Are You Committing This Advertising Mistake?

One of the biggest mistakes that the majority of attorneys, CPAs and Enrolled Agents make… and most don’t even realize it, is their marketing is all about them and not their prospective clients.

This occurs mostly because they are copying what other professional practices do. Plus, I believe professionals experience some confusion when reviewing advertising ethics that different organizations direct towards their professional practices.

What is this big mistake? Their copy is company-focused instead of client-focused. What I mean by “company-focused” is that the ad or webpage, etc. is all about the professional provider when it should be “client-focused” or all about the consumer.

You see, truth be told, your clients aren’t really concerned about your credentials and accolades. They want to know what you can do for them. They want to know… can you really help them…can you solve their problems… and give them what they want and need? In other words, your ad should be about them—not you.

For example, the following is typical copy found on a professional provider’s website:  “Founded in 2001, we are the area’s leading provider of IRS Representation services with a proven track record. Our approach combines an innovative team-based structure with our highly developed four-part strategic communication and service method.”

Can you see how it’s focused on the provider?

Change this to be about the client and your copy might say: “You’ll get immediate relief and the peace of mind you deserve knowing that all IRS communications and correspondence are handled by our firm. Generally, you’ll never have to meet or speak with the IRS.  We’re committed to obtaining the best possible outcome concerning your IRS matter.”

Here are three ways you can make your Tax Resolution practice advertising more client-centric:

1)   Highlight the benefits. When designing your ad, make your headline benefit-oriented and include all the benefits your prospective client can get by using your services.

2)   Strengthen your ad with client stories/testimonials. In professional advertising, ethics guidelines talk a lot about truth and trust in advertising. Trust is important because people are skeptics.

One of the best, most effective ways to build trust and strengthen your advertising claim is to let your clients do the talking for you. This is because a client’s story is much more believable than what you can say about yourself. And… it won’t make you look self-absorbed. Plus, not only do people love stories, but your client success stories help differentiate you and break through the constant barrage of marketing messages they see.

Imagine reading a statement like this: “[insert your or your firm’s name] reduced my IRS tax liability from $57,000 to $3,750 through the IRS’s Offer in Compromise program. They helped me overcome my fear of the IRS and were very patient with me.  They always returned my phone calls and explained the process in layman’s terms. Now, I can finally get on with my life”.

To strengthen your testimonial story even further,

•Ask clients who match your ideal target audience. The more these people resonate with your ideal target market, the more your ideal prospects can relate. Look for people whose occupation, age and other demographics line up.

•Ask your client if you can use their picture. Including a picture, especially when the demographics line up, will help your ideal prospect identify with you even further.

•Include pertinent details. Of course you’ll want to include your client’s first and last name. Also, when possible, include their age and occupation too. This will make the testimonial more believable, further reflect matches and can even build credibility.

For instance, if your target audience includes military personnel then adding the terms “veteran” or “military officer” could help strengthen trust. Offer them choices. Let your client be the one to decide how they to respond by giving them choices.

For example, you might offer a web form, a phone number to call you directly and a click to call button which allows them to enter their phone number and have you call them. To help guide which method they use, promote your preferred method first.

When promoting and advertising your professional practice, you may feel compelled to do what everyone else is doing and talk about yourself and your credentials. In fact, your credentials may be more impressive than any of your competitors, however, when you focus your ads on your client, instead of yourself you’ll be one step ahead regardless of your credentials and closer to creating explosive growth for your practice too.