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Professional Services Marketing Digest

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What CPA Firm Partners and Marketers Can Learn from IBM’s Watson (…and H&R Block!)

Posted by Alan Vitberg

Mar 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

I have a lot of admiration and respect for the new H&R Block “Power of Won” campaign featuring IBM’s Watson and spokesperson Jon Hamm.

It’s brilliant on so many levels. By doing a deep dive on the campaign, managing partners, executive committees, and marketing teams at CPA firms (as well as other professional services) can learn a lot about marketing and communications done right.

First things first, you need to know who Watson is. You might remember it as the cognitive technology that thrashed a few Jeopardy champions a few years back. Since then, Watson has become a runaway anthropomorphic success for IBM, offering its capabilities to commerce, healthcare, financial services and a host of other industries. Now here’s simple exercise that can serve as the core of what I’d like you take away from this blog post.

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Topics: Professional Services Firm Marketing

How CPA Firm Marketing Programs Land Big Fish

Posted by Alan Vitberg

Jul 5, 2016 8:57:25 AM

It’s all about picking the right fishing hole and using the right bait

We were on Lake Ontario about 6 miles offshore, and I was mesmerized by our charter captain’s latest purchase: a very expensive commercial grade fish finder.

This phenomenal piece of technology not only colorfully displayed every rock and submerged object 200 feet below in stunning detail, it also pinpointed schools of bait fish that hovered above the lake trout that were the reason the four of us were playing hooky that day.

At that point, it was a matter of baiting the hooks, setting the lines at various depths, and trolling.

We caught over 150 lbs. of fish that day, and lest you think that I’m some kind of fishing wunderkind, that was the biggest catch of my life, and for that matter, all of our lives. By the end of the charter, my arms felt like I had bench pressed a Smart car 50 or 60 times over my head.

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Topics: inbound marketing, CPA Firm Marketing, marketing strategies and tactics, Professional Services Firm Marketing

How One Unsuspecting CPA Firm Walked into the Lion’s Den

Posted by Alan Vitberg

Jun 30, 2016 10:34:20 AM


A Lesson on Karma Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing for Professional Service Firms

Janice was sorting through the day’s mail—the old fashioned kind, printed, stamped, delivered by a postal employee in a little truck—and handed me an envelope. 

“Hey, this one’s addressed to you,” she said, barely glancing up from the pile of assorted catalogues, flyers, donation pleas, and other detritus seeking to separate us from our cash.

Like you, I’m not a big fan of unsolicited mail. That’s one of the reasons I planted my flag squarely in the inbound marketing camp. More on this later. 

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Topics: inbound marketing, CPA Firm Marketing, Professional Services Firm Marketing

Oops… Forgot to Put These Firm Marketing Items on the Partner Retreat Agenda!

Posted by Alan Vitberg

Jun 21, 2016 8:31:01 AM

3 Critical Discussions and One Award

The sounds coming from the 1st tee. (THWOCK!!! “Sh*t!”)

The annual reveal of partner Bob’s skinny, old and very white legs.

The contest of who can order the most expensive bottle of wine.

Ah … it must be time for the annual firm partner retreat. Two or more days set aside during the year where partners assemble offsite to do the serious work of managing their business.

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Topics: CPA Firm Marketing, marketing strategies and tactics, Professional Services Firm Marketing

Do CPA Firm Marketers Need to Get More Curious?

Posted by Alan Vitberg

Jun 14, 2016 8:25:00 AM

6 Nooks Where Curiosity Leads to Bigger, Bolder, and Better Marketing

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about a meeting that I had with partner from a professional service firm where he declared that their firm just didn’t need any more marketing.

As you might recall, my takeaway was that: (1) regardless of the truth of the matter, he just wasn’t curious about marketing, and (2) the $13.45 (with tip) that I paid for coffee and parking was well worth the “aha!” moment I walked away with.

You might say, I got curious about curiosity. So, I built my blog post around marketing curiosity and questions partners might consider when climbing a marketing curiosity curve.

Lest ye think that I’m leaving marketers unscathed, I started thinking about the role that curiosity can play within the scope of their responsibilities. It’s tough to be marketing curious if most of your time is spent on tactics or responding to partner requests, but nonetheless, as our friend Albert might say… “Success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance, and self criticism.”

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Topics: CPA Firm Marketing, marketing strategies and tactics, Professional Services Firm Marketing

7 Steps for Making CPA Firm Marketing and Sales a Heck of a Lot More Agile

Posted by Alan Vitberg

Jun 7, 2016 8:13:07 AM

Agility is more than a mindset… It’s a process too!

I was sitting on the porch of a cabin in the Ozarks just after dawn, sipping a hot cup of coffee, watching the sun starting to peak over the mountain range when I saw the red-tailed hawks dancing above the tree line.

I pondered their grace and beauty (or “thunk on it a bit,” as they say in the Ozarks), but it was their agility that was stunning. Swooping. Diving. Turning. Reacting.

And when it came time to write this week’s blog post, I thunk about what it means to be agile when it comes to marketing and the possibilities for employing this approach in professional services firms that help their clients deal with regulatory and compliance issues.

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Topics: CPA Firm Marketing, marketing strategies and tactics, niche marketing, Professional Services Firm Marketing

Get Curious to Get More Top Line Growth for Your Professional Service Firm

Posted by Alan Vitberg

May 24, 2016 7:31:58 AM

We don’t need any more marketing,” said the partner.

As I was waiting in the coffee shop the other day to meet with a lead from a referral I got, I reviewed my pre-meeting notes. Just by looking at their website, I had a number of insights and recommendations ready for discussion.

We exchanged a few pleasantries, played the “who do you know” game, talked about the chances of the Bills this year (optimistically), and then turned to the marketing discussion.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “So, I appreciate the chance to talk about marketing with you. What are some of the marketing and business development challenges you’re facing when it comes to growing your practice?”

Contact: “We don’t need any more marketing.”

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Topics: CPA Firm Marketing, Professional Services Firm Marketing, Consulting Firm Marketing

10 Hot Regulatory Compliance Issues (and Solutions) CPA Firm Marketing Programs Can Use for New Business

Posted by Alan Vitberg

May 17, 2016 8:25:00 AM

Seize the Day by Starting with the Cornucopia of Blogging Opportunities

Do you remember that great movie with Robin Williams where he played a teacher at a prestigious boy’s school in the 1950’s?

There’s a scene in that movie—Dead Poets Society—where John Keating, the teacher (Williams), takes his class of stiff, scared, don’t-rock-the-boat students out of the classroom and into the hallway. There, he stops in front of a trophy case where he dramatically encourages his class to make their lives extraordinary. To seize the day … Carpe diem!

I like to bring this message—seize the day—out to CPA firm partners when it comes to making the marketing of their niche practice extraordinary. There are so many opportunities to be extraordinary by virtue of the fact that there’s a never ending supply of tax, regulatory, operational, and fiscal management change ripe for use in new business.

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Topics: CPA Firm Marketing, Professional Services Firm Marketing, blogging

How and Where to Budget for a Lead Generation Program

Posted by Alan Vitberg

May 10, 2016 8:20:00 AM

If you want growth, do the math.

Making math part of marketing… Seems crazy, right?

It is if your CPA, consulting, staffing, or other type of professional service firm thinks about marketing as “making things bright and shiny,” or just as facilitators for publishing and distributing content. If that’s the case, then you may be missing an opportunity to use marketing math as a foundation piece for firm or niche practice growth.

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Topics: lead generation, marketing strategy, CPA Firm Marketing, Professional Services Firm Marketing

Should Your Content be Gated or Not? A Solution to the CPA Firm Content Marketing Dilemma

Posted by Alan Vitberg

May 3, 2016 10:03:33 AM

The best and worst content gating practices of the Top 200 CPA firms revealed here!

Lessons Learned From Generating 6000 Plus LeadsAbout once every year or so, I look at the websites of each and every top 200 CPA firm and do a “back of the napkin” assessment of strategic, marketing, and design trends. I also look at how CPA firm websites benchmark against inbound marketing, content marketing, and lead generation best practices of B2B firms.

Overall, I give the Top 200 CPA firms a collective grade of B-.

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Topics: content marketing, content strategy, CPA Firm Marketing, Professional Services Firm Marketing

LeadG2’s Professional Services Team specializes in online marketing for CPA, consulting, recruiting, staffing, and other professional services firms. Contact us here or call Dean Moothart at (407) 913-7091 to talk about how you can get more visibility, leads, and new business for your firm or niche practice.

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