Wrecked, but still standing

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He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.
– Miguel De Cervantes

I’m not quite sure when this Haiti thing broke in my heart, but I *do* know that driving to a weekly prayer group this morning, listening to NPR describe the horror down there, I was overcome. I actually started crying.
Maybe it was because I thought about my children (10 months ago living in abject poverty in Ethiopia, and last night gallavanting in the bath tub); perhaps it might have been hearing about my Operations Director, Troy’s best friend–a former Haitian orphan, adopted into a loving American family as an adolescent, who’s remained in touch with his biological mother and relatives still living there–but hasn’t heard anything from any of them this week. He’s leading a small team to go down there, today, to provide relief…and search for his family.
I just know that I was emotionally wrecked this morning. And I’ve been plenty numb to these kinds of events in the past.
But here I am–at my computer, tweeting and writing newsletters for tax pro clients, email messages for my lawyer clients, and writing you this note. Life doesn’t have a “pause” button, eh?
And YOU–well, it’s about to be “go” time for you as tax season kicks into gear. Whatever personal feelings you’re dealing with, family issues, staff issues, operations issues–you’re still needing to “pick up” and focus on your clients.
And growing your business this tax season.
Yesterday, I conducted a short (1 hour) coaching call on that very topic, and I’d like to expand upon something I briefly touched on–because it will make a HUGE difference in your marketing outcomes.
And, I’ve changed my mind, and want ALL my contacts to have access to the recording of this call–we had a ton of great feedback, and if you listen to it–and implement the advice–you’ll kick some butt this tax season. Again, nothing ‘sold’ on it, just some killer marketing advice for your business, free of charge.
Here’s the recording (link will take you to a page where you can stream and/or download an mp3 of the call): http://www.attendthisevent.com/?eventid=10798734
Hey–they’re the same principles which grew the tax firm I started with from $50K in annual tax prep fees to over $4 million in under ten years.
This short “checklist” expands upon the “Message” portion I spoke about yesterday, and if you AVOID these “copy killers”, your marketing will double in effectiveness.
7 Marketing Piece Killers 
Follow this simple checklist BEFORE you approve any marketing piece to represent your firm.
Remember–what counts MOST is effectiveness. These are proven principles, in EVERY service professional industry.
1) Being Boring
*Cardinal sin for tax pros. You can avoid it! Hey, just add a descriptive picture at LEAST!
2) Not telling your reader how to take action
*MANY, many ads or letters bomb because the reader doesn’t know what to do next!
3) Writing from “Me”
*The best way to form a relationship (or make a sale): talk about YOUR PROSPECT
4) Underestimating the difficulty of the task
*In the age of internet and media saturation–you better not expect one sales letter to do it all!
5) Too much “White Space”
*Riddle me this: when did white space EVER make a sale?
6) Failure to tell your “story”–why you do what you do
*Believe it or not, your prospects and clients want to be reminded of your story!
7) Logo/Business name/Address at the top
*Why not turn your “letterhead” into “letter-footer” and use headlines that actually work?!
Frankly, there’s so much more to discuss related to new-client marketing that *works*. So check out the call. It’s well worth your 50 minutes.

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