Jamie O’Kane | Relationship-Based Marketing

As a business owner, your taxes shouldn’t be an afterthought, something you only think about when you’re getting ready to file. Jamie O’Kane is a CPA who gets proactive when it comes to creating custom tax planning and preparation strategies that can lead to business growth. 

Jamie uses her podcast, (Abundant Beans) to help promote her accounting firm. But that’s just the start of her online marketing efforts.

We get into detail on the channels she uses and, along the way, workshop a lead generation strategy that any professional services provider can use. 

Tune in to find out…

  • Why she narrowed her target market – and the benefits it’s brought to her business 
  • An unexpected lead generation and conversion tool
  • How she uses her podcast to support her CPA firm
  • The key social network she uses to contact potential clients
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:

Want my best ideas for growing your firm, plus winning ideas from successful firm leaders?

Twice a week I’ll send the latest actionable ideas to your inbox. Just tell me where to send them and let’s get some clients rolling in…

Transcript

Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Gordon and today we got a really unique episode for you. We’ve never done this before on the podcast and so we’re working without a net today. You get to watch as we do that. My guest today is somebody that is a new friend and is a fellow podcast host. I’m talking today with Jamie O’Kane. She’s a CPA. She’s got an accounting firm in Centennial, Colorado. The firm is JE O’Kane CPA, and she’s been in accounting since 2003. Her firm focuses on providing advanced tax planning strategies, tax prep, growth consulting, accounting services for women-owned veterinarian and dental practices across the country, which I think is a super cool way to define your ideal client. That’s very specific. And so today we’re actually gonna, we’re gonna brainstorm some of Jamie’s marketing and kind of talk through strategy and you guys are gonna get to listen along as we do that. So, before we get into that, Jamie, give everybody a little bit of background on you. How’d you get to this point? You’ve got a podcast called the Abundant Beans Podcast. You’re doing all kinds of great stuff. How’d you get here?

How Jamie Got to This Point In Her Career

Jamie O’Kane: So I grew up in Golden Colorado, home of Coors Beer, and then I ended up going to CSU, Colorado State University. Hopped around five or six majors. Finally ended up in the business school in my first accounting class, I went, Oh, this is the thing that makes sense. Oh, debits and credits and, you know, formulations and things like that. So that’s how I ended up in accounting. I think that was my fourth year in college. So I did all my upper-level classes in one year between three different schools to get them done. Married my husband the year we graduated. So we met Junior years at CSU. He grew up about 30 minutes for me. So we were both natives, Denver natives which is rare right now. We have two kiddos. They’re 11 and nine and we’re doing distance learning right now, which is painful for all of us. We’ve assigned each kid a parent coordinator. Thankfully, there’s just two of them. Man to man coverages our preference. We had a golden retriever for thirteen years. He died last year, this time. And then we just adopted a new kitty. I worked in public accounting for a medium-sized, well, for a small firm in Colorado Springs. And then medium-sized firm in the Denver Tech Center as the tax manager for like eight or nine years. And then I went to a family office environment which was absolutely not my jam because I wasn’t helping anybody. I was just doing data entry on tax returns for Scrooge McDuck, basically. So that wasn’t my jam. And so good friend of mine, I was like, Hey, can you come help me with some of this work I have? You’re the person I trust. You know, come jump. And I was like, I don’t know. Same day, I got a call from a guy to do contract work, contract tax work. And I was like, Okay, I guess I’m jumping. Fun part was we were in the middle of houses. We were living with my mom. We sold our house and looking for another one. So that was fun. My poor husband. My husband is a mechanical engineer and very much likes security and things to stay the same. He got the, we call it the roots and the wings. He’s the roots. I’m the wings. So he deals with change, basically. He’s the same exact person I married. I’m not the person he married but he shifts and changes. So that’s how my firm got started. It’s been a ride. You know, we went, you know, from, you know, just me, we now have a staff of four. And we just picked the niche about six or seven months ago. Took me forever to decide, you know, who do we want to work with. And that’s really just veterinarians and dentists, especially women-owned. They want to build sustainable practices, they don’t want to do what’s always been done. You know, they’re changing the game. And that’s fun for us to watch these people grow and reach the goals. So I think that pretty much answers all that. We started the podcast about a year and a half ago. We’re on about 80 episodes at the time of this recording, I think. And it’s really fun. It’s one of my favorite things to do, meet new people.

Steve: It is awesome. And it’s a lot of fun to do. So tell me again, how long has your firm been around? When did you start?

Jamie: We’ve been around since about 2003, I think.

Steve: Okay, so you’ve been

Jamie: Oh, no. 2013.

Steve: 2013 Okay. So that I mean, that’s a significant, we’re recording this in 2020. So seven years, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Jamie: Yeah, I mean, we got over that three to five-year hump. You know, I’m constantly changing how we do stuff. We do subscription-based, or subscription-based billing. So all our clients pay monthly, which is fabulous. Takes the cashflow situation, makes it easier for us which makes it easier for the client and then we don’t do time tracking, which is amazing.

Steve: Yes. I had to do time tracking in my first business and that was one of the, I had a handful of principles that I kind of wrote down in my notebook when I was starting this one and one of them was I’m not tracking time anymore. The other one was no receivables either. So everything’s paid upfront.

Jamie: Yeah, I mean, we have a small amount receivables. We do some projects work for clients, some consulting, things like that. You know, one-off projects. those have receivables sometimes but, you know, my team tracks time because a lot of them are hourly But I don’t look at it. I don’t really care. You know, unless it’s just like, Whoa, that’s way over what happened, I just can’t. I have head trash around time tracking and I just refuse to.

Steve: Yeah. Well, so I think maybe the best place to start is with this decision that you made around, you know, focusing on women-owned veterinarian dental practices in the US. That’s a bold move. I mean, I work with businesses all the time that are struggling with this idea of who are they targeting? Who’s your ideal client? You got really specific there. What was that, making that decision like and what led you to it?

How Jamie Found Her Niche

Jamie: You know, I listened to a lot of podcasts. I talked to a lot of people I listened to a lot of experts, you know, and you know, the way to grow is to specialize, is to pick a niche. And I struggled. The struggle with that, because I’ve always worked In general firms, you know, with lots of different types of companies. We have a ton of different types of, you know, businesses and owners. We have rentals, we have engineers, we have a really good sampling of businesses. And I’ve always worked with a good sampling of businesses. And it’s been fun and interesting to do that. And that’s how I learned, you know, I learned in a firm that had everything from you know, Wendy’s franchises with 12 stores to, you know, mom and pop down the street, you know, sandwich shop. So it was really nice to always have kind of that variety of different kinds of companies. But, you know, I really got to the point where I knew that picking a niche was gonna really help our growth. But it was just what did we want to do for our clients wasn’t very clear for me, because tax returns are not fun. Tax returns don’t value add, but tax planning does. So it was who can we tax plan for, who can we get more cash to run sustainable businesses, who really wants to do that? And then who do we really want to work with? You know, demographically psychographically. You know, who are those people? Demographically, I just love women-owned businesses because they want to build sustainable businesses because they don’t want to work 80 hours. They have families, they have things they want to do, they know what they want a lot of the time too. I mean, we don’t ask women a lot of time what they want, but generally, they know. And women are graduating at a much higher rate for dental and veterinary schools. So they’re also the ones that are coming out and being associates and buying businesses and creating businesses. And then veterinarians, they’re our big push right now. That’s where we’re really going after. Veterinarians are doctors, so they’re very smart people, but they also don’t think they know more than they know about business and accounting and things like that. So I’ve run into a lot of doctors, I’ve worked with a lot of different types of doctors and they tend to be know it alls, which is just the way they work and that’s how they do things and that’s how they y are so that they can be really good doctors. But I like to work with people who listen to what I tell them to do, because I know my stuff. And I want them to trust me as their partner. So that’s kind of how we picked, that’s pretty much how we picked women-owned veterinarians. Actually, a really good friend of mine was like, how about veterinarians? And I was like, Oh, I didn’t even consider veterinarians. I didn’t know why I didn’t, I just never did. Everybody goes after dentists or it goes after, you know, the large, you know, so he was like what about veterinarians? And we had just been going through a whole bunch of stuff with our golden retriever at the time. Hospitals and or, you know, our veterinarian and just a lot of stuff. And I was like, they’re just all so cool. Like, they were just not only are they like, amazing and knowledgeable and take really good care of us and him but they were just cool characters and on top of all of that, and I was like, oh, maybe those are my people. So a good friend of mine is actually a veterinarian in Texas and I was like, Can I just pick your brain for an hour? You know, and I was giving value at the time or I’ll buy Starbucks or, you know, whatever. She’s like, sure. And so we just sat down and talked. And at the end of that, I was like, so you said cash flow was your big issue. And she’s like, Yeah, I was like, let’s just talk through that. And so I gave her like some steps to do to, you know, kind of help with our cash flow and production. And like, a couple of weeks later, I checked in and she goes Jamie, I fired two techs I’ve hired two techs, everybody’s in. You know, and she’s like, I fired the people who weren’t in on the new regime, like cash flow, and like, things are good. And I’m just, like, happy to help. And it just, it was awesome. It was really awesome. And I was like, these are my people. You know, they’re cool, peeps.

Steve: You know, if I can kind of break down what you did there because you did everything right. And, you know, you started thinking about where can you add value. So of all the things that you do, what adds value, but adds it in a way that makes you money at the same time, right?

Jamie: And what’s fun for us.

Steve: Yeah, and fun for you. And that’s kind of what we always want people to focus in on is where’s the profit and the fun and the value for the client? When you find the intersection of that, that’s a good clue about where your ideal clients are living. But then you kind of took it into the, you know, how they think. And you observe like, Okay, we got these two groups of professionals, they’ve got the money, they can pay us, they have big problems that we can solve and I like the way that they think, right? And when you put all of that together, it’s the recipe for a really easy to run business.

Jamie: Yeah. And that’s, and I think that was, you know, that was my struggle too. Like I’m a CPA, like, very detail-oriented. I’m very observant, but it also takes me a long time to make decisions sometimes because I wanted to make the right decision because once I make a decision, I just go for it full blast, right? So I’m, if you guys are a disk people, I’m a CD. So as much as soon as I have enough info, I hit it hard. So it’s, you know, it takes sometimes takes me a really long time to get all that info but once we do it like, I know that it’s the right decision. So full in.

Steve: That’s great So you’ve been doing that now for a little while kind of with that focus. And you’ve got a lot of really good different marketing happening. So what’s your big challenge right now trying to push out into this market?

Jamie: Yeah, so our big challenge right now is, I feel like we have a lot of, I have a lot of the pieces running, but I know that some of them are missing. And I guess, you know, one of my bits of confusion is like, the strategy around all of it. Like I don’t, nobody’s ever handed me a plan. Like, this is how, you know, because I have a Podcast. Producer, he does some of our, he does a lot of the cutting up of our episodes and the content generation and things like that for us. But he’s also doing like Instagram posts and stuff like that. And then I’ve got two websites. So the podcast is on its own website, and then the firm is on its own website. And I, you know, somebody asked me the other day, what was the reason for that? And I have reasons for that but maybe they weren’t the right reasons. So it’s like I have these, all these pieces that don’t really fit together in a cohesive holistic plan that I understand. That’s really what it comes down to. I’m very strategy-minded. So like I said, we do advanced tech strategy. I like strategy. So I feel like we have nuts and bolts, like some most of them, but I just don’t understand what we’re building. We have content. I have a ton of content.

Steve: Yeah, you’re prolific. We’re connected on social media now and you’re constantly out there posting stuff. It’s amazing. So with these two groups, events in the dentist, at this stage, would you describe yourself as being all-in on those markets?

Discover Where Your Leads are and Have a Presence There

Jamie: Yes. Definitely. We’ve been going real hard on the veterinarian market. I did a lot, of I’ve been doing a lot of LinkedIn outreach. The veterinarians really aren’t on LinkedIn. I’m finding out they’re apparently on Facebook. But the people who serve them are. so I’ve made a lot of really good partner connections in the veterinarian space. If you want to go meet them, they’re all on my podcasts. So you talk about using podcasts to give people value. That’s the purpose of the podcast for me in hitting that niche.

Steve: Yeah. And I think that’s great. And if you think about it, it makes sense that the veterinarians are going to be more on Facebook because that’s where their people are. That’s where you share pictures of your pet, not on LinkedIn, right?

Jamie: Exactly.

Steve: And I would actually think that if the dentists are anywhere, they’re probably on Facebook or Instagram, you know? Particularly orthodontists. So, okay, well, that, so that kind of gives me a little bit of a picture. So right now, you’ve got a site for the firm and you’ve got a site for the podcast. And have you thought at all about for each of these groups, what they’re kind of driving, like daily frustration or their problem is? What’s kind of on their mind, that’s in the realm of what you solve?

Jamie: Yeah. So a lot of it is, you know, around cash base planning, around projections and budgets and, you know, tax savings, entity strategy. You know, the fun stuff. I’m also a certified tax coach. So, you know, my brain is tax strategy.

Steve: I’m just trying to visualize like a veterinarian. Are they walking around, kind of, you know, I like the vet we take our dog to just trying to picture her walking around what she’s thinking about during the day. I’m gonna guess it’s not like entity structure.

Jamie: No, it probably isn’t. It’s how do I keep our money in my business.

Steve: Okay. So and that would be probably a lot around cash flow, and maybe some of the other things that you do. But I’ll bet they understand cash flow, or at least the term. They know that they need it, maybe.

Jamie: He’s looking at my face right now making, yeah, they probably understand that they don’t have enough cash, or they feel like they don’t have enough cash.

Steve: How do they tend to approach their accounting? Like, are they mostly like checkbook business owners? If I got money in the checkbook or in the checking account, I’m good.

Jamie: I think most business owners are that way. I don’t really know very many business owners that are actually like, Oh, I looked at my p&l and x&y.

Steve: Yeah. So, you know, where we’re trying to go here is understanding, like, how they’re thinking about this stuff on a daily basis. Because the first hurdle you got to get over is how am I going to communicate with them? And all of the complicated stuff that you’re amazing at, if you come at, you know, a veterinarian or a dentist with that they’re gonna go, What? I’m not even thinking about any of that. I don’t even know if I have those problems because they do but they don’t, they’re not qualified to even know they have the problem. Sort of like if we go to the dentist, you know, we’re not qualified to know we’ve got a problem in our mouths, right? You know, they look around in there and they go, Oh, you know, it’s gonna be $5000. You need the surgery.

Jamie: Actually, funny story. So I had a root canal, January 2. They had to create five different crowns. I think we might be on our fourth crown and then this whole COVID thing happened. So I have a temporary crown right now, but I have been through the crown fitting process five times now. I actually think I could probably do it at this point.

Steve: You might. Yeah, you may be qualified for that.

Jamie: I might be qualified now.

Steve: But, you know, that, so there’s often a big disconnect there. So you’re doing a lot of social media, you’ve got the podcast, what else are you doing marketing-wise? How else are you reaching them?

Jamie: That’s where it all kind of goes sideways.

Steve: Okay. How are they, are they finding you right now?

Jamie: They do through LinkedIn, through the LinkedIn outreach. And then also through, you know, other partners, I have that service. It’s been referral-based, things like that.

Steve: Your LinkedIn outreach, you’re kind of reaching out and connecting either directly with the vet or with a just, okay with a partner. Okay. So have you ever thought about putting a book together for the events?

Jamie: Yeah. So that’s on my list of things that need to be done. So I guess, you know, here’s where it kind of all goes sideways for me is me having to create all this content.

Steve: Oh, yeah. You don’t have to do that, though.

Jamie: I know. That’s why I think, and that’s why our current marking machine is kind of keeps failing because I’m supposed to be putting together stuff. And it’s like, I do the podcast. What else do you want me to do? Like, that’s where my energy goes.

Steve: Well, so the podcast is really, really great. We’ve been doing them for a long time now. And we work with a lot of businesses that are doing them. One of the things that we found with the podcast is that it is the most amazing conversion tool.

Jamie: Mm-hmm. We love it.

Steve: So when somebody listens to it, you know, they subscribe to it and they’re hearing your voice and, you know, you’re very engaging on the podcast and they’re gonna feel like they know you, right? And I think we may have talked about this before on your podcast. Yeah. And you’ve got this great asset there, where they’re getting to know you. And they need to know you because at the end of the day, when you’re in, you know, this kind of business, you’re more of the product than you maybe believe you are, right?

Jamie: Or we want to be.

Steve: Right. Yeah, we often don’t want that. But I mean, people are connecting with the, you know, the person in the business.

Jamie: That’s right. It’s relationship-based. Especially with what we sell, it has to be relationship-based.

Steve: Totally. Yeah. Well, I mean, you’re gonna advise someone on how they’re building their wealth through their business. I mean, you’re holding a pretty trusted position. So the podcast is there, and it’s doing it. I mean, everything you guys are doing with the podcast, I think hits that. But just from what we’ve talked and about what I’ve observed, it looks like you’re missing that kind of crucial lead generation piece.

Jamie: Yes. Absolutely.

How You Are Actually Doing Favors For Your Leads

Steve: And you said you’ve got all of these pieces out there, you can’t quite figure out how they kind of fit together. You may or may not need all of them, okay? But you need one thing that’s going to generate the right kind of lead. And generate that lead so that they’re coming into you on, I like to call it like they’re coming in on a vector, okay? So I’ll give you an example. So just in the last month or two, I released a book called Podcast Prospecting. And when someone requests that book, whether it’s been shared by a partner or through maybe an ad that we’re running, I know some things about that person already. And they’ve kind of told me some things. They told me Hey, I two things. Number one, I need clients. And number two, I have at least a passing interest in having a podcast enough to have requested this book and it’s also going to kind of repel people that aren’t going to be good prospects, right? That’s one of the really great things about using a book like that. First of all, it’s very high value. People look at it like it’s extremely high perceived value. And so they’ll tend to jump at the chance to get it. It’s a non-threatening sort of format. And it’s easy to go to a partner, you’re building all these great partnerships. It’s easy to go to a partner who has got a bunch of veterinarians as clients and say, Hey, I just wrote this book. And, you know, I’m on a mission to totally transform the way that veterinarians handle their cash flow and make money and save money and hang on to their money. And that’s why I wrote the book because I see them making mistakes all the time. And I’m on a mission to get this in the hands of as many veterinarians across the country, you know, as I can. And I’d love to sit down with you and brainstorm who we could send it to. And what you do is you give yourself a way to number one, take all of those relationships and turn them into opportunities to generate leads. And at the same time, you’re going to be doing them a favor. You know, and a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their heads around this. Well, how am I doing the partner a favor? They really need to give value to everybody in their network. If they can show up and say, Hey, I came across this great book by a colleague of mine, I thought it might benefit you, it gives them an excuse to go talk to that prospect veterinarian, you know? It gives them an excuse to go talk to their client again and to be valuable again. And so you’re actually helping them. But at the same time, you now know if you create the right book and the right title, you know, and one of those vets comes and requests it because it’s been referenced like that, now you know a lot about that veterinarian coming into you and you get them coming to you. And I think that’s, as I’m listening to what you’ve got, I think that’s the missing piece. And while you’re doing all around that with all the social media and all that stuff, all of that’s great, but it doesn’t, it usually doesn’t do the heavy lifting of lead generation by itself, because it’s not specific enough. You’re sort of just hoping that somebody will see my one of my social posts, and then they’ll subscribe to the podcast, and then maybe they’ll come along. And, you know, you’re relying on a lot of luck there.

Jamie: Exactly. And that’s and, you know, I’ve realized that. Like, we’ve done all this content generation, it’s working, like people are finding me on Google Now. Like, what is a piece that’s actually gonna start paying me for all this work?

Steve: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So and I think that’s the, you know, that’s the missing piece. So if you’ve got something like, if you can create something like that, it doesn’t have to be a long book, it just needs to have a really great title that’s really attractive to that person. I’ll tell you another story, a mistake that I made. So I have two books that are basically on the same topic. One is called Podcast Prospecting and the earlier book is called the Exponential Network Strategy. The Exponential Network Strategy is a title that an engineer wrote. And I’m the engineer. It’s an awful title. Nobody knew what the heck that was. And the book didn’t work. It just totally failed because people didn’t look at it when they saw it and go, Oh, yeah, I get it. I need that, you know? And so as you’re doing this, you want to think about, like working from what you’re trying to sell to them and kind of working your way backwards to what’s the sort of tip of the spear idea like that, you know, we talked about a few minutes ago, that problem idea. You know, that painful thing. The thing they’re worried about. And if it’s, you know, if it’s cash or cash flow, or, you know, profitability or any of those sorts of things, that’s the title of your book. It’s the tip of the spear. And then the book kind of, the job of the book is if they read it, it sort of logically walks them, you know, a chapter at a time back towards Jamie’s the person I need, okay? And so when you’ve got that in place now you can do Google ads and really target it at people that are searching about problems around a veterinary practice. You could do Facebook ads if they’re on Facebook and you can identify them. A lot of things open up to you and you’ve got all these partners. And all of a sudden, you can create massive numbers of leads just like that. And you’ve already got, you’ve got the one great asset that a lot of people are missing, and that’s the podcast. So once they come into your world, you got a way to stay in front of them every week.

Jamie: Yeah, it’s funny. Everybody talks to us like, well, you have content. That’s a bonus. I was like, good, cuz that’s the thing that keeps me up at night. You know, creating more content.

Steve: Yeah, well, and I don’t, I think you’re creating a ton. You probably even don’t need it all, and certainly, you don’t need to be the one creating it because you’re already creating all the spoken content. And it’s easy enough to get a team to, you know, do all of the creation off of that. Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah. I hand all that over. That’s not my expertise.

Improving Your Market Segmentation

Steve: Perfect. I think the way you want to be thinking about this is it’s like you’ve got two paths in. One for the vets and one for the dentists. You’ve probably got a book that’s about, started for the vets and I would imagine about 70 or 80% of that will be able to be copied and pasted into a book for the dentists, right? And then copied and pasted into a book for the next niche you add on if you decide to. And now your marketing system is really simple. You’ve got these books that are generating leads through all the partners. You’ve got ads if you want to run ads offering the books, you’ve got direct mail if you want to do direct mail to them because you’re, you’ve got such a defined market. You can, you know, you can look at how are all the different ways I can now get in front of them and, you know, and maybe one quarter of the year at a time, you look at, you know, taking a little bit of your profit and saying, Okay, well, I’m gonna experiment with another way, you know? So start with your partners. And then, you know, as you add clients through that, go, Okay, well, let’s do some Google ads. Okay, let’s, you know, that’s working. Next quarter, let’s do some Facebook ads, you know, and layer these on top one at a time. You know, and then maybe after that you do direct mail. Direct mail is dramatically underrated and very effective, particularly to the kind of audience you’re going after, and they’re worth enough to you for it to give you an ROI. You know, and you can directly identify them and so like the way we approach it is, you know, we have a concept called the target 100. So we have a list of a hundred firms that we’re going after right now that we can identify. And, you know, and so there, that’s how we do the direct mail. So we’re not spending $20,000 a month on direct mail. We’re spending a very small amount, but to a very targeted group. You know, so there’s ways that you can do all of that. But what you do when you get to the point where you’ve got these two working sort of lead generators in the books, is that you don’t have to worry about like your underlying marketing system. It’s just how many different ways can I send people an offer for the book. And once they get that they’re now coming into our system. They’re going to get followed up with for as long as they stay around until they buy, until they become a client. And to contrast that against what a lot of folks do is they say, Oh, I don’t know how I’m going to get clients. And so I’m just going to try all kinds of stuff. I’m going to post everywhere. I’m going to create all this content. And you really don’t need all that. It’s really, really simple. Yeah, I think that’ll make a dramatic difference for you.

Jamie: Yeah. So I guess part of the hang-up for us is this like follow up system situation. I keep getting asked, oh, well, you have your email list, right? No, no, I don’t have my email list. There’s no email list.

Steve: How are you promoting the podcast?

Jamie: I mean, there’s been some. Just organically. It’s been all, you know, through LinkedIn and through our, you know, our guests and all of that. So that’s the big way that we’ve been promoting the podcast.

Steve: So yeah. You want to start an email list yesterday.

Jamie: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, no, I should probably should have done it two years ago. I have one that I don’t use that hasn’t been updated.

Steve: Yeah, yeah. So the flow would be, you know, somebody gets an offer for the book, whether it’s a partner says, you know, sends an email out and says, Hey, you know, my colleague Jamie put this great book together just for veterinarians, you know, and she gave me the chance to give it away for free. Here’s a link to go get it. And then the ones that are interested now will click that link. Come request it. You want to capture those people, obviously, in your email list, and then, yeah, you definitely want the email address for all of them. And then every week you’re sending out that new episode.

Jamie: Oh, so we’re just, so I think that’s where like, I get a lot of head trash is like, do I have to write stuff every week? Or do we just send the podcast?

Steve: You just send the podcast. So we, the way we do it, we write a little couple paragraph or a paragraph. Kind of an intro for here’s what this episode is about to entice people to want to go and listen to it, right? You know, and that’s all that is in that email along with a link to go and listen. And then below that, yeah, well, that we just put here a few ways we can help you. You know, and that goes in every one of them because in every one of those emails, we want to be able to tell them, you know, when you’re ready, here’s, you know, here’s how we help. And, you know, we list, you know, one or two or three different ways we can help and how they can get in touch with us about that. So that way, everybody that we’re attracting all these leads that we’re attracting, now we’re going to be in front of them every week with some interesting and valuable content because the podcast is great for that. And you’re particularly good at that medium. I mean, I’ve listened to a number of the episodes at this point. I’ve probably listened to a couple dozen because we’ve known each other for a while now. And, you know, it just keeps showing up every week. So, you know, you just have this way of like, people get to know you through it. You know, and that’s a huge asset, but I don’t think you need to create a whole lot of other content beyond that. I think you just email that out.

Jamie: Awesome. That makes it simpler. Because I’m already doing that, right?

Steve: You’re already doing all of the hard work.

Jamie: Yeah. I didn’t know that podcast hosting was one of my strengths. But apparently, my father in law was like, Did you like, learn how to do this? Or, I was like, no, I just ask people questions. I’m a professional question asker Haven’t you met me?

Steve: Yeah, yeah. You’re a natural. So, but I think with those couple of things in place, you ought to be able to get to whatever goal you want with that group. How many clients are you hoping to add over the next year, year and a half?

Jamie: We are looking for about 50 clients.

Steve: That’s a really achievable number.

Jamie: Yeah, we don’t need very many. What we do is just so high ticket. Tax planning is very high ticket.

Steve: Yeah, very much so. Very achievable number, you know, and this kind of approach will take it out of the realm of I hope they see my post and it will put it into something that you can really measure, which I imagine will, you know, that’ll really appeal to the accounted

Jamie: Yes. Yeah, that’s the part where it just gets all very sideways for me is like, how do we track all this? How do we know it’s working? How did not know it’s working? You know, what’s happening.

Steve: Yeah. Does that help bring it together? I know you first started, you’re like, I don’t have the overarching kind of strategy and how to pull it all together and all the pieces. Is that cleared up?

Jamie: Yeah, that’s really helpful.

Steve: Okay. Are there parts of it that are maybe not as clear?

Jamie: No, I don’t think, I don’t, I guess, you know, the thing for me is, you know, creating the thing, and then you know, that email follow up system, like who’s doing that? Yeah, who’s doing all that? You know, and how do we create that and what does that look like? And all of that is really, you know, I get caught in the weeds on, you know, what’s happening on the back end too. Like I said, so, like I needed some help with the strategy. And that’s, really, I’ve talked to a bunch of people and really is kind of what they do anyway, you know, or that’s what they’ve said. So it’s like, I’ve actually talked to three different people this week. And so your explanation really just kind of solidified it for me. But yeah, it’s just all this back end creation and adding, you know, creating stuff and putting stuff together and whatever. And it’s just, that’s where I get to the point where I’m just like, ugh, so much work.

Steve: Yeah. So the next question is, who do you have on your team that can do it? And I bet you have somebody. If you’ve got somebody doing all of the social media content and all that, the skill set is not really very different to be able to do the technical stuff for the email list and some of that other things, you know?

Jamie: Yeah, I guess, so, she, another thing that came up for us is, you know, we have two different websites. You know, and why we have two different websites and if they’re working for us the way we want them to. Which is a really interesting question because when we put it all together, when we put the podcast together, you know, I had reasons to have two different, or have a different website for the podcast. But now I’m not sure.

Steve: What was your thinking?

Jamie: Well, because I’m a CPA, there’s just liability stuff that I just don’t want to potentially deal with. If, you know, I don’t know, well, you know, what do I know about that? And then the other part was, I don’t, I mean, I don’t love the CPA branding. And I didn’t really want to create another item with SEPA colors and branding and stuff. So, you know, it was part of the beautification options. You know, I really wanted different branding, I guess.

Steve: Okay. You know, I’m not a big fan of doing multiple sites like that for most businesses because it overcomplicates the, you know, the maintenance and management of it all, but

Jamie: And that’s where it all gets confusing for me because it’s like creating an email list and like, but do we do it here, or do it here, or does it

Steve: Well, you do it both. Why not do both?

Jamie: Yeah, I mean, we can. We can just put them together. But

Steve: I mean, no matter where somebody comes to you if they are, you know, if they’re interested in what you’re doing, you know, you may categorize them in multiple ways, you know? So if they come through, you know, let’s say you’ve got the book in place, and somebody requests that, you know a lot about him at that point, if it’s the vet book. Let’s say, you know, they’re a vet, as opposed to a dentist or an engineer, or whoever else. You know, and so you can categorize them like that if they come in just for the podcast and you don’t know much about them, you can kind of categorize them that way. And all the email marketing systems do that. So I don’t see that as being a big roadblock. No, and you want to collect those leads in both places and you want them to go into the same database and then just categorize them within the database based on, you know, where they have come from and what they, what actions they’ve taken. And that’s a relatively simple thing to do, but don’t let that be a roadblock, you know, trying to determine where it exists. And that’s one of the reasons, you know, I always will caution people about setting up multiple websites because it creates this instant need every time you do something to make a decision.

Jamie: Yes. And that’s where it all kind of, you know, it’s like, oh, I have to like, like you said, like, maybe I have too many pieces. And I think that might actually be the case. You know, we created more complexity around something that probably didn’t need to have complexity around it.

Steve: But you got it now. So I mean, unless you’re gonna go and wrap it together. I think you just add email marketing to it. And I think you just carry on from there. I would, you know, I would put the books on the accounting website as opposed to on the podcast website. But other than that little detail.

Jamie: Yeah, you’re right. It does just kind of create this well, do we put it here? Is it accounting? Or is it podcasting? Is it a book?

Steve: Well, one way to look at that is that if it’s a podcast episode, it goes on the podcast site and everything else goes on the accounting site. And then you’ve kind of got a division of labor. And there are, you know, you’re in a profession where the liability issue is not trivial.

Jamie: No, it’s not.

Steve: You know, and so there may be good reason to have them separate.

Jamie: Yeah, that’s all really helpful. I made lots of drawings. There’s lots of arrows. Which means I’ll come back later and be like,

Steve: What did that all mean?

Jamie: Brain mapping, except it’s now in my brain because I drew things.

Steve: Yeah, well, yeah, I think you’ve got a ton of opportunity. Jamie: So can I ask you what mail system, email system do you guys prefer?

Steve: That’s a challenging question. So we’ve used so much depends on kind of where you are, but based on what I know about kind of where you are right, now, the two, that are probably the best for where you’re at are going to be MailChimp, and my preference would be ConvertKit. And ConvertKit is really simple to use, but it’s got a lot of power behind it that’s pretty accessible. MailChimp is really simple to use. They’re adding a lot of power, it’s not quite as accessible from my experience. You know, you got to kind of dig into it a little bit deeper. But those would be the two. They’re both really easy. They’re both inexpensive. They both work great. You know, and whoever’s handling your website should be able to set up, you know, the pages where people opt-in, you know? And you really only need, you need one, maybe for people to get on your newsletter, you know, or just subscribe to the podcast so that they get that every week. And you need one for, you know, for each book that you create. And that’s it. So maybe three pages tops that they need to create that would be hooked up to the email system.

Jamie: So that we know where they’re coming from.

Steve: Exactly.

Jamie: Okay. Helpful. Thank you.

Steve: You’re welcome. Well, I hope this has been fun. This has been really different. I didn’t know how this is gonna work when we started out, but I appreciate you playing along.

Jamie: Absolutely. I’m always good to, you know, do something different.

Steve: Awesome.

Jamie: Yeah. And it’s always nice to hash the through a problem with another expert.

Steve: Well, so for folks who want to tune into the podcast, and they absolutely should, because you’ve got some amazing guests.

Jamie: Including you.

Steve: Well, thank you. Where would they find the podcast? What’s the best place for them to go?

Jamie: So we, you can go to the website, which is abundantbeans.com. We also do video so we’re also on YouTube. If you want to watch me make a lot of faces, you can do that. I make faces, lots of them. My producer likes to do stills of my face and, you know, do fun stuff. And he’s really humbled me basically on that.

Steve: That’s why I don’t do video.

Jamie: You can go to the website and then you can do video or audio from there. And we’re on all the audio platforms. Pick one. We’re there. And if we’re not, let me know and we’ll be there.

Steve: Absolutely. So abundantbeans.com. And if folks want to find out more about what you do on the accounting side, where do they go?

Jamie: It’s jeokanecpa.com.

Steve: Awesome. We’ll link that up in the notes. Thanks for spending a little time with me.

Jamie: Or hit me up on LinkedIn. That’s a good one.

Steve: Yeah. Awesome. And you post some amazing stuff over there. So

Jamie: There is this, it’s just a constant generation content up there. I know I have people be like, it’s amazing. And I’m like, cool. Glad you like it. Because I’m just trying to keep up.

Steve: I’m on to the next.

Jamie: Yeah, I’m on to the next. We’re moving on. Next podcast. Let’s go.

Steve: Absolutely. Hey, well, thanks for being here and great to see you again.

Jamie: Thanks for having me. We’ll talk soon.

The Pre-Sell Formula
9-Part Email Course

We care about keeping our email list very clean. We will NEVER spam, sell, or rent your emails. You can unsubscribe at any time (and your email will be permanently deleted). Please feel safe to use your primary email address.