Between the time I took my first IT marketing job in 1997, all the way up until the end (thankfully) of 2020, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen IT providers make with their marketing, is putting too much focus on the wrong message.

I always say that you should put less emphasis on selling the value of your services and more on the value of the problem that your services can actually solve for your customers. I still firmly believe that, but at the same time, this approach will only take you so far if you haven’t accounted for the most important ingredient of all: credibility.

Credibility means that when you say something to someone, they believe it. They trust the promises you make and they consider the outcomes you’re saying you can generate as an inevitability. But credibility isn’t something that a slick Google Ad gets you – it’s something you have to build, slowly, one brick at a time.

Now, I’d like to talk a little bit about how you can build more credibility than ever into your MSP marketing in 2021.

Speak to existing audiences

Leveraging the power of an existing audience, such as an industry magazine or tradeshow, is by far one of the quickest ways to establish credibility as an MSP. This involves reaching out to industry-related publications that people are paying attention to in order to see if you can write a guest article.

This accomplishes a number of important things, all at the exact same time. First, it gets your name out there in a way that keeps it top of mind for many people. Prospects will see your byline come up yet again and think “oh, right, I remember that name. I wonder what they have to say.” Next, by reaching out to and partnering with industry publications, you’re exposing your message to an audience of people who may not have otherwise noticed it.

The major benefit, however, is one of perception. When people see that you’re willing to help out without expecting so much as a phone call in return, that will stick with them. Even if they aren’t necessarily looking for a new MSP today, when that day comes, you’ve significantly increased the chances that when they DO pick up the phone the first number they call is yours.

Know your credentials

Another step to building credibility is being clear on what your most important credentials as an MSP are. This doesn’t mean simply listing all of your CompTIA certifications, or other credentials, on your website and calling it a day. That is really just a surefire way to make someone’s eyes glaze over.

Instead, you need to dive into the results behind the work you’ve done in the past and show, not tell, people that yours is a voice worth paying attention to. Don’t just list honors and awards on your website – list ones that you’ve received that your competitors haven’t, and go into detail about why they matter. Expand on some of the bigger successes you’ve had in the past and talk about the hard work you put in to generate very specific, measurable results for your clients. But don’t just let this information live and die on your website – put it on social networking sites like LinkedIn so as many people as possible can see it.

Be authentic to build credibility

Finally, another one of the major ways to build credibility for your MSP in 2021 involves focusing on authenticity in every interaction. To be clear, authenticity means that you come across as a real, credible person (there’s that word again) and that your intentions are true.

Take your actions on a site like LinkedIn, for example. If all you do is share short posts that are thinly disguised ads for your MSP, people are going to notice – and they’re going to stop paying attention pretty quickly. Instead, focus on sharing content that people will find genuinely interesting or helpful.

When you reach out to make a connection and send a message to someone, don’t come right out and ask for a call. Reach out and simply ask if there’s anything they need that you might be able to help them with. Offer to take them to lunch out of genuine interest to learn about them (or have a drink on Zoom at the end of a hard week). If you want to build credibility, you need to feel real and authentic – and steps like these are a big part of how you do it.

Build credibility, build a better business

At the end of the day, it’s critically important for you to understand that credibility isn’t something you can buy. Especially in the fast-paced world we’re currently living in, it’s something that you have to earn. By following the best practices outlined above, you’ll go a long way towards accomplishing precisely that – and the momentum the credibility is able to generate will quickly show you just how worth it the effort it truly was.

If you’re stuck on your journey of building more credibility for your MSP, it’s never too late to give us a call at Tech Pro Marketing. You can request a free MSP marketing strategy call with one of my MSP marketing expert colleagues and we’ll be able to help you figure out what you need to do to have the best 2021 possible.

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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 using MSP Marketing to help MSPs generate leads. Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing, where they leverage a unique blend of outbound MSP lead generation, MSP SEO and MSP websites to power their proven MSP Lead Generation Engine™.

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