Find Your Tax Guy...on TikTok?

(8 min read) Duke Alexander Moore on doing Creators' taxes, going deep on community, and ByteDance's answer to Google Workspace

Duke Alexander Moore

Follower count is a vanity metric, which is a metric that doesn't really translate into business success.

We have creators with millions of followers not making that many dollars.

We work with Creators with five to ten thousand followers, and they could easily see six figures a year.

Duke Alexander Moore has over 3.7M social followers from educating people - primarily Creators - on everyone’s least favorite topic: TAXES!

By providing useful tax advice that builds his audience’s trust, he’s parlayed his TikTok-heavy audience into a lucrative, subscription tax management business.

Let’s get into it!

Links

The Business

Breakdown

Observations

Duke appears to buck the “conventional wisdom” that’s been floating around since VidCon 2022 - that TikTok Creators can’t actually drive audience spending.

After all, he’s built a lucrative subscription-based accounting firm.

Despite how effective TikTok has been at driving awareness of his content, though, Instagram has been disproportionately powerful to Duke’s business, driving nearly a third of his revenue despite representing only 4% of his audience.

What's more important is not the follower count…Now, it's all about the depth. It's about how deeply you can connect with your community…

I can build a much deeper community and connection with my followers on Instagram versus TikTok. I don't know why…But if someone's following you on Instagram, well, they're down for you. They're like my ride-or-dies.

Duke didn’t originally have his own accounting firm; instead, as he’d refer followers to to another company and get a referral fee. Eventually, the strategy backfired as the firm he’d refer to would do subpar work and make him look bad.

…it started to ruin my brand, and I would get comments about it due to my association with them….

I cut ties with them. I thought, 'Okay, let me start my own firm.’

He decided to invest in himself, taking the revenue from a particularly large brand deal and re-investing it to hire a team and launch Duke Tax.

Demand was so high, he couldn’t handle it all.

We had come to a point where, like, 'Okay, we’ve got to niche down.'

So we niched down to just small business owners, and then eventually we started getting more and more Creators.

Since then, he’s developed content and sales strategies to shake the right customers out of the TikTok algorithm.

His content strategy consists of:

  • General - News and tips that apply to everyone. These are the best performing, but don’t necessarily turn into revenue.

  • Entrepreneur - Content focused on educating small business owners; these do well and drive the most business for Duke Tax.

  • Creators - This is his passion; the direct ROI on this isn’t as high as the Entrepreneur content, but he’s influencing the influencers, driving word-of-mouth.

Our biggest creators, some of them come to us through these channels, but I would say the best way to attract these major creators is definitely word of mouth.

Once a Creator-Entrepreneur is interested in his services, his funnel is a Creator-friendly process that prioritizes mobile communication, video explainers, and even iMessage.

I bought the whole team iPhones, because Creators are more likely to respond to a blue message than a green message.

Duke understands his customer better than most Creator Economy startup teams, many of whom are still trying to do screenshares on desktop.

Here’s what the sales funnel looks like for potential Duke Tax customers:

  1. Drive them to WorkWithDuke.com

    • It’s an application! Serious customers only.

  2. They get a text after filling it out, which sends them to pricing info

  3. Leads get viability scores based on their applications

    • Referrals are prioritized

  4. They get sent a video explaining what the first call will look like

    • Less sales, more digging in to tax problems

    • 20% booking rate after that

  5. Duke runs automated follow ups from there

Brand partnerships provide about 11% of his revenue, but he doesn’t think of them as money in his pocket - he thinks of them as investments in his business.

We're a 100% bootstrapped shop, and I used all of my brand deals just to fund, fund, fund.

If we need to raise more money, I will take more brand deals. But if we don't, I'll be more selective.

I still always make sure it aligns with my audience.

Duke is one of the few Creators I know who actively pays to have publicists on his team. I think publicists are a super underrated investment that more Creators should make.

I haven't looked at it as an ROI thing yet, and I'm pretty sure it will turn into one in the future, but it's more about, 'How many more people can we impact?'

Between his social content and his PR efforts, Duke is now a bona fide celebrity in the world of tax professionals.

That’s going to come in handy later this year, as he launches a course intended to help tax professionals build out their own practices the way he did.

This is my first time targeting tax professionals…

Just like how we niched down the tax and accounting business to creators and entrepreneurs, I've niched down the course business to tax professionals.

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The Stack

CRM, Email, Payments, Operations, Analytics - HubSpot + Stripe + Zapier

I'll tell you what it doesn't handle. It doesn't make my breakfast and it doesn't brush my teeth.

But everything else, it handles - where our leads are at, what stages our leads are in, where our sources of leads are coming from…I would say HubSpot is like the 100% brain of our operations. It's just like the brain.

Duke is particularly excited about Hubspot’s new AI features.

Typically, it's very difficult to run custom reports. Like, 'I want to know how many deals we closed from TikTok on Tuesday.' …

But now, they have AI where you can just type it out and they can run that report for you.

Website - ClickFunnels

While Duke is currently using ClickFunnels for all his websites, he will be moving Duke Tax over to HubSpot entirely.

ClickFunnels is really easy for selling and upselling, and I would prefer to use that for the education side.

SMS - iPhones + Verizon + JustCall.io

Oh my God, we went through Kixie, we went through so many.

JustCall is just amazing, and I also like their integration with HubSpot.

Automation - Zapier

Here’s a concrete example of how Zapier connects different software to work together to automatically drive Duke’s business:

If someone fills out a form on ClickFunnels, I have Zapier fill out that same form on HubSpot…Then HubSpot's going to score them. Then, based on that score and what they said, it's going to assign one of the onboarding members, either Austin or Thomas. Once they're assigned, they're also going to be assigned a task - 'Hey, make sure you call this person within...' Then it also goes into Lark….

So it triggers all of these things to connect across platforms that wouldn't be able to connect otherwise.

Link in Bio - Stan

I'm trying to partner with Stan more and get some type of referral, but I align with Stan’s values, their story, and we're a friend of the founder, John.

Project Management - TaxDome

TaxDome is an app platform designed specifically for tax professionals.

We sign them up in our client portal, so they can download an app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Then they have access to our portal where they can easily log in to see how everything's going.

Communication - Lark

Did you know Bytedance has a Google Workspace competitor?

Me neither, but it’s apparently much more robust than Google’s offering, integrates with TikTok, and…it’s free.

The only reason I know about it is because ByteDance from China reached out to me…

They were like, "Hey, we're not supposed to show you this," but they showed me everything.

They were using Lark and I was like, "Wow, this is amazing."

Representation - Self-represented

This is mainly brands reaching out to me.

I do have an agency, MTC Agency. I haven't heard from them in a while…I hope they’re doing OK….

A tale as old as time….

Press and Public Relations - Galvea Kelly and Natalie Thatcher

Thanks to his PR team, Duke has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Reuters, Business Insider, and now Creator Logic!

Video Production - Self + Carl the Editor

I kind of like doing my own editing because I'm like ‘My gosh, I need to change this right now’ because when you're editing, sometimes you'll get new ideas.

Video Distribution - VA (Christina) + Snaptik + Repurpose.io

She posts on Pinterest, Facebook, my personal Facebook, my Facebook page, LinkedIn, my personal LinkedIn, my business LinkedIn, and Instagram.

To help her with that, we do use a tool called Repurpose.io, but we don't use it for every single platform.

Do not use Repurpose.io for Instagram loops; it will shoot your views down.

But for other things, like YouTube, she's the reason why I have like 25,000 or maybe 26,000 subscribers.

Comment Engagment - Manychat

If you’ve ever seen big Creators say “comment and I’ll DM you XYZ”, and wondered how the heck they fulfilled sending DMs to thousands of commenters…Manychat is how. It automates the whole thing, which has another big benefit:

When you get a DM on Instagram, it pops up. I don't have my notifications on for Instagram, but if I'm in the app, a notification pops up saying, ‘Hey, Duke just sent an attachment.’

That's what happens when you comment the word 'member'. Literally three seconds later, you'll get a notification at the top saying, ‘Hey, Duke just sent you an attachment.’

Team - 2 employees, up to 14 contractors (during tax season)

Duke has found that the tax professionals that work for him prefer to be contractors, for the freedom.

I can't legally tell a contractor to work 9 to 5 every day…However, as far as preparing a tax return, they can do that in the morning or at night, as long as it gets done within a certain timeframe. That's all that matters.

This is a win-win, since the tax business is seasonal, and hiring contractors allows him to keep overhead low and scale up and down as needed.

Generative AI - Claude + ChatGPT

Duke uses AI and has tried a number of tools. The one he’s currently most bullish on is Claude, thanks to it being able to search Google for information.

They’re kindof kicking ChatGPT’s ass.

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