By Andy Frye
One of the main questions people ask when they first start out as a Tax Professional is, “How do I get my first client?”. There are two major ways to go about this. The first way is to put in enough time promoting yourself every single day for an entire month that would equal to roughly 48 hours. The second way is to aim for your first client within literally 2 days. So what ways can you achieve this? Let’s take a look.
Work on promoting yourself for at least two and a half hours every day. You need a website and a blog. On your website, you want to list your service and who you are, as well as your contact information. Next, you’ll want to write some How-To articles, giving your prospects advice. Here is where you’ll want to think about specializing. Two of the more lucrative niches within the tax resolution industry are self-employed individuals and small businesses. If you targeted small to mid size businesses, you could be earning $45,000 a year or more with just 4 months’ worth of work. (For example: Let’s say you were paid $1.000 per business tax return x 45 clients = $45,000)
So how do you get to these businesses? You simply Google the types of businesses you’re interested in to find their website and LinkIn page. From there, you’ll want to find out if it is a small to mid-size business. You want to be sure that these businesses are already successful and have the budget to pay for your services. This requires a little bit of research and background work. Keep in mind that you don’t want just any clients, but instead you’re searching for a particular kind that is a good match with you. You can also find out more about a business from Glassdoor.com and Hoovers.com.
Make it a goal to reach out and email at least 50 businesses a day, five days a week for an entire month. That will be about 20 days times 2.5 hours, which equals to a little over 48 hours. And with 50 or so emails going out daily, you’re bound to get your first client within 48 hours. (50 emails x 20 days = 1000 businesses reached) Do you think you could snag 10, 20, or 30 new clients out of a thousand emails? Certainly! All you need is your first one and out of 1000 possibilities, you’re bound to succeed. It’s all a numbers game and the more you reach out, the more clients you’ll end up with. Be prepared for rejections. The more rejections the better, as it means you’re that much closer to a “yes”.
Get Your First Client In As Little As 2 Days Straight
Another way to go about this is to let your friends and family know that you’re in business as a tax professional. Ask your parents, grand parents, brothers, sisters and extended family if they need help with their taxes and that you are there to help them, if they need it. The key is to see yourself as a helpful professional when dealing with your family, friends and clients. While your goal is to be in business and make money, your priority in business should be to help your prospects and clients solve problems. Therefore, your first goal is to be a problem-solver for your prospects and clients.
You can also pass out your business card and reach out to members of any special interest groups you’re in like Toastmasters, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Meetup groups, bowling leagues, churches, or other social groups. Another way to do this is to take full advantage of the Internet in helping you find your first client. One excellent site that has plenty of people looking for tax professionals of various levels is UpWork.com. So, here is a list of some places to look for potential clients you could get in as little as 2 Days:
- Yelp – Search for local and statewide tax preparation chains on Yelp! Go to the low star ratings of 3 or less. Read the reviews and decide if you could be of help to that person who wrote the review. If so, use the Yelp! Compliment feature. Next, direct or private message that person and introduce yourself briefly. Tell them that you’re sorry that they had that experience and that you’d be willing to help them if they need it. Provide a link to your site and move on to the next review. There should be hundreds of tax preparation chains for you to find and work with on Yelp!
- LinkedIn – You can use LinkedIN in a variety of ways. For one thing, you can search for small to mid-size businesses locally, statewide, nationwide or even internationally. Since you’re looking for tax clients, you can start with a local or a statewide search of businesses. The reason you’re looking for small to mid-size businesses is that it is often easier to reach the main decision maker in smaller companies. More often than not, corporate decision makers have several gatekeepers that have been thoroughly trained in the art of keeping you out. Once you find a business you’re interested in, read the about page, the company mission and what’s on their website. If you see that they are a good match for you, click on the “people” tab in LinkedIN to find the key decision makers. You may have to register for a paid service, but it can be well worth it.
- Twitter– You can use Twitter to find other tax professionals with hashtags such as #TaxPrep #TaxProfessionals. You can also find businesses on Twitter and use their tweets to gain more information on your prospects, in order to more accurately determine their tax service needs. Don’t be afraid to say “no” and let go of prospects that you know aren’t going to be a good fit for you or that you know you can’t help. Remember, you are a helper and a problem-solver. You’re there to make their life easier. That’s your job.
So there you have it. If after implementing all of these steps after 2 days you still don’t have a client, then remember, technically you are already your own client when you do your own taxes. While that may not be quite the same as actually closing the sale with someone else, you can still use it as a psychological tool to stay positive and confident. With persistence and consistency, you will get your first client in no time!
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Andy is a third generation tax business entrepreneur and Enrolled Agent (E.A.) licensed to represent taxpayers with the IRS. Andy has personally prepared more than 10,000 tax returns and is the founder of Pronto Tax School, Inc., an online education platform that educates and empowers taxpayers and tax professionals nationwide.