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Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Building A Manageable Tax Practice


From a CPA in Texas:

Subject: just starting out on my own...

I'm just starting out on my own and according to my business plan...my goal is to be where it appears you are today. 

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your website and blog as they have been tremendous resources for me.

Also, since you are no longer taking clients, I was wondering if you would feel comfortable passing on any new Texas leads my direction?  Since I am just starting out on my own, I am limiting my practice to just the state of Texas (where I live).  Since you don't know me I would understand if you wouldn't feel comfortable doing as I request.

If you have the inclination and time, my website is here: and I'd appreciate any and all comments, advice, suggestion, etc.

Thank you again,

My Reply:

I checked out your website and think it is well laid out.

I particularly like how you have carved out a specific niche for yourself, both geographically and in the services you provide.

I will definitely keep you in mind for Texas clients that I come across.  One of my goals is to eventually have a list of tax pros with whom clients can work with around the country.

You didn't mention what your marketing plan is to build up your client base; but I can share what has worked for me. 

Both back in my old stomping grounds in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as here in the Ozarks, I was able to quickly build up a large client base by giving speeches on new tax topics to local service groups (Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc), as well as presenting seminars on various tax topics for chambers of commerce and Realtor groups.  This did entail a lot of driving around, but by the time I got back to my office there would always be calls from new potential clients.  Since you have a very specific geographic area in mind, you can limit your coverage accordingly.

When I gave my speeches and seminars, I did no specific selling of myself.  I just spoke about the topics.  Hard selling speakers who claim to the be the best in the world are huge turn-offs; so I kept that very low key.  People would actually come up to me afterwards and ask if I just spoke about taxes or actually did tax work.  

Those were before the internet had grown to the coverage it has today.  As you have noticed, I do receive at least three or four requests each week from people who want to work with me based on what they have seen on my website and blog.  Unfortunately, I do have to turn them away.  However, for anyone wanting to attract new clients, a blog seems to be much more powerful a  tool than personal speeches.   Just as speeches and seminars allow potential clients to see what you know and your attitude (like a mini-audition), blog postings accomplish the same thing, with no travel time. 

If you are interested in starting your own blog,  I would be glad to share my experiences.  If you want to write an article on a certain tax or accounting topic, I would also be glad to post it as a guest column on my blog, either to jump-start traffic for your own blog or just to steer some visitors to your website. 

I wish you the best of luck.

Kerry Kerstetter




Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my site and respond to my email.  It means a lot to me.  I also appreciate that you are willing to refer potential Texas client's in my direction.

To be honest, I don't have much of a marketing plan right now.  I've been making cold calls - dropping by businesses.  I'm planning on sending out postcards during the 2nd week of January in hopes of gaining individual clients.  I'm gathering that address list now.

Your advice on speaking engagements is a very good one.  I have contacted the Chamber of Commerce asking for information about becoming a member (real small town here - the chamber doesn't have this information on it's website).  When I apply for membership I will inform them that I'm available if they would like me to speak at their next meeting.  As for the other local groups I will have to check out what my area has to offer.

I don't know much of anything about blogs, but I keep hearing more about them daily so I will have to do some research.  So yes, I would love to hear your experiences with blogs.  I've never written any articles so I would have to read some with that in mind (as opposed to just reading them for content), before I would feel comfortable writing any - I guess this would go for my blog as well.

Thank you again,



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