By: Kristen Lewis
Can you feel it coming? Once the holiday decorations finally come down, we’re only a few weeks away from deadline-enforced marketing barriers going up. That’s right – tax season is nigh!
As firms begin the annual race against the clock to get as much done as possible before practitioners descend into heavy client time, it’s important to plan tax season growth activities wisely. Your role as a growth professional in busy season revolves around maintaining momentum and maximizing available opportunities. Here are some ideas to make an impact:
Support Busy Season Client Development – Current clients provide a wealth of opportunity, both through retention and potential referrals. Given the extra time your team will be spending with them, it’s important to contribute to a culture that emphasizes communication and relationship-building. Growth professionals are perfectly positioned to lead the charge in this area. Establish a process point for service teams to have a review discussion in the field with clients encompassing future goals, needs, and concerns. You can create a brief list of guiding questions, help facilitate follow-up, and offer coaching ahead of major meetings.
Keep the Content Coming – Chances are your team members won’t have any time to blog during busy season. Take time now to prepare some “evergreen” content which can be published when practitioners have their heads down, and space out the releases to ensure a consistent presence. Interview a partner over lunch (they have to eat, right?) to get their thoughts on an issue your clients are facing. If you have team members who aren’t affected by the season, such as consulting professionals, work with them to fill content gaps. Recycling is another great way to get additional use out of existing content. Turn a presentation into an article, update a prior article for new developments, or even chronicle tax season itself to keep your firm’s website and social feeds fresh.
Evaluate and Reflect – With less traffic to your door, you have time to do some critical evaluation which tends to take a backseat the rest of the year. Review new business performance by individuals, service lines, etc.; take a look at where referrals are coming from; analyze client billings; evaluate the effectiveness of marketing expenditures; review client survey results for key messages; perform an audit of your marketing collaterals/website/messaging; or dig into national/local economic information to better gauge your place in the marketplace. This benchmarking exercise will help you formulate future plans, prioritize efforts, and identify additional areas where your firm can grow.
Plan for May and Beyond – Create an action plan for your team to hit the ground running once the deadline has passed. Use the lessons gained from your deep dive into the data to focus efforts on supporting growth goals. This may include building a schedule for events, establishing internal training priorities, or facilitating critical meetings with centers of influence, clients, or prospects. With a plan in hand, you’ll be in a great position to engage your team.
Busy season can be an invaluable time for growth professionals to set their priorities and strategy. Take advantage of the slower pace to get your firm positioned for success.
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About Kristen Lewis
Kristen Lewis is the President of the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) and the Director of Marketing for the Philadelphia office of EisnerAmper LLP.
Kristen has been an active volunteer for AAM since 2004, serving on various committees and task forces over the years, as well as a member of the Board of Directors. As AAM’s current President, Kristen has been heavily involved over the past two years in the planning and implementation of the organization’s Vision 2020 strategic plan. In 2009, AAM honored Kristen as Volunteer of the Year at the organization's Annual Summit. She serves her local community as an employee campaign chair for the United Way of Southeastern PA. Kristen also serves on the Marketing Committee for the annual PACT Capital Conference.