TFYW#078: Three Tools to Boost Your Marketing ROI

Mar 8, 2024

This week, I want to equip you with an understanding of how a marketing agency should help you with your marketing.

Creative Itch

I started my undergraduate degree with the intention of becoming an architect. How I ended up as a CPA 7 years later is a bit of a mystery.

The fact that I had a creative background left me painfully bored during my lengthy accounting education.

As an intern at EY, I composed a rap called Audit Audit Baby, to the tune Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.

As a junior staff, a few managers sent me commissions to crudely photoshop pictures of partners in questionable situations.

When I launched my firm, I found an outlet to flex my creative ability to entertain and grow my firm.

Two days ago, on LinkedIn, I shared one of the personal tax ads I created in 2019 for social media.

While the ad isn’t bad for a CPA, it didn’t get the traction I wanted/needed.

I spent over 15 hours creating the ad, but I missed key underpinning components for success.

I was focused entirely on executing the marketing operation without the marketing system and strategy.

Now, I get that most of us won’t be creating ads, but understanding your Marketing Operations, Systems and Strategy is necessary.

Marketing Operations

Marketing operations are everything the prospect sees.

The operations are comprised of:

    • Advertisements
    • Copy and Content
    • Images and Designs
    • Headlines and Hooks
    • Website + Social presence

When I created my ad, 100% of my effort went into the operations. I remember taking the effort to write a pretend name, address and Social Insurance Number (SSN in the US) on the tax forms.

I ensured the tiny details were correct because I thought that was the most important thing.

While the marketing operations are what prospects see, they’re only a portion of what the prospect experiences.


If you don’t remember anything else from this newsletter, remember this:


A clear niche message with a direct call to action will be more effective than a perfectly polished ad presented to a general audience.


If you’re running ads, you’ll probably have a marketing agency to help you with it.

If the agency jumps to the creative component of your campaigns before understanding your audience and message, run away from them.

Marketing System

Systems are everything supporting the effectiveness of the Marketing Operations.

Systems include:

    • Sales Funnel
    • Landing pages
    • Email drip sequences
    • Tracking Tactics and KPIs
    • Follow-up SMSs and emails
    •  Pipeline tracking + CRM functions

I did not have any of this in place when I ran my first ads.

When someone clicked on the ad, they were directed to a personal tax landing page, but there was no clear call to action.

This is a big issue for most ads. There is no clear next step when someone clicks.

When you run ads, they usually target cold audiences, so the trust is low.

When a prospect clicks your ad, that is one step towards trust.

The entire marketing system is designed to get your prospect to take that next step in the trust journey.

Again, you don’t have to know the ins and outs of every part of the marketing system, but understanding the journey and specific steps a prospect goes through is crucial.

There’s a big difference between selling a basic personal tax return and advisory engagement. A basic return may only take 3 mins to sell, while an advisory client may need three meetings to sign the agreement.

If you want to transition to selling higher-value services, you need a marketing system to accommodate the more comprehensive sales cycle.

The higher the value of your service, the more steps are necessary to get your prospect to buy. Your CRM is foundational for tracking the steps of your prospects.

If your marketing company isn’t prepared to build or partially build a repeatable system leveraging a CRM, run.

Marketing Strategy

This is the foundation of your firm’s marketing campaign’s success or failure.

It is what informs your marketing operations and systems.

Strategy includes:

    • Messaging
    • Offer + services
    • Value Proposition
    • Market Positioning
    • Perfect Client Avatar

Unfortunately, you should be heavily involved in this process.

Figuring out what you will say in your ad and who you will say it to HAS TO BE DONE FIRST.

Most accounting ads I see on social media are similar to standing on the side of a busy highway with a sign designed for every driver.

How great is the exposure of the message in this scenario? Very high.
What are the chances someone would take action on your message? Very low.

However, let’s say you stand on a sideroad that leads to a hospital holding a sign that only speaks to doctors.

How great is the general exposure of this message? Low.

How great is the niche exposure to doctors? I would say moderate to high.

How effective is the message? Significantly greater than trying to get everyone’s attention.

Your marketing strategy is the location and message of your marketing.

Every marketing agency that has spent millions on ads (for themselves and/or their clients) says that the strategic system is the number one factor of ad success.

If your marketing agency doesn’t spend at least 50% of the time refining your strategy, run.


I am not a marketing expert, but I can directly trace my marketing success to the above framework.

You don’t need to make your own ads, but it’s your responsibility to design the lead generation for your firm.

Build the firm you want.


P.S. Email with something that you want me to talk about. I’ll add it to the list. 

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