Alternative Marketing For MSPs
by Adam Basheer, on 17-Jul-2017 15:11:31
IT solution providers or managed service providers can have a great business model, particularly once they have moved from the break-fix model to the ongoing monthly billing of the managed service model. The best thing about the model is that once you get a client on board they are likely to stay for a long time. This means all your efforts to win clients don’t just give you a short-term sales spike but give you long-term business growth. If you ever come to sell the business then it is this list of clients that is worth gold to you. The question is how do you get these clients?
So, what marketing have you tried? What works, what doesn’t? How could we improve it?
A large percentage of MSP’s business comes from referrals. Though, are you actively asking for referrals? How could we get more referrals without asking for them?
Is networking bringing in new clients? Are they the type of clients you really want? How much time and effort does it take you to do the networking and is this what you are good at?
What about direct mail, social media and e-Newsletters. We understand they are a valuable but most of us are too busy to do it.
What about telemarketing? Yes, it works. Yes, it is worth doing but the problem is that you need to pitch to ten companies to get one. This is a tremendous waste of time and effort.
So, what is the alternative?
Inbound marketing is the alternative that will not only solve the client acquisition problem but leave you with a long-term, ongoing client acquisition system which will form a major part of your business. The inbound methodology works more like a magnet to bring in clients who are ready to buy rather than a cold calling system. It works by combining all forms of online marketing with a content marketing strategy so that your potential clients:
- find you online,
- learn about IT solution providers and what they can do for their business,
- understand how you are different, and
- approach you when they are ready to buy.
Inbound marketing gives you a chance to educate your customers in the way you would like them to be educated. It then creates an ongoing system to manage the clients through the process until they are ready to buy. It turns the 10 to 1 pitching to sales ratio into a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio.
Do it, or outsource it
Yes, the inbound way is something you could do yourself. Is this really your business strength though? If not then it may be time to try a different approach and outsource the work to a third party.
There are costs involved which start at $3,500 a month plus, however, that’s the price you pay for not doing the work yourself and more importantly it is the return for the money you should focus on. How many clients do you need to get to cover this cost? What is the long-term benefit for your business?
Of course, you can choose to not outsource and tell yourself that you’ll get around to doing the work but chances are you’ll be looking back in another year and still be no further forward.
Setting a marketing plan for the year ahead is an important part of growing your MSP business.
Using inbound marketing as a key strategy for getting business should be a key part of that mix. It is not a short-term fix all but a medium to long term strategy which creates an ongoing lead generation and client acquisition system for your business.
Give it a try!
If you are thinking about using inbound marketing as an alternative marketing technique to acquire more clients, feel free to Fit 4 Market for more information or to discuss next steps.