Episode 157: Should your prices be on your MSP's website?

Episode 157: Should your prices be on your MSP’s website?

Paul Green

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 157: Should your prices be on your MSP's website?
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Episode 157

Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This week’s show includes:
  • 00:00 I answer 3 of the most common MSP marketing questions
  • 12:09 This is what I think about having a Pricing Calculator on your MSP’s website
  • 19:22 An ex-MSP’s journey to create a tool to give you time back
  • 36:07 A great book recommendation about creating great processing within your MSP

Featured guest:

Brian P. Brammeier is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Brian Brammeier from ZeroTouch MSP for joining me to talk about his journey from MSP owner, to the creator of a time-saving tool.

Brian is an experienced business operator, crisis IT and cybersecurity professional, as well as an investor.  Currently, Brian advises several companies, either as a board member or in a consulting capacity, helping them craft and define their company strategy and cyber security postures.  Brian is also an active investor in various technology, fintech, and pharma/biotechnology ventures.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianbrammeier

Extra show notes:

Episode transcription

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

Paul Green:
Hello and welcome to the show. You look lovely day. Have you done something different with your hair? Here’s what we got coming up this week.

Brian Brammeier:
Hey everybody. I’m Brian Brammeier I’m an MSP veteran. We’ll be chatting about one of my new startups, helping MSPs get time back so they can spend it with their customers.

Paul Green:
That’s Brian Brammeier He’s my special guest this week and he built up an MSP over 20 years. He’s going to tell you about his journey, what he would do differently if he did it again, and what he’s doing now to make life easy for MSPs. Plus, we’re going to be talking about pricing calculators. Should you put one onto your website?

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
One of the most fun things that I get to do is talk to loads of MSPs and answer their marketing questions. In any one week I’m doing a webinar or some kind of interview or something like that. So I thought what would be cool this week on the podcast is to answer three common marketing questions. Now, they’re not the most common ones, but they’re some of the questions that tend to come up again and again because just in the same way that when you are talking to normal business owners and managers, they all kind of ask versions of the same technical and technology questions. It’s pretty much the same for me when I am answering marketing questions from MSPs. So I’ve got the questions written down here on a card and the first common question that I get is, how do I generate more leads?
In fact, I would say that’s probably the number one question I get asked because let’s be honest, that’s why you are listening to this podcast. You want more revenue, you want more new leads, and of course, ultimately what you really want is more new clients. Well, the way that I look at lead generation is there is no one specific answer that works for all MSPs. So every MSP will have a different blend of things and you need to make sure that you’ve got the right strategic approach and then the right tactical approach. Now what do I mean by strategic and tactical? Well, for example, I always recommend the long strategy, the strategy that takes the most time but generates the most highly qualified and ready to buy leads and prospects. And that’s using my three step marketing strategy. So the first step is where you build multiple audiences of people to listen to you.
That’s typically done on LinkedIn through your email platform you can build other audiences as well. This podcast, you listening to me on this podcast is an audience, for example. The second part of that strategy is that you then build a relationship with them, and that’s done through quality content marketing. So putting together good educational content or buying it in and sending that out to your audiences. And then the third step is to commercialise that relationship. Now this is not a fast thing because people only buy when they’re ready to buy and there’s a huge amount of inertia loyalty within the ordinary business owners that you are talking to. So that’s what I mean by a strategy. We’re not talking about tactical stuff. Things like should you use Google Ads, should you be on YouTube? All of those kind of things. And as I say, it differs from MSP to MSP.
I don’t normally, for example, recommend paid ads like Google ads or LinkedIn ads and yet there are a small handful of MSPs that I work closely with who use Google Ads and actually get a pretty good return from it. I’ve talked before about an MSP I work with who puts up with the nine out of 10 of the inquiries they get from Google Ads being the wrong person with a broken screen on an iPad. And that’s not the business they’re after, but for them because of their location, their ad spend is not too high, they haven’t got too much competition. So it’s worth them spending that money on Google ads for that one in 10, which does turn out to be a 5, 10, 15, 20 user business and it’s worth them talking to. So I think for most MSPs to generate more leads, the bigger answer I guess is actually just do more activity.
Certainly the more marketing you do, the luckier you will get because you could put in place that three step marketing strategy that I was just talking about and you might find that in itself doesn’t generate you a ton of leads but along the way you start to get more referrals because the people say, “Oh, well we saw you all over LinkedIn and we saw your book and we saw your printed newsletter and your emails and we know that you’re actively looking for more clients right now.” So they would send more people your way. And you might find that you just get more traffic to your website and you have more conversations on LinkedIn and you find that when your telephone person is phoning prospects, that they get a warmer reception from some of them because you’ve been more active. So I guess if that was the big answer, which I know it’s what you’re looking for, how do I get more new leads?
The answer would have to be do more marketing activity. It almost doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re just doing more activity to groups of people that you could one day sell to. I could do an entire podcast just on that question alone. Next question here, YouTube, should I use YouTube? So you may actually be watching this on YouTube right now. We’ve been massively upping our game on YouTube. We’ve put three high quality videos a week on YouTube, including this podcast. I now actually film this in front of a camera doing a little dance right now, which you wouldn’t see if you’re not watching it on YouTube. But we did that because YouTube has turned out to be one of the major podcasting platforms. So we’ll always do an audio only version, but a YouTube version is now there as well.
Should you be doing YouTube? Yes. Ask the next 100 people that you interact with from the, well ask the next 100 business owners you interact with, do you use YouTube? And 99 of them will say yes because YouTube is not just the world’s biggest video platform and that’s beating by far Netflix and Disney Plus and Amazon Prime and all the other streaming TV providers but YouTube is also the world’s second biggest search engine. Of course it’s owned by Google, which is the world’s first biggest used search engine. And these days if you search, for example, if you searched how to do something, how to ice a cake. And the thing that’s going to come up at the top of the search results is a YouTube clip. And in fact, YouTube has figured out where in the video is the answer that you are looking for, it’s like a little three second clip and it will take you straight to that three second clip.
So YouTube isn’t just there for entertainment, it isn’t just there for how tos, it’s everything. All of video is on YouTube and you should be on YouTube as well. And there are lots of different ways to do it. You can take content that you can buy in and you can put that content onto YouTube. We provide a weekly video to the members of our MSP Marketing Edge service and many of them put that onto YouTube to fill up their YouTube channel, which is great. You can film your own videos, which is always preferred, canned content as in content that someone else has built and given to you that’s better than nothing but frankly the very best content you can do is your own content, you and a camera and a microphone, and just talking about things that matter to the people you want to talk to, which is business owners and business managers.
And I think the thing that stops most MSPs doing YouTube is just fear because it is quite difficult. If you are watching me on YouTube right now, you can see that I’m fairly disciplined. I don’t look away from the camera, I try not to move too much, although I move my hands a lot. I’m physically rooted to one spots. I’ve done just a tiny bit of training on video presenting and most of it is just having presented tons of videos over years and years and years. I’m not naturally gifted at video presenting, it’s just practice. And the MSPs that I know who do a lot of YouTube, and that’s Christian and Lee and a bunch of other folk, there’s a couple in the US whose names have slipped out of my mind, but the people who do YouTube regularly, they have got better just through practice and you can do exactly the same thing.
So yes, if you have any desire within you to be on camera, be on camera, just start small, use your phone, stick it in a tripod, go outside because you don’t have to worry about the lighting and get a decent mic. In fact that’s really it. You’ve got a decent camera, you can get a mic for $20 off Amazon and lights. Lights are good if you’re indoors like this, I’ve got some LED lights here for my YouTube video but going outdoors pretty much answers all of your lighting issues. Just get started. Film a video a week. If you can get into the habit of doing that, you get a year down the line and suddenly you’ve got 50 videos on your YouTube channel and most of them will have five views and that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that as you get better over time people will start to notice you.
YouTube will start to send you more organic traffic. It’s like the boulder rolling down the hill. You’ve just got to get it going and once it gets going and you keep pushing it, eventually it will just have its own momentum. Okay, final question. Oh this is a good one. Now this is one which has started to come up over the last few weeks and few months or so. Should I be on BeReal? Now, BeReal, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t heard of this, but it’s the latest app, the latest social media app. I’ll confess that I’ve downloaded it, I’ve never actually used it. I downloaded it because my child has it. I think it’s some photo sharing app and it’s got some unique quirks which inevitably Instagram and the other big social media networks will copy at some point. My answer on this, and I’ve had similar questions about TikTok, should I be on TikTok and that audio only app, which was big last year, which I think was called Clubhouse.
You see how quickly apps come and go. My answer for all of these is you use these apps, you embrace these apps, if and when the audience that you want to reach is embracing those apps. So you take TikTok for example, and I’m not on TikTok because the person that I want to reach, which is you, the chances are that you are not on TikTok if you are the the middle-aged person that I think you might be. Because most MSP owners and managers tend to be middle-aged and that means they tend typically not to turn to TikTok for entertainment. If you do, I’m not criticising you or being offensive, frankly, what we all do for our own entertainment is as long as it’s legal, everyone’s happy. But for most middle-aged people who tend to be the owners and managers of businesses, they’re not on TikTok, they’re not using TikTok for anything more than a little bit of minor entertainment.
Now and again versus YouTube, virtually all the business owners or the MSP owners I want to reach are using YouTube in some way. So you got to ask yourself the people you want to reach, are they on TikTok? Are they on Be Real? Are they on Clubhouse? And the answer is probably no. It’s the same for Instagram or Snapchat. You use these things only if the people that you are wanting to reach are on them. Instagram is an interesting one for example because if for example, you wanted clients that ran hotels, hospitality owners or restaurant owners, shop owners, those people tend to use Instagram because Instagram is the way that they reach their clients and therefore if the decision maker is on Instagram, then yes, in that instance it would make sense for you to use the Gram. But apart from that, I just wouldn’t bother with it.
So those are three of some of the most common marketing questions that I get. I’m very happy to do this again in a future episode. If you have any marketing question, you can email me anytime it’s hello@paulgreensmspmarketing.com.

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

Paul Green:
Another common question that I get is, should I put my prices on the website? The simplistic answer to that is yes. However, I know it’s a little bit more complicated for MSPs. One of my favorite marketing books that I’ve read in the last few years is They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan and he has an entire chapter. It’s a book about content marketing and taking a very 2022 approach to how you answer prospect questions in your marketing. He has an entire chapter about pricing and essentially if you boil down that entire chapter into a single sentence, it is, tell people how much your stuff costs, put the prices on your websites.
So the reason I know this is an issue for MSPs is because when someone says to you, “How much is it?” The answer from you is always, “It depends.” Because of course it depends on the equipment they’ve got, services, security, there’s so many different variables within managed services. So I think rather than asking the question, should you be putting prices on your website, the question to ask should be, should you put a pricing calculator on your website? And the answer to that is 100% yes. You see a pricing calculator allows someone to answer their question of how much is it? And it allows you to answer back with, it depends. Tell us a little bit about your situation. Me and my team, we’ve been spending quite a lot of time over the last few months looking at pricing calculators. We’ve just recently launched one for our MSP Marketing Edge members that they can put into their websites because we’ve got 700 odd members they can alter whether it’s per user or per device.
And there’re all sorts of different customizations that they can do because different MSPs price things up in different ways. But we spent a long time during the research phase of building this tool that our members can put on their website. We spent a long time looking at what lots of MSPs are doing, what lots of other businesses are doing, and the psychology of getting a price. I know the thing that stops you from putting any kind of pricing on your website is fear. What if someone goes on to a couple of your competitor’s websites and they get a rough idea of price and then they come onto your website and the rough idea of the price they get from you is a lot higher than the rough idea they’ve got from your competitors. Aren’t they just going to not engage with you?
And yes, there is that risk, but I believe there are so few MSPs and I can count just as I’m thinking now about the thousand odd websites I must have looked at over the years of MSPs, I can only think of perhaps five or 10, maybe if it’s even that many that have actually put their prices or a pricing calculator on their websites. It’s a tiny, tiny, tiny number that have done that. And this is what I believe would give you the advantage. If you put a pricing calculator on your website and you are honest that there are lots of different variables and this is an indicative price only, and of course it could go up and it could go down depending on your circumstances, it can be a way of moving the relationship with your prospect forward. What’s the number one goal of your website?
It is to get people to book something with you for the next stage. Ideally a 15 minute video call, that is the entire purpose of your website. Its job is to position you and what you do and your team and who you look after and where you operate and all of those things and it’s to make the prospect feel not think because they are not making a cognitive decision about this. It is to make them feel at a very deep emotional level that you are a very safe choice. And you know what safe choices do? They put their prices on their website. There is an absolute direct correlation between that. So if you’ve been uhming and ahing this, put a pricing calculator on your website. As I say, we have one at mspmarketingedge.com. We only work with one MSP per area. So if your area is already locked, if we’re already working with one of your competitors, I’m sure you can go and build one elsewhere.
There are probably, if you put pricing calculator in, there’ll be WordPress plugins and places to go and get it, but please do do that. The other way of looking at this is how many leads do you currently get off your website a year? If right now you get two leads a year off your website, what damage can you possibly do by putting a pricing calculator on there? You can’t do any damage. If you’ve got an underperforming website and many MSPs do, then one of the ways… There’s no risk, there’s absolutely no risk to you of putting a pricing calculator on there and don’t do anything crazy like make them put their name or their email address in to get the price, don’t do that. Give them the price, make everything available to them without having to give you contact details. The truly, truly qualified, nearly ready to buy prospects who like what they see will get in touch with you anyway.
In fact, they’re much more likely to do it, the more open and honest you are with them with your marketing.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
Bear with me two seconds, hang on. I just need to just press this, nearly done. There we go. Okay, I’ve done it. I can’t do two jobs at once. And the thing is, I had to let another 13 MSPs into our Facebook group. It’s the MSP marketing Facebook group. It’s only for MSPs. There are no vendors and it is the free place on the Tinter web where you can discuss growing your business through better marketing. Now if you haven’t joined already, here’s some of the recent topics we’ve been talking about. Here’s a question that I asked. How you make people feel about your MSP service is just as important as what you actually do for them. Discuss, and we’ve got 596 MSPs, have seen that one.
Got a post here from another Paul about tech data and cynic joining together. There’s an interesting one here from Rob. Sometimes we get slightly off topic ones and this is about why his clients are moaning about a shared Excel workbook being slow to open and which is amusing. It’s got 20,000 formulas in it, means nothing to me, but apparently that might mean something to you. What else have we got? We’ve got here something about signing documents in real time during Microsoft Teams meetings. We’ve got $1,000 giveaway. Here’s another thing for me. Does your LinkedIn headline make people yawn? I’ve got some suggestions in there that you can steal as well. So if you are not a member of this group and how many people have we got? Let me just go up and have a look. Click on members. We have got 1,765 MSPs who are already members. All you do is you grab your phone, go into the Facebook app, type in MSP marketing at the top, but go to groups. So we have a Facebook page, but no one ever goes on that. Go into groups, that’s what you want. And then just push your finger onto my face. Couple of basic questions just to check you’re an MSP and not a vendor sneaking in, and I look forward to interacting with you and talking to you in the MSP marketing Facebook group.

Voiceover:
The big big interview.

Brian Brammeier:
Hi, I’m Brian Brammeier I live in Chicago and I’ve been in the MSP industry for about 20 something years. I founded a Chicago-based managed services firm in 1998. It came organically out of a need I saw in the community. I’m cybersecurity professional. I’ve worked at some companies including Discover Financial, doing security engineering.

Paul Green:
And you’re one of my favorite types of guests to get on the podcast because you are an MSP of many, many years of service who has then exited the business and gone on to fill some holes in the marketplace that he’s seen. So we’re going to come onto your current venture and you’ve got so many exciting ideas. It’s been awesome talking to you is leading up to this interview about the things you’ve been preparing. Let’s roll it back to ’98. So tell us, that was that first MSP that you put together. I guess when you first started that in ’98, you didn’t call yourself an MSP, you were just doing tech support.

Brian Brammeier:
Yeah, I didn’t really have the notion that I was going to start a company. It was more of I had a passion for technology, I had the skill set for it, and somebody came up and said, “Can you do this computer fix for me?” And I said, “Absolutely.” And they said, “Well, how much does it cost?” And that’s when I said, “Wait a second, I can charge people and I can make a business out of this.” And it evolved slowly over time where referrals led to more referrals and then it became an almost 50 person company that got acquired in 2019.

Paul Green:
Okay, and when you were building that, did you have a big plan? Did you have a big vision of, we’re going to build this up and make it big? Or was it just a case of you made some really good smart decisions along the way and the business grew and grew and grew?

Brian Brammeier:
I think it’s a combination of both, Paul. The market back then was nowhere near as frothy and busy as it is now. Just by entering the market and having these services businesses demanded them constantly. They didn’t have great places to go and the number of people offering the services were a lot lower than they’re now. So the initial probably 10 years of the company, we didn’t do any marketing. We did silly things like we didn’t even track customer leads because we had so many leads inbound that we couldn’t service them all. So if the customer wanted to buy right then and there, great. If not, we didn’t even follow up. Now the market’s a lot more advanced on both sides in today’s climate, but it really evolved out of talking to customers, understanding what their needs were, our capabilities, and trying to make sure that we were always staying ahead of what was available. We were not an MSP back when it started, but that’s the direction that things evolved into as we saw market need.

Paul Green:
And no one was an MSP back in late ’90s, early ’90s, it was a completely foreign concept. Although interestingly, I have interviewed a few former MSP owners over the years who stumbled across managed services and got into monthly recurring revenue because it ticked so many boxes. Was that what happened to you guys or was it for you a conscious decision of we’ve got to change this model and get away from this break fix thing?

Brian Brammeier:
Yeah, it was a funny story. So I was at Discover Financial, I was doing security engineering work, I was living at home, but about to buy my first house and have a car and all these expenses and looked at a budget, everything worked out fine. And I was talking to my work and they said, “We really want you to make a decision between doing discover work full time or doing your side business full time.” And I said, “Well, I don’t really see a conflict. We’re not selling credit cards, the work’s getting done.” And they persisted that they wanted me to make a decision, talk to my parents, and I said, “I might have to move back in with you guys, but I’m going to try this thing full time.” And that’s really how managed services came a part of the tech company that I built. We needed to figure out a way to, I wanted to have a way to quantify what we’re going to make every month. I knew what my previous run rate was, but with break fix, it’s harder to guarantee the income. If the customer doesn’t have a problem, they’re not necessarily calling you. So shifting from just in time fix to a more proactive plan gave me a little piece of mind so that was the push that moved us into that category.

Paul Green:
And then I guess the desire to get off your parents’ couch again as you continue to grow that business.

Brian Brammeier:
Yes.

Paul Green:
What was it that made you look at exiting that business? You say you got out in 2019, how early before that exit did you start to think about it?

Brian Brammeier:
Probably I would say almost two years before. And it started out with, there was some activity in the space. M&A right now is really hot in the managed services industry. I looked at buying small companies to plug into my own and we had conversations with a number of individuals that were between one to five employees to be able to plug in and acquire the customer base something I’d call an aqua hire. We would bring them on board. There wouldn’t really be a purchase price, but they would join the company and gain benefit by being part of a larger ecosystem. In the back of my mind, cybersecurity is always something being thought of. And it’s hard for smaller MSPs to participate in the same level of the security landscape as it is a larger MSP. You could have a dedicated security team, for example, once you get big enough.
And so that was one of the conversations we had at these companies we were looking to partner with as well as conversations evolved, figuring out how much time it would take to acquire a larger MSP or to be acquired using private equity money. I’d have to go interview the private equity firms. I’d have to decide how that platform is going to be developed and ultimately benchmark that against some discussions that we were having with two MSPs to acquire us and decided on one and the numbers were pretty close. So for me it wasn’t worth it to build the entire platform from scratch and then have to go through all that process versus joining a company that already existed. And I think the outcome was very, very good for not only us, but the clients and the employees.

Paul Green:
Yeah, yeah. No, I bet. Before we start talking about the future and all the exciting ideas you’ve got, one more question looking backwards, and this is aimed at helping MSP owners listening to this or watching this on YouTube who are in their first three to five years, which I think it’s a difficult thing, it’s a difficult time. You’ve proven that you can actually make a living running your own business. You’ve probably got your first couple of staff, but I think many people get to that three to five to seven year stage where they almost plateau and they’re stuck. They’re stuck with it’s them, and there’s a little bit of help and they don’t necessarily know how to break out to that. And maybe you were at that stage at some point in your business, I appreciate you were growing it during a very different time. If you could go back and throw some advice to yourself back in the day when you were at that stage, what advice would you give yourself? What would you do differently? What would you not do? What would you do maybe faster?

Brian Brammeier:
I think two topics come to mind. One of them is hiring as you described, my hiring strategy because I was very new to this field of running a company and I took very personally the ability for us to hit payroll. We’ve never, in the 20 plus years of running my company, has ever missed a payroll period. And I feel like the making sure you provide that paycheck to your employee who’s relying upon that is mission critical. So my strategy was I would work up to 80 hours worth of work myself and then chop 40 hours of work off to give it to an employee because I know I could always keep them busy. We always had enough work and that was kind of our growth strategy, is I would work it up to 80, chop off 40 hours and give it that employee. That was very lumpy.
My advice to myself and other business owners, if you’re at that point where you’re starting to even exceed that 40, 50 hours of working in the business, take that entire chunk out and work less on the business itself. As an engineer myself, I enjoy the MSP conversations getting into the technical nitty gritty, but at the end of the day, that’s not what is going to grow your business. Working on the business, not in the business is a common discussion. So I’d say stop doing the engineering work a little bit faster and focus on the company itself. And the second is how to utilise debt. I think I learned a lot of that when working with private equity firms and working with larger companies. It’s okay to take on debt, especially if you can use the debt properly and you have good instruments to track when things are due. So if you’ve got good financial dashboards using debt, even if it’s at six, 8% interest, maybe even 10% interest, if you can use that to hire somebody or use that for a marketing campaign that generates more money than the interest is costing you, that’s a business win. So I would’ve utilised debt more often. We never went into debt to finance activities, but I’d recommend people look at that more.

Paul Green:
Yeah, okay. That’s great advice. Thank you. Let’s look now at the future. And you sold that business, was it over three years ago? And how long did it take you to get bored and for your mind to start thinking about filling these immense opportunities that you seem to see in front of you every day?

Brian Brammeier:
So I went from a company that was roughly 50 employees to a company that at the time had about 300 employees. I think now they have about 500. And I was their chief information security officer and chief strategy officer. So I got to see a lot of different facets of the business. I used to be an operator as well, so I had that previous experience and I learned a lot. I appreciate the opportunity and the time I had there. And the output of that was I got to see where companies have scaling challenges when they’re smaller and when they’re larger. And I think that that culmination of experience led me to think about how the MSP industry can be like what the next generation of tools and experience is going to look like for the customer. And there are some companies out there that are hyper focused on all being virtual MSPs or hyper focused on some AI tools.
I think when it boils down to it, the most important thing an MSP can do is to have conversations, meaningful conversations with their customers. MSPs don’t make money by fixing printers, that’s table stakes type of stuff or keeping the computers powered on or Windows updates. Everybody does that. Spending time more than the check on a box I think is not value adding. It doesn’t build the relationship. So trying to abstract the day-to-day stuff from the value add is I think where my head went next. And that’s what led me to start building out software products for the industry. I think there’s a lot of operational tasks that managed service providers do that don’t add value, they actually bogged them down, or if they’re done wrong, they have optics issues with the customer. So the more that we can do to help give that managed service provider time back to go talk to their customer is a huge win. And that’s really where Zero-touch got started.

Paul Green:
Okay. So you are going to be known as the guy that gives you back time. You’re going to be the most popular person in the channel. Talk to us about Zero-touch MSP and I appreciate it. It’s really early days. You’ve got an amazing series of ideas, some of which aren’t quite ready to even talk about, but what kind of tools are you building right now? What’s ready? What’s coming up soon? And if you can give us a vision of where you’re going over the next few years.

Brian Brammeier:
Absolutely. So we have two products right now that are available. The two products that we launched with are a video conferencing platform and I’ll explain what that is. And the other one is a phishing platform. So a common problem that MSPs have are somebody’s in a server room and the Internet’s down or whatever the cause is, they can’t remote in. Firewalls, unplugged, loss of power, UPS, dozens of reasons why, but they can’t see the screen. And so they’re trying to talk to somebody who’s non-technical and decide, do I need to roll a truck or do I try to walk this person through over the phone? And often that walking them through over the phone is a painful experience for the customer. The customer inevitably says, “What am I paying you for? It’s a slow and tedious process. Just come out of here and fix it.” Well, that’s why this Connect product got started.
It’s a way that the technician can send a link to the customer’s phone from a work computer and share the phone’s camera with the technician, audio, video, everything can flow through that platform. There’s no app involved. It’s an instant process and the technician is able to immediately see what’s going on so they can walk the customer through exactly what needs to be done. It alleviates some of that need to have pictures up to date in documentation because even those can get stale. So there’s no Google Meets or there’s no iPhone chat that are iMessage chat that has to occur. There’s no giving out personal numbers. It’s an easy way to save a truck roll essentially, and everyone can log in and share it. So that’s the first platform. The second one is fishing. And there’s a lot of products in the fishing space right now.
I don’t think that we want to build a better fishing platform. I think they’re all pretty straightforward. I think what the focus on ours is around the operationalisation of the fishing within the organisation. So our fishing platform is made to be turned on and never touched again. All the activities that you normally have to do manually like making sure the billing counts are correct, making sure that Office 365 data gets synced into the fishing platform, scheduling the campaigns, choosing the campaigns, sending the reports to the person on the other side, we’ve automated all of that back to what our moniker is, our name. We want it to be set up and forget it. And the data can be sent to the people that need action, like the account manager and the customer point of contact but other than that, you turn it on and you can focus on something else.

Paul Green:
So do you have a bunch of ideas that have sat in your head for a number of years or are you at the stage now of every time you talk to an MSP and they grumble about something that you think, oh, we could create something, we could create a tool that would alleviate that pain?

Brian Brammeier:
Yeah, I think it’s a combination of all of it. We’re pretty active on the MSP thread on Reddit, soliciting feedback from community members, offering some of our early stage products for free to get some feedback. And we’ve got lots of other ideas including how to make the support experience from the customer side better. And so I remember the days where I would join a phone call with a customer and that’s all I had. I couldn’t see their screen, that wasn’t even an option. I had to fumble through it. And nowadays customers are doing phone call, they’re doing video chat, they’re doing remote sessions and chat is an area in which they’re also starting to demand. They want access to the support team in more real time. And that’s the next area that we’re getting into is building a fully integrated system that’ll talk to your PSA and document these things in a straightforward and easy to implement fashion.

Paul Green:
Yeah, I love it. Absolutely love it. You’re in full R&D mode and it’s going to be fascinating to track what you do in the years ahead, Brian. So we will get you back on the podcast next year and the year after. Just tell us finally, what’s your website address? How can we get in touch with you?

Brian Brammeier:
Sure. So the website address is zerotouchmsp.com, Z-E-R-O. Please visit the website, take a look at the products that we have up there. We’ll have a way for you to subscribe to our updates so you can see when new products come out. But the idea behind it all is it’s going to be an ecosystem of connected products that all talk to each other and help you save time in your day-to-day to focus on spending time with the customers.

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

Jamie Shanks:
Hi, this is Jamie Shanks, CEO of Pipeline Signals, and I recommend you read Chet Holmes’ book, The Ultimate Sales Machine. You’re going to recognise that there’s only 3% of a market willing to buy today. So how do you identify who’s that 3%?

Voiceover:
Count up, coming up next week.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
Hi everyone, Lori-Ann Duguay. Make sure to join in next week where we talk about one of the most prominent challenges for MSPs, recruitment, tips and tricks on how to recruit and keep the talent you need to thrive.

Paul Green:
Wherever you listen to this podcast, make sure you subscribe so you never, ever, ever miss an episode, because also next week we’ll be talking about the current state of automation on LinkedIn and something called buyer personas. Now, a buyer persona can be a very powerful way to laser focus your MSPs marketing. I’ll tell you more about it next week. Don’t forget there’s a ton more content for you on YouTube. Just go to youtube.com/mspmarketing. Perhaps you should do it tonight. Spend 20 minutes on YouTube instead of watching that new Netflix show that you are thinking of watching. And join me next Tuesday. 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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