This is a transcript of a recent webinar that myself and James Orr conducted to assist CPA’s in marketing their firms. This first part covers the importance of your house list and how to use it and grow it.
Jassen: This evening on our How to Market Your CPA Business webinar by one the nation’s leading authorities on lead generation and really helping business owners grow their businesses in specific niches. James Orr has lent his expertise to a number of industries and he is here with us tonight to talk about accountants and CPA firms.
How are you doing James?
James Orr: I’m doing great. I have really appreciate you have me on and thank for that very nice introduction. It’s lots nicer than the last one I got from you which was a little bit over the top but I appreciate that.
Jassen: [laughter] Well, you know it’s true. Ever since I first met you, I’ve always looked at – we actually talked about this last week about individual strengths and weaknesses. We had an interesting conversation about that but I have always felt that one of your biggest strengths that you bring to the table in the business world is your ability to step into a niche industry, learn how it operates and learn some of the specifics about it and then apply your lead generation strategies to that industry.
James Orr: Absolutely and one of the things that I have in my background is we did run a very large network of websites servicing about 1,200 different industries. So one of the benefits I get to bring to the table here is I get to see lots of data points. I’m not just talking about taking one particular business owner and doing lead generation with them. I’m able to say, “Look we were running websites, literally millions of websites for each city the nation for variety of industries and I can see what worked, what did worked.” Our strategies that worked really well and I’ve also done my own business locally as well. So I could bring that to the table as well.
Jassen: That is awesome. Tonight what have on tap is we’re going to talk about a bunch of really different marketing strategies for CPA’s in particular, correct?
James Orr: That’s correct and how I look at it is almost like little mini articles or little mini nuggets of information about to take a very particular type of marketing strategy and apply it or how to look at marketing in a certain way. So we’ll try to break them up into tracks. If you’re listening to this afterwards, if you’re listening to it on the audio, you don’t need to see the screen although we did this initially as a webinar. On the screen really are just some notes on how we did this. Basically you’re going to get everything you need from the audio and we’re going to break it down into five minute sections or however long the individual nuggets sections are so that you keep track of.
Jassen: Okay and we’ve got a bunch of those to get through so let’s dive right in.
James Orr: Okay, great.
Jassen: Alright. So the first major area – we’re going to start with the big picture kind of area and then go in from there. So to start with, let’s look at two major marketing focuses for marketing your CPA practice.
James Orr: Okay, when I look at this I really see there being two major categories to focus on when you’re doing marketing of any business and specifically when you’re marketing your CPA or accounting business. That is marketing, nurturing, growing and maintaining you individual clients and prospect list. So all that marketing you’re doing to internal database or internal list and then the other side of that number two would be marketing to directly grow your client and prospect list. So all the other marketing you do in order to generate immediate business and also add prospects to your cultivation, your database file for marketing to them is the second one we want to approach. So you it’s like internal marketing and then marketing to the world in order to grow your internal marketing. Those are the two categories I think of when I talk about focusing those.
Jassen: For our listeners that don’t understand the difference, can you explain the difference between your house list and your prospect list? Can you explain to our listeners what the difference there is that you’re talking about?
James Orr: Sure. I don’t actually call them house list and prospect list. House list I would call everything inside your house. So basically anything – any name, address, telephone number, e-mail address that you have for your particular business is what I consider an in-house list. Now that could be made up of existing clients or it could be made up of people that inquired about something, requested information, requested a special report or anything like that and they’ve been added as a potential prospect.
For me I would treat those guys very much the same except for some very small relatively unique circumstances where I’m only marketing to pre-existing clients. But everyone is going to get the newsletter, everyone’s going to get the special offers, everyone’s going to get special reports. So prospects and past clients are all treated the same because you want your past clients to know, like, trust you and be really engaged on what you’ve got going on. Then you want your new prospects to know, like and trust you and really engage in the whole process and then when they’re ready, when they need an accounting service, when they need a CPA they know to go to you or when someone else they know needs an accounting service they can refer to you as well.
Jassen: Okay and then the second side of that in the marketing to grow that list, what do really see is the differences in communication that you’re sending out those two different groups?
James Orr: For me, I’d like to look at it as trying to get people interested to request information from me. So whenever I’m marketing out to the public, I’m trying to say what can I dangle in front of somebody that’s going to make them raise their hand and say, “You know I’m interested in getting information about that,” or “I’m interested in that type of service or that type of product and I really want to get more information.” Once they get more information that’s really when you’re trying to do the conversion from prospect to client.
So for me all that external marketing, whether it’s newspapers or postcards or your websites or all these other marketing type things we’re going to be talking about. Basically if you use those to get people onto your internal list then you can use your normal newsletter and regular contact in order to help market over and over again to that list then convert them to paying clients.