In this week’s episode
- Whilst LinkedIn is seen as the leading business marketing platform, Paul explains how Facebook can still do an amazing job for you, by using their remarketing tools
- On the subject of LinkedIn, special guest Fiona Challis (an MSP sales expert) shares some great tips on using LinkedIn to drive lead generation
- There’s a brilliant question from podcast subscriber Mike about how and when to do the marketing for your MSP
- Plus Paul explains how Christmas could be an extra magical time for your business
- The show is taking a holiday too – episode 8 is out on Tuesday 7th January 2020
- Out every Tuesday on your favourite podcast platform
- Presented by Paul Green, an MSP marketing expert
- You can find out more about remarketing on Facebook here
- Here’s a link to Paul’s Facebook group for MSP Marketing
- Thank you to special guest Fiona Challis who runs the The Next Gen Sales Acceleration Academy
- The question about how to find time for marketing came from Mike Annesley from Mikrotek Solutions Ltd
- Our guest on the next show on 7th January will be MSP expert Nigel Moore from The Tech Tribe
Voiceover: Made in the UK, for MSP’s around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.
Paul Green: Here’s what’s coming up in our last show before Christmas.
Fiona: They’re sending these big, long and impersonal messages that, they’re really just taking what they would have said in a cold call and put that in a LinkedIn message and expecting a result.
Paul Green: I’m also going to tell you how you can utterly dominate online advertising for a very select number of your hottest prospects. We got a great question we’re going to answer about, how do you find time to implement marketing stuff in your MSP every single day?
Voiceover: Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.
Paul Green: So this is the last podcast I’m going to do before Christmas. In fact, we’re going to have a two week break, no podcast next week or the week after the next one, episode eight will be out on the 7th of January. What I like at this time of year, is we’re just a week or so away from Christmas. What I love is the the opportunity to disconnect from the business a little bit, really get back into family time and, really enjoy some policy time, not just with the people I love, but also in my own head, and to me that’s the power of holidays. I talked about this back in episode two and about how important it is for us to have quality holiday time. At this time of year, it’s a good reminder that actually, it’s good for us to mentally disconnect from the day to day stuff in our business. Because you and me, we’re business owners, we started something amazing, it’s our baby, we want to throw everything into it and make as much of it as we can and we tend to obsess over it. It tends to be a such a big part of our lives at all times and that’s a great thing until it becomes too much, until we lose the balance.
Paul Green: I think Christmas is a great time for everyone who has a break for whatever reason, to just get away and stop thinking about the business for a few days, because it’s when you stop thinking about the business that the real magic starts to happen. You and I will have seen this before, for example, you take a week off, you go away on holiday and the first couple of days you’re not really yourself, you’re kind of coming down from being that person you are when you’re at work. On day three or day four, you reconnect with a different kind of view, a different version of you, and that’s when you start dreaming, and you start thinking, and you start having these big ideas and these visions. They are always there in the background, but you need that holiday time to reconnect with them.
Paul Green: My wife always used to say that the person I became on day three or day four of the holiday, was the person she fell in love with. And, the person I was actually, most of the time when I was busy with work was a different version of that person. So it’s good for our families, it’s good for us, but you know what? It’s great for our businesses to just have some time off as well and to just disconnect and to focus on other things. Every single time I have a holiday, no matter what we do, where we go, whether it’s an activity one or sitting by sunbed warm, I come back and I’m more motivated, I’m more driven, I’ve got a greater vision, I’ve got more good ideas and the business is better for it. Do you know what? I see a kind of a of a short-term effect of this when I stop working Fridays, and it’s a habit I’ve got out of and I need to get back into that.
Paul Green: But, for a long time I didn’t work Fridays at all, so I would have three day weekends and it was great because I had loads of quality time for my daughter, but also loads of quality time for me. I’d go to the cinema, I’d go and buy clothes, I’d go and have a sit and have a coffee and inevitably, as Monday morning rolled around, a great idea would be there or I’d have more drive or my motivation. In fact, I’m convinced I did more in those four days a week than I used to do right now, working five days a week. In fact, I’ve just now come up with my thing, there we go, there’s my thing for early next year, I’m going to stop working Fridays again, I’m going to go back to just working four days a week and it’s going to be a very power thing for my business.
Paul Green: What are you going to do? How are you going to make sure you have a break over Christmas? What are you going to do differently in the next year? I would love to know, why don’t you drop me an email and let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voiceover: Here’s this week’s clever idea.
Paul Green: So every now and again someone asks me, should I be using Facebook for marketing to business owners and to business managers? While Facebook is not really primarily a B2B marketing platform, it still has an incredible amount of power for you, to reach the prospects that you really want to speak to. There’s a number of different reasons for that, primarily, it’s because the people you want to reach are likely to be on Facebook. So yeah sure, LinkedIn is a better platform, but most people have a Facebook account and at the very least, have it on their phone, for that reason, you can reach business decision makers in their downtime. Your chances of reaching them on Facebook on a Tuesday morning, are pretty low, but on a Sunday afternoon when they’re at a family barbecue or something and they’re a bit bored and they pull out their Facebook, and they just sort of have a flick through, that’s a great time to put an advert in front of them.
Paul Green: The biggest opportunity for you right now, is to use something called, a custom audience in Facebook to do something called remarketing. Let me explain what those things are. So a customer audience is where you upload data to Facebook. Now that data can be just a list of email addresses, it can be a list of mobile or cell numbers. What you do is you upload that data to Facebook, and you’re saying to Facebook, “If any of the people here…” So if anyone who has these email addresses, all these phone numbers, “Are Facebook users, please show them my advert.” So you could take just a couple of hundred people, upload them to Facebook as a custom audience, it might match 180 of those. So the other 20 it just ignores, the a 180 that is matched, it’s now going to show your advert just to those 180 people. Can you see the power of that? So it allows you to tell Facebook specifically, please market to these people.
Paul Green: Now you may have experienced this if you’re on my email list, or you’ve been to my website in the last couple of months that I have been doing over the last couple of weeks, quite a lot of remarketing, quite a lot of advertising to people who have visited my website, and to people who get my emails and who I’ve got their contact details. I’ve uploaded that up to that customer audience, up to Facebook, and I’ve been doing adverts for the podcast on their. If you haven’t seen any for a while, don’t worry because obviously, different experiments, different adverts at different times.
Paul Green: If you think about someone who has been onto your website, perhaps had a look at one of your service pages or your about us page, you have an opportunity to set up an ad campaign using a custom audience, to market to those people. What makes remarketing so, so powerful, is you know you’re marketing to someone who’s already checked you out, so these aren’t cold prospects, these aren’t people who’ve never heard of you, these are people who’ve either been on your website or maybe even have inquired to you in the past, and you are now putting your message in front of them via Facebook. Actually, using the Facebook ad platform, you can also do it via Instagram, which might be appropriate for them if they’re in a retail or hospitality business, so they using Instagram. You can also do it on the Facebook content platform.
Paul Green: So, they might go on a new site and there may be adverts on there powered by Facebook, but they’re repairing on a news website, so it all comes from the same Facebook platform. So how would you use that in real life, what’s a practical example? Well, let me talk you through one. Let’s say for example, you’re doing a cybersecurity event. I do love events, I’m going to talk about events in a future podcast.
Paul Green: So let’s say you’re putting on an event, and let’s say a lunch, and you’re trying to get people to book and come along so you can scare the hell out of them, the things they didn’t know about cybersecurity. Let’s say you’ve got a page on your website and you’ve also emailed it out to 500 people in your prospect list. So you email it out to 500 people in your prospect list, it’s there on your website, you’ve got some adverts driving traffic towards it, you could now go into Facebook and you could upload, first of all those 500 people that you have emailed out that’s your first custom audience. You can then set up a second custom audience, and that second custom audience would be anyone that’s visited that specific page on your website, in the last, I think you can do up to about, it’s either 90 or 180 days, I can’t remember. But essentially, the only people who are going to see that advert in Facebook and on Facebook’s partner sites, are people who at some level are aware of your cybersecurity lunch and then you just got to pick the right message. The message might be, “Hey, we’re down to four places left for this, book now.” You might do a video, you might do something else, but the beauty of that is that’s going to cost you a couple of pounds or a couple of dollars a day.
Paul Green: It’s not going to cost you a huge amount of money because you’re marketing to a very, very small number of people, and this is what makes remarketing so powerful. You can pay very, very small amounts of money to get a specific message in front of a group of very specific people who you know have already seen the message. In fact, you should be doing remarketing campaigns all the time. Really, you should have a remarketing campaign that refreshes every single week aimed at people who visited your website in the last couple of weeks or so. Can you see the power of doing something like that? Now Facebook is, it’s an easier advertising platform than Google, and it’s one of those things that once you’ve done a couple of campaigns it’s fairly easy to do it. Go and start a Facebook ad account if you don’t already have one, lodge your credit card number and just have a go. Launch an advert tonight, it doesn’t have to be a remarketing campaign, could just be any adverts tonight, just to have a go. Because, Facebook is one of those that, a tweak here, a little tweak there, and you can make quite a lot of difference to the traffic you get to your website from the advert, and of course the response that you get. But, it all starts with just having a go, which you could do tonight while you were just watching something on TV.
Voiceover: Pulls blatant plug.
Paul Green: Talking of Facebook, that’s this week’s blatant plug, because I’ve got this amazing resource which is completely free for you, and it’s available to you on Facebook, it’s called the MSP Marketing Facebook Group, and of course I’ll put a link in the show notes. But, it’s a group of, well we’re more than 500 members now, all MSP’s, business owners, managers from around the world, and it’s a forum where I sit every single day. I’m there, pretty much six, sometimes seven days a week answering questions, suggesting things, passing on useful stuff, all to do with marketing your MSP, growing your net profits and of course, getting more monthly recurring revenue. So come on if you’re not already a member, do come and join me in that forum, it’s the MSP Marketing Facebook Group. You just go in there, you have to apply to join. I’ll just quickly chat that you are indeed an MSP, and I will add you into that group. Completely free, but a very useful resource for you.
Voiceover: The big interview.
Fiona: So my name’s Fiona Challis and I am a channel enablement expert, which is basically a very nice way of saying, I help MSP’s on resellers to sell more stuff.
Paul Green: And, don’t they need the help, because one of the most-
Paul Green: … common complaints I hear from from MSP’s, from IT support companies is, they would love to sell more, but sales is difficult. Is that a common thing that you come across?
Fiona: Yeah, it’s the number one to be honest. I mean, if you look at even all of the research from the MSP market base, sales and marketing is still their number one challenge that they have.
Paul Green: Why do you think that is, Fiona?
Fiona: It’s a mixture of things. It’s because a lot of the current MSPs, they started the business off because they were a technical person, and then they set up a business. By their nature, they’re more techie than they are salesy, and the very word, sales, can actually scare them. So they’re trying to learn how to sell more, but their passion is technical, so that’s a lot of the problem. But, they also have this fear of not needing to sell. For years they’ve been able to rely on getting business from recommendation, or they focus on a small geographical area, and that’s kind of how they got the majority of their business. But, that was before the whole MSP marketplace got swamped, before, you had every reseller in the country trying to become an MSP. So, now they need to sell if they want to stay above board there, they have to learn how to sell, and they have to win and retain new business.
Paul Green: Okay, so here’s an interesting question. Let’s say tomorrow for some bizarre reason you bought an MSP, and you walked in and they’ve got a great technical director and great help desk and all of delivery sorted out. You’re a selling experts, so what would you do to instantly double the sales within that business?
Fiona: Oh, great question. So the first thing I would do, is nail a niche. So I would pick a vertical to specialise in, and kind of become that go-to expert in that niche. So say for example, it could be SMBs, which a lot of the MSPs focus on, or today, the more you narrow in on that niche, the more successful you will be. So it could be for example, accountants or it could be healthcare practices, but I’ll certainly pick a niche or a vertical that’s more prone to cybersecurity attacks. Then, I would niche in on security. So instead of just being a total managed service provider, I would niche in on managed service security provider where you become a security specialist for that niche. Because for me, that’s where the puck is going as such, that’s where the market’s going, that’s where the margin’s going. If you can really set yourself up as a go-to security expert in a given niche, for me, that’s quickest way to double your business.
Paul Green: In terms of structure, would you hire a marketing agency to generate leads, or would you do it in-house? Would you have salespeople, would you have telesales people? How would you set that up?
Fiona: So no, I would have a marketing team definitely. If you had the resources and the finances to do that, but if you didn’t, I wouldn’t let that stop you from marketing because today your salespeople are actually the best marketeers that you can get. But, it is a new skill that they need to learn, so you need to show them how to write good content, how to write good copy, how to utilise social selling and how to use things like LinkedIn for B2B prospecting, but how to use it the right way. I think the challenge that we see in our marketplace today, is cold calling used to be effective, but it’s not as effective today to get through to prospects. Using things like LinkedIn are much, much more effective. But, a lot of existing MSP’s or existing channel sales people, what they’ve done is they’ve just kind of swapped over the cold calling into LinkedIn, and they’re sending these big long and impersonal messages. They’re really just taking what they would have said in a cold call and they’re putting it in a LinkedIn message and expecting a result, and that’s not how you prospect today.
Paul Green: So how would you prospect with LinkedIn?
Fiona: Well, you have to build an online audience first, you have to get them… The same as you’ve done with yours, know you, like you, trust you. You don’t pounce on them on the very first time they engage with you, instead, you have to kind of build up that authority and set yourself up as a leading expert in your niche or in your vertical. Then, when you know the time is right, then invite them to come offline, whether it be to download a guide, or whether it be to join you on our cybersecurity webinar, or come to an event. But, the key thing for me is today, you have to get those kinds of prospects to come into what I call, the learning zone, so it’s where you educate them. It’s where you lead with business insights, and really show them how you can have a proper business conversation with them around achieving key business outcomes, rather than you given them a sales pitch because they don’t want a sales pitch from you today.
Paul Green: I love the learning zone. I absolutely love it, I’m going to steal that. Thank you-
Fiona: Yeah, it’s mine!
Paul Green: That’s what I got out of today, Paul Green’s Learning Zone, you heard it hear first. But no, all seriousness, you’re right, people hate being sold to, but they love to buy, don’t they?
Paul Green: Especially for you, you become the one that educates them about the problems they didn’t even know that they had.
Fiona: Yeah. I mean, to be honest with you, what happens today as the buyer’s journey, is more complex and longer than it’s ever actually been before. Although the buyers today, they’re more educated, they’re also more confused than ever before, so what happens is, a lot of them when they go online, they’re actually in the panic zone. The mistake that salespeople make, is they try to sell to prospects when they’re in the panic zone, and that’s completely the wrong way to do it because the only thing that happens in a panic zone, is inaction, which means they’re not going to buy. So the trick, is to educate them, lead with insights, get them into the learning zone, and then sell to them because they’re in a buying frame of mind, but unless you get them in there, they’re not in the frame of mind to buy.
Paul Green: I love it. Thank you. Fiona. Final question, tell us about your 90 day sales challenge.
Fiona: The 90 day sales challenge, is basically a program that we’ve created as part of the Next Gen Sales Academy. The academy is purely a sales training academy, but it’s designed purely for the IT and the MSP industry. So it’s not general sales training, it’s purely training to help you to evolve your sales approach, your process, and your mindset, and get you ready for modern day selling. So, it’s really teaching you about what works in the channel today, what doesn’t work. We learn from lessons, we learn from mistakes that everybody else has made, but we give you really good tool kits and ways to sell that will get you better results. The 90 day is basically a quarter, so it’s a quarter for most of us. The reason that I do that Paul is, you can’t just go on a sales training course for one day, today, and then learn how to completely reinvent your entire sales process, it’s something that you have to implement over time.
Fiona: We have nine key modules that we have in the 90 day program. So what most partners do, is they do a module per week with their team, and then we give you three key areas that are really good revenue generators in the channel today. So we focus on cloud, we focus on cybersecurity, and we focus on moving from break/fix and selling time for money, and deciding profitable managed service contracts. So kind of over that 12 week period, we retrain you, and you and we get you really good at selling in three key areas in the channel today.
Voiceover: Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. Ask Paul anything.
Mike: This is Mike from Microtech Solutions Limited. I think the marketing materials we have here are absolutely fantastic, but I’m struggling to make time to implement them. What process would you suggest I should use to implement the materials that are offered?
Paul Green: That’s such an important question to answer Mike, because the MSP’s that typically win, are not those that have got the best ideas, it’s those that actually get things done. The secret is always in implementation. I believe that to make implementation happen consistently in your business, it has to be something which is a daily thing, and not a weekly thing, or not a monthly thing. Let me put that another way. If you try to grow your business by putting aside a day a week, and lots of people do this, then what you’ll typically find is, you’re much more likely to be distracted on that day and to have other things come and steal that time from you. There will be problems that need to be fixed. There will be emergencies, there will be this, there will be that, and you don’t get much stuff done. I believe it’s much better if you can implement stuff on a daily basis.
Paul Green: So try to find 60 to 90 minutes every single day to get things done. When I say, “Get things done,” I mean things that either get you more new clients or get your existing clients to buy from you more often, or get your existing clients to spend more every single time they buy. There’s a whole range of activities that fit within that, a huge range of activities. But, if you can find that 60, 90 minutes every single day, every single week day, that’s where the magic happens. I built a business from nothing literally from my bedroom over a 10 year, 11 year period, and we sold that business in 2016. I’m not particularly smart, I don’t have a university degree, but what I do have is a good work ethic for constant implementation. I built that business in 90 minute daily chunks. There were days I didn’t want to get up at 5:00, and I didn’t want to work on that business, but I did it anyway. I worked through that pain, and it meant that we always had plenty of time to implement new marketing initiatives, just try our ideas, to respond to things that clients and prospects did and didn’t like. Just through a series of 1,000, 2,000, maybe 5,000 small changes, we eventually got to the point where that business, it was a cash cow. It was systematically chucking out business all the time.
Paul Green: So I think really that’s the secret, is to find that time everyday to implement. You’ve got to remember as well though, DOA, she’s my favourite acronym because it means dead on arrival. If you try and do everything yourself, you can’t, instead you’ve got to delegate, outsource, and automate. So when I say do stuff in 60, 90 minute chunks, now when I’m doing my daily 60… Well, I do 90 minutes, I tend to spend more time checking the work that I have outsourced to other people, than I do actually doing the work myself. So 90 minutes, I can actually oversee an enormous amount of stuff for the business without actually having to do most of it myself, which is a pretty smart way of working. But, even with that kind of working, it’s got to be something you’ve got to do daily. Daily actions are the only way to guarantee that you’ll get the implementation done in the business.
Voiceover: How to contribute to the show.
Paul Green: So around about boxing day, I’m going to be a bit bored and I’d love to read your emails, please. Why don’t you drop me some feedback on this podcast, good or bad, just be polite, I’d appreciate that. And my email address is, email@example.com
Voiceover: Coming up next week.
Nigel Moore: Owned an MSP, I sold an MSP, and now I teach and coach MSP’s how to avoid a bajillion mistakes that I made when I had my MSP.
Paul Green: That’s my friend and the founder of The Tech Tribe, Nigel Moore, and he’s going to be my special guest when the podcast returns after its two week Christmas break. I’m going to be asking him, what would he do differently if he owned another MSP today? We’re also going to be talking on the 7th of January, about the three growth levers, the three things you really should focus on if you want to grow your net profits in 2020.
Voiceover: Made in the UK, for MSP’s around the world. Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.