The year is drawing to an end, and that means many people will soon be looking for tax preparation services. Don’t wait until January to start marketing your business! There are many steps you can take now — and even all year round — to position your business so that it will be easy to find when taxpayers are ready to file.
Effective marketing isn’t something you can just think of every once in awhile. It requires consistency and a well thought-out vision. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry! Once you have a marketing strategy in place, it usually takes just a few minutes each day to keep it running smoothly. Remember, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel — just turn the one that’s already there!
Follow these tips to build your audience and effectively promote your business online.
Develop your social media strategy
These days, it’s important for businesses to have an active social media presence. Not only do customers expect to be able to engage with you online, but social media is essential for building relationships with current and potential clients and earning their trust.
Social media allows you to engage with the general public and raise awareness about issues that affect our industry. It allows you to create conversations about our work, and insert our voice into conversations and challenge the mainstream discourse. Through the use of social media, you can gain your audience’s trust by listening to them, answering their questions, demonstrating your expertise, and branding your organization as a leader in your industry.
Learn and follow social media best practices
Being active on social media means more than just creating a Facebook page and sharing an occasional post. Using social media incorrectly is ineffective at best , and at worst can have very devastating consequences.
Make it all about THEM
The #1 rule when it comes to social media marketing is to make your client and potential clients the focus of your page. It’s tempting for many business owners to make their page all about you, you business, and your services. While you may find all of this very interesting, nothing screams “I don’t care about YOU” louder than a social media page that is dedicated to you and you alone.
Your social media pages should reflect a genuine concern for your clients and an interest in making their lives better. When you show that you understand their needs and can provide solutions to their problems, they will naturally want to interact with you. Talking only about yourself and your products is a good way to make people click the “unfollow” button. Instead, reframe your messaging to focus on how your services will benefit your clients and make their lives easier.
We know you’re awesome, but so are your customers! Make them feel valued, and they’ll naturally turn to you for help when they need it.
Listen to your clients and understand their needs
Creating and posting content that speaks to your clients’ needs and challenges requires understanding them and what’s important to them. This will become easier the longer you’re in business, as you’ll hear many clients expressing the same concerns and asking the same questions. But you can also get a better understanding of your clients’ concerns with some simple online research. Join groups on Facebook that are of interest to your clients and pay attention to the kind of questions they are asking. Don’t try to answer all of their questions or promote your services — this may get you kicked out of the group! Just listen and use the insight you gain to develop content for your own website and social media pages.
Post on a regular basis
Letting your social media pages go inactive can ruin your rankings and cause people to forget who you are. Post regularly, and make sure you’re posting relevant content. This can mean posting your own content as well as sharing valuable content from other accounts, such as the UFSTSG corporate social media pages.
Use your analytics to determine the best times to post. Your Facebook Insights will show you when your followers are online and which of your posts have the highest reach. Experiment with different post times or even boost some posts with a small budget to see how they perform.
Focus your efforts on the right places
Don’t feel like you have to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and everywhere else. Pick a few channels where your potential clients are most likely to spend their time and develop content for those channels. If you try to be everywhere, you’ll stretch yourself too thin. We do recommend that businesses maintain a presence on Google My Business and Google Plus, as this will impact your search rankings on Google. Make sure your business information on Google is complete and up-to-date.
Also remember to tailor your content for each platform you post to. Twitter content can now include up to 280 characters, but you may want to check Twitter and Facebook for relevant trending hashtags and modify your content appropriately.
Always interact with comments on your page
When your followers post comments, be sure to respond to them, even if it’s to thank them for their input. If a follower posts a concern or complaint, make sure to address it as soon as possible. You may be tempted to delete negative comments, but use caution here. If a customer has a valid complaint, deleting the post could just make the situation worse. Instead, tell the individual that you will contact them directly to resolve the problem, or provide a phone number where they can contact you. Handled correctly, a complaint can often turn into a loyal customer and even an advocate.
Grow your audience
You may be tempted to respond to offers that promise to get you thousands of followers for a low fee, but these aren’t worth the price. The numbers may look good, but you’ll only end being followed by fake accounts or users who aren’t actually interested in your services — and therefore won’t engage with you.
The best way to grow your audience is to consistently post valuable content to your website and your social media pages. As your followers like and share your content, it will reach other people in their network. The following steps can also help you gain more followers to your page:
- Ask friends, family members, and other people in your immediate network to follow you and share your page. Many people will be happy to do so even if they don’t personally need your services.
- Follow active partner organizations and influencers in your industry. Share and comment on their content. Being authentic and engaging with others will naturally expand your own network.
- Answer questions and provide value when you can, but remember not to self-promote when doing so. People know when you’re trying to sell to them, and will be turned off by it. Let your knowledge speak for itself.
Follow UFSTSG and VTax on social media
Finally, be sure to follow our corporate accounts! We often share small business marketing tips, as well as tax-related information that you can share with your customers. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.
Interested in starting your own tax prep business? At Umbrella Financial Services, we offer two different options to help you offer tax filing services. As a licensee, you own your own tax preparation business. Or become a VTax independent agent and offer tax filing services on your own schedule. Contact us today to learn more!