When you first started in the business, I'm sure there are things you wish you could go back and tell yourself. A level of confidence that you'd easily acquire new MSP customers with the right marketing formula was all you needed - right?
But here you are sitting reading this blog post about how to acquire new MSP leads and customers. My guess is that you've still not figured out the silver bullet formula to the problem?
Don't worry; there is no formula or silver bullet.
In this post, I'm going to hit you with the hard facts and reality of acquiring new customers for your IT business. A wake-up call, a dose of reality whatever you want to call it - we're going to dive deep into some of the misconceptions and potential pitfalls to marketing your IT business. The purpose of this is so you don't waste time and money on cheap tricks and tactics that will have minimal effect.
Many gurus, including myself, focus too many hours on this platform and singing its praises. LinkedIn is fantastic, but 99% of the people that use it as a sales tool are doing it wrong.
How many messages and connection requests have you had over the last month that try to sell you something within the first paragraph of the message? This is the equivalent to spamming someone's email inbox with the words "Hi, do you want to buy my service?".
We know the answer here - so a simple plea - stop using LinkedIn to spam your local business community - its a lousy practice and paints you in a bad light.
I've had many MSP's contact me about email marketing and asking why we don't include email templates as part of our membership.
The logic is usually something like this:
I've managed to acquire a list of potential prospects that I'd like to start sending emails to. I then ask them, how did you acquire this list? The answers are varied from purchasing a list, scraping a local directory or part of a recent acquisition. The MSP is excited to get started with this list and want IT Rockstars marketing content to help them promote their business.
I quickly deflate their ego.
The fact is that if you start emailing this cold list, there is a high chance your domain will become blacklisted as spam within weeks. Most of the contacts are not expecting your email and will simply hit the junk button or unsubscribe. The only types of lists I suggest that do work are those of existing customers, ex-customers and failed sales & leads.
With the right lead magnet on your website, you can quickly get opt-in's that will expect to read your emails, but the list has to be organically grown over time. No quick wins here.
Sales Warning: IT Rockstars provide lead magnets every month as part of our membership.
Gaining first-page position or even the top spot on Google for local terms like "IT Support" is the dream - with many gaming the search engine to achieve the highest position.
The biggest problem with SEO for many MSPs is the fact that the type of leads and customers this marketing channel attracts.
Most that are looking for IT services on the search engines fall into one of the following categories:
- Tyre kickers - comparing the price to their existing supplier.
- Emergency customers - they need something fixed quick but don't want a contract.
- Small one-man bands businesses that just waste your time.
All 3 of these types are to be avoided - while it's great to be on the top spot of Google for competitive search terms - and you will get leads - most will be low quality and eat up your resources.
The hard fact of reality is that you want the right customers that see the value of an MSP contract and are prepared to pay a premium. You won't get that from SEO.
The biggest problem with Facebook Ads for an MSP is the ability to target the right individuals.
For all the advanced targeting, demographic and psychographic options within a Facebook Ad, you will not be able to target the "IT Buyer decision-makers" - I call these the IBDM's.
We all know who they are - usually the business owner, finance director or office manager. They have the relationship with the existing IT supplier, and ideally, that's the person you want to display your Facebook Ad to.
The problem is that it's just too specific even for Facebook's advanced targeting.
We've put up some roadblocks in this article - painted a reality that might have you scratching your head as to what the answer is to the problem?
It starts with long term thinking - all of the marketing channels I mention above are short term "quick fixes" and will be replaced in time with other "marketing hacks".
The long-term thinkers amongst you have the bigger picture in mind. You want a repeatable process that you can delegate to others as you grow.
The process is a simple one, and it's what we've been working on at IT Rockstars for over three years.
The process is a targeted marketing approach - it avoids "spraying and praying" and shotgun marketing tactics like the methods mentioned above.
I'm not going to go into detail on the process here - that is a members-only perk.
But I will tell you how to start. Write down the top 100 businesses you would love to work with and would realistically be a good fit for your business. Market to them. No one else.
Talk to Scott
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MSP Marketing Geek // IT Rockstars