Tax season is already in full swing. If you’re a tax professional, this is your time to shine. You should be doing all you can do to fill up your calendar and attract new clients so that you’re fully booked when it’s time to file client tax returns. 

We sat down with Ryan Melius, Marketing Director at Santa Barbara TPG to find out what tax professionals can do to maximize their success, prepare for tax season and promote themselves.

Here’s what Ryan had to say.

How tax professionals can prepare for tax season

1. Ditch your account

Getting a personalized email is good for business. It makes you look more professional and increases your brand awareness. To best prepare for tax season, make sure you have an @business email address and “ditch the gmail account.”

2. First impressions are everything

You might be a small tax business, but “you’ll want your office to look every bit as professional as a franchise tax chain”, comments Ryan. He suggests going into tax chains and taking a look around in order to compare and make changes in your own office. In addition, he recommends watching episodes of Tax Office Makeover and taking notes and learning tips for educated inspiration on best practices.

3. Make sure everyone knows your elevator pitch

Teach your staff your elevator pitch and make sure they know it in and out. Have your standout value proposition posted on your wall or by the reception desk so clients can see it and understand immediately what you’re offering them. “Refrain from showcasing your personal hobbies in your office, it should be about the customers.”

4. Text blasts are your friend

Preparing for tax season involves a lot of reaching out to former and existing clients as well as new leads. Make sure you have a strong text blasting tool that can automate your text reminders. This will take a load of work off your shoulders and will reach as many people as possible reminding them that you’re available.

5. Networking is key

“Join organizations for tax professionals, enrolled agents and accountants to get helpful resources, stay up-to-date on tax law changes, and access live training and networking events.” Check out  Latino Tax Pro, National Association of Tax Professionals, National Association of Enrolled Agents for example. This can lead to interesting collaborations and insights about where to find clients, what are the market trends, updates and more. 

6. Automate your scheduling

Give the power to your clients and enable them to schedule time with you and your staff at their convenience. With a strong online scheduling tool, you can show your availability and your clients can use a link to choose a time and book an appointment automatically, without the hassle of having to make a call. 

7. Have a secure document sharing system

You’ll be sharing a lot of documents with your clients. Having a system in place, preferably a digital software for managing documents, will help organize your work and make sure nothing gets missed. It will also secure your documents so that no sensitive information is at risk for you or your clients.

8. Be in as many places as you can be

Marketing your tax business is the best way prospective clients can find out about your services. “Set aside even a small advertising budget for Google, Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor and Patch (depending on your location).” You’ll want to run lead generating campaigns that use a form for you to collect information about your leads.

In addition, “in the beginning of the year, put door hangers at local homes and offices,” Ryan says. This strategy works and gets people to notice your business.

9. Host an open house

To generate a buzz about your tax services, you’ll want to host an open house during the off season with catered food and even a quick educational presentation for taxpayers. This will increase their trust in your expertise and make them want to come back to you come tax time.

10. Be prepared for the unexpected

If there’s anything we’ve learned since COVID, it’s that things can change at a moment’s notice. Tax professionals will want to make sure they’re on top of health regulations and current federal, state and local tax law changes. In addition, running your tax business digitally will help you align to the new norm and future proof your tax business. 

Prepare for tax season like the pro that you are

Even though tax season is here, it’s not too late to implement a lot of the tips Ryan Melius mentions above. Whether it be working on digitalizing your tax business or pushing your marketing efforts, you are in control of how well you perform this tax season. Good luck!