As someone who works with a lot of different managed services providers on their marketing needs, I naturally see  organizations that are in various stages of development. Some are still in the earliest stages of running an MSP and building a book of business, while others have been doing it for years.

The one thing that the most successful MSPs have in common is that they know how to implement a core business development strategy that helps them become the business they hope to be running in the future.

As a business owner, I understand how difficult it can sometimes be to juggle the daily responsibilities of managing services on behalf of your current customers with the hard work needed to continue to grow and evolve your own organization. But I’m here to tell you that if you’re able to implement the right core business development strategy, much of that hard work will already be done for you.

In fact, there are three business development strategies in particular that won’t just help you achieve your desired growth levels in 2020 — they’ll create a rock-solid foundation that you can continue to build on for years to come.

Raise your profile

It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re running or even what industry you’re operating in — the strength of your organization’s profile is directly related to the long-term success of your business. This just happens to be true in terms of managed services provider, which is an industry that depends on networking and visibility more than most.

If you want to attract a better crop of customers, you need to let those people know that you exist. This means writing articles that establish your business as an authority on important topics that your ideal customers care about, which you then get published with industry-leading publications across the web. Capitalize on any opportunity you can to speak at events that your ideal customers are likely to attend.

Show your expertise in a way that separates you from competitors and established yourself as an authority. Once you’ve worked on creating the perfect profile for your MSP, you then need to raise that profile as much as possible to make sure the people you want to attract are actually aware that you exist in the first place.

Use branding to create a genuine competitive advantage

One of the biggest mistakes that MSP business owners often make involves the assumption that branding is only about the products and services they provide. If that were true, every MSP would essentially be identical. You’d have little to no chance of standing out in a crowded field.

Instead, you need to see branding for what it really is — an opportunity to showcase your specialized expertise and how you work with customers in a way that nobody else does.

To put it another way, what you’re really talking about is not only your philosophy when it comes to technology, but your MSP’s culture and other qualities that make it truly unique.

Absolutely everything that the world sees about your MSP should reflect these qualities of your brand — from your logo, business cards, website, marketing collateral, and beyond. Emphasize what it’s like to work with you instead of the basic technology you provide. This isn’t just how you get someone’s attention — it’s about how you keep it and get them excited about starting a relationship, too.

Start with your dream customer and work backwards

Think, for a moment, about all the customers your MSP is working with right now.

Is there one specific customer you absolutely love? That you always enjoy touching base with for status updates? That you wish other customers more closely resembled?

Congratulations — you just found your dream customer and now, you need to create as many of them as possible.

Don’t create your development and marketing strategy in a vacuum and just hope that it connects with as many “dream customers” as possible. Instead, start with that ideal customer and try to work your way backwards.

Figure out what these people like and what they don’t like. What do you have to do to get their attention? Determine where on the Internet (or in your area) they hang out. Where do you have to broadcast your message to make sure they receive it?

If you start with something like a marketing campaign for your MSP and hope it just connects with your customers, you may attract many prospects. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll all fall within that very precise box you’ve identified. Instead, start with your dream customer and work your way BACKWARDS to the marketing campaign. If you can do that successfully, then you’ll come out better for it.

Grow your MSP and your future potential

At the end of the day, your ability to grow your MSP really rests on your ability to:

    1. Raise your profile as much as possible.
    2. Use branding to create a genuine competitive advantage for yourself.
    3. Identify what your dream customer looks like, so you can make decisions that attract and engage them.

Depending on the way your MSP currently operates, you may not necessarily have the infrastructure necessary to accomplish these goals in-house — but that’s perfectly okay, because we can help. At this point, I’d recommend getting in touch with Tech Pro Marketing, so that we can schedule your introductory phone call. Once we’ve made sure that our organizations are a good fit for one another, we’ll help you implement core business development strategies to ensure that growth isn’t something you have to worry about any longer.

Photo: The Climate Reality Project / Unsplash

Nate Freedman

Posted by Nate Freedman

You don't want marketing help from just anyone — you want it from someone that doesn't just know MSPs, but someone that is focused exclusively on helping MSPs generate leads. Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing, where they deliver predictable, quality leads to Managed Service Providers with their proven MSP Lead Generation Engine™.

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