Episode 124: The power of LinkedIn Creator Mode for MSPs

Episode 124: The power of LinkedIn Creator Mode for MSPs

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 124: The power of LinkedIn Creator Mode for MSPs
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In this week’s episode

  • Your MSP could be standing head and shoulders above the competition on LinkedIn thanks to something called Creator Mode. This week Paul explains what it is, how you can get started, and use it to make the most out of LinkedIn’s Newsletters feature
  • Also on the show this week: How do you comfortably sell cyber security solutions without feeling sleazy? Paul’s featured guest is a total expert on this with some amazing advice
  • Plus, why you should be focusing on the long-term decisions for your MSP… and there’s a book recommendation to help make swift changes within your business

Featured guest

Jennifer Bleam is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Jennifer Bleam from MSP Sales Revolution for joining Paul to talk about how you can simplify your cybersecurity sales process.

Jennifer is an award-winning speaker and a respected leader in the IT channel. She has coached over 1,000 MSPs on marketing and sales best practices, based on her real-life success as an MSP business owner. Jennifer also grew a channel-only cybersecurity software firm from start up to acquisition in less than 2 years. Part of her role included coaching MSPs on how to sell cybersecurity to small and medium sized companies. Jennifer trained with Sandler Training and attended CharTec Sales lab. She founded MSP Sales Revolution to help MSPs master the art of cybersecurity sales quickly, easily, and profitably. Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bleamjennifer

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Thank you so much for making the choice to listen to this podcast. My name’s Paul Green, welcome to episode 124, and this is what we’ve got coming up for you this week.

Jennifer Bleam:
How to sell cybersecurity it’s, obviously, a hot topic. How do we sell it? How do we have that conversation with our clients, with our prospects? And how do we do it in a way that doesn’t make us feel sleazy or slimy?

Paul Green:
That’s Jennifer Bleam. She’s arguably one of the world’s leading experts on selling cybersecurity. We’re in a very unique position now, where the clients that you are protecting really should be buying more cybersecurity services from you, but perhaps they don’t understand the true horrors that await them out there. Jennifer has got a fascinating interview for us here on the podcast, plus an extended interview on YouTube, which I’ll tell you about later in the show. We’re also going to be talking today about LinkedIn creator tools. LinkedIn is desperate for you to use them, and there is some huge algorithmic advantages for you of doing what LinkedIn wants. I’ll tell you exactly what the creator tools are and how you can leverage them later on in the show.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Every other Tuesday, I have a series of short Zoom calls with my clients. They’re peer groups that I run as part of my MSP Marketing Edge service. And we were having a discussion with one of our members about a specific decision. I can’t remember exactly what the circumstances were, but the question that he was asking was whether or not he should make a short-term decision on this thing, or whether he should make a long-term. And so, I asked him to explain exactly what that meant. And he said, essentially, I’m paraphrasing here, of course, he said, “If I make this short-term decision, I’m doing something which will pay off for us in the short-term, but in the long-term it doesn’t add anything to the business. Whereas if I choose the other option, it’s more expensive. There’s less of a short-term benefit for us, but in the long-term that’s the better thing to do. It creates the better business.”

Paul Green:
And myself and the other peer group members, all of whom are non-competing MSPs, we all pretty much universally said, “Well, go for the long-term.” Based on your goals, you want to go for the long-term, because that particular person is looking to do another 10 years in his business before he sells it. And he got me thinking about short-term versus long-term decisions. When we own a business and we start a business, we go through different growth phases, and we can all remember what it’s like when you get started. In fact, you may still be in that startup phase. That startup phase can last quite a few years. That startup phase is where you first establish whether or not you can actually do this thing, whether or not you can run your own business, and cope with all the different things that you need to do.

Paul Green:
But essentially once you’ve proven that to yourself, the next thing, the drive, is to make a good living out of it. And I think once you get out of that and you start to take on staff, and you start to establish a proper business. And a proper business is a business that survives without you, and eventually you get it to a stage where it thrives without you. It’s around about this phase, it’s almost once you’re out of startup, that you need to actually start with the end in mind. And I think that was a quote from someone like Brian Tracy that said that. Brian Tracy’s a self-development author. He’s very, very good actually. You should read his books. I think his best book was Eat That Frog, which is about procrastination. It’s about stopping procrastination. Do you procrastinate? Will you get back to me on that one? Yeah.

Paul Green:
Anyway, I’ve sidelined myself. Brian Tracy, one of the things that, I think it was him, was famous for saying was, “Start with the end in mind,” so you imagine where you want to be, the outcome that you want, and then you work backwards from there. And I think once you’re out of the startup phase of your business, that’s a great way to look at your decision making. Let’s say it takes you two to three years to establish a business, to make a good living from it, to get your first couple of staff, to start to put in place marketing systems that persistently and consistently deliver new leads for your MSP. That’s the point you’ve got to start taking the long view, the five, 10, 15, maybe even 20 year view. What do you want to do with this business in the long-term?

Paul Green:
For most MSPs, if you ask them to look 10, 20 years in the future, it’s either about funding a very specific lifestyle that normally involves gravel drives and big cars, or it’s about exit. It’s about making sure… Well, it’s all really about lifestyle, isn’t it? Because when we talk about exit, it’s about freeing up your time, and making sure that you’ve got enough income to maximise that time and really enjoy it. That’s what we’re talking about with the long-term view. With every decision that you make, you’ve got to look at this and ask, “Is this going to help me to achieve the goals that I want in five, 10, 15 or 20 years time?”

Paul Green:
If the goal is to sell your business in 10 years time, who’s going to buy it? Why would they buy it? What’s the most valuable thing to them? I can answer that, it’s monthly recurring revenue. The more monthly recurring revenue you have, the more valuable your business will be, and you can say that in regards to any economy and any kind of buyer. Monthly recurring revenue, especially contracted monthly recurring revenue, is the most valuable asset that you can have within a technology business. Suddenly, you deciding to switch PSA, or RMM, or introduce a new level of cybersecurity sales, or new tiers of things that people can buy, or improving your marketing, or investing in a marketing initiative, or taking on a specific member of staff. All of these decisions, yes, of course, they have short-term impact, but what are they going to do to the long-term? How are they going to affect how quickly you get to the long-term place you want to be? And how quickly they’re going to affect your ability to do what you think you might want to do in the future?

Paul Green:
It’s all really about options. None of us really knows what’s going to happen in five, 10, 15, 20 years time. And it wouldn’t be fun if we knew, would it? It would be predictable and boring. The way I see it is, you’ve got to think long-term, and you’ve got to give yourself the most number of options in the long-term. What are the things you might want to do in the future? And how can you set up your business for them? I have no intention whatsoever of selling this business. I love this business. I love my team. I love our members. I love everything that we do. This isn’t work for me. This is fun. This is like being a radio presenter again, except I’m at home instead of in a radio station. And I can do this when it suits me. And I can interact directly with my listeners via LinkedIn, and our Facebook group, and stuff like that.

Paul Green:
I can’t ever see me selling this business. But maybe in 10 years time, I’ll feel differently about it. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to make decisions, long-term decisions, which will give me options. I’m going to set up this business so it can operate without me. In fact, so it can thrive without me. I then have the choice to be involved in that business. And at the moment, I love this business, so I choose to stay involved in it. But you know what, maybe down the line I’ll want to spend more time in Portugal, or spend more time doing something else, or I’ll have another business or something. I can’t see that being the case, but I want the options. Every decision I make, it’s a long-term decision. How will this affect us in the long-term? Does it get me closer to that point where I will have the option, the choice, to take a number of different paths. That’s exactly what I’m trying to build here, and I think it’s what you should be trying to build with your business, as well.

Paul Green:
I must recommend a book. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it on the podcast before, but it addresses this exact thing, and it’s called Built to Sell by John Warrillow. And actually, it’s a short-term look at how to create a business that is incredibly sellable. But the business that’s incredibly sellable is a business which doesn’t need you, the business owner, there every day. It’s a very systemised business, which is very consistent in the way it operates. It’s actually quite a relaxing business to run. Certainly, our business is very highly systemised. We have very few crises. It’s all standard operating procedures, all of that kind of stuff, and it makes it a very relaxing business to run. And I appreciate an MSP.

Paul Green:
You can’t ever quite get to that 100% relaxed position, because there are always emergencies that crop up. The very nature of your business is to have to be reactive, but you can get 80, 90% of what you do to that point. Built to Sell is set very much in the short-term. It’s about turning your business around to be ready to sell. Once you are in that position, you will discover that actually the business is a lot more relaxing to run. It chucks out a lot more monthly recurring revenue with a lot less input from you. That is a very beautiful business. Built to Sell by John Warrillow encapsulates a lot of the things that we talk about within this podcast. And it is highly recommended.

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:
Question for you, have you yet turned on creator tools in LinkedIn? Because if you haven’t, you really want to do this. Why? Because, LinkedIn wants you to do it. Let me explain what creator tools are, why you’d switch them on, how you switch them on, and how to maximise them. Now, I must first give you a caveat. This episode, of course, is going out at the end of March 2022, and I’m recording it right now. As I’m recording it, it’s 1:23 PM on Thursday, the 24th of February. And the reason I give you that caveat is, A, to prove just how far ahead I work on this podcast. Actually, I’ve fallen behind a bit. We’re normally six weeks ahead. I’m catching up today, producer James, don’t worry. We’ll get it all sorted out.

Paul Green:
But also because things change quickly, and some of the things I’m going to talk about on LinkedIn, I believe they will be the same, as you are listening to this today. But just in case there’s something new that LinkedIn has snuck in the last month, I don’t want you to think I’m out of date. It’s just that there is a gap between me recording it and us broadcasting this podcast. LinkedIn launched creator tools, I think it was around about November last year, and it’s a series of tools to allow you to create more content within LinkedIn. And there are two tools that are there at the moment. The first of them is LinkedIn Newsletters, and then there’s something called LinkedIn Live.

Paul Green:
Now, LinkedIn Live is very easy to understand. It’s you going live on LinkedIn doing a video, so like a live video on LinkedIn. You’ve been able to do this on Facebook for years. In fact, I remember when it was rolled out. It must have been around about six to eight years ago, perhaps, maybe not as long as that. And the reason I remember is the feature was released at the beginning of a week, and I was actually coming back from London, and I’d had a few beers and I live streamed my walk back from the train station back to my home. And that, for a number of years, was my most popular piece of content on Facebook. I’ve actually deleted it now, because I’m connected to so many MSPs, and members of our MSP Marketing Edge Service. I don’t necessarily want the first piece of content that someone sees when they’re connected to me on LinkedIn, me being drunk, walking back from a train station. It was very entertaining. I did pop into a kebab shop halfway through, as well.

Paul Green:
Anyway, the reason that got so many views on Facebook, and became my most popular piece of personal content, was because, algorithmically, Facebook was desperate to push Facebook Lives. That was their thing back then. And whenever companies, like Facebook or LinkedIn introduce something new, they always algorithmically give it more attention. And that’s what’s happening right now with LinkedIn Live. If you go live on LinkedIn, any of your connections who are on LinkedIn as well, they’ll see it coming up in their news feed. In fact, it pops up as a notification saying, “Paul is live on LinkedIn,” and it’s trying to get them to sit and watch you. It’s exactly the same with LinkedIn Newsletters. If you publish a LinkedIn Newsletter right now, algorithmically, it gets a huge amount of attention. We launched a LinkedIn Newsletter, it was back in the middle of February. From just publishing one article in a newsletter, I got 1,500 subscribers. That’s from one article. Which, isn’t that insane? That’s absolutely crazy.

Paul Green:
And certainly in a year’s time, if you were to launch a newsletter in a year’s time, it wouldn’t have as much impact as it would today. Because right now, LinkedIn Newsletters, LinkedIn Live, they’re the hot creator tools, and LinkedIn is desperate for you to use those tools. Algorithmically, they’re getting a lot more attention, and that attention will wane over time. Now, switching on creator mode does actually change your profile. It’s very simple to do, and I’ll tell you how to do it in a second. You just need to be aware of what it will do to your profile. One of the main things it will do is, it will change how a profile page looks. When people come and look at your profile, it’ll change their default option just to connect with you, and instead they’ll have the option to simply follow you. LinkedIn is evolving away from, if you think how it was years and years ago in the past, LinkedIn was just the online version of your offline network.

Paul Green:
And then Microsoft acquired it in 2016, and they’ve gone very much down a content route, and turning it into a proper social media network, which you can use for prospecting. You can use it for job hunting. And I think in future, you’re going to have fewer and fewer connections, and more and more people following you. And the reason for that is, LinkedIn knows that people are using LinkedIn to reach people they don’t actually know. Whereas for years, they’ve been pushing and pushing the quantity, connect to as many people as you can. Now, they’re only really interested in quality, so they want you to have lots of connections, sure, but they want you to have quality connections.

Paul Green:
They’re much more interested in people following you, as well. I had around about 6000, 7000 odd connections. When I switched on creator mode, it’s changed my profile that it now says I’ve got 500 plus connections, as it does when you go past 500, it says 500 plus. I’ve got around about, I think, it’s about six, 7000 connections. But it now says I’ve got 7,103 followers, which is great. That’s really great. And that shows that all those people are following me. And that only happened, that differentiation only happened, when I switched on creator mode. It’s also changed the order of the way that things are shown on my profile. It says, for example, I talk about #mspmarketing, which is a hashtag I’m trying to own on LinkedIn, and it’s moved some of the profile sections around. You don’t have to worry too much about all the different bits on there.

Paul Green:
The advantage of creator mode is it allows you to put your content in front of other people. And the easy way to switch it on is you just go into your profile, within LinkedIn, and if you click on your dashboard, you’ll see something called creator mode. And that will, probably, be off at the moment, unless you’ve already switched it on. You simply click to turn it on, and then the next thing that will happen is it asks you some hashtags, some topics that you talk about often. To me, as I say, I picked MSP Marketing, because that’s my main topic that I talk about. But you will want to pick technology, maybe IT support, maybe cybersecurity, as well. And then you just click save and that’s it, creator mode is now on.

Paul Green:
If you want to, you can go live on LinkedIn. I mean, I would only do that if you are very confident with videos and you’ve got something to talk about, but why not? Why not do that? You can also go and create your own LinkedIn Newsletters. Now, LinkedIn Newsletters are a bit of a fudge really. They’re not really that new. In fact, the only thing that’s new is gathering an audience around to listen to you as you publish something. The actual newsletter content itself is still articles. For a number of years, you’ve had a couple of different ways to do the written word in LinkedIn, you can just do a post, or you can do an article. And an article is a fully formed blog article. Now, the articles haven’t had much algorithmic attention within LinkedIn for a number of years, so they’ve fallen off by the wayside, but they’re back, with a vengeance, as part of LinkedIn Newsletters.

Paul Green:
If you go now and create an article, and make sure you do write a good article, then when you come to publish that it will ask you if you are to set up a LinkedIn Newsletter. And a LinkedIn Newsletter, all it is really, is a theme. You pick a name for the newsletter. You can upload a logo, and I would do a logo for the actual newsletter, rather than your MSPs logo. And you can also choose to publish daily, or weekly, or whatsoever. I would go with weekly or monthly with something like that. And then when you publish your article, it then emails out your article to all of your connections. And algorithmically, it gives it a higher weighting, so it appears in more people’s news feeds. Again, it’s new. LinkedIn is lavishing the love on it, and that means your article is getting in front of more people. How exciting is that?

Paul Green:
That’s why you want to jump on this now, and do this now, rather than waiting six, nine or 12 months, because it will have less algorithmic love from LinkedIn down the line. The only thing is with the LinkedIn Newsletter, if you’re going to do that, you’ve got to keep to your promise. If you say you’re going to publish something on a weekly basis, then you’ve actually got to do it. Because otherwise, I guess, algorithmically, there’s going to be a disadvantage to you. I don’t know what that is, because no one really knows how LinkedIn’s algorithm works. Well, no one outside of LinkedIn, certainly. But it certainly seems like good practice that, if you set up a LinkedIn Newsletter, and you say you’re going to publish weekly, you publish something weekly. I think LinkedIn is going to roll out a whole series of other things in the future for creators, and creating content on LinkedIn is going to become a bigger and bigger thing.

Paul Green:
What’s in it for you? Simply, it’s a way of getting you in front of more people, more often. Good marketing is about getting the right message in front of the right person, at the right time, and LinkedIn is one of the greatest tools to allow you to do that. Why wouldn’t you want to be in front of more people on LinkedIn? Because there’s someone in your area, or your niche, or your vertical who’s woken up this morning and they are really annoyed with their incumbent MSP. You never know. By creating a piece of content on LinkedIn, it could just get in front of them, and that might make them look at it, go over to your profile, go and check out your website, pick up the phone and call you. You could get someone that could be hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds or dollars worth of revenue just by creating a piece of content on LinkedIn today, because it gets the right message in front of the right person, at the right time. That, to me, is what makes this new LinkedIn creator mode absolutely beautiful.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
The members of my MSP Marketing Edge Service have a distinct advantage in creating new content for LinkedIn every week, because we give them original content that they can use. Every week, we give them a video with a professional female presenter talking about technology. We give them a syndicated blog article to go onto their website, and we give them some LinkedIn talking points. Now, they can use all of these things, not only on their web website, but also on LinkedIn. They can put all the content on their website, then they could create a video of their own using the LinkedIn talking points, which is a series of bullet points of things that they could talk about. It’s like a starter to get them started.

Paul Green:
They could even take our weekly syndicated blog, and actually turn that to a LinkedIn article to use for their LinkedIn Newsletter. And certainly, that’s what I’ve been suggesting to our members for the last couple of weeks or so. If you want to take advantage of this as well, because it’s dirt cheap this service. It’s just 99 pounds a month in the UK or $129 US a month everywhere else in the world. And actually, there’s no commitment, at all. There’s no contract and you can cancel any time. And it’s not just this weekly stuff that we give to them, there’s a whole load of marketing tools as well, and a whole bunch of monthly content that we deliver, plus support, plus a community. It’s an absolute bargain, if you are genuinely serious about improving your MSP’s marketing.

Paul Green:
The thing is, we only sell it to one MSP per area. The first thing to do is to visit the website and put your postcode or your zip code in to see if a competitor has beaten you to your area. Just go on to mspmarketingedge.com. All the details are there, and you can check to see if your area is available, mspmarketingedge.com.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Jennifer Bleam:
Hey there, I’m Jennifer Bleam. I’m a Cybersecurity Sherpa, and I help MSPs and MSSPs figure out their whole cybersecurity sales and marketing process.

Paul Green:
And welcome back to the podcast, Jennifer, it’s wonderful to have you back here again. I think you were on with us last year, and I’m sure you’ll be a perennial feature every single year of the podcast. But I know the timing of today’s interview is absolutely spot on for you, because in the last few weeks you have actually published a brand new book on how to sell cybersecurity.

Jennifer Bleam:
Indeed, indeed. It is getting rave reviews, lots of advanced praise. And now that people are actually getting their hands on it, it’s fantastic. Yeah, so how to sell cybersecurity? It’s, obviously, a hot topic. It’s a huge need in the community to learn how do I sell cybersecurity? It’s a little different than selling managed services or manage compliance, and things of that nature. And so, how do we sell it? How do we have that conversation with our clients, with our prospects? And how do we do it in a way that doesn’t make us feel sleazy or slimy? It’s great. I’m very excited.

Paul Green:
Great. We’re going to explore some of the themes of the book in a short while. Let’s just, first of all, back up for someone who hasn’t, perhaps, heard of you, or hasn’t heard you on the podcast, or come across you before. Who is Jennifer Bleam? Tell us all about yourself.

Jennifer Bleam:
I come from a pretty deep world of sales and marketing. I did life insurance sales and health insurance sales for quite a while. Then I started my family. My oldest is 21, youngest is 15, so this was quite a while ago. And while I was in the midst of raising them and being a stay-at-home mom, my husband had this wild idea of starting an IT company.

Paul Green:
Right.

Jennifer Bleam:
And so, when he switched from… I know insane idea, right? When he switched from break fix to manage services, we were part of a franchise at the time, and we broke away from the franchise and he needed some help with marketing and sales. And I went, “I’m your gal.” We were already married, so I was already his gal, but I love sales and marketing. And so, it was really an amazing time for me to be able to not just help raise my kids, but also help him grow and scale his business. And then I jumped over to the dark side about four or five years ago, helped a well-known vendor launch one of their solutions. And we grew very quickly.

Jennifer Bleam:
Then I shifted to a cybersecurity vendor. They were a brand new startup at the time. I think I was employee number three, and so we were selling our security solution, our managed security solution. And we realised that we couldn’t just say, “Here’s this great security solution, go sell it,” but we had to help our partners message it. And how do you have that conversation? And what do you say when they throw an objection at you? And so, that was really my first foray into training on the sales side. I had always been on the receiving end of sales training, and then also selling and closing sales, but it was about four years ago now that I started actually training MSPs and I love it. I love taking all of the different things that I’ve learned, and that I’ve taught to my students, and just reteach those to as many MSPs as I can.

Paul Green:
Yes. And your passion for it is so obvious. I mean, you and you and I are in a lot of the same forums, and same groups, and it’s wonderful. When someone mentions selling cybersecurity, you’re straight on it, and you have such clear straightforward answers, which is why I’m so pleased that you’ve written this book. And I look forward to reading this book myself. I’m sure there’s tons that I can learn from it. Now, you mentioned earlier about selling more cybersecurity without it being sleazy. Why do you think MSPs struggle to sell cybersecurity? Is it as simple as, it’s the fear that we can be too negative, or it can sound and a bit too scare tactic, if you’re trying to sell cybersecurity, and you don’t really understand how people buy it?

Jennifer Bleam:
There’s a couple of reasons why IT pros struggle to sell it. Some of it is that sleazy factor, right? Does my client, or my prospect, really need this? I’m just not so sure. Maybe I, as an MSP, I haven’t lived through a breach or a ransomware attack. And so, I feel like I’m selling ice to an Eskimo. I’m selling something they don’t really need. That’s part of it. But a big part of it is simply a lack of muscle memory. They have… Typically, the people that I’m working with have a lot of experience around selling managed services, selling managed backup, selling co-managed or augmentation, staff augmentation. But selling cybersecurity is new, and anytime there’s something that is new, there is this unease, or this I’m just not super comfortable with it.

Jennifer Bleam:
And so, sometimes my clients will internalise that and say, “I think I’m uncomfortable with it, because it’s unethical in some way.” And when, in reality, they are simply uncomfortable because they’ve never done it before. They don’t have a ton of experience doing it. That’s where this discomfort comes from, it’s just a lack of experience, a lack of muscle memory.

Paul Green:
And is it also, in part, because the end clients, the people that are buying stuff from MSPs, they do want hardware. They do want software. They do want someone to do the work, so they don’t have to. But very few of them, if they’ve never seen a ransomware attack, or some kind of cybersecurity incident, very few of them are sitting there saying, “If only there was more software I could buy that would make it more complicated for me to log into things.” Do you think that factor comes into it, as well?

Jennifer Bleam:
I do. That user… Obviously, everything we do in marketing, and then also in sales, is always about what’s in it for me, from the perspective of the user. And if the user can’t wrap their head around why do I need cybersecurity thing anyway, I’ve never seen someone else get breached, or right now, the way they think about technology is it’s going to make me more productive, maybe more profitable. I can do more with fewer team members. And that’s not a cyber security sale. There’s nobody in the world that’s going to say, “I would like to sell you multifactor authentic, because it’s going to make your life better.” We all hate it. We all go, “I got to get my phone, so I can log in.” We all hate it, but it’s mandatory. And so, you can’t message security as it’s going to make your business more efficient.

Jennifer Bleam:
It really is, at its core, a risk sale, which is a different type for sale. You’re right, clients are a bit of the challenge, because they aren’t seeing the same things that we see all day long. Our brains are woken up to the breaches and the ransomware attacks. We know that they are at risk. They’re completely oblivious to it. Not because they don’t care, but it’s just not their world. It’s the whole reticular activator system in your brain. Once you tell them enough times that they’ve heard you, then they will start to hear people getting breached, or be more attuned to the fact that these ransomware things are happening actually. My IT guy wasn’t lying to me when he told me this, but when their first awoken to the fact that there is a need for cybersecurity, they aren’t going to believe you, just that they’re naturally skeptical.

Paul Green:
Yes. Yes. You just have to briefly explain what the reticular activating system is, Jennifer.

Jennifer Bleam:
I sure will. Okay. We’ve all been a victim, if that’s the right word, and it’s the same thing that happens when you decide, “Hey, I think I want to buy a red Mustang,” we’ll just say. That’s my son’s dream car. And once you’ve bought a red Mustang, or you’ve decided, “Hey, I think that’s what I want, let me start looking at options or looking at prices.” You will see red Mustangs everywhere, and that’s your reticular activating system. You have told your brain, “Hey, red Mustangs are important. Feed me red Mustangs. Let me see them now,” because what our brains are, are really filtering mechanisms. If your brain fed you every piece of data that it sees, you would go insane. You literally would go insane. Every email, every billboard, every conversation happening in the background at the market, all of those things would be enough to drive you insane.

Jennifer Bleam:
And so, your brain filters things out, unless you have decided, or you’ve told your brain, “Hey, it important.” Once you say is this cybersecurity thing really important? If you can get your prospects to ask that question, if you can get your clients to ask that question, that’s a huge step in the right direction. Because once they’ve told their brain, “Hey, is Jennifer really telling me the truth, when she says, I really need to worry about cybersecurity,” then they’re going to see it in the news. Then they’re going to pick up their industry publication and see an article that says three things every blank, fill in the blank, must do about cybersecurity. And they’re going to say, “Jennifer’s pretty smart.”

Jennifer Bleam:
That’s what you want. You want to wake up their brains to the fact that cybersecurity is real, is needed and is urgent.

Paul Green:
Yes, almost train their brains. Train their brains to allow it to slip through the filter that we’ve built up around it. Jennifer, let’s talk about the book and what’s inside it. It’s called Simplified Cybersecurity Sales for MSPs. Give us an idea of… Well, first of all, how long has it taken you to write this book? Because you were telling me before the interview that you felt like you’d bitten off more than you can chew. That this was a massive, massive project for you.

Jennifer Bleam:
Yeah, so it’s really interesting. One of my mentors is really big on saying, “Listen, if you set a goal and you miss it by a few weeks or a few months, but you meet it, that’s not necessarily a loss.” And so, just in the interest of transparency, this was my Q4 goal. And so, in Q4, I got all of the content written, but the second half of the battle is to take that Word document that’s in decent shape, but not fabulous shape, and turn it into an actual book. And that is a much heavier lift than I expected. And so, I actually ended up hiring an expert. She’s a fantastic editor. And, literally, I just went, “Here you go. Here’s my Word doc and my title. Can you help?”

Jennifer Bleam:
And of course, her answer was yes. And it was fantastic. And so, it took me about a quarter to write the content, and then another, maybe, month to get it pushed live. And we did delay the release until my birthday, because I did all kinds of crazy fun stuff with the launch.

Paul Green:
I know.

Jennifer Bleam:
It is doable in 12 weeks, 16 is probably more realistic now that I’m on this side of having achieved the goal.

Paul Green:
Yes. And when you write the next book, and the next book, and the one after that, I’m sure you’ll have it all figured out by then.

Jennifer Bleam:
Yes. It’ll be much different.

Paul Green:
Give us a couple of wins from the book. And we will explore further in our extended interview, which is going to go on YouTube. We’ll explore some more of the themes in the book, but just give us two or three quick wins that any MSP can get from buying your book.

Jennifer Bleam:
The first win is just overarching. The win is actually reading the book, because the book is designed to be read in about 60 to maybe 90 minutes. It’s what I call airplane work. I have a folder on my desktop, where I drag things when I’m going to be on an airplane, and I want uninterrupted time. That’s what this is designed for, literally, a 90 minute flight. Depending where you’re heading, you can get the whole book read front to back. That’s a win, because what that gives you is an overarching view of the cybersecurity sales world. How do you sell it? How do you sell without feeling slimy, which we’ve touched on. And helping you understand objection handling. What objections are you likely to hear and how do you overcome those? Those are some of the quick wins that you’ll get just in a single read.

Paul Green:
What’s the name of the book and where can we get it from?

Jennifer Bleam:
Simplified Cybersecurity Sales for MSPs, I’m going to read you the subtitle. It is the Secret Formula for Closing Cybersecurity Deals Without Feeling Slimy. It is available on Amazon. You can also go out to my website, mspsalesrevolution.com/book. All kinds of rave reviews coming in from vendors, and MSPs, and MSSPs. And get a copy, it’s priced very reasonably. I think you’ll be surprised. This is not one of those books that I’ve put out there, and it’s a $40 book. That’s not my heart. My heart is to get this into the hands of as many MSPs as I possibly can, and price is not an object. That’s just not the way that I roll.

Paul Green:
I love it. Thank you. Thank you, Jennifer. Thanks for being on the podcast. You and I are going to continue our interview over on YouTube. If you want to listen to more from Jennifer, we’re going to be talking more about the sales process for MSPs, selling both managed services and cybersecurity, going a little bit more into the book, as well. You’ll find all of that at youtube.com/mspmarketing,

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. This week’s recommended book.

Jeff Pugel:
Hi, this is Jeff Pugel of ignition.llc, the book I recommend is called The 5-Day Turnaround by Jeff Hilimire. And what I loved about it is, it gave a quick entrepreneurially focused way of how to introduce change within any size company, and the easiest way to sell it in to all the individual stakeholders. As transformative leaders, you can get the success and outcome that you’re looking for, that I found sometimes has often stymied most organisations

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Neil Renwick:
Hi, I’m Neil Renwick.

Tony Capewell:
I’m Tony Capewell, and we are from MSP Dark Web

Neil Renwick:
Join us next week as we’ll be talking on the podcast of how we, as MSP owners, build an MSP dark web scanner from scratch. And we’ll look into all the details on how this is going to benefit your MSP.

Paul Green:
We’re also going to be talking, next week, about focus. When you are working on your business, is it very easy for you to stay focused? Do you get distracted easily? Do your staff or your clients interrupt the important work that you are doing? Or have you found ways to stay completely focused on working on the business, and not being dragged back into working in it? I’ve got some suggestions for you next week, plus a pretty cool app I’ve found, which might help you to, at the very least, block out the digital distractions.

Paul Green:
We’re also going to be talking about gamifying your website. The more that you can make things a game, the more people engage. And the more people engage with you, the more likely you are to turn them into a client down the line. Now, don’t forget, we’ve got the extended interview with Jennifer Bleam from this week. After we finish the podcast interview, we carried on talking for some time, and Jennifer is a fascinating person to speak to. That extended interview is on YouTube right now. And in a couple of days, we’ll be adding Another Byte. It’s our show about the show presented by my friend, Sophie Law. That’ll be there on Thursday. You can see both of those on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/mspmarketing.

Paul Green:
While you’re on YouTube, please do subscribe to our channel. It does help us to spread the word to more MSPs. And if you can subscribe on whichever platform you use to listen to this podcast as well, that would be great. Join me next Tuesday on this podcast and have a very profitable week in your MSP.

Voiceover:
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

 

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