Marketing tax preparation services can be challenging in an environment where automated and online options exist, making do-it-yourself tax preparation easier than ever. There is still a place, though, for those who provide these services and they have opportunities to stand out through effective marketing. By carving out a niche in the market, finding ways to differentiate personal services from other options and providing exceptional services, tax preparers can build repeat business and create strong word of mouth.
Identify a market niche. Tax preparers could, literally, offer their services to anyone. But to be most successful, it is important to identify a specific market niche. Consider both your areas of interest as well as where the biggest opportunities may be. Small businesses, for instance, are a growing market segment and could be a good place to focus. The more specific you can be in identifying a market, the more effectively you can connect with potential clients.
Learn about the competition. Regardless of the market you target, you will have competition. Find out about the competition by doing online research, checking out their marketing materials and talking to people who have used their services. Don’t overlook do-it-yourself options, which represent significant competition for tax preparers.
Determine how you stand out. Consider what your customers need. Think about what options are available to them to meet those needs. Think about the needs that could be better met or are not being met at all. Then jot down the ways in which what you have to offer with your tax preparer services will stand out.
Communicate through multiple channels. Connecting with potential tax clients using one channel of communication is not enough. Reach out through personal contacts, online networking, directory listings, direct mail, e-marketing, etc. The more ways your target audience hears about you and the more often, the better chance you have of attracting their attention and getting them to try your services.
Provide exceptional service and value. The true test of a tax preparer’s ability to market effectively is in the delivery of the service. Demonstrate that you can provide something better and different from the other options available. Providing value to your tax clients will not only ensure that they will come back but will also lead to positive word-of-mouth and new client referrals.
Follow up. Never assume that your satisfied clients will automatically come back to you. Stay in touch throughout the year to make sure they think of you first the next time they need tax preparer services.