Ask for referrals. |
Have a plan to get
recommendations from current clients—don’t
depend on casual discussions.
Tell clients early that
you would like them to introduce you to
other potential clients if they are
satisfied with your work.
Work with other
practitioners who have a different
client profile. If you serve
middle-income clients and they focus on
wealthy ones, ask them to refer to you
any clients with a net worth under their
Don’t forget about your
smallest clients. Even if they aren’t a
huge source of income, they may know
people who could be.
Remember the mathematics
of referrals: With 50 clients you may
get just eight referrals a year, but
with 200 clients you might get two a
Organize these events
carefully—they’re successful only when
you know whom you want to reach and
create an event that will interest those
people. If you’re going after high-end
clients concerned about new tax laws,
for example, plan a seminar on the most
recent income tax legislation.
Hire a mailing service
that will pinpoint the right people, in
the correct ZIP codes, who will be
appropriate for your seminar. Don’t cast
too wide a net—a big room with a mixed
bag of people is useless as the
attendees won’t share common interests
and financial goals.
Spend money on a handsome
room in a good hotel, but don’t overdo
the food. Otherwise you just get people
who want to eat and drink for free.
Talk to attendees as they
arrive and discuss what concerns led
them to your event. Build connections by
weaving their stories into your
presentation (keeping names private, of
Talk to reporters.
Introduce yourself to
reporters at major professional and
industry publications, but don’t ignore
local newspapers—they’re what your
| Always read a publication
before contacting a reporter or editor so
you can develop a sense of what you have
to offer. |
Hang around after your
presentation to speak casually to—and
build relationships with—attendees.
As you become better-known
and begin charging speaking fees, test
the waters slowly to see what companies
and nonprofits may be willing to pay.
Keep in touch with
reporters by sending occasional press
releases and using phone, mail and
e-mail to announce your willingness to
comment on issues within your expertise.
Remember, reporters work
on tight deadlines, so call them back as
soon as you can.
Become a writer.
Familiarize yourself with
publications before submitting article
ideas, so you know what they cover and
what niches you can fill.
Call trade as well as
local consumer publications and ask
whether they accept unsolicited “bylined
articles” in your areas of expertise.
Time seasonal advice
carefully. A monthly magazine might
finalize its April tax stories in
To improve the chances
your article will get published, follow
editors’ instructions about deadlines
and word length, as well as style and
Speak at conferences.
Call local, state and
national professional organizations
inside and outside the accounting
profession and offer your services as a
Don’t expect invitations
to prestigious—and lucrative—national
events until you’ve proven yourself at
smaller venues. You likely will have to
start speaking for free.
Rehearse your presentation
extensively and time it. Too short is as
bad as too long. Speak with the
conference organizer to find out the
exact length expected and whether you
should leave time for a
If you use PowerPoint
slides, keep the design simple. Don’t
expect slides to save a poorly organized