Three Tips for New Tax Preparers to Start Getting Clients
Now that we have students graduating from our online tax course at ProntoTaxClass.com, we have started to encounter the “Now what?” question from our recently-minted professional tax preparers. As we’ve said from the beginning of this course, our goal is for our students to actually make money doing taxes, not just take a tax course and be able to say “I’m a professional tax preparer.”
Therefore, this “Now what?” question is very important to us, to try to help our Pronto Tax Class Graduates find a profitable place in the tax business. In reality, though, it is YOU who will need to take action to get your first 100, 500, and then 1,000 tax clients. So, what concrete actions can a new tax preparer take to start acquiring clients?
Here are three great ideas:
1. Start a Tax Update Newsletter
Even if you only have a few subscribers, starting a tax newsletter to keep people up to date on tax changes can be a great credibility-building exercise for a new tax preparer. You can use a free service such as MailChimp.com to get a newsletter set up. Make sure that your newsletter is short and to the point, and that the news and advice you offer is directly related to your clients’ ability to save money on their taxes, get a bigger tax refund, or something along those lines. Nobody wants to read about taxes for their health, but people will want to read your newsletter if you are telling them how they can save money, get more money, and that sort of thing. If you don’t want to use MailChimp.com or another newsletter service, you can use your email to make simple newsletters.
You may also consider combining this newsletter with a blog or simple website about taxes. Free blog software can be found at WordPress.com and Blogger.com.
2. Join Tax Groups on LinkedIn
If you are not yet on LinkedIn, we would definitely recommend that you get on there this ASAP. LinkedIn, unlike Facebook or Twitter, is a legitimate and professional social network and if you are job searching in the tax field you need to be on this website. Once you are up and running with your LinkedIn profile, consider joining some of the tax preparation-related groups on LinkedIn. There are a few great tax groups where you can ask questions of other tax professionals, read about tax changes, and generally participate in the tax world. You can get updates directly to your email of different topics being posted in groups.
As always, you can learn a lot just by listening and LinkedIn Groups is a perfect place to listen.
3. Think (Ahead of Time) About Why You’re Different
Tax season has such a “last minute” aspect to it, there is always a rush at the end of the year when tax professionals realize they’re not quite ready for tax season but tax season is, like, tomorrow. Here at Pronto, we are always rushing to finish up one project or another, get the marketing plan together, and assorted other tax season preparation activities.
As a new tax preparer, you won’t have the luxury of not being prepared for tax season. You need to hit the ground running. Job #1 in that department is to think about why you are different than all the other tax preparers out there vying for these same clients. We talked about this in your course about finding a niche. What’s different about you? Are you cheaper than everyone else? Do you have an engaging personality that makes clients smile? Do you specialize in Schedule C small business tax preparation? Do you pay a high referral fee when clients refer you other clients?
What is your “unique selling proposition,” what message are you going to give clients who want to know why they should do their taxes with you of all people?
You need to ask these questions NOW, because clients will be asking them of you soon!
These are three solid and completely doable ideas to help you plant the seed of your client base.
Have other ideas? Hit us up in the “comments” section and tell us what YOU are doing to get ready for your first tax season.