I recently received an email from a new client who had signed up for our MSP marketing services. We’d had some brief discussions about the direction his marketing might be headed in, and I was eager to learn more about what we can do to broadcast what makes his business unique to the widest possible audience.

However, his email surprised me — all it contained was a link to a well-known “marketing funnel” service and a single sentence: “Are we going to be doing something like this?”

For those unfamiliar, a marketing funnel is a series of advertisements, marketing emails, landing pages, and content that is meant to move your prospects along their buying journey from the moment they first become aware of your brand to when they become a customer.

Creating a funnel with your marketing is all about providing the right information to the right prospects, at exactly the right time. It’s a very powerful strategy, but for this particular MSP business owner, it was not going to solve his lead generation problem. 

There are many different tools out there that promise to completely revolutionize your approach to marketing. Some claim they enable you to build funnels with just a few quick clicks of your mouse, resulting in “more leads, sales, and customers.” Others promise to allow you to do the types of things other business owners can only dream of.

Cynicism aside, the logical part of the argument is one that proves these types of solutions “fail to see the forest through the trees.” The truth is, you could have access to something that is absolutely the “latest and greatest” that modern marketing technology has to offer. It ultimately won’t mean a thing, unless you have a solid product/market fit at the heart of it all.

The importance of product/market fit

To illustrate what I’m talking about in kind of a macro sense, consider the fact that there are 627,000 new small businesses that open their doors every single year, according to the Small Business Administration. That sounds really encouraging, until you realize that about half of them won’t celebrate their five year anniversary.

There are a laundry list of potential reasons why so many small businesses fail. One of the most important doesn’t have anything to do with cash flow, marketing, or the quality of an organization’s offerings.

It’s because they had a product in search of a market, as opposed to acting as a business that offered products in service of one.

When talking about MSP marketing, what I mean is you could have what is objectively the strongest marketing funnel in the world. You could have an army of powerful email automation and data analytics tools behind you. You could spend a massive amount of money honing and refining your message within an inch of its life…

… and none of it will mean a thing if you don’t know who your audience is and why your offer isn’t resonating with them.

Just like those business owners could have an objectively terrific product, it won’t amount to anything if nobody wanted it to begin with.

None of this is to say that these tools are totally without value. If you really do have a great offer with business messaging that makes sense, then they can absolutely help you achieve the results that you’re after.

Avoid overthinking

One major mistake that I see a lot of new MSP business owners make is they tend to overthink things in the beginning. They try the tools that I’m talking about immediately, WITHOUT having anything in place that already works at the start.

At that point, it’s like trying to build a four-story house without a proper foundation. You might get some framework done, but things are going to start collapsing all around you.

In my opinion, what works best in the beginning is resisting the urge to overthink things – in other words, keep it simple. For the best results in those early days, you need to work on creating an offer that works, and leveraging that offer to generate quality leads.

You need to not only spend time crafting and perfecting your core message, but also focusing on spreading that message to your target audience without “the latest and greatest that modern marketing technology has to offer.” You need to worry about creating a message that is unique enough to separate you from your competitors and strong enough to stand on its own. Until you have that, focusing so much of your time and attention on “crafting the perfect sales funnel” really is putting the cart before the horse.

As an MSP business owner, your number one job is to speak to people. To reach out, connect, and inspire them to take action. You do this through the right offer to the right market at the right time.

Once you have that, THEN you can focus on “what technology can do for you.” Until you have that, you really don’t have as much as you thought you did.

Looking for a hand in your marketing?

I’ve dedicated my organization to helping MSP business owners create a better level of consistency in the quality and quantity of leads that they have coming into their organization. You can reach me by visiting our website at https://www.techpromarketing.com or emailing me at nate@techpromarketing.com.

Photo: kentoh / Shutterstock

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 through digital marketing. As the founder of Tech Pro Marketing, Nate Freedman has more than two decades of web and IT experience and manages a team that has worked on more than 1,000 different projects. After launching his first website project in 1998, he's spent more than 5,000 hours working with IT businesses on new and innovative ways to guarantee the marketing results they need when they need them the most.

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