Published by AccountingToday on October 27, 2016
Let’s not ignore the 500lb (orange or blonde, you pick) gorilla in the room. Like ‘em or hate ‘em, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are on everyone’s minds right now. And with the election just a few short weeks away (can’t get here soon enough in my opinion), the chatter around them is going to increase significantly.
People are concerned about how this election will impact them personally and professionally. As an advisor to your clients, you’ve likely had some questions about how Clinton’s tax plan will affect their take home pay or how Trump’s tax plan will hit their business’ bottom line. It’s usually not recommended to mix politics with client work; the resulting concoction can be extremely volatile. However, I’m here to tell you to throw that hesitation out the window.
Concerned or just curious, clients want to know what might happen to their finances once the election is decided in November – so talk to them about it! Discussing the candidates’ potential impact doesn’t mean you have to advocate for one or the other, it simply means taking a look at what they’ve proposed and then assessing those theoretical plans in the context of your clients and their goals. Put on your big girl pants and take a clinical look at possible outcomes for your clients should Trump’s or Clinton’s tax plans be implemented, and objectively provide that information to your clients.
Here are some suggestions for delicately taking on this often touchy subject:
- Write a comparison blog post: Not certain you want to start this conversation in person? Write a post where you compare the possible impact of the different tax plans. If you focus on a particular niche, view the proposed changes and regulatory updates through that industry’s lens. Clearly and concisely lay out, based on the information you have at your disposal, how the election results could impact your clients.
- Make it a Q&A post instead: If you’ve already been hit with questions from clients, jot them down, along with your answers. This would essentially be another sort of blog post that you put on your site, but instead of you directing the content, it’s driven by your clients.
- Send out a newsletter: Take your posts and add them to your newsletter, making it the top story and incorporating the post into your subject line to generate more interest. This way you are pushing the content out versus letting people stumble upon it.
- Chat with certain clients directly: This isn’t a practical option to pursue with everyone you assist, but for your larger, key clients who may have a lot at stake depending on who wins the White House, proactively reach out and say “In case you were wondering what sort of an effect the election will have on your business, we ran these comparisons…”
- Stick it on social media: Any content you create absolutely MUST be shared on social media, paying special attention to election and candidate hashtags so that you show up in those searches.
Providing this information to clients can help clarify misconceptions they may have, alleviate some worries and further cement that you have their best interests at heart and are there to serve. All of these are great, but there’s a bit more to it, at least from my perspective. Just like sex sells, heated politics sells as well. Admit it, you saw the names Trump and Clinton in the title of this post and curiosity got the best of you and you HAD to click. That was the plan and it worked beautifully. Reading those names gets people’s attention and prompts interaction. Everyone is so fervently on one side or the other and passions are running high. Capitalize on that! Use this extremely click-worthy subject to drive traffic to your site, and thereby, more attention to your firm. Power to the people!