Episode 69: This should be your MSP’s marketing funnel

Episode 69: This should be your MSP’s marketing funnel

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 69: This should be your MSP’s marketing funnel
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In this week’s episode

  • Embrace the ‘science’ and say goodbye to your marketing appearing to be frustratingly random. This week it’s all about Paul’s formula for a great marketing ‘funnel’. You can make it much easier to attract new leads and turn them into clients with this detailed 10 step marketing machine
  • Also on this week’s show, how to increase the fun at work and improve productivity at the same time – it really is a win-win
  • Plus details of six new monthly recurring revenue streams and a brilliant book recommendation from a productivity expert

Show notes

Episode transcription

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

Paul Green:
Hello and welcome back to another podcast. Here’s what we’ve got coming up for you this week.

Paul Charnock:
You’ve now got six monthly revenue streams that MSPs can sell.

Paul Green:
We’re also going to be talking about marketing funnels. In fact, I’m going to explain what a marketing funnel is and tell you what your MSPs marketing funnel really should look like.

Paul Green:
Plus I’ll be offering you a free book, a chance for you to get a copy of my book on MSP Marketing. And we’ve got a book suggestion from a productivity expert who’s helping thousands of business owners around the world to get more done.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Over the last year or so I’ve got into a really good habit with this podcasts, whereby I record it around about a month before it goes out. So as I’m speaking to you now, it’s currently 11:44 AM on Friday, the 12th of February. And I know that you’re all listening to this on the 9th of March.

Paul Green:
The reason I mentioned that is right now I am trapped in the hell of homeschooling, as hundreds of thousands of other parents are, and maybe you are in your area as well. The schools here in the UK have been shut, they didn’t open again after Christmas. And actually, interestingly, what made me think about this is this episode is due to go out the day after the schools might open. There’s all these talk about March the eighth. Did the schools open yesterday? Who knows? I’ll have to wait a month to find out.

Paul Green:
Anyway, so I’m trapped in this hell of homeschooling. I’m a sole parent, there’s just me in the house and my lovely ten-year-old old daughter, Tilda. And when we did lockdown last year, the first lockdown, and we ended up doing, what was it, about four or five months of homeschooling. That was different to how it is now, because it was a new experience for both of us. So I was probably a better parent, paid more attention, did a bit more work. And she was certainly had a better attitude towards it.

Paul Green:
But this time it’s been a little bit different. Her attitude has been a bit crappy, if I’m honest. And I can say this knowing that she can’t hear me right now. The Zoom calls are killing her, and let’s be honest, they kill us all. But this lockdown has not been an easy one for her, and she’s just not been motivated to do her schoolwork. Which is really unusual for her, she’s actually a great student. She does really well at school. She loves school. She’s always gets really glowing reports from her teachers.

Paul Green:
So I’ve been struggling over the last few weeks to make it interesting for her, to make it relevant. The actual schoolwork itself is good, it’s just, she’s just not that motivated. And then a couple of weeks ago, I realised what was missing. When someone’s got a job to do that they really don’t want to do and their motivation to do it isn’t very high, let’s make it a game. Let’s game-ify it. In fact, this process is called gamification. It’s also known as gamification, don’t know why but that’s what some people call it. You take something that you don’t want to do and you turn it into a game.

Paul Green:
Now you can do this for you, you can do it for your staff, you can do it for your family as well. And we’ve turned work into a game of points. So each day she can give herself a point score for the four subjects that she has to do. Just doing what the teacher asked you to do, that gets you a one. Pushing yourself a bit harder, that gets you two points. And if she really excels at something, like when something really grabs her attention and she’ll go on and do a PowerPoint or do something else or film a video or something about it, then she gets three points.

Paul Green:
And if she can hit a certain point score by the end of the week, then we go out on a Friday afternoon. In fact, it’s what I’ll be doing after this recording. And we go out and we have a takeout coffee and a cake, and that’s a real treat for her. And in fact, if she hits it … We added another level as well. If she hits a higher score, then I’ll buy her something of her wishlist of things.

Paul Green:
So we turned the whole thing into a game and, okay, it’s a complicated game, but it’s given her focus. It’s given her the ability to say, “Right. I don’t like geography. I’m not going to push myself on that because what’s the point, but I love English and I love writing stories and I love doing this.” And she’s spending … I mean, a couple of days ago, she spent nearly two hours writing up a story and putting in illustrations and doing all sorts of stuff. Brilliant. Engagement, that’s what we want.

Paul Green:
So you could do exactly the same thing for you and your staff. What’s something that your techs don’t like to do? Perhaps it’s documentation. I was talking to some of my clients this week about this very thing, getting techs to document properly is a major, major thing. And in fact, one of my MSPs that I worked with, they had a major outage at one of their clients. And it was because when they did some work, I think it was around six years ago, they didn’t document it properly. So they couldn’t trace and track down the faults as efficiently and swiftly as they might have done otherwise, and that’s brought the issue to a front.

Paul Green:
And it strikes me that making it a game is the big thing. If techs don’t like documenting, how can we make it a game? Because we can either use the carrot or the stick, can’t we? And I always find that the carrot works so much better than the stick. Sticks have their moment, we all need to stick now and again, but carrots are the better long-term solution. How can we make it a game? How can we make it fun? What about for you? If you’ve got a job that just needs to be done that you don’t like doing, what’s that job? How can you turn it into a game? The more gamey we can make something, the better.

Paul Green:
A lot of the vendors are getting really good at this. And software as a service, when you sign up for new software and there’s an onboarding process, often they’re really, really good at getting you to try things. I mean, even something like a progress bar. If you can see a progress bar and you know that you’re at 65% and you’ve only got a couple more steps to do, it makes it a game. The brain likes jobs to be completed and it becomes a game, let’s complete the game.

Paul Green:
I once bought something called ClickFunnels, which is some software you can buy. And their onboarding, which you had to watch a number of videos and set up your account in a certain way. I got a T-shirt. They actually posted me a T-shirt from the States to the UK. That was the reward, that was the game that we were playing. And there were some fun things along the way.

Paul Green:
So make a list of all jobs that you and your staff hate doing and then consider for each of them, how can we turn these into a game? What’s a fun way of doing it, what’s a great reward that could come at the end of it? You don’t always have to give people money as a reward, something as simple as, “Hey, I’m going to get you all a coffee,” or, “Get a pizza in or something like that when we’ve done this.” That can be a great way of gameifying something and making sure that it actually happens.

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

Paul Green:
Now you’ve probably heard talking in the past about marketing funnels, saying that you need a marketing funnel. What is a marketing funnel? Let me explain it to you at its simplest. A marketing funnel is simply the journey from someone being a suspect to being a client. So there’s a number of stages that they go through. A suspect is someone who’s never heard of you. In fact, if you imagine someone right now looking at you with their arms folded in cynical suspicion, they’re suspicious of you, “Who are you? I know nothing about you, therefore you’re a potential threat.” And that’s what a suspect is.

Paul Green:
Now we then want to take that suspect through the funnel to turn them into being a client. And the next stage of the funnel is turning them into a lead. So a lead is someone who’s joined one of your audiences. So they might’ve joined your email list, as in, you can send emails to them. Or they might’ve connected to you on LinkedIn, or maybe be following you on YouTube or listening to your podcast or whatever. So a lead is someone who’s in one of your audiences.

Paul Green:
Now the next step is when they become a prospect. Now a prospect is where you’re starting to have a one-to-one conversation with them. So if you’re talking to someone and doing quotes or proposals and it’s a one-on-one conversation, that’s a prospect. You can have hundreds and maybe even thousands of leads. In fact, you probably should have hundreds, if not thousands of leads, because that’s a one-to-many conversation. You put out a piece of content or you post on LinkedIn or you send out an email, and that’s quite an efficient way of communicating with hundreds or thousands of people. And that’s what you do with your leads. But they become a prospect when you start having that one-on-one conversation with them.

Paul Green:
Now from a prospect, to the next stage they move on to is becoming an opportunity. So an opportunity is where they have either a want or a need, and they’re ready to take action on it. So not all prospects turn into opportunities. Sometimes we have a conversation with someone and they’re not the right fit, or we’re not the right fit, or the timing’s just not right or whatever. And they go back into the lead pool. But most of the prospects you speak to do become opportunities because they’ve got a want or a need. And critically, and this is the most critical thing, they are ready to take action. And of course we all know what happens after an opportunity. They become a client and they are buying you a Porsche, thank you very much.

Paul Green:
So that’s a sample marketing funnel. I can actually give you a 10 step MSP marketing funnel. Now just because there are 10 steps, it doesn’t mean that it’s complicated. This is actually a very, very easy thing. And remember, if you want to see this written down, for every single podcast we do, we have a transcript. And if you go onto paulgreensmspmarketing.com/podcast, which may be where you’re listening to this right now, but you can go into any episode page and there’s a transcript down there with show notes so you could go and see this written down.

Paul Green:
So this is the 10 step marketing funnel that most MSPs would have. Step one is getting their attention. And that’s simply about … It’s about driving traffic really, it’s about putting yourself in front of your potential future clients. Step two is audience. Like I said, it’s about getting them to connect to you on LinkedIn or get them to join your email list, or join one of the other audiences that you might be running. And an audience is where people are listening to you.

Paul Green:
Now, the third step in your MSPs marketing funnel is building a relationship. And this is the one that can actually take years and years sometimes. This is where you’re educating people and entertaining them at the same time, edutainment we like to call this. And you can turn this into a series of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. So daily you can post on social media. Weekly you can send out your emails, your edutainment emails, and monthly, you post them a printed newsletter. And all of these things, they build the relationship.

Paul Green:
Some people don’t need a great deal of relationship building. They’ve got a need or a want. They’re ready to take action, they just want to know who you are, but there are other people who it’s just not the right time now or in 2022 or in 2023, but in 2024, they are willing and ready to buy. And by that point, they’ll have built a great relationship with you. It’s not actually physically with you, but emotionally they feel as though they know you and that makes you the safer choice. That’s the point of this.

Paul Green:
Now step four is to target people. And for this, you would run a multi-step marketing campaign. If you want to hear more about this, go back a few weeks to the specials that I was running. I did some special podcast episodes at the beginning of January, I think it was, and we talked about multi-step marketing campaigns in those.

Paul Green:
Step number five in your funnel is to have a telephone person. So your telephone person sits very nicely with your multi-step marketing campaign. Because you sent someone something in the post and you’ve sent them some emails, and you’ve perhaps even targeted them on social media. And it’s been the same message that you’ve been hitting them with, just delivered via different platforms.

Paul Green:
And then your telephone person comes along and they pick up the phone and they proactively call this lead. And their goal is to move the relationship forward, keep building that relationship. Qualify them, so check that they would be a good fit for you in terms of the number of users and all of that kind of stuff. And then find out when they’re likely to be ready to switch from their incumbent over to you. Because you have to remember, people only buy when they’re ready to buy. A telephone person is such a critical weapon. In fact, you must have a telephone person. Every MSP must have a telephone person to just warm up the database and just warm people up and move things on.

Paul Green:
Step number six is the outcome for the telephone person, it’s the thing that you most want them to do. And that’s to book a 15 minute Zoom call with you. So whenever your telephone person calls up, this is why they don’t need to know anything about tech or really that much about your business. Their entire goal is to just book 15 minute appointments with you. And it’s on that 15 minute appointment that you make the magic happen. In fact, what you’re looking to do is to move people on to step seven, which is a proper sales meeting. So this is the desired thing for those MPS, “Get me in a room with people who’ve got a want or a need.” And nine times out of 10, you get the business, don’t you? Well, this is a process that’s just gets you more of those meetings. So step seven is the proper sales meeting, step eight is the proposal.

Paul Green:
Step nine is a scheduled followup. I’m a big fan of you setting a time to actually talk to someone, rather than you being the person that’s chasing them. You put it in their diary, you put it in your diary and you follow it up with a letter and an email, and a calendar invite to make sure that they attend. So we’ve got nine steps there, all to take us up to sitting in front of the most perfect prospect and then turning them into a client. And that means that step 10 is when they become a client, it’s high fives all around. Well done, you’ve got a new client.

Paul Green:
Now this is a system, I love talking about marketing systems and putting it in place. But what I’ve just described there are the 10 steps of a marketing system. Go and implement this in the business, and this is how you can turn your MSP into a marketing machine. I’ve said many times, marketing is not an art, it really isn’t. There’s a small bit of luck in there. There’s a small bit of getting the timing right, but it’s a science. All you got to do is put all the steps in, all the cogs of the machine and then just keep turning the handle. You now have 10 cogs of the machine, and all you’ve got to do is go and implement them.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
I heard a rumour, and that rumour is that you might not yet have a copy of my book, even though it’s completely free. I mean, we actually will physically post it to you and not even charge you postage, which sounds insane, except you’ve just heard about marketing funnels. And I want to get you and me into step three, which is where I can build a relationship with you. So I’ve written a book, it’s called Updating Servers Doesn’t Grow Your Business. It’s about the basic marketing things that you need for your MSP. And as I say, we’ll physically send a copy to you.

Paul Green:
So, right. Here’s the deal. Anyone, anywhere in the world who is an MSP can have a copy on PDF completely free. If you’re in the UK or the USA, we will also ship that to you for free. So everyone gets the PDF and we send out the free printed copies if you’re in the US or the UK. All you got to do is go into paulgreensmspmarketing.com and there on the homepage, scroll down a bit. You’ll find an image of the book, you just fill in your details there. And don’t forget, if you are in the UK or the US, you need to give us your address so we can post that to you. Go and get your free copy right now at paulgreensmspmarketing.com.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Paul Charnock:
Hi, I’m Paul Charnock. I’m the co-founder of Plexa. So we supply monthly recurring revenue streams that MSPs can sell.

Paul Green:
And we all love new monthly recurring revenue streams, because it’s the way to grow your net profit. You sell more to your existing clients, and it’s always easier to sell more to existing clients.

Paul Green:
Now, Paul, when most MSPs think about adding new monthly recurring revenue streams, they think of things like email signatures or adding on security bolt-ons or something like that. But the monthly recurring revenue streams that you supply, they’re a little bit different, aren’t they?

Paul Charnock:
Our ethos is all about supporting MSPs with their business. So back in August last year, as you know, myself and Steve acquired MSP White Label Websites to bring under the Plexa wing sort of thing. And then when we sat down and looked at it, we got our heads together and thought – right.

Paul Charnock:
So we bought MSP White Label Websites. What other streams can we give to MSPs to help them grow their profits, and essentially sell in their business? So off the back of that, we’ve created not just one, being MSP White Label Websites. We created another five on top of that, so we’ve now got six monthly revenue streams that MSPs can sell.

Paul Green:
And the weird thing is, even though these are actually marketing services, because I know for example, you do things like SEO and you do branding and other stuff. And obviously we’ll give your website address in a second so people can go and see exactly what’s on offer. But even though these are marketing things, I’ve found over the years that many end clients, so clients of MSPs, ultimately think that MSPs do websites as well. Because I think the thinking is, “Well, it’s a computer. You need a computer to build a website, therefore that must be something that you do.”

Paul Green:
And I’m sure most MSPs have been approached at some point by clients saying, “Hey, would you guys build us a website?” So what we’re doing here is attempting to hook into a demand that’s already there. Would you agree?

Paul Charnock:
Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, and you hit that now on the head there when, the amount of people in the MSP world that we’ve spoken to in the past, they’ve said, “We get people asking us for websites all the time because we sell hosting services, for example.” So if they’re selling hosting, “Why aren’t you selling websites?” So it’s a no-brainer that we can now offer these services to MSPs to sell on.

Paul Charnock:
And the beauty of it is that, as we know at the moment with the current climate, demand is high for the digital world. So more and more people are wanting websites. So when they’re actually selling the websites to their end users, they’ve now got other services that they can pin on to selling a website. So for argument’s sake, someone comes to us now and says, “Oh, we want a website designing and we haven’t got a logo,” nine times out of 10 you’ll have to look for a logo designer or a graphic designer. The beauty of this now model is that the MSP can say to that end user, “Don’t worry about that. We can actually do your logo as well at the same time as doing the website.”

Paul Green:
And that’s so convenient for the end client. And as we know, the more convenient you can make it for people, the easier it is for them to just go, “Yeah, go on then. You guys can just do that for me.”

Paul Green:
So Paul, I know that you work with MSPs all over the world. You’ve got clients in both the US and the UK. And the websites that you’ve set up there, they’re all monthly recurring revenue. So there’s no great big lump sum at the beginning or anything like that, it’s monthly recurring revenue forever. So as long as they want the websites, they just pay the small fee for it every month. And I think I’m right in saying, you’ve set up your operations so that the MSP never really loses control of their client. Is that correct?

Paul Charnock:
Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got a really simple process for this that protects the client, and us as well. And the end-user. It’s a really simple process, where the MSP is approached by their end user for a website or one of our other services. What then happens is the MSP sends them a discovery questionnaire. And we’ve developed this questionnaire across all the different channels that we’re offering, that gets us the right information from that end user.

Paul Charnock:
Once they filled out that questionnaire, the MSP will pass us that questionnaire. We will have a look at it to make sure that the questions been answered, there’s enough information on there. We will pose questions back to the MSP to maybe probe more answers out them or different ways of thinking. After that the MSP will set up a discovery call with their end user, which will be recorded. They will then go through that discovery questionnaire, make sure everything’s in the right place. Once our video has been done and recorded, the MSP will send a copy of that to ourselves and we will review it.

Paul Charnock:
We will then create a brief off the back of that for the MSP to pass to their own client, just to get the sign off that this is exactly what they’re asking for. Whether it be the design of the logo, the website, the copy for the blog, we’ll make sure everything’s signed off and then we’ll go away and build.

Paul Green:
And I think a website is such an elegant entry point for any MSP who wants to get into selling marketing services. And I know that you, Paul, have found something that I found when I used to run a marketing agency, which is if you sell someone a website, it naturally leads onto a conversation about buying SEO, about refreshing their brand, about doing all sorts of other stuff. So I think it’s a very smart way to get into it. Paul, where can we learn a little bit more about you and get in touch with you?

Paul Charnock:
yes, certainly you can head over to www.plexa.co.uk. Where you’ll see Plexa, the main business on there where we support MSPs. But further down there, you will see the six monthly recurring revenue streams that we’re talking about today.

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

Barnaby Lashbrooke:
I’m Barnaby Lashbrooke, I’m the founder of Time etc. My recommended book is a book called Alchemy by Rory Sutherland, a advertising executive. And he’s done a number of fascinating talks online, but he really bridges the gap between traditional advertising and marketing and psychology. And he has some really fascinating ideas about marketing and about how to get messages across to people. It might just help you narrow down into marketing and communicating in a way that really resonates with your clients.

Voiceover:
How to contribute to the show.

Paul Green:
I’ll let you into a secret. I’m actually a very friendly guy, and I’d love to have a chat with you on email. It’s the real me on email. If you want to talk about anything that’s been in this podcast, anything at all, ask me a question, just drop me an email. My email address is hello@paulgreensmspmarketing.com. Go on, drop me an email.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Andrew Wallace:
Businesses tend to focus more on growth than we do on retaining our existing customer base.

Paul Green:
That’s Andrew Wallace from SmileBack. Now MSPs benefit massively from something called inertia loyalty. And this is where the perceived pain of moving elsewhere, outweighs the downsides of staying where you are, which is one of the reasons that you keep your clients for so long. So we’re going to be talking next week about that inertia loyalty and how you can actually leverage it to your advantage. In particular, we’ll be looking at the early warning signs that your clients just aren’t as happy as they could be.

Paul Green:
We’re also looking next week at meeting rhythms. You and your team need to get into the habit of having specific meetings at specific times. Not just to deal with technical issues, but also to deal with growth issues, operational issues, putting all of these into different meetings and having them at appropriate intervals. So we’re going to talk about that next week. And I’ve got a little rant for you about the words user and tickets. I think they are two of the most horrible words that you can use with prospects and clients. And next week, I’ll not only tell you why they’re such bad words, but I’ll give you some better words you can use instead.

Paul Green:
Have a great week. I’ll see you then.

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

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Hi, I'm Paul Green. Couple of times a week I send great marketing advice to 2,657 other MSPs around the world. Want to join them? I'll also send you a free copy of my book Updating Servers Doesn't Grow Your Business

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