When I started my MSP, I had no idea how to grow my company. I didn’t even think about MSP Marketing tactics. I was just trying to service the clients I had and make ends meet.
Starting a business, especially an IT business is no joke. It’s hard… as I’m sure so many of you can attest to.
You’re worried about staying up to date with your technical skills, being available for your clients, keeping them happy, managing the various personalities in those businesses, billing on time, collecting, managing hard costs, hiring the right people, paying those people, hoping that there’s something left for you to take home to your family, and then waking up to do it again.
It can be so HARD!
One of those items that kept me up at night was generating leads. We’d get a few leads, and then sometimes we’d go dry for a while. I worried about attrition, and not keeping a good funnel of leads coming in.
Heck, it was up to me to generate the leads, nurture the leads, and then close the leads. I didn’t have a sales team at the time. The nurturing and closing of the leads never seemed to be a problem… but the generating of leads always seemed to escape me. So I dedicated about a year to MSP marketing techniques with the intent to learn how to build a sustainable funnel of leads that both I and a future sales team could nurture and close.
Here are my findings in 5 simple suggestions for marketing your MSP. When I figured out how to get each of these 5 channels working together, my MSP blew up and I was able to sell it about 3 years later enabling me to do some exciting tech projects that I had been wanting to work on:
MSP Marketing: The 5 Most Effective Ways To Grow Your MSP
You’re going to want to blend these 5 MSP Marketing techniques together in order to create both short and long-term success. And yes, you can have short-term success.
Your ultimate goal is to be patient and consistent to set you up for longevity and to get the snowball rolling down the mountain, but everyone likes to make some short-term gains to keep them going.
Using Linkedin To Grow Your MSP
The first thing I did to start growing my MSP was get active on Linkedin. At the time, Linkedin wasn’t even that popular. But it was a huge opportunity that I hadn’t taken advantage of. I started to connect with other business owners in the area. They knew my name, my face, and the fact that I ran an outsourced IT company.
Then, when they had problems with their IT company, I was top of mind and tip of tongue.
The thing to keep in mind with MSPs is that most companies aren’t going to switch for no good reason. Companies switch from their IT company like people switch dentists, doctors, or CPAs. They have to be either really unhappy or in a whole lot of pain. Your goal is to be the first person/company that pops into a decision makers mind when they are in that pain.
By connecting with people on Linkedin, it helped me stay in front of those potential clients who might be in pain.
To be most effective at this strategy on Linkedin, you should:
- Connect with relevant people often.
- Actually engage with them by showing interest in their content or business.
- Like, share, and make introductions
There is an old adage, that goes: “If you want to become interesting… first become interested.” When you show interest in others, they will most likely show interest in you. That is the key. Become genuinely interested in other people and the things they’re interested in.
Linkedin will give you a platform to do that more effectively.
Content Marketing and Content Creation
Creating content is going to cost you, either way you go about it. You’re either going to have to pay someone to do it for you or you’re going to have to do it yourself which will cost you time and other opportunities.
But honesty, content marketing is really what did it for me. I committed to the long-term and stayed consistent. In about 6-12 months, I was ranking for all of the important keywords and key terms that I could have wanted to be ranking for. I started having other companies call me after typing in terms such as:
- IT Support
- IT Support (In My City)
- IT Company
- Best IT Company Near Me
- Top IT Companies
- IT Providers
- Managed Service Providers
- Outsourced IT
- Outsourced IT Companies
- IT Services
- IT Service Provider
- IT Service Company
And then a host of other keywords in the form of what we call “long-tail keywords” such as: “IT Company that Specializes in Healthcare” or “IT Service for Manufacturing Companies.”
By dominating the Google search results, we were able to have a steady flow of passive leads. That is the power of content marketing for MSPs.
Use Google Ads For Short Term Experiments and Lead Generation
Yes! Google ads do actually work. Most MSPs haven’t had great luck with them, but they really can and do work for MSPs.
Here is why many managed service providers don’t have great luck with Google Ads. (formerly Google Adwords)
It is because many of them are using Google Adwords express or using too broad of keywords, and Google is draining all of their budgets without any decent clicks to the website.
If Google ads isn’t configured properly, then you can lose your shirt… and your shoes in the short span of a couple days. I’ve seen it happen. Then it makes you never want to use Google Ads again.
But if you lock the campaign down properly, target the right keywords, produce the right ads, get a good click-through-rate, and have the correct negative keyword list, you can start generating immediate leads by placing these ads right at the top of the search engines for keywords that people are typing in when they’re in pain.
We’ve seen Google Ads work to the tune of millions of dollars in recurring contracts for IT services.
If you’re curious about how much it might cost to do Google Ads in your region of the country, we’ve aggregated real data to help you get an idea, shown in the chart below:
Encourage Referrals Through Your Existing Clients
This might be one of the most neglected ways to get tons of new clients. You’ve got to do things that help your clients refer you to their network of clients.
Referrals are by far the cheapest and most effective way to get a new client. They come in with a level of trust that is hard to match form cold MSP marketing channels.
Many of your clients love the work you do, but not all of them are raving fans. They see you as a utility, just as they might see their cable or internet provider. You provide a business critical service that they need, but they just want it to work and there aren’t many emotions tied to it.
Imagine if you took it a step further than all of their other standard utility type vendors. Imagine if you sent them a gift every once in a while. Imagine if you sent them and their team a round of unsolicited pizzas.
It won’t take long for them and their team to talk, to turn into raving fans, and then to want to share their love for you with all of their vendors and clients.
Give your clients “selling points!” Just as if you were selling a house. You walk through the house… and yeah… the house is great and all, but it’s still just a house. But then you take them to the custom glass massive walk-in shower with corresponding jacuzzi tub and they scream, “I have to have this!”
Then they take pictures, send them to all their friends, and tell the whole world about the “selling points” of this new house.
Go the extra mile and give your clients those selling points and they will start telling everyone.
Have A Better Online Reputation
I can’t tell you how important this is for MSPs nowadays. There is virtually no one that will not check your online reputation before doing business with you. So… you want to make sure and beat your competitors when it comes to Google, Yelp, and other online reviews.
When we get new clients, almost without fail, we hear “Your online reviews are what did it for us.” On the flip side, we’ve seen clients with bad reviews get the opposite response. They get leads but then find a bad online reputation and then go with a competitor that has better reviews and online reputation.
Your online reviews are sometimes the last straw before someone picks up the phone to give you a call. It either makes or breaks that initial call.
Gather reviews through a review wizard that makes it easy for your clients to review you. In order to catch your clients at the right time, enlist your entire team in the mission of gathering good reviews from your clients. If you hear of a client being happy with your service, then reach out at that exact time and ask them for the review.
Bringing These 5 MSP Marketing Techniques Together
There are many other channels that you could use to market your MSP, but if you can nail these 5 marketing channels properly, you are going to find yourself with a nice sustainable funnel of leads for you and your sales team to filter through.
Then you bring all these channels together into a nice CRM that gives you insight into your lead behavior and you will be on your way to sustainable MSP growth.
And if you need any help, just let us know. We’ll be happy to give you some free MSP Marketing consulting.