CPA offering no-gimmick, completely free online answers to your questions relating to tax, accounting, business growth, and entrepreneurship. This is the KEY to growing your own business as well – so even if you don’t have a question, listen up anyway, folks!

Years ago (in the year 2000, I believe) I created a website that allowed people to ask CPA questions online. I charged (if I remember correctly) $9.95 for simple personal questions, $19.95 for basic business questions, and then each category or complexity increasing from there forward, increased the price accordingly. It wasn’t a bad idea and I had a GREAT domain for it ( – which I now wish I would have at least kept that domain ownership – ah, but we all love hindsight).

Back then, I had no idea how to get people to come to that website, so I went to bulletin boards and basically spammed or used PUSH-marketing to drive people to the site.  It worked ‘fairly’ well (THEN), but I couldn’t get enough exposure to actually make a living, so in the end, I dropped the idea.

If I knew then what I know now I would probably have made it a huge success, at least for a while.

 That idea wouldn’t work very well today. And my method of getting clients to my site would have really failed.

  • The entire marketing and branding demand has changed – and now consumers, clients, and the public are in control of what they see, what they want, and how they want it.
  • The traditional media and government are no longer in control of what consumers and citizens see and discover.
  • It is a NEW ERA – and companies that don’t realize this quickly, will continue to lose money on advertising the old way.

Push marketing, spamming, direct mail, radio, print advertising, yellow pages, television, etc. – IS OUT. Did you hear me? It is GONE.

There is only one way that companies that do not already have nationwide brand recognition will be ‘heard’ going forward, and there are three main things to remember in using it for it to actually work and be effective:

SOCIAL MEDIA is the only avenue where companies will be heard and followed to build their company brand and grow from this point forward.

That’s a bold statement, I know – but the facts show it to be true.

Studies show that by the year 2020, over 75% of businesses will be run by people who are TODAY between the ages of 18 and 30. Think about that. How do these ‘Gen Y’ individuals communicate now?

  • They rarely even use their mobile phones for voice. They use text messaging instead – for personal communication certainly, but now even for business.
  • They will Google something quickly on their laptop or mobile phone, without ever thinking of picking up a Yellow Pages book.
  • They fast-forward right through those television ads and they switch channels on the radio as soon a commercial comes on air. (In fact most have 10,000 songs on their iPod or listen to commercial free websites such as Pandora).
  • Newspapers are now online, and if there is a topic of interest, it can be found at the click of a button on their phone or computer.

The point is THINGS HAVE CHANGED and social media is just about the only avenue a company has to have their message ‘heard’ now and especially in the coming years.

But be careful, simply signing up for multiple social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Foursquare, Pinterest, etc.) is NOT going to work if you don’t have PASSION for what you are doing along with the following three things:

1)      GOOD CONTENT – If you simply blast on your social pages (or worse, others posts) what you do, and how you do it… you will FAIL in addition to making others annoyed or angry.  People can spot SPAM or push-advertising so quickly now, it’s meaningless to try that angle. Instead, people want good content that helps THEM. And they want it for FREE. If you can provide good, helpful content in your genre of business, you need NOT ever insert advertising information about your company, other than perhaps your signature line. If people need or want what you do, and you are providing good content that helps them, they will be attracted to you and/or your business anyway. This is not expensive… but it will be time-consuming.

2)      ADAPTING TO SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS AND APPLICATIONS – What is hip and popular today will certainly be different by this time next year. You must understand what these Social Media accounts actually do and you must use them effectively. Pinterest is not the same type of tool as LinkedIn or Twitter.  You must study each tool, each application, and use them ALL. It’s not difficult individually, nor is it expensive, but again, it is time-consuming and it changes constantly.

3)      MAKE IT PERSONAL – This is the final key to building business using social media. Answer EVERY question or comment – and make it about helping them, not selling them on your product.  Social media is not personal, unless you make it personal. If you provide good content, and a client follows you because you’ve used the right tool or application to be ‘heard’… but then you don’t have that immediate response or interaction with them, they will probably click the mouse to the next article, blog, tweet, or photo. Again… this is not expensive, but absolutely necessary and time-consuming.


I no longer own the domain – but I do have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account, etc. (see all the lovely links below) – and I study each day learning these and other social media tools.

The purpose of all this is to simply to help businesses grow, which is my passion.

  • Gaining new tax or accounting clients has been the fortunate result (and can be for you too!) but it is an indirect result of effectively using social media to help others, without asking for their business.

This is the key to the future of business marketing. 

And so, because I am a CPA and a motivated entrepreneur, I would love to hear from you if you have a question or comment or topic relating to helping businesses grow and/or accounting & tax. There is no charge, no catch, no follow-up spam, or gimmick. I only want to provide good, free content relating to accounting, tax, or business growth – which is my passion.

If you don’t have social media account, feel free to email me directly at If your comment or question will help others, I will share it (removing any confidential information) so others can benefit. If it isn’t something that will benefit others, that is perfectly fine also!  I will still respond, and help in any way that I can. Some of my social accounts are below, if you have a preference for your question or comment or topic.

Michele Robbins, CPA




Twitter: (@cparobbins)

LinkedIn Profile:

Pinterest Profile:

Tumblr Account:



Please take ONE moment and help. No, this isn’t about accounting. THIS is personal and about MY family and thousands of others.

Please sign the petition (linked at bottom of this post). It only takes a moment. Please sign it and SHARE it with as many media circles as you can. (I’ve posted this in several media circles, so I apologize for the duplications)

Camp Lejeune Update | Veterans Today – This article was written almost two years ago. The first paragraph is about me talking about what has happened, and is still happening to my family.

Basically, to summarize that article and the issue here: The government is NOT helping the Vets or the families that were exposed. My father and mother BOTH had kidney cancer (very rare, clearly not a coincidence as kidney cancer is linked to the chemicals that were in the base wells – and obviously my mom & dad are not blood-related).  As a vet, at least my father was able to go the VA and get healthcare – although even that wasn’t enough to keep him healthy.

My MOTHER however has no assistance – and is sick again. We need over 20,000 signatures for this petition to pass the  bill to help the vets AND the families that were affected. I don’t want a penny… just healthcare assistance for my mother. That’s it.

It ONLY TAKES A MOMENT. You just enter your name and email, then verify the email they send to you… then press the green button to sign. PLEASE sign this petition, and PLEASE SHARE it in any social media circle you have.

I usually PROVIDE FREE HELP and assistance here with my blogs, facebook, tweets. NOW, I personally need YOUR help.

Please, sign it… and share it. That’s it. Thank you so very much. The link for the petition is below:!/petition/act-and-move-forward-hr1742-camp-lejeune-water-billjaney-ensminger-act/GVbzpW6b

Again.. I apologize for the duplications.

Michele Robins, CPA

Facebook question about monetizing a guest house in India


·         Amar Thakur

Help me in business my friend ,recommend to my guest house and for trekking.


Top of Form

Michele Robbins Amur, please be a little more specific, my friend and I will try to help. What exactly are you trying to do? Here is what I know so far:

1) You have a 6 room (or bedroom?) guest house in a beautiful part of India.

2) You are a guide for trekking (which I assume means hiking, etc. correct?)

NOW… what is it specifically you want?

1) Do you want to sell your guest home?

2) Do you want to rent it out and offer your services as a trekking guide?

3) Something else? Be specific, and I’ll try to help you!

(Amur responded that he has no cash.. please help)


Michele Robbins

Why not put an ad on Craigslist to offer your guest home and trekking services to people here in America that are interested in an Exotic adventure vacation in the beautiful hills of India?

A couple suggestions:
1) Determine the benefits (amenities of the house, the experiences they will enjoy) and the price you will need to provide this to them. If you aren’t sure yet, GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE! See what others are offering for something SIMILAR. Make sure your comparisons are similar. (A rustic cabin in the hills may appeal very much to adventure-types seeking to experience your culture… but would be a horror story for a diva from Hollywood looking for a plush, pampering experience, right?) Okay, so first thing: DETERMINE YOUR PRICE and WHAT THAT PROVIDES THEM. WRITE IT DOWN.

  • For example will it be $1000 per week? Will that include a one day trekking excursion with you as their guide – or will that be extra? How much extra? You decide.
  • Can you take pictures of the guest home and the beautiful countryside? You can post pictures on Craigslist AND your Facebook Page. You decide. 
  • Can you charge instead perhaps $2000 for ten days (they pay their own transportation, but you will pick them up from airport, perhaps?) butthen instead include one day trekking excursion, with an authentic breakfast each morning, or on their first and last day only? You decide.
  • Again, remember, if your English is difficult, find another advertisement online somewhere (GOOGLE) that is similar and use the type of wording they use, but adjust it to fit what you offer.
  • FOCUS ON THE BENEFITS of what they will experience if they do this. Do NOT focus on what YOU NEED. And seriously…
  • ABOVE ALL AMURE, do this: Be authentic. Be HONEST about what they will see when they get there.
  • Make sure you have the amenities they need and if not, make sure you tell this in your ad!!!! 
  • Think of other things they will be able to do and experience in your area. Horseback riding? Visiting historic sites? Mention all of this, but be authentic.

Honestly, it sounds like an amazing adventurous vacation to me! Now Amur…



GIVE Marketing is the only way to grow your business in the upcoming economy

PUSH marketing is gone. For the first time in history, small businesses, entreprenuers, new start-ups are on the same playing ground as even the largest corporations. How is that possible? It’s simple and it’s NOT going away. Huge companies are spending thousands, millions, on old advertising (print, television, billboards, etc)… but it’s a waste of money. People TIVO/DVR right through tv commer…cials. People are texting while they drive (much less looking at bulletin boards or the ROAD). People are online via their laptops or mobile phones (not reading print newspapers).
Gen Y, Gen X and every other consumer is already OVERLOADED with spam, advertisings, and everything else that used to work. WHAT they want now… WHAT they deserve now… What they DEMAND now is one-on-one HELP. And they are getting it. They could care less about your FaceBook Fan page or your Twitter post talking about WHAT YOUR COMPANY DOES. What they want, is an answer to the question THEY tweeted about (without the plug for your company).
This is not a choice. Companies that are going to succeed in the next five years WILL understand this. Push marketing is GONE. The consumer is in control now (for the first time). There is so much information at their fingertips. For a company, yes… it is  time consuming, but if you have a small business and you aren’t reaching out personally and helping those in your social media circles, you are missing out on the very best opportunity you have to grow your company. Help them. Talk to them. Offer FREE ADVICE.
GIVE Marketing is the only way to grow in the upcoming economy. The residual EFFECT of them perhaps becoming your customer will be just that, it’s EFFECT. But, it cannot be your PURPOSE for what you do. You must be authentic. People see right through the bull because there is so much of it out there already.
(Thanks to Simon Sinek and Gary Vaynerchuk for the inspiration of this ramble)
Michele Robbins, CPA
Cloud CPA Services, LLC