how to get tax clients

Competing against big-name tax preparers like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt can be challenging for smaller firms building their tax filing services. 

You may think it’ll break the bank to implement strategies that effectively expand your tax client base. However, you don’t always need access to endless resources for your tax preparation business to flourish. 

We spoke with several successful tax professionals about how they built their clientele from zero to dozens to hundreds. In this guide, we cover the proven strategies they’ve implemented to grow their tax preparation businesses and give you the steps to put them into practice at your firm. 

1. Invest in Your Online Presence

Aside from being active on popular social media sites, there is a lot more you can do to boost your presence online and attract more tax clients, including: 

  • Implementing an SEO strategy to rank higher on local search results for tax preparers and other related keywords
  • Sending out an email newsletter to your contacts to keep them updated on your services and special offers
  • Regularly posting blogs to your website covering topics relevant to your audience
  • Creating an FAQ page on your website with common questions people have about their tax returns
  • Writing guest posts on other related websites to build your authority/credibility on tax matters

By making your firm more visible online and positioning yourself as a tax expert, prospective clients can vet your skills and authority and learn to trust you with their tax return preparation. 

Put it into practice: Make an assessment of your current online presence and see where you could improve your visibility with the above strategies. Consider the tax-related topics and questions you frequently discuss with clients, and tailor your online content to these areas for the most impact. 

Listen to our interview with Luke J. Fletcher, an ICAEW chartered accountant and founder of Raw Accounting. Learn how he grew his online presence and LinkedIn page and built his firm’s client base, among other helpful tips:

2. Promote within Your Network

Professional connections, friends, and family members could all be potential clients. So, don’t be afraid to mention your tax preparation services to them and see if they’d like to move their account to your firm. 

This strategy is especially effective if you’re just starting your firm and need your first few clients with little or no testimonials or reviews. Regardless, at any stage of business, it’s often easier to secure new clients from people you’ve already built up a rapport with over pursuing cold leads. 

Put it into practice: Tell people in your personal life and professional network that you have the capacity for new tax clients at your firm. Don’t be pushy, but answer any questions they may have about your services and why it’s a good idea to switch from their current provider. 

3. Implement a Referral Program for Clients

Word-of-mouth promotion from your existing clients can be a great source of new business. With a referral program that incentivizes happy clients to spread the word about your tax preparation service, they’ll be even more willing to promote your firm to their network. 

The referral program is mutually beneficial for both your firm and your clients, and it can help you bring in a steady flow of new clients for your tax practice. You can offer clients a monetary reward like a gift card or free tax services for every referral they bring in. 

Put it into practice: Connect with your satisfied clients and share the referral strategy you plan to implement. Ask for their input to see what they view as a reasonable incentive for bringing you a new client. 

Roll this plan out with a few trusted clients to see how well the incentive structure works before implementing it across your entire client base. 

4. Run Paid Ads

Running advertisements on both traditional and digital mediums can help get your tax preparation offer in front of potential clients. You can run paid ads on social media, Google, podcasts, local newspaper or TV channels, billboards, and more. 

With online ads specifically, you can target certain demographics and geographic regions, ensuring you get in front of the right audience, boosting the effectiveness of your campaign, and helping you bring in more tax clients. Plus, it’s easy to track the ROI of online ads with click-through and conversion rates to evaluate their performance. 

Put it into practice: Determine which advertising mediums would help you get in front of the most prospects. Test out different versions of your ad and various channels to see which is the most effective at generating new tax clients, then tweak your advertising efforts accordingly. 

how to market a bookkeeping business

5. Run Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is a great tool for firms to stay in touch with existing clients, and it can help you nurture leads and attract new tax clients. 

Your email list likely consists of targeted contacts who have expressed interest in your firm or services by opting in to your emails. So, you can add continued value and propel them down the sales funnel by sending emails that provide reminders of upcoming deadlines, helpful tax preparation tips, special tax season offers, and more. 

Sending frequent emails with a specific call to action (CTA) helps your firm stay top of mind with prospective clients. The CTA button gives them an easy way to initiate the switch to your firm. 

Put it into practice: Send emails to your list year-round, not just during tax season, changing your messaging accordingly. Provide a mixture of valuable insights, promotional offers, team member introductions, and links to other helpful content on your site and social media pages. 

Be sure you include a specific CTA in each email and consider utilizing A/B testing and list segmentation to help optimize your campaigns. 

You can also check out our discussion with Nate Hagerty, marketing expert and owner of Tax Pro Marketer. He discusses the effectiveness of direct response marketing strategies like sending targeted emails to grow your firm with a tangible ROI.

6. Maintain Professional Social Media Pages

Ninety percent of the US population is active on social media. That makes it an ideal medium for getting in front of a large number of prospects and building their trust while promoting your tax business. 

Maintaining professional social media pages like LinkedIn and sharing your expertise on other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can help you connect with potential clients and offer free value through your posts and online interactions. 

With the average person spending a few hours online daily, you can meet your potential clients where they are. Building up your online presence and authority on these sites eventually leads to conversions. 

Put it into practice: Create and maintain a professional profile on popular social media sites. Engage with people in your community by regularly commenting, sharing others’ posts, and creating your own posts to showcase your expertise and support. 

7. Create Partnerships with Other Professionals

Connect and build relationships with professionals in your area, like lawyers, consulting agencies, financial advisors, and others, to help bring in new tax clients. 

Similar to your referral program with satisfied clients, you can also offer incentives to these professionals if they refer clients to your firm and vice versa. Since you likely don’t offer competing services with these other businesses, this is a valuable way for each of you to grow your practices through word of mouth.

Put it into practice: Consider the professional connections you’ve built in your area, and contact them about a potential referral deal for your businesses. Offer a mutually beneficial agreement where they receive an incentive for referring clients to your business, and you also promote their services to your clients if it’s fitting. 

8. Attend Professional Networking Events

Learn how to grow your tax clientele from seasoned tax professionals in your area by attending professional networking events for certified public accountants. These successful firm owners have been in your shoes and know what’s necessary to attract new tax clients. 

These events can also help you develop connections with tax professionals who can refer overflow clients to your firm when they don’t have the capacity for them. 

Put it into practice: Search for professional meet-ups and networking opportunities in your area. Attend these events to connect and build relationships rather than immediately promoting your tax services. Share that you are growing your tax client base, and see if your peers have any advice for you or potential referrals. 

9. Get Listed on Local Directories

Communities often have a local business directory to help people in their area find vetted professional services like plumbers, electricians, veterinarians, and tax professionals. Having a business listing in these directories can automatically boost your authority in the area and showcase your firm as trustworthy and reliable. 

The people who contact you from the business directory are likely warm leads already looking for tax preparation services. As a result, this method can be highly effective at bringing in new tax clients.  

Put it into practice: See if there’s a local business directory in your city, county, or region, and inquire what you need to do to get listed on it. Provide high-quality headshots or photos of your team and make your listing specific to your tax services. 

10. Set Up Your Google Business Profile

Formerly “Google My Business,” setting up your Google Business Profile with accurate business hours, contact information, office location, and other details will help you become more visible in your local area. 

Creating this profile can help you capture more local search volume and attract more customers for your tax services. Plus, making the account is free, so it’s a cost-effective way to gain visibility on Google Search and Google Maps when someone in your area is searching for tax preparation services. 

Put it into practice: Do a quick Google search of your business to see if you already have a profile or need to create one. Log in to the Google Business Profile Manager with your Google credentials, follow the prompts to complete your profile, and go through the verification process.  

BONUS: Save Hours on Tax Clients with This Free Resource

As you build up your client base, you’ll need to be more efficient with your time and streamline some tasks and workflows that are too resource intensive. 

Rather than manually creating customized templates and checklists, keep your team organized easily by downloading Jetpack Workflow’s free collection of 32 customizable accounting workflow templates and checklists

These templates include many forms and documents proven to help tax accountants, including tax return forms and other helpful templates. 

See Jetpack Worflow In Action

Get under the hood of Jetpack Workflow’s accounting workflow and project management platform. See some of the top features and how it helps your firm standardize, automate, and track client work more efficiently.