Episode 158: MSP's LinkedIn automation

Episode 158: MSP’s LinkedIn automation

Paul Green

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 158: MSP's LinkedIn automation
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Episode 158

Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This week’s show includes:
  • 00:00 Does automation still have a role to play in dealing with your LinkedIn
  • 08:30 Why a ‘buyer persona’ needs to be central to your MSP’s marketing
  • 15:52 A recruitment expert explains how to find the best new people for your team
  • 35:18 A great book recommendation about coming up with creative solutions

Featured guest:

Lori-Ann Duguay is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Lori-Ann Duguay ‘the people person’ for joining me to talk about how to find the best new people for your team.

After working 21 years in government, Lori-Ann Duguay decided to take a leap and launch her own consulting venture helping organisations with a growth mindset. She helps them build the culture, experience and leadership required to attract and retain the talent that they need to thrive in the new world of work.

Connect with Lori-Ann on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/loriannduguay/

Extra show notes:

Episode transcription

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

Paul Green:
Hey, welcome to another week of the podcast. This is what we’ve got in store for you this week.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
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:
That’s my special guest this episode, Lori-Ann Duguay. Now we all know how difficult it is right now to recruit technicians and also holding onto your best people is a nightmare as well. She is a people expert and an HR expert. And later on in the show she’ll be telling you how you can hang onto your best people and even use your existing best people to attract more great people.
We’ll also be talking about something called a buyer persona. Have you ever heard of this? I’ll explain what it is and how it can be central to your marketing later in the show.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Let’s start this week’s show by talking about the current state of automation within LinkedIn. Now you and I, we understand the value of automation compared to the average business owner. Most MSPs that I speak to readily embrace automation. And why wouldn’t you? When it’s set up correctly and when it’s monitored properly, there are fewer mistakes if you use automation to move information around between different platforms. Why would you sit and have a human entering something into an invoice when you can get the computer to do it for you? It’s insane.
So you and I get that even if perhaps not all of your clients get that. And once you’ve started automating one set of tools within your business, it becomes kind of addictive, doesn’t it? To start to look at what else can you automate. Particularly when you’ve got things like Zapier or Zapier, however you call it, sitting in between lots and lots of different software systems.
But there comes a point sometimes where automation is not necessarily the best solution. And I think we are at a point now with LinkedIn where automation is maybe not the right route for you. Now, this is only my opinion. I’m not a technical expert on LinkedIn and automation. I haven’t spent 50, 60 hours examining this.
What I do through the work that I do, talking to MSPs and just reading stuff and absorbing what’s happening, I get a general picture of what’s happening in the world with certain types of marketing. And my gut feel right now is that LinkedIn automation is not necessarily something that you want to go near.
Now in the not so distant past, LinkedIn automation was definitely a good thing to do as long as you were careful with it. I have around about seven and a half thousand contacts, connections on LinkedIn, and many of those were in fact built up using an automated tool called Dux-Soup, D-U-X hyphen soup as in the drink that you have.
But I don’t use Dux-Soup today. And the main reason I don’t use it today is because LinkedIn did a whole series of changes roughly around a year ago. And since those changes, my gut feel is it’s not worth risking my LinkedIn account now with automation.
And in fact, I did some research just before this podcast looking into LinkedIn automation. I’ve got something to read to you here. The headline from this article, it doesn’t matter where I found it, it’s just something online. It’s asking is LinkedIn automation illegal? And it says, because LinkedIn is a platform for professionals, they want to maintain an atmosphere that reflects such. And one way of doing that is blocking spammers. That’s why LinkedIn states on its prohibited software and extensions page that they don’t permit the use of third party software on their platform.
Does that mean that LinkedIn automation is illegal? It says here, it depends on what you use automation tools for. If you use them for illegal and gray area activities like spamming contacts or scraping data to sell, then yes, it’s illegal. And if you get caught, you’ll get barred from the platform.
Now when you and I think about automating LinkedIn, we’re not thinking about spamming people or scraping data, we just want to automate basic functions like finding new contacts and connecting to those people. But my gut feel is that LinkedIn really, really doesn’t like that. And it would rather that you didn’t use third party tools. So my advice today is that you don’t.
Let me tell you what we do instead. We stopped using Dux-Soup around about a year ago. It was around about the time that LinkedIn changed the limits on how many connection requests you could make in a day. And they basically put more of a focus on quality than quantity. That was the point we pulled our automation tool and instead we hooked in a virtual assistant.
So I have a great virtual assistant called Sam. And Sam’s job certainly on LinkedIn is to build my quality connections for me. And the thing is that Sam being a human acts in a way which could never be detected as automated, it could never be detected as a bot because she’s random in the way that humans are random.
Now, Dux-Soup, when we used to use that, that was very clever because that worked as a browser extension. So I had it in, well, I didn’t, my colleague James, who’s my marketing manager, had it installed into Chrome. And he would run it, in fact it was on one instance of Chrome on a laptop he didn’t use, and he would run it every day. And essentially it was coming off his IP address, not off some central server’s IP address. So that’s why LinkedIn I guess couldn’t detect that we were using Dux-Soup.
But it’s only a matter of time, surely in my view, till LinkedIn can figure out the patterns of behavior of these kind of bots. And I’m sure there are some people at LinkedIn working on this right now.
So in my mind, using a human to achieve the same effect seems a much more quality way to do it. Yes, it costs me a lot more money to have Sam attempting connection requests for me, but the quality I believe is likely to outweigh it. And LinkedIn has become a very important sales tool for me, as it should be for you too. You do not want to risk your LinkedIn account ever. So we have Sam now, she will take connection requests, she will accept them on my behalf and she’ll just leave the more complicated conversations for me.
So when someone asks for advice or wants to form a partnership or something, I will go in and I’ll do those a couple of times a week. But Sam’s doing the basic stuff there. She’s doing basic messaging. If someone joins our MSP marketing Facebook group, then she’ll go and try and connect to them on LinkedIn. So she’s doing all the things that Dux-Soup that the automated tools used to do for us.
I tell you the one big advantage that we get from having her do that as well, is that she’s using her brain and she’s looking at each person as an individual person and not just another automated request. So for example, if an MSP connection requests me, and then let’s say she sees that they’re in a certain city, and they start talking about their marketing, Sam knows for example that we only work with one MSP per area on our MSP marketing edge program. So she can actually head off and say to them, I have just checked and your area’s not available, so sorry, would you like me to add you to the waiting list? Because we have a healthy waiting list for most areas that we’ve sold around the world. And no bot could ever do that. I mean, maybe we could program a bot to do that, but they’ll never do it with the care and the quality that Sam will do it.
And I think to me that’s the big advantage because LinkedIn, more than any other platform right now, is pushing on quality, quality, quality. It wants quality content, it wants quality connections. It’s all about the quality. And in my mind we’ve reached the point, and we’re certainly at that tipping point, where automation just cannot give you the quality that a human being can do.
So the question for you then is if you’re not using automation in LinkedIn, I wouldn’t start, just my opinion, but I wouldn’t start. Instead I would find a trusted virtual assistant who can go in and who can run your LinkedIn for you, so you don’t have to. It’s certainly worth having a look at that because it’s a quick way to beef up your LinkedIn, to get more LinkedIn connections and just do more activity in there without having any risk of LinkedIn detecting you using automated tools.

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

Paul Green:
Do you ever have a moment where you sit down and look at your marketing and think, I’m really not sure if what we’re doing here is right. I don’t know how to reach people, how to generate leads, how to get appointments with them. I think most MSPs, in fact most business owners, have that point where they’ve got their head in their hands and they’re just thinking, I don’t know what I’m doing.
One of the easiest ways, or maybe not easiest, but one of the most robust ways to get your head clear on your marketing is to know exactly who you’re trying to reach and what kind of messages they will best respond to. And this is traditionally done by creating something called a buyer persona.
Now the phrase buyer persona is not a particularly user-friendly name, but it’s the kind of thing that’s quite googleable. So we’ll go with it for this podcast. A buyer persona literally personifies your ideal buyer. And what you do is you put together your idea of how this person thinks, how they act, what they worry about, so emotionally what affects them, cognitively what affects them. And you start to build up a picture of this other person.
Because the biggest problem you’ve got with your marketing really is that you are trying to market something deeply technical and difficult to people who are, well, they’re not you, they’re not technical, they’re not technology people, but they are business people. So you are trying to reach people and you’re trying to influence people who are not like you. And that’s hard. That’s really, really hard. And this is where the buyer persona comes in.
So we’re going to briefly put a buyer persona together. Now if you’re watching this on YouTube, because we do do this podcast now, I film it on camera for YouTube as well as all the audio platforms. If you’re watching this on YouTube right now, you’ll see that I’ve got a little cardboard cutout of Matt Smith. He’s an actor from the UK who played Dr. Who from 2010 to about 2017, something like that, 2015, whenever.
Don’t ask why I have a cardboard cut out of Matt Smith. I just do. It’s just one of my things. I like Dr. Who.
So Matt Smith is going to be our buyer persona and we are going to pretend that instead of him being Dr Who, a thousand year old time traveling Gallifreyan who travels around the universe in time and space in his blue box called the Tardis, instead of him being Dr. Who, he is going to be Jim Smith, a business owner. And we’re going to look at him and we’re going to build up a buyer persona for Jim Smith.
So we’ve got to remember that, let’s say Jim Smith is a CPA, he is an accountant, so obviously he’s an exceedingly boring person because he’s an accountant. What do we know about accountants? What do we know about Jim Smith? Well, we know that he is probably qualified, he’s probably regulated and because he’s regulated, maybe some of the greatest stress in his life comes from his regulator. So maybe for him a cyber attack isn’t so much about losing data, as actually being punished by his regulator. So regulation is a big thing for him. In fact, he’s actually in a trusted position, I’m just going to put him down, can’t hold Matt Smith next to me for a while, maybe he’s a trusted member of the community. Maybe because he’s got 50, 60, 70 businesses in our community who trust him with their accounts, maybe to him holding the quality of what he does, keeping that high, maybe that’s a massive driving factor for him. And maybe that’s a bigger driving factor for him than maybe his staff’s convenience or the speed of their internet or something like that.
What keeps Jim, our buyer, our business owning buyer persona up at night? It’s loss of data. Maybe it’s losing a client. Maybe he’s worried that they’re falling behind in terms of technology. Maybe he’s worried about his staff leaving him.
You can do this for your buyer persona. You can pick your perfect buyer and you can ask yourself all of these big open questions. What keeps this person up at night? What do they worry about? What do they fear? What makes them happy? What are they working towards? Where would they want their business to be in a year’s time, in three years time, in five years time? All of these are the kind of things to ask.
And you’ve got to remember, you cannot think like you, you’ve got to think like your buyer persona, like your person that you are targeting at.
Now, you can take this a step further, you can start to, and this works very well when you are in a particular niche or vertical, you can start to read the news that they read, the magazines that they read. If you’re just looking for business owners geographically, read the local business magazines, read the business blogs, read the business news. What kind of things are they worried about? Are they thinking about? Are they aspirating … Aspirating, is that a word? What’s aspirational for them right now?
The more that you can get inside the head and heart of your ideal buyer, the easier you’re going to find it to do marketing towards them. Because the hardest thing for you is doing marketing that doesn’t appeal to you. You are not your target audience. Your target audience thinks and acts completely different to you.
So this is something that you could actually get all of your team involved in. You could make this fun. Or you could do it with your other business owning friends if you’re all targeting the same people. Or if you have an MSP peer group, this can be done within the peer group. Most MSPs have very, very similar ideal prospects, buyer personas that they go towards.
But spend time on this. Consume the content that they’re consuming, try to think like them. Look at the world through their eyes. Ask yourself big questions about how they’re thinking and how they’re feeling.
And then any time you do any marketing, and that can be as simple as your business card, your website, anything you do on LinkedIn, an email that you send out, anything, ask yourself this question, does this directly talk to my ideal client? Does this talk directly to the buyer persona, to the person that I most want to reach?
If it does, then you release it out into the wild. If it doesn’t, then it has failed the so what test. It is not likely to be relevant to your ideal buyer and you need to go back and do it again. And I know that there’s a certain amount of distress in creating some marketing and then having to do it again. But there’s no point putting out there marketing that doesn’t talk directly to your ideal client. This is the power of the buyer persona. It gets you completely focused on the people you most want to reach and how you can most easily influence them.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug. Blatant plug.

Paul Green:
As you’re growing your MSP, we have a very cool comprehensive free resource available to help you. I have a team of content creators and editors who’ve been working with me for the last year taking all of our content and reshaping it to make it as useful as possible for you.
We’ve put it all in something called a Learning Hub. And if you go to paulgreensmspmarketing.com, up at the top it says Learning Hub in the navigation. Tap on that and go and have a look and you can search for anything. You can go and have a look at articles. We’ve got hundreds of bits of content in there. And it’s all aimed at helping you to get more new clients, drive more revenue and sell more to your existing clients.
Go to the Learning Hub right now at paulgreensmspmarketing.com.

Voiceover:
The big big interview.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
Hi, I’m Lori Ann-Duguay, I am a workplace culture strategist, an HR consultant. I am very passionate about helping employers and organisations create the employee experience needed to be able to attract and keep their talent.

Paul Green:
And it’s such a hot topic in the MSP world right now because I don’t know what it’s like with your other clients and the rest of the world where you’re working, Lori, but right now it’s really, really hard to get technicians. And I’ve spoken to MSPs in the UK, in Canada, where you are, in the US, even in Australia and everyone is really … Well, there’s two issues. There’s retention of existing talent and then there’s recruiting new talent. Is this a universal problem the world over or is this just a tech thing?

Lori-Ann Duguay:
It’s not. Unfortunately I’d love to say it’s really only relevant to the one market, but it’s actually universal. It is a job seekers market out there. One in four employees are currently shopping around because it’s a job seekers, they’ve got tons of choices.
So when you said that challenge is two tiered, not only acquiring and getting that talent through the door but then actually keeping them and being able to keep them engaged enough for them to stick around and not just occupy space or be tenants of the workplaces, I like to refer to them, but really go above and beyond and perform at the level you need them to perform in order for your business to thrive.

Paul Green:
And it’s extra pressure on the business owner though at a time when we’re all really busy trying to grow our business anyway. Tell us a little bit about your background and what puts you in the position of being a culture … Was it a culture strategist, was that how you described yourself?

Lori-Ann Duguay:
Culture strategist, culture catalyst. I actually like to come into organizations and actually just assess their existing culture and figure out where there might be room for improvement. And then really help them optimise that experience and that culture they provide to perspective and existing employees.
So I actually worked for 21 years for government. I was in a variety of strategic roles, and for provincial as well as federal government. And what I learned from that experience is how not to do employee experience essentially. They’re great by all means, and it was a wonderful career that I had with them. But I find that a lot of, when it came to engagement and assessing and measuring how happy, how satisfied, how much their employees are thriving, it was done as a check mark exercise. The surveys were going out, we were providing, there were focus groups put together, but whether or not they were really committed to actually changing and applying some of the data collected and really starting to use it to influence that design of that future experience. Not at all. It was done annually. Check mark, it’s done. That’s it.
And I realized that I myself had become one of those tenants I referred to. So I started to look at how could I do something different. But all the while, the part of my career that I loved the most is when I was working specifically in HR, in a strategic HR role, where I was able to really start to devise these strategies to improve a number of our existing processes but also to start to proactively put together some initiatives that are going to help us retain our people.
Because even government, usually people will think those golden handcuffs, benefits, and you got nice pension, cushy pension and benefits and all this time off. So I call them almost golden shackles that actually fuel I find an entire population of tenants within our ranks.
So really how can we look at those motivational drivers, so what are some of the things that make people not just show up and occupy space, what are some of the things and some of the elements that you can work into that day to day work environment that will drive the level of motivation and thrive that you need to be able to succeed.
So I started to really deep dive and think about those motivational drivers and came up with a bit of a methodology where I thought if the uptake is not happening within government, let’s look at actually implementing this methodology for other organisations outside of government.
And actually ironically, I actually have quite a few government clients now that use the methodology. So just interesting little sidebar on that.

Paul Green:
Definitely ironic. Definitely an ironic thing.
So let’s look at three major areas because these are the three areas that come up the most often when I talk to MSPs. First area I want to look at is getting your first couple of staff. Because it is really hard. And anyone that’s been in business for more than two, three years and has got past their first staff knows all the things that you do wrong. And it’s very hard to tell someone about that when they’re hiring their first member of staff.
Then I want to look at how we retain people without that golden handcuffs. What are better ways of retaining people than just overpaying them. And then finally, let’s look at recruitment, if that’s cool with you.
So you are talking to an MSP owner, they’ve started the business, it’s been just them for six months or however long. It’s okay, they’re now busy and they’ve realized there’s that crunch point between … there’s just not enough time, not enough time and resource to win new clients and actually service the existing clients. So they have the brainwave of I should hire a tech.
For those MSPs listening who are in that position, tell us right now what mistakes they’re going to make and how they can avoid those mistakes.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
Okay, interesting. So what are the mistakes that they’re going to make. Okay. So when they’re hitting that inflection point and they’re starting to think, okay, I definitely can see where I’d have enough workload for someone to … I think one of the first mistakes is to attempting to right away go to full time. I think you’re best off transition into, when you’re starting to delegate, you’re starting to assign some work outside. You almost want to make it a bit of a smaller transition, like a slower transition, by going with some casual or some temp staff.
As you’re starting to fill it out, think of it as working interviews if you may. There are ways of really trialing people and trying them and doing it with … One of the mistakes that I’ve seen a lot of organisations make is go with their heaviest client. So give some of the biggest work to that new person or that temp as a means for them to free up their time, but it’s also the highest risk.
So I would say start with smaller safer contracts that you’re really able to start to get a bit of a realistic preview of what you can expect and how they work. And then I would say then transition that into a more full-time contract as you move forward.
Different countries have different laws regarding payroll and all that administrative HR stuff revolving around and there may actually be benefits. So speak to your accountant as well to see what are the benefits of subbing the work as opposed to actually bringing them on as full-time employees. You might want to weigh the cost-benefit and have that analysis done to make sure that you’re doing it strategically and not shooting yourself in the foot by either going full on with an employee or full on subbing. Really finding that sweet spot. Is that helpful?

Paul Green:
Of course in our world as well there’s outsourced support and lots of MSPs have lots of different opinions about it, but it can fill a void, you can find, as you say … It’s funny, as you get older, and I’m 48 now, Lori, and I’m not going to ask how old you are because a gentleman never asks a lady her age. But certainly the people I know that I was working with 20 odd years ago, we are all a bit older, we’ve all got a bit grayer, they’ve got fatter as I’ve got thinner, which is cool, but everyone’s looking for flexibility as much as anything. And I have got some friends now who pretty high level of skills who are working perhaps a couple of rungs down on the job ladder because the flexibility and the lifestyle suits them more than they need the money.
So I think you’re right, and certainly technology skills are very transferable from country to country. It’s a very open market, whether you go to an outsource thing or you find freelancers. Okay, good advice there. Basically start small and work up.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
And transition it. But also use it as your working interview. You’re using this to feel them out and start to … As opposed to posting a job for a full-time position and then you go through the selection process. And some people are really good at interviewing, which sadly doesn’t necessarily reflect in their work or their work ethic. So sometimes it’s best if you can transition them and feel them out, do a bit of a realistic work preview with them before you actually start to hand over the bigger work.

Paul Green:
In terms of then hiring more people, for the MSPs that are listening that have already got a number of techs, how do you beat other people in a really tough recruitment market?

Lori-Ann Duguay:
Okay, so now I feel like you’re touching two things without intention or not. You’re talking about retention. How do you create the work experience that will have them coming to you as opposed to you constantly having to run after, how do you fill that prospective pipeline of talent.
So I’m going to actually speak about them concurrently because I think ultimately the way to recruit, and one of the best strategies, is to create that kind of work environment. Talking about that employee experience again, talking about the motivational drivers.
So flexibility, I heard you allude to it earlier, absolutely, work-life balance is a huge, huge motivational driver. It’s always been there I think, but obviously the pandemic and the entire global crisis really gave people time to pause and to reassess and to start to see that there’s more to life than this hustle culture.
So that being said, if you’re able to provide work-life balance, and again we talked about it really briefly, but bringing the human back to human resources. So to have faith and trust your employees to do the work that you’ve hired them to do.
When you think about the leadership style that’s resonating with the younger generations, it’s more of a coaching empowerment style. It’s not this command and control. This you do as I say, not as I do, ain’t going to fly anymore. So to really be able to be more human and take a more people centered approach, take the time to understand the needs and the preferences of each of your team members as a means of then crafting that ideal work experience that’s curated and unique to them and meeting them where they’re at will go a long way in terms of word of mouth.
And I think you’ll see that snowball effect from just creating that work experience and then encouraging your employees to speak of their work experience, of their employee experience.
Because I had one of my clients where I said, what’s your secret sauce? I’ve heard you say at one point that you’ve never spent a penny in marketing for recruitment. And he said, no, I haven’t. And I said, so what’s your secret sauce? And he says, good people know good people. Good people generally can refer you someone within their circle of friends or family or whatnot that would align with their work ethic, would align with their … So he says, I really encourage them to go out onto the Glassdoors of the world and really speak of their experience as a means of not only garnering some of those referrals, but also of getting those additional referrals from people just reading reviews about this specific employer.
So certainly providing that work-life balance, encouraging your employees to actually speak of their experience. But then also diversifying, we want to get back to the recruitment piece, we know which are those schools out there that actually produce high quality, their program and the curriculum by its very nature create really high quality programmers or technical folk.
So that being said, I think it’s really important to network and to establish a great rapport with some of these institutions as a means, again, of diversifying that pipeline of where you’re going to get your talent. And making sure that you’re already connected. And there’s a bunch of government grants out there and different programs for funding to hire new grads. So certainly just putting all the chances on your side in terms of not only having that source of talent but also optimizing by reducing the cost of hiring them by having these different funding options to help offset the cost.

Paul Green:
Yeah, that makes sense. And getting your current great staff to recommend other great people, that’s just such a sensible thing. And of course they won’t do that unless they’re loving the work that they’re doing for you. So that in itself is almost a barometer, isn’t it, of how well you’re doing with your current people.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
It is. One of the things that when people say, well, I don’t know if my employees are happy, I don’t know. Have you ever heard of the employee net promoter score?

Paul Green:
I’ve heard of net promoter score, but I didn’t know there was an employee version.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
There’s an employee version. One question, how likely are you to refer this place of employment to friends or family? And you need to add the caveat, to someone you actually like. Because some of them are like, I hate my place of employment, so for sure I want this person to work here. So to someone you actually like.
And then you can add a follow up to that saying, please provide insight as to why you scored us this. And it’s between one and 10. And it’s actually a very specific formula. Anyone can just Google employee net promoter score and all the formula will come out. But it’s really quick and easy. People will totally do one question surveys, they’re quick and done.
But it gives you a bit of a baseline measure. It actually enables you to have an actual number. Then as you’re starting to be more proactive with your HR strategy and be more proactive in terms of starting to address some of the issues at play, then you can remeasure and see if you’ve actually effectively increased your overall employee net promoter score.

Paul Green:
Such good advice. And from memory, SurveyMonkey has net promoter score built in as part of its functionality. So you can very quickly spin that out into a single survey question. And of course SurveyMonkey is pretty much free at that kind of level. It’s only when you’re surveying thousands of people that you have to start paying for it.
Final question for you then, Lori. The biggest recruitment and retention issues for MSPs speaking broadly right now tends to be their very senior people. So those first line techs you were talking about, new grads and various programs and schemes, I think it’s a lot easier to hire a first line tech. Perhaps an experienced first line tech a little less easy. But to get someone brand new in, to shape them the way you want them, that’s a hell of a lot easier than finding a second or even a third line tech, 10, 15 years on the job, they’re earning big money already. And as you said right at the start, one in four people are, because it’s a job seekers market, they’re looking around to see what else is good for them.
So we’ve talked about flexibility, we’ve talked about having a culture where people enjoy their work so much that they would actually recommend their friends. What other things can we do to attract these very senior, highly skilled people and keep them for longer?

Lori-Ann Duguay:
That’s a really great question. And to attract those senior people, I mean, honestly, people assume that pay and compensation is the number one. It’s always in the top five reasons or complaints when we do any employee satisfaction survey.
But certainly I think if you’re able to offer compensation, but maybe offer alternate means of compensation, maybe you’re offering telework as an option, which I believe is pretty par for the course with MSPs. So you’re offering hybrid models, you’re offering 100% telework. You’re offering that level of flexibility, which we already talked about, but certainly not only offering it, but as a means to attract specifically. Talking about how people can actually fit the job description to their own preferences and they can customise it, they can change it, that it’s not this rigid approach. It’s not, this is the job description, either you cut it or you don’t, you’re out. Really being a lot more flexible. But working with them to empower and coach them into stepping in.
One of the things I would say is, some of the more junior people who you already have on your team, start to think about what kind of curated training or developmental opportunities could you be providing them specifically as a means of using your internal pipeline to grow that level of seniority, that level of expertise.
Perhaps if it’s just mapping out your entire expertise inventory with your existing folks and being able to then have them identify which roles they want to grow into. Because growth and opportunities for development is a huge motivational driver as well. So where is it you’d want to grow within our company? And help them grow and invest in them that way. To plant that seed of loyalty, they feel invested in, they feel valued, they feel seen and heard.
So certainly if you can work on your existing more junior positions, but then also ensure that your senior positions that are already within your company, that they’ve got the tools to be able to provide that coaching and that empowerment to grow your potential.
And then that last note, if you’re able to identify those high potential, and then incentivize with compensation and/or any other benefits you’re able to provide as a means of attracting those high potentials. Because those high potentials will easily grow into that higher senior position.

Paul Green:
Yeah. Perfect. Perfect. Lori, tell us a little bit about what you do for business owners to help people grow their business? And how can we get in touch with you?

Lori-Ann Duguay:
Okay. I meet them where they’re at. I think I work with everything from small to global companies. First we start by mapping out the existing experience. So put yourself in the shoes of your employee, get them from the moment that you’re actually pitching at the interview, all the way through to their exit. And talking about some of the practices and some of the experiences relevant to those 10 motivational drivers. I didn’t cover them all.
But certainly if folks want to check out my website, they can download a free infograph that has all of those 10 drivers. Which are essentially those secret ingredients that you want to infuse into that day-to-day work experience for every employee in your company, be it frontline services, all the way through to senior leadership. You actually need to think about these things. And then help them map it out and then talk about some of those processes. And then we normally would develop a short term, medium, longer term solutions and then work at implementing them.
But where I differentiate is I actually work with the company and their people. So my approach is to really, I’m not going to one and done, and then you got to call me back. I’m going to build the capacity from within your ranks. We’re going to build the frameworks, the infrastructure required to maintain these kinds of programs and initiatives on a long-term basis.
So, that’s essentially what I do. I help them create that culture that drives people to them as opposed to them constantly having to run after their next talent. So, that’s basically what I do in a nutshell.
And folks who want to connect, I am on LinkedIn, they’re more than welcome to connect that way. Or check out our website. And again, there is that infograph as well as a series of videos that elaborates a bit more about how to create that culture that people want to work for.

Paul Green:
And just give us your website’s address.

Lori-Ann Duguay:
Www.thepeopleperson.ca because I help bring that human side, help people become more people centric.

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

Colt Briner:
Hey, this is Colt Briner from Scrappy AF Solutions. The book I want to recommend today is Creative Acts for Curious People. It’s a fantastic way to develop your creative capacities that’s both coming up with ideas and implementing them. Tons of fun exercises in here for both you and your team to level up your creativity.

Voiceover:
Coming up, coming up next week.

Andrew Down:
Hi, I’m Andrew Down from Vendasta. I’ll be on the podcast next week talking about how digital marketing solutions could be your next revenue stream for your MSP.

Paul Green:
Do subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast so you never miss an episode. On top of next week’s interview, we’re asking, is data capture dead? Is it still worth trying to get ordinary business owners to enter their contact details on your website? I’ll also be asking you when was the last time you googled your MSP?
Now we’ve got a ton of extra content for you at youtube.com/mspmarketing. 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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