He’s been in the financial industry for 15 years, and despite being quite the expert, has never actually prepared a tax return in his life.
What he does know about is how to talk to clients, and how important it is to have meaningful connections with clients.
In his business, he helps to bridge the gap between people in professional service industries, and the regular client or business owner. That way, they can form a deeper connection.
To do that, they need to go beyond the world of jargon. Being transparent, honest and likeable is worth a lot to people paying you for your services. Sounding like you know what you’re talking about isn’t always enough.
Nate shares with us how he got himself involved in this world, what he does to get new clients, and what you can do to help clients get to know the real you.
Becoming a TaxProMarketer
It all started when Nate and his wife worked for a non-profit organization and the prospect of being transferred from New Hampshire to Virginia loomed on them. And it was something neither of them wanted to do.
So he had to go looking for a new job. Although he nearly became a pharmaceutical sales rep, he went to work in a tax business owned by a guy who was also on the board of the organization Nate had just left.
When he joined in 2003, he obviously had no idea how his life would work out.
With the firm experiencing rapid growth, in the 10 years that Nate was there, the business went from $50,000 a year to $4.3million in tax prep fees alone.
As the marketing director, they benefited from having the edge over the local competition in terms of direct response marketing. And that’s how he cut his teeth, back when marketing to clients was a harder challenge than it is today.
From a business perspective, the company owner taught Nate everything that he knows about business. At the time, he had no visions beyond wanting a job.
But in 2007, he started TaxProMarketer to implement marketing and relationship building on behalf of the tax and consulting clients they worked with. This came from a frustration that they were not implementing the things which were being recommended to them.
This was because, like many other business owners, they didn’t have the time spare to focus on such activities.
By having the job at the tax firm, and the support he received, it meant that when he did start his own business, he didn’t have to start off cold at the bottom, and was allowed to jump a few rungs up the ladder.
Highs and Lows
Organized by his boss, he had the chance to speak on stage in front of 200 service firm owners 10 years ago. Filled with nerves, he prayed to God for it to go well and gather 50 new clients from it.
Although naive to expect such results from his first speaking event, he actually managed to gain 50 new clients. But that brought about its own issues.
The trouble was that he found the wealth of new business overwhelming, and he soon discovered that it is a lot more difficult to implement marketing for 50 businesses rather than just one.
He’d oversold his abilities and was learning about the consequences of doing so as a result.
But a few months later, he spoke at another event and gained more new clients, on top of those he was receiving from his direct mail postcard campaign.
After that first year, he’d had great results with some of his clients. But there were other clients he hadn’t done as well with and meant he hadn’t met the high guarantees he’d set at the start.
In that year, he did $800,000 in revenue but was actually left with $100,000 of debt.
The debt was a result of the small margins he was getting, the costs of starting up, and clients not paying up. It was essentially due to being inexperienced, and it acted as a learning curve for him.
On the back of his first year, he had to make changes. And he also scrambled to get financing in order to keep the business alive.
During this time was when Nate decided to pivot the business as well to better serve his clients with digital marketing rather than direct mail.
In 2008, he launched a done-for-you email service which is still going today. With it, clients can send a weekly email which is relationship-orientated, doing the email marketing for CPAs and tax professionals.
It was a lot more effective than simply sending their clients a weekly newsletter with tax tips.
Then in 2009 he launched social media management for his clients too, and actually struggled to convince people that it was going to become a ‘thing’.
And they also went on to create marketing-orientated websites with lead magnets for clients.
Nate sold it a productized subscription-level service, effectively becoming a hybrid of an agency and a SaaS company. This meant they could offer an affordable and effective marketing service to smaller businesses.
Now, the focus is to extend their reach to other professional services, such as lawyers and real estate agents.
He is making it easy for these businesses to carry out marketing activities without having all the knowledge, the need for testing, or staying up to date with changing tools and tactics.
Acquiring New Clients
Nate advertises on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, offering prospects a great lead magnet. They then retarget those who clicked through to offer them a taste of their services and then ensure they receive a great experience.
By charging business owners $47 for his information product, people are willing to still give it a go, whilst he focuses on attracting the types of people who are more likely to convert to his subscription service.
He refers to his package of information New Tax Clients Now as a tripwire. He gives them a good deal, and it acts as the first introduction to the businesses for cold prospects.
Of course, he has different strategies for targeting people at speaking events for example, but for the cold traffic, offers them a low barrier to entry.
With this, he experiences a rate of 50% for people who then move from the product to being upsold an offer for to try his monthly subscription service, and doesn’t lock them into a contract.
From there, he even goes on to offer them a one-time offer to move to their biggest package which includes everything they do.
The idea of the tripwire is that it should fund your advertising, and the intention is to not make a profit from it.
That’s because you want those people to then go through the funnel and convert so they become far more valuable to you. A client giving you money every month has a high lifetime value.
The Power of Relationships
Nate and his wife are parents to six children, four of whom were orphans from Ethiopia and Uganda.
He also used to work in a youth ministry and coached football and lacrosse for high school kids.
It all shows how much Nate values relationships in every aspect of his life. These experiences have shown him the power which they hold, and in terms of marketing, how important it is to evolve a relationship from one state of being to another.
And although marketing can be automated, transparency, authenticity and good connections cannot. That is what gives exceptional marketing the edge over the other marketing which exists.
It’s building relationships with customers and potential customers by showing them who you really are which makes people want to do business with you.
Find out more about TaxProMarketer on the website where you can check out their blog posts, as well as discover more about their services and sign up for them.
Also, check out Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet to find out about his wife Sara Hagerty and her latest book.
Connect with Nate