling change requires extra energy and resources that our brains would rather not use, causing a struggle within ourselves.

As you move from the April 15th deadline to working on your pile of extensions, here are some tips to reduce the feeling of overwhelm and better manage your energy and productivity.

Everyone is different when it comes to the amount of change they can tolerate. Use these five tips to help you master the change around you.

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39 Advisory Services for Accountants

Two women shaking hands across a tableThe ultimate checklist to get you started.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

When we think about the word “advisory,” we accountants might think of financial ratios. Advisory is so much more than that. It’s, in effect, everything we do for our clients that is not compliance work – work required because of government regulations and deadlines.

SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Mix and Match Marketing Channels | Marketing Materials 201: Some Advanced Tips | Make Newsletters Work for You | Technical Aspects of Video and YouTube | How to Schedule Social Media Content | Speaking: How, Where and Getting Leads from It | Partnering: Referrals on Steroids
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Here is a comprehensive list of advisory services to consider adding to the compliance services and other services you already offer. Each one represents a potential new revenue stream for your business.
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Mix and Match Marketing Channels

Illustration of marketing strategy
marketing concept with financial graph and chart

Don't forget to track your results.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

It’s time now to start executing your marketing plan for your business. Let's review the steps that got us here.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Marketing Materials 201: Some Advanced Tips | Testimonials: Why and How | How to Use ‘Warmed-Up’ Telemarketing | Awards Can Boost Your Reputation | Technical Aspects of Video and YouTube | Social Media Basics for Accounting Firms | How to Maximize Online Profile Sites
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

You created your revenue plan, which gave you the number of new clients you need to attract. You met your ideal client. Then you were introduced to the idea of creating a marketing plan for each channel you use, and only selecting the number of channels you need to get to the number of clients you desire.
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Marketing Materials 201: Some Advanced Tips

Young man working in home office5 ways to wow potential clients.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

I've discussed a lot of basic ways to get the word out about your business.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Testimonials: Why and How | 10 Marketing Materials You Need | Content Marketing Types and Tips | Are You Newsworthy? | Why CPAs Need Video | Make Google AdWords Work for You | Make the Most of Trade Shows | Track Your Online Reputation
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Today we'll go over some more advanced marketing materials.
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Testimonials: Why and How

Woman winking and holding thumb upThese pay off HUGE.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

A testimonial is a short written recommendation from a past or current client. Most accountants I talk to hate testimonials and don’t use them. But here’s what they don’t realize: Other people love them, and they really make a difference.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 10 Marketing Materials You Need | Make Direct Mail Work for You | Write Your Way to Expert Status | Make Newsletters Work for You | How to Schedule Social Media Content | The 5 C’s of Successful Websites | Speaking: How, Where and Getting Leads from It | The A-B-C’s of Getting Started with Advisory Services
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If you don’t have any, a prospect could assume that you don’t have any clients either. Get rid of that objection easily by posting testimonials so prospects know you’re not just starting out.
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10 Marketing Materials You Need

The number 10Including one to implement RIGHT NOW.

By Sandi Leyva

You need materials with the right messaging to fuel your marketing plan. There is a certain core of materials you need across all marketing channels.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Make Direct Mail Work for You | How to Use ‘Warmed-Up’ Telemarketing | Technical Aspects of Video and YouTube | How to Maximize Online Profile Sites | Build Your Community Reputation | 5 Ways to Get More Referrals | Use Feedback for Service Innovation | Create Your Marketing Plan
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Crafting a really tight message will get your prospects’ attention and more easily convert them into accounting clients. When you have a bad message, you work much harder and have to meet many more prospects to convert into clients. When you have a great message, you work less, convert more and keep your costs down.
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Make Direct Mail Work for You

Woman reading letter by wall of mailboxesBONUS: Several sample letters.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

One of the first things a new business owner asks me about is direct mail. I don’t know why so many people go there first, but they do.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: How to Use ‘Warmed-Up’ Telemarketing | Content Marketing Types and Tips | Are You Newsworthy? | Why CPAs Need Video | Make Google AdWords Work for You | Make the Most of Trade Shows | Track Your Online Reputation
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Twenty years ago, the response rate for direct mail was pretty good. Out of every 100 pieces you sent, you would get three responses back. It didn’t matter how bad you were at direct mail.
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How to Use ‘Warmed-Up’ Telemarketing

Young businessman on phone with colorful world map backgroundStart with research.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

Highly targeted telemarketing can work well for accounting firms.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Content Marketing Types and Tips | Write Your Way to Expert Status | Make Newsletters Work for You | How to Schedule Social Media Content | The 5 C’s of Successful Websites | Speaking: How, Where and Getting Leads from It | 3 More Kinds of Referrals | Turn to the ABCs for Client Feedback | Use Client ‘Touch Plans’ to Stay in Touch
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I will cover this topic briefly because it is not my expert area. I will share how you can combine telemarketing with other marketing channels to very successfully attract clients, especially those in the mid-market range with higher revenues.
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Content Marketing Types and Tips

Young smiling woman using red laptop in officeOnce you've created it, maximize it across multiple formats.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

You might have heard the term “content marketing.” In professional services selling there is almost always an educational component to the entire selling cycle.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Write Your Way to Expert Status | Awards Can Boost Your Reputation | Technical Aspects of Video and YouTube | Social Media Basics for Accounting Firms | How to Maximize Online Profile Sites | Build Your Community Reputation | Build Reputation through Credentials, Testimonials
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

For example, buyers may not know they need sales tax consulting. They may not know they’re missing out on tax deductions, and they may not know that cloud accounting is better than what they have now.
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Write Your Way to Expert Status

Businesswoman in orange shirt using laptop computer by white wall of windowsNot a great writer? You can outsource that part.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

A great way to build trust among prospects is to demonstrate your expertise and experience in writing.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Awards Can Boost Your Reputation | Are You Newsworthy? | Why CPAs Need Video | Make Google AdWords Work for You | Make the Most of Trade Shows | Track Your Online Reputation
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Three options to do that include developing case studies, writing white papers and publishing articles.
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71 Places to Find New Clients

Illustration of lead sources

A cornucopia of tech-fueled opportunities for gaining visibility, getting found and attracting business.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

Modern accountants are on board with both the paperless office concept and cloud accounting: embracing them, implementing them, and benefiting from them.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Are You Newsworthy? | Make Newsletters Work for You | How to Schedule Social Media Content | The 5 C’s of Successful Websites | Speaking: How, Where and Getting Leads from It | More

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But there is a disconnect in most accounting firms in one area, and that’s marketing.

Why are some firms still stuck in the 1970s when it comes to marketing? This drags down the reputation, culture, and perception of the entire firm – and maybe the entire profession.

Here, we've compiled 71 tactics and strategies for professionalizing and systemizing your business development efforts. There are, of course, more. But you won't go wrong picking just a couple from this list and getting to work as seriously on your business as you are at working in your businesas.

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