Episode 214: What if you could only work 1 hour a day?

Episode 214 December 19, 2023 00:37:57
Episode 214: What if you could only work 1 hour a day?
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 214: What if you could only work 1 hour a day?

Dec 19 2023 | 00:37:57

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Hosted By

Paul Green

Show Notes

Episode 214

Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This is THE show if you want to grow your MSP. This week's show includes:

Featured guest:

Thank you to Tim Fitzpatrick, podcaster and President of Rialto Marketing, for joining me to talk about how MSPs should focus on a defined target market, and reflect that in their marketing activities, to make the most of their resources. Tim is an entrepreneur/business owner with marketing and growth expertise. He has 25+ years of entrepreneurial experience with a passion for developing and growing businesses. That passion served him well in operating and managing a wholesale distribution company he co-owned for nine years before being acquired in 2005. Since then, he’s had failures and successes. He started Rialto Marketing in 2013 and has been helping MSPs that need the help of a marketing leader to accelerate growth without the full-time cost. He believes marketing shouldn’t be difficult. But, you must remove your revenue roadblocks to grow consistently and predictably. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timpfitzpatrick/

Extra show notes:

Transcription:

NB this transcription has been generated by an AI tool and provided as-is. [00:00:00] Speaker A: Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. Around the world. This Paul. [00:00:06] Speaker B: Paul. [00:00:06] Speaker A: Paul. Paul Greens, MSP Marketing Podcast welcome to. [00:00:10] Speaker C: Our final normal episode of 2023. [00:00:14] Speaker D: I'll tell you about our Christmas specials in a second, but here's what we. [00:00:17] Speaker C: Got coming up for you this week. [00:00:19] Speaker B: Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick, and I am an MSP. Marketing Expert. We're going to talk about your target market and why it is so important to hone in and really focus in on a specific target market. Because if you don't, as an MSP, you are bound to waste time, money and effort on marketing that doesn't work. [00:00:38] Speaker C: And on top of that fantastic interview with Tim later on in the show, we'll also be talking about how long you ask new clients to commit to you and whether or not you should be charging them a fee if they don't commit for as long as you want them to commit. [00:00:54] Speaker A: Paul Green's, MSP Marketing Podcast let's start. [00:00:58] Speaker D: First of all with a question that. [00:01:00] Speaker C: On the surface might seem a little bizarre, but actually it's something that I'm kind of pushing you to think about as we get near a holiday, with. [00:01:09] Speaker D: Christmas, of course, being just a few days away. Okay? [00:01:12] Speaker C: Imagine if over Christmas, something happens to you. Let's say you catch a sneezing bug. And that sneezing bug, as bizarre as it sounds, means that from January onwards, you can only work for 60 minutes every day at 61 minutes at work, you start sneezing, just sneezing all day long. In fact, that sounds horrendous. Why would I burden you with such a horrendous disease? Okay, forget the whole sneezing thing, but imagine this. From January, for whatever reason, you can only work for 60 minutes every single day. Now, the real reason I'm asking you this is I want you to think. [00:01:54] Speaker D: Over Christmas whether you well, maybe you'll. [00:01:55] Speaker C: Pause the podcast now and have a think about it. [00:01:57] Speaker D: But really, this is one of those pop it in the back of your. [00:01:59] Speaker C: Head and think about it over Christmas. What can you do? You as the MSP owner, what can you do in 60 minutes every single day from January onwards that will deliver the greatest amount of value to your business? Let me ask that again. It's such an important question. As the business owner, what can you do in 60 minutes every day to add the greatest amount of value to your business? Now, the chances are it's not the things that you're spending most of your time on now. [00:02:30] Speaker D: So maybe you're spending most of your. [00:02:32] Speaker C: Time now on admin, on management, maybe even on tech work, third level work. [00:02:37] Speaker D: Or if goodness help you, if you're. [00:02:39] Speaker C: Doing lower level work, I guess you kind of have to until you've got the cash or the resources to bring other people on board. But as the business owner, there's a series of activities, a set of things that you could and should be doing, which add the greatest value to your business. And the challenge for you is to find ways to remove everything else so. [00:02:57] Speaker D: That that's all you're focused on. [00:02:58] Speaker C: You're focused on the things that add the greatest value. [00:03:01] Speaker D: Now, what are those activities likely to be? [00:03:02] Speaker C: Well, for example, it will be doing new business, so generating leads, warming those leads up, turning those leads into prospects. [00:03:10] Speaker D: Getting those prospects on a 15 minutes. [00:03:12] Speaker C: Video call, and then, of course, having a proper sales meeting with them, actually turning them into a client. Other value that you'll be adding is servicing your existing clients. And by servicing, I mean more account management than actually doing the work. So talking to them about their strategy. [00:03:28] Speaker D: Helping them to pull together perhaps a. [00:03:31] Speaker C: Technology roadmap, going through what their plans are for the next couple of years. Because we all know that the more you know about your client, the easier it is to make suggestions to them of things that they should be doing. Either a technology direction that they should. [00:03:45] Speaker D: Be going in, or new investments that. [00:03:47] Speaker C: They should be making, or of course, maybe even security investments they should be making to help themselves be safer. What other kind of things could you be doing to invest in your business? Well, coaching your staff. And coaching doesn't have to be any more difficult than a ten minute conversation you have with someone every month. But just asking them these three questions, what's going well right now? What's not going so well? And what do you need to do differently? And asking particularly your senior people, or if you're a very small business, then all of your people asking them those questions in an informal setting, on a semiregular basis can be incredibly powerful at coaching them, at helping them to remove the barriers that are stopping them from doing great work. You see, just from those three activities I was talking about there, these are things that only you can do these things right, because they're the things that only the owner of the business can do. And sure, down the line, when you're 2030, 40, 50 strong, there are many other people you can hire to do these things for you. You can hire salespeople to bring a new business. You can hire account managers to look after the existing clients. You can definitely have people to coach your existing team, or you can teach your managers to coach their direct reports. But right now, assuming you're like a three, five, seven person business, which is the vast majority of people listening to this podcast, not everyone, but the vast majority. From the research that we've done, the best thing that you can do with your time is to spend it on bringing a new business, growing your existing business, and getting the most out of your team. And the question for you, the thing to think about over Christmas is what's stopping me from doing that because I know that you're not spending a great. [00:05:22] Speaker D: Deal of time doing that or the. [00:05:23] Speaker C: Chances are high that you're not spending. [00:05:25] Speaker D: A great deal of time doing that. [00:05:26] Speaker C: So why, what's the block? Let's find the block and let's get rid of that block. There's an idea, there's something we talked about in the podcast about two and. [00:05:36] Speaker D: A half years ago and that's to. [00:05:38] Speaker C: Take a week of your time and track everything that you do. If you go and search on my website for the word timeula, T-I-M-E-U-L-A-R it's a little device that I used and I talked about it in the podcast. [00:05:51] Speaker D: In fact, I had someone on from. [00:05:53] Speaker C: Timeula as a guest because I was in love with timeula for about six months and then the love affair ended because timeula helped me to fix my problem. Timeula is just like a time tracking dice. It's got, I think it's eight sides and you allocate each side to a task that you're doing and then as you're doing your work during the day, you just flick the dice round to represent the task that you're doing. [00:06:14] Speaker D: And then at the end of the. [00:06:14] Speaker C: Week you can see what proportion of your time has been spent on which tasks. Right, I think you can actually simplify. [00:06:19] Speaker D: It right down to what am I. [00:06:21] Speaker C: Doing that are red tasks, what am I doing that are yellow tasks and what am I doing that are green tasks? So red tasks are things you should not be doing any admin, anything that is less than third line tech, anything like that, anything that someone else could be paid to do for you, those are red tasks and the chances are that right now you're doing too many of them. What are yellow tasks? There things that kind of you should be doing but you don't want to do too much of. So third line technical work, for example, would be a yellow task and then green tasks are things that you should be doing as much of as possible. So green tasks should be talking to existing clients, bringing on board new business, developing your staff. [00:07:00] Speaker D: Those three things we were just talking. [00:07:02] Speaker C: About, maybe it's worth I wouldn't do it this week because this is a weird week going into Christmas, but maybe your second or third week in January you'd get a time alert. Or use Toggle or one of the thousands of other time tracking applications out there just to see. What are you actually spending your time on? That was so powerful for me, actually it must have been about three years. [00:07:23] Speaker D: Ago, three or four years ago to. [00:07:24] Speaker C: Go through that exercise to figure what I was spending my time on and then to eliminate as much of the red tasks as possible. And these days I spend my time mostly on green tasks. Doing this podcast is a green task, taking part in a webinar, that's a green task. Chatting to vendors and to strategic partners, that's a green task. And I get to do more of that. Well, all the red tasks are done by my team and that's by design. [00:07:47] Speaker D: And that started with knowing what I. [00:07:48] Speaker C: Was doing with my time. So back to the ultimate question, the question I want you to think about over Christmas. What can you do in 60 minutes every day that adds the greatest amount of value to your business? [00:08:02] Speaker A: Here's this week's. Clever idea. [00:08:05] Speaker C: Here's another idea to pop in your. [00:08:06] Speaker D: Head and think about over Christmas. [00:08:08] Speaker C: When you do get a new client, how long do you ask them to commit to you? [00:08:14] Speaker D: So do you do them on like. [00:08:16] Speaker C: A monthly rolling contract basis? And there's nothing wrong with that. There are many good strategic reasons why you would do that. [00:08:22] Speaker D: The only downside of that is when. [00:08:23] Speaker C: You come to sell the MSP, which you will eventually, it might be 20 years away, but potentially your MSP will be worth less. If all your clients are on rolling. [00:08:32] Speaker D: Contracts, they can cancel anytime, as opposed. [00:08:35] Speaker C: To making a longer commitment, just something. [00:08:37] Speaker D: To bear in mind for the future. [00:08:38] Speaker C: So maybe you do it on a monthly rolling basis. Maybe you ask them for a twelve month commitment. Maybe you're a bit braver and you ask for 24. I know MSPs who ask for a 36 month commitment. They ask for a three year commitment. [00:08:50] Speaker D: Some do. [00:08:51] Speaker C: Kind of like a hybrid. [00:08:52] Speaker D: So they say, hey, we ask you. [00:08:54] Speaker C: For a twelve month commitment initially, and then if you renew and you're happy with us at the end of the twelve months, then we ask for a three year commitment. Which actually is a very smart thing to do. I think however you do this, you need to be prepared to answer the question, the inevitable question that someone is. [00:09:10] Speaker D: Going to push back on at some. [00:09:11] Speaker C: Point when they say, look, we want to work with you, but we're not happy with your initial commitment. And let's say you've asked them for a three year commitment and they push. [00:09:22] Speaker D: Back and they say, well, we don't. [00:09:23] Speaker C: Want to make a three year commitment. [00:09:24] Speaker D: We'Ll make a one year commitment or. [00:09:26] Speaker C: A two year commitment. You need to kind of know in advance how are you going to handle that? [00:09:30] Speaker D: I know some MSPs, in fact, I took part in a discussion with some. [00:09:33] Speaker C: MSPs recently where fact, same question came up. They had a new client, they were asking them for a three year commitment. [00:09:40] Speaker D: And the client said, actually I'm not comfortable with that. I'd like to go for twelve. [00:09:43] Speaker C: And we came up with two options. [00:09:45] Speaker D: For the MSP to look at. Number one was to do the twelve. [00:09:47] Speaker C: Months and then three year option so the client knows going into it okay, because you're a new client twelve months now, and then we will be asking. [00:09:54] Speaker D: You for a three year commitment. [00:09:55] Speaker C: So if you want to carry on working with us post the first year, you have to make a three year commitment. The other idea that we came up with, which was I think this is the one they're going to go for, is if the client won't make a three year commitment, then you charge them an onboarding fee. So you say to them, fine, we don't have to do three years, we. [00:10:14] Speaker D: Can do twelve months. [00:10:16] Speaker C: However, one of the reasons we ask for three years is because actually we. [00:10:22] Speaker D: Have to invest a huge amount of. [00:10:23] Speaker C: Time and energy and resources at the very beginning of our relationship, and obviously the profit comes to us over time. Another way of looking at this is you spend a lot of money or you invest a lot of your time and resources in what's known as the front end. So the start of the relationship and you make the profits in the back end. The back end is down the line. I mean, let's be honest, you know, your client that you've had for seven years is more profitable today than they were seven years ago, right? [00:10:49] Speaker D: Not only because you've maybe nudged the. [00:10:51] Speaker C: Pricing and the margins up, but also because they just need less work. Because now you've completely changed all of their tech stack, right? So you've got complete control over their technology. So that means less support requests. [00:11:03] Speaker D: So inevitably they're more profitable. [00:11:05] Speaker C: So I don't think it's wrong at all to explain this to a client and to say, well, we're in this to make profit as well as to do good. [00:11:14] Speaker D: Sorry, you wouldn't say that. [00:11:15] Speaker C: You'd say, look, we're in this because we love looking after people. But we're also in this to make. [00:11:19] Speaker D: A profit because I have to pay. [00:11:20] Speaker C: My staff, I have to pay my mortgage, I have to send my children. [00:11:24] Speaker D: Off to that very expensive school and. [00:11:26] Speaker C: Drive a nice car. And profit is an important, healthy part of doing business. I'm sure you would agree, Mr. Or. [00:11:32] Speaker D: Mrs. Business Owner, because that's why you do it as well. [00:11:35] Speaker C: The problem is that we make less profit in the first year than we. [00:11:38] Speaker D: Do the second and third years because. [00:11:40] Speaker C: Of all the reasons we just talked about. So we are going to charge you an onboarding fee. Yes, you can have a twelve month contract, but we're going to charge you. [00:11:47] Speaker D: XYZ XYZ fee, whatever that fee is. [00:11:50] Speaker C: And it should just be, I guess a couple of thousand shouldn't be greedy. But the idea is to show them why you're asking for the three year contract. Now, I don't know whether or not they're going to go for this onboarding fee or whether they'll just say, fine, let's do the three year contract. My gut feel says they'll go for. [00:12:05] Speaker D: The onboarding fee, or maybe they'll up. [00:12:07] Speaker C: It to a two year contract, I don't know. But the point is that these are the kind of things that you need to think about in advance, particularly if you're starting to ask for longer and longer terms on your contract, which I really do believe that you should be doing. So which of these sounds right to you? Which of them do you think you're going to do? In fact? Are you going to change anything in 2024 with your contract lengths or with. [00:12:28] Speaker D: Onboarding fees or something like that? [00:12:30] Speaker C: Let's have a discussion about this. We have a Facebook group that is exactly for this thing, and I'm going to tell you about it right now. Let me tell you how to get. [00:12:43] Speaker D: Into that Facebook group, which, by the. [00:12:44] Speaker C: Way, is for MSPs only. There's no vendors in there, and all we do is talk about marketing and growing your business. I'm there every single day. It's literally the easiest way to engage with me. So bring up Facebook on your phone. Go to the little search bar at the top. Type in Paul Green's, MSP. [00:13:03] Speaker D: Marketing. [00:13:04] Speaker C: I'm just doing it now on my phone. Paul Green's MSP Marketing. And do a little search for it. Now, the first thing that will come up is it will come up with my page. Don't click on the page. No one uses Facebook pages these days, but you want to go to groups. So on the little thing at the. [00:13:21] Speaker D: Top, you go to groups and you'll. [00:13:22] Speaker C: Find paul Green's MSP Marketing as a group. It might have my face on, even just tap on my face to join. There's a couple of questions to prove you are an MSP and not a vendor trying to sneak in. And once you're inside, I'm looking forward to talking to you there and helping you to grow your business in 2024. [00:13:40] Speaker A: The big interview. [00:13:43] Speaker B: Hi, I'm Tim Fitzpatrick. I am a B, two B Revenue accelerator and excited to be here today. [00:13:50] Speaker D: A B. Two B. Revenue accelerator. What a fantastic job title. That is certainly better than saying, like, I do marketing for MSPs or something like that. Tim, it is a delight to have. [00:13:59] Speaker C: You on my podcast. [00:14:01] Speaker D: You very graciously had me as a live guest on yours a few months ago, and it was one of those where all the technical things were going wrong, weren't they? Like 30 seconds before we were due to go live? But we did it. We did a great broadcast. So thank you so much and thank you for coming on here. [00:14:15] Speaker C: Tell us a little bit more about you. So what's your background? How did you get to where you. [00:14:20] Speaker D: Are now and what do you do for businesses like MSPs? [00:14:24] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate thanks for having me. Paul, I'm excited to dig into this with you, so I'll give you the Cliff Note version of me professionally. When I graduated from college, I was a math major. I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do, but my dad had been an entrepreneur for a long time. He was a manufacturer's rep, which is basically a middleman. And he had started a distribution company that was related to his rep business, and he had no full time employees at that point. I knew he needed some help, and I was like, hey, let me help you for three months while I figure out what I'm going to do. Well, that was it, man. I started, and I was hooked. And we were selling consumer electronics, so we were selling home theater equipment and distributed audio. It was just toys. And I learned more doing that in six months than I did in four years of college. I was just soaking information up like a sponge. And I ended up I became a partner. We had multiple partners in the business, but I ran the distribution company day to day, all the day to day operations. We grew 60% a year for nine years, and we sold it after that. I stayed with the company for three years, and I got laid off from the company that bought us, right? This was in 2008, 2009 time frame, which in the US. Huge meltdown. And we got bought by a public company. And so I got laid off from there. I transitioned into real estate. I had always been interested in real estate, so I became a residential realtor. And Paul, I hated it. It was such a stark contrast from what I was doing in just I started to wake up every day. You've heard of the Sunday Evening Effect where you're like, oh, my God, I got to go to work tomorrow. I had the freaking Sunday evening effect every damn day. And so I was like, this is stupid. I got to shift gears and do something different. And that's when I decided to shift gears and get into marketing. And I would tell you my road with marketing, it has not been a straight path. It's been a winding road. Like most entrepreneurial journeys, it's taken me a while to really find what I love doing and what I'm great at. But that's where I am today. I focus on strategy, planning, and leadership when it comes to marketing. So I act like a general contractor and the architect, but I am not the HVAC person. So I get involved and help clients who need a marketing leader, but they're not ready to pay for a full time marketing executive. And I fill that. So that's that's the short of it. If you can call that a short. [00:17:07] Speaker D: That's a that's a that's a pretty great story. And you and I were actually introduced by Justin Esgar, who's an MSP he's in New York, and he's been on this show, in fact, for a while. Justin had the honor of having the most listened to episode, which he's since been beaten by what's his name, the guy that wrote they Ask, you answer, marcus Sheridan, who is our special episode at the beginning of this year. And I know that Justin will be listening to this and that it will be annoying him that he's been beaten for the most listened to episode. [00:17:38] Speaker C: I also know from the conversations you. [00:17:40] Speaker D: And I have had that you and I could talk for hours about stuff. I think we're both very much in the same head space and emotional space when it comes to marketing and how it frees business owners from their world. But what I want to do is focus you in on something I know you're very, very good at, which is targeting. So talking about target markets and buyer personas and that kind of stuff. Now, you and I both work with enough MSPs to know that MSPs marketing is enough of a distress activity to start getting into theory and difficult stuff like buyer personas and target markets and stuff like that. [00:18:14] Speaker C: Do you want to just tell us. [00:18:15] Speaker D: Why it's so important to have a very clear idea of who you're trying to target before you ever start doing any marketing at all? [00:18:23] Speaker B: Yeah. God, this is something so many people struggle with. Everything from a marketing standpoint starts with who you're targeting. Right. So if we don't have that narrowed down, we have no idea who we're attempting to reach. Right. What most MSPs do is target broadly. And when we target broadly, the target is so big we can't see it. Right. And we can't hit a target that we can't see. Now, there are a lot of byproducts from that that end up impacting your marketing results as well. But when we focus, things become so much simpler. I'm never going to say marketing is easy because there is no easy button. You got to do the work. But marketing can be simple, and when we focus, things become much simpler. [00:19:18] Speaker C: So give us an example of how. [00:19:19] Speaker D: That would actually work in real life then. So let's say I know you do work with MSPs. Let's say you start work with a new MSP today and they say to you probably what you hear all the time, which is, well, we've done bits of marketing. We've tried a few campaigns that vendors gave us. We've never really got any traction with anything. Where should we get started? Talk us through what process you would go through to try to figure out who they should be targeting and then define that market. [00:19:45] Speaker B: Yeah. So I'm going to keep this super tactical, right? Because there are multiple ways you can approach this. But one of the easiest ways to start, especially for an MSP that has been in business for a while, is most of the time we don't need to reinvent the wheel. We just need to look at who have we been working with and what are we finding when we start to dig deeper in that? So, Paul, I call it the Three Power Questions. Who do you love working with. And usually if you love working with them, they love working with you, which is what we want. Two, who are your most profitable clients? Oftentimes people default to profit thinking, oh, my largest clients, the ones that are driving the most top line revenue, oftentimes your top line revenue drivers are not your most profitable clients because they just eat up time, right? They ask you to do all kinds of things that you don't normally do. So we want to look at profitability, gross profit, who's really driving profit, and then who are you getting great results for? If you ask yourself those three questions? First off, if you're an MSP and you could work with somebody that checks all of those boxes day in, day out, how much better is your business going to be? You're going to be happy. Your team is going to be happy. You're going to be making money, and you're going to be working with people that you're getting great results for. Which means what? They're going to stay with you even longer, and they're going to want to talk to you about everybody that they know. So ask yourself those three questions with your existing and past client base. Take that group, and it's that group that you start to look at. Where are the commonalities and the similarities? So, Paul, I actually just interviewed an MSP on my podcast. The podcast is not live yet. Who went through this process? I didn't go through this process with him, but it was fascinating to hear it because it's just nice to hear that somebody else is going through this same process. About three years ago, he went through this process. He had been in business 15 years at the time. And he went through this process with a marketing provider that he engaged. And they started looking at it, and they were like, did you realize that half of your clients are in the healthcare space? And they were like, we never even stopped to really think about it. And as they started to think about it, they're like, well, half of your clients are in the healthcare space. Then we start to look like, do you like working with them? Right? Are they profitable? Are you getting good results for them? Yes. Well, maybe we should actually start focusing on healthcare rather than trying to target super broadly. And that's exactly what they did, was they chose to focus on the healthcare space. And he said to me, look, in six months, six months after we decided to do that, we had generated more leads than we had the prior three years. And when I go into a competitive situation with another MSP, I win nine times out of ten because I specialize in healthcare and they don't. So there are a lot of other I think there are some efficiencies from a system standpoint which can help boost profitability as well, right? You can create consistencies in your tech stack and how you're serving that particular market. But it becomes so much easier. So we don't need to reinvent the wheel. But look at your existing customers, clients, and who are we actually working with and what do they look like. It's the easiest place to start. [00:23:50] Speaker D: It is. And it's interesting you talk about efficiencies, because I think MSPs in particular have to be very careful which, if they do pick a sector or I mean, healthcare is a fairly broad is a fairly broad description of a marketplace, but it's still more refined than everybody. But you've got to be careful to pick something that is efficient. I quite often have conversations with MSPs who have manufacturers, and they say to me, oh, we love manufacturers. We want more manufacturers. And I'm very skeptical that manufacturers make great clients en masse. I think you can have one or two who make great clients, but if you've got 1020, 30, 40, you will not typically find that manufacturers will have well, healthcare providers will typically have a version of the same software, right. There'll be three or four big packages. They'll have one of those. They will all be regulated, which means they've got to buy high levels of cybersecurity protection. There will be other efficiencies. You'll be able to understand them if you've got a dentist and a doctor's surgery. They might do different things to people, but they're still running the same way. There's still a practice manager who is the influencer or the decision maker. There'll be some kind of standards. There'll be a corporate owner somewhere, or insurance needs or whatsoever. Whereas manufacturers, they can be completely different. [00:25:10] Speaker C: Even manufacturers of making the same things. [00:25:13] Speaker D: Will have different techniques, different machines. You always hear about someone who's running. [00:25:17] Speaker C: The most critical machine, the $10 million. [00:25:20] Speaker D: Machine, and it runs on a Windows XP machine that hasn't been powered down for 17 years. And you think, why would you want to support that? That's just hell. So anyway, I think you're right. The deficiencies, it's almost like the fourth of the three things that you were talking about. [00:25:36] Speaker C: What is it about having that? Well, actually, let me ask you two questions in one. [00:25:42] Speaker D: The first one is, does it have to be a sector? Does it have to be a gathering, like saying healthcare? Or could it be, actually, I want people with 20 staff? Or could it be, I want to have businesses just in this town? And then tell us why, when you. [00:26:00] Speaker C: Get down to the tactical marketing, why does it get so much easier when. [00:26:03] Speaker D: You'Ve got a very clearly defined audience? [00:26:06] Speaker B: Yeah, so I don't think it has to be a specific vertical. I think for MSPs, if you can buy into that and jump into it with both feet, I do think that it makes things much simpler. I mean, there are multiple ways you can differentiate, right. Focusing on a specific industry vertical. Is one. But the reality is, for most MSPs, they're not looking to bring on 200 new clients this year. They don't need that many new clients. And when you don't need that many new clients, narrowing in on a specific industry, I just think makes things much simpler. Because when you narrow down on a specific industry, and as you pointed out, look, manufacturing super broad, healthcare super broad, you can go even deeper than that within those because you can find manufacturers that do use specific types of manufacturers right. Or specific types of healthcare providers. But when you do that, it becomes much easier to create. I call it an ideal client GPS. It's the list of where those freaking people are. And this is not once you hone in on who it is, it is not difficult to create that list. It's very difficult to create that list when it's we focus on small business owners because they're freaking everywhere right now. It's also difficult when you target broadly to create a really good message that's going to resonate with those people. When it's narrow, it becomes much easier. But so, for example, you and I are focusing on the MSP space. When you choose to focus on the MSP space and you're going to create your list, where the heck are they? Right? Like, what are the associations? What are the events? Well, they go to It Nation or Datacon or they're part of the MSP alliance, or what influencers do they follow? Right there's. Gary Pika or Carl Palachak. Right. All those people and all those events go on that list. And now I know if I want to market to MSPs, these are the places I can go. I'm not casting a line out in the middle of the ocean. I know that I'm fishing. If I'm fishing for trout, I'm going to the local trout farm. And when I stick a line out in there, I'm catching a trout. [00:28:37] Speaker D: I love that. I'm going to steal that line. When I'm fishing for trout, I go to the local trout farm. I love that. [00:28:42] Speaker B: There you go. Right? So it becomes much easier, I think, when you focus by industry, but you don't have to. But I do think it becomes much easier to differentiate as well, because a lot of MSPs struggle with differentiation. You go to five MSP websites, the message is generic, it's varying shades of yellow. But it's really that boils down to the same message. And when that happens, the client, they can't differentiate, right? And when they can't differentiate, they default to price, and you compete on price. And that is a lousy place to be. [00:29:23] Speaker D: Yeah, exactly. And in fact, actually, even if your only differentiation is we only work with CPAs, or we only work accountants, we only work with lawyers, we only work with dentists, we only work with this or whatever is the case. Even if you have no other differentiation and you immediately stand out because all of the other MSPs are very generic. It's really interesting. I work with 700 MSPs on our MSP. You work on a Lot program? Yeah, and obviously I don't have a one on one relationship with all of those people because I'd have no life. But I try to talk to at least one member a day. Well, we have a Facebook group and I have Zooms, and we have drop in Zooms and all sorts of stuff where lots of engagement and I do talk to lots of different there's always someone new to talk to. And it's often surprising to me when you find someone who's got that they've got that kind of that differentiation through targeting. And then you go and look on their website and it's like, where is it? [00:30:24] Speaker C: It's like, Right, well, we're really good at CPAs. [00:30:26] Speaker D: We understand their software, understand this, we understand how they think and act. And you go on their website and it's like, I'm not seeing CPAs. I'm not seeing that. [00:30:33] Speaker C: It should be everywhere, right? It should be the number one message. [00:30:37] Speaker D: Because actually what we're talking about here. [00:30:39] Speaker C: Is making it relevant to them. [00:30:41] Speaker D: And that's the real power of this, isn't it, Tim? [00:30:43] Speaker C: It's taking that target market, and the more you can define down who they are, the easier it is to make. [00:30:51] Speaker D: Things relevant to them. And as you say, that's what we're doing here for MSPs. And we've both of us spent enough time playing with MSPs, talking to MSPs, learning about them, to make what we're saying utterly relevant to them. And actually, when an MSP is marketing to a business owner, you don't have. [00:31:07] Speaker C: To do that much work. [00:31:08] Speaker D: It just needs to seem relevant. [00:31:09] Speaker C: For example, talk to a lawyer. You don't call a lawyer's. [00:31:13] Speaker D: Well, I don't know about in the US. But certainly here in the UK, lawyers don't have businesses. They have a practice, like dentists. [00:31:20] Speaker C: Dentists have a practice, right? So if you're an insider, a true. [00:31:24] Speaker D: Insider working let's go with the dentist one. If you're a true insider working with dentists, you don't talk about their business, you talk about their practice. When you're talking to MSPs, you talk about their PSA or their RMM in the same way that you're talking to lawyers. You talk about their case management software or whatever. I don't know about lawyers. Whatever it is that they use. [00:31:40] Speaker C: And it's often making your message seem. [00:31:43] Speaker D: Relevant is down to those little things, isn't it? Just the tiny things that stand out to them. [00:31:50] Speaker B: It's a small nuance, right? But do you talk about practice? Do they have patients or do they have clients? Right? It's just those little things that make your message that much more relevant and specific. One of my mentors always said, specificity sells. The more specific we can get, the easier it's going to be for that message to resonate and then actually want people to actually do business with us. It's a loaded question when you're like, do I have to absolutely do this? No, you don't have to absolutely do it. But gosh, it makes things a lot simpler if you, you know, even within like, I was talking to an MSP about a month ago who's in greater Los Angeles, right? Which the greater Los Angeles market is huge. I mean, there's like 13 million plus people in the greater Los Angeles market. So focusing on the greater Los Angeles market geographically is still too big. Like, you could focus in that market on a specific industry and still have plenty of clients. Right. So it's a tough concept for people to want to go all in on, but if you can do it, it makes things much, much simpler. [00:33:14] Speaker D: Yeah, I agree. Okay, Tim, I could talk to you for hours, but we're going to have. [00:33:18] Speaker B: To wrap this up. [00:33:18] Speaker D: I've got three quick things to ask you. The first one is you just used a phrase which I absolutely adore. Specificity sells. Have you ever tried saying that after you've had three beers? [00:33:30] Speaker B: No, I haven't. Well, I don't drink that much, so it's very rare for me to drink three beers at one time. But that would be tough to say if I had too much to drink, right? [00:33:40] Speaker D: It is, trust me, I've tried that one after more than three beers as well. You cannot say that. [00:33:45] Speaker C: Second thing is, so when I appeared. [00:33:46] Speaker D: On your live podcast a couple of months ago, you do like a quick fire question thing and one of the questions you asked me was, what was something surprising that people wouldn't know about you? [00:33:57] Speaker C: Now, we don't normally do that kind. [00:33:59] Speaker D: Of thing on this podcast when you asked me, but I'm going to do it for you. When you asked me that question, I said that I was a massive fan of a British TV show called Doctor Who, which this year has celebrated its 60th anniversary. But we're not going to talk about that. I want to know, Tim, something surprising that people wouldn't know about you? [00:34:17] Speaker B: Something surprising about me? I would say I tend to be more of an introvert. Right. I've got a podcast, I do a ton of guest podcasting, but I recharge my batteries in solitude. I can get out there and interact with people, but I do not mind being by myself to recharge my batteries. So that's something that people might find surprising. [00:34:46] Speaker D: See, it's funny, actually, as a former radio presenter, I can relate to that. So although I'm extrovert through and through, most of the people I used to work with in radio back in the day were introverts. And no one really understood why radio presenters were so weird in real life. Because hear them on the radio and they think, oh, this person's the life and soul of the party. And actually you meet them in real life and they're very, very introverted people. [00:35:11] Speaker C: Not all of them, but most of. [00:35:12] Speaker D: Them, which is kind of interesting. So I get that completely. Okay, final question, Tim, and then we are done, which is how do we find out more about you? And I know that you have a really cool is it like a course or a guide that you would like to offer to our audience as well? [00:35:29] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So best place to connect with me is our website, which [email protected] that's rialto Marketing. You can also find me on LinkedIn. I think I'm one of a few. Tim Fitzpatrick search for tim P. Fitzpatrick what I have for your audience is over at Revenue Roadblockscorecard.com. So when we work with clients, we help them remove the revenue roadblocks that are in their way so that they can accelerate growth. There are nine revenue roadblocks that we focus on. If your MSPs want to know which of the nine roadblocks are slowing down their growth, they can do that [email protected]. So it takes less than five minutes. It's a self assessment, and you'll get really specific advice on which roadblocks are slowing down your growth. So hopefully they'll find that helpful. [00:36:21] Speaker A: Paul Green's, MFP marketing podcast. This week's recommended book. [00:36:27] Speaker E: Hey, how's it going? My name is Steve Spiegel. I'm the founder and CEO of Crewhu. I want to talk to you about one of my books that I read this year with my team. It's how to be a great boss, and it really teaches you how to create accountability and also let go of the vine and let your guys do what they need to do so you could grow your business. Check it out. [00:36:52] Speaker A: Coming up next week boom. [00:36:55] Speaker C: Just like that, 2023 is over. Well, as far as normal podcast episodes. [00:37:00] Speaker D: Are concerned, because starting next week, we've. [00:37:02] Speaker C: Got the first of three festive specials for you going right through into January. And next week's, the first one. Oh, what a treat it is for. [00:37:10] Speaker D: You, because I managed to secure a. [00:37:12] Speaker C: Very interesting interview with this guy. [00:37:14] Speaker F: Hi, I'm Tom Andrulis. I grew my MSP from a one band band in 2003 to a $40 million plus 300 plus employee MSP in 20 years through a lot of hard work and some mergers and acquisitions. So I'm excited to share what M A can do for your business in this podcast. [00:37:32] Speaker C: You're going to love everything that Tom has to say about growing your MSP. So join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP. [00:37:42] Speaker A: Made in the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green's, MSP Marketing podcast.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. Around the world. This paul. [00:00:06] Speaker B: Paul. [00:00:06] Speaker A: Paul. Paul Greens, MSP Marketing Podcast welcome to. [00:00:10] Speaker C: Our final normal episode of 2023. [00:00:14] Speaker D: I'll tell you about our Christmas specials in a second, but here's what we. [00:00:17] Speaker C: Got coming up for you this week. [00:00:19] Speaker B: Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick, and I am an MSP. Marketing Expert. We're going to talk about your target market and why it is so important to hone in and really focus in on a specific target market. Because if you don't, as an MSP, you are bound to waste time, money and effort on marketing that doesn't work. [00:00:38] Speaker C: And on top of that fantastic interview with Tim later on in the show, we'll also be talking about how long you ask new clients to commit to you and whether or not you should be charging them a fee if they don't commit for as long as you want them to commit. [00:00:54] Speaker A: Paul Green's, MSP Marketing Podcast let's start. [00:00:58] Speaker D: First of all with a question that. [00:01:00] Speaker C: On the surface might seem a little bizarre, but actually it's something that I'm kind of pushing you to think about as we get near a holiday, with. [00:01:09] Speaker D: Christmas, of course, being just a few days away. Okay? [00:01:12] Speaker C: Imagine if over Christmas, something happens to you. Let's say you catch a sneezing bug. And that sneezing bug, as bizarre as it sounds, means that from January onwards, you can only work for 60 minutes every day at 61 minutes at work, you start sneezing, just sneezing all day long. In fact, that sounds horrendous. Why would I burden you with such a horrendous disease? Okay, forget the whole sneezing thing, but imagine this. From January, for whatever reason, you can only work for 60 minutes every single day. Now, the real reason I'm asking you this is I want you to think. [00:01:54] Speaker D: Over Christmas whether you well, maybe you'll. [00:01:55] Speaker C: Pause the podcast now and have a think about it. [00:01:57] Speaker D: But really, this is one of those pop it in the back of your. [00:01:59] Speaker C: Head and think about it over Christmas. What can you do? You as the MSP owner, what can you do in 60 minutes every single day from January onwards that will deliver the greatest amount of value to your business? Let me ask that again. It's such an important question. As the business owner, what can you do in 60 minutes every day to add the greatest amount of value to your business? Now, the chances are it's not the things that you're spending most of your time on now. [00:02:30] Speaker D: So maybe you're spending most of your. [00:02:32] Speaker C: Time now on admin, on management, maybe even on tech work, third level work. [00:02:37] Speaker D: Or if goodness help you, if you're. [00:02:39] Speaker C: Doing lower level work, I guess you kind of have to until you've got the cash or the resources to bring other people on board. But as the business owner, there's a series of activities, a set of things that you could and should be doing, which add the greatest value to your business. And the challenge for you is to find ways to remove everything else so. [00:02:57] Speaker D: That that's all you're focused on. [00:02:58] Speaker C: You're focused on the things that add the greatest value. [00:03:01] Speaker D: Now, what are those activities likely to be? [00:03:02] Speaker C: Well, for example, it will be doing new business, so generating leads, warming those leads up, turning those leads into prospects. [00:03:10] Speaker D: Getting those prospects on a 15 minutes. [00:03:12] Speaker C: Video call, and then, of course, having a proper sales meeting with them, actually turning them into a client. Other value that you'll be adding is servicing your existing clients. And by servicing, I mean more account management than actually doing the work. So talking to them about their strategy. [00:03:28] Speaker D: Helping them to pull together perhaps a. [00:03:31] Speaker C: Technology roadmap, going through what their plans are for the next couple of years. Because we all know that the more you know about your client, the easier it is to make suggestions to them of things that they should be doing. Either a technology direction that they should. [00:03:45] Speaker D: Be going in, or new investments that. [00:03:47] Speaker C: They should be making, or of course, maybe even security investments they should be making to help themselves be safer. What other kind of things could you be doing to invest in your business? Well, coaching your staff. And coaching doesn't have to be any more difficult than a ten minute conversation you have with someone every month. But just asking them these three questions, what's going well right now? What's not going so well? And what do you need to do differently? And asking particularly your senior people, or if you're a very small business, then all of your people asking them those questions in an informal setting, on a semiregular basis can be incredibly powerful at coaching them, at helping them to remove the barriers that are stopping them from doing great work. You see, just from those three activities I was talking about there, these are things that only you can do these things right, because they're the things that only the owner of the business can do. And sure, down the line, when you're 2030, 40, 50 strong, there are many other people you can hire to do these things for you. You can hire salespeople to bring a new business. You can hire account managers to look after the existing clients. You can definitely have people to coach your existing team, or you can teach your managers to coach their direct reports. But right now, assuming you're like a three, five, seven person business, which is the vast majority of people listening to this podcast, not everyone, but the vast majority. From the research that we've done, the best thing that you can do with your time is to spend it on bringing a new business, growing your existing business, and getting the most out of your team. And the question for you, the thing to think about over Christmas is what's stopping me from doing that because I know that you're not spending a great. [00:05:22] Speaker D: Deal of time doing that or the. [00:05:23] Speaker C: Chances are high that you're not spending. [00:05:25] Speaker D: A great deal of time doing that. [00:05:26] Speaker C: So why, what's the block? Let's find the block and let's get rid of that block. There's an idea, there's something we talked about in the podcast about two and. [00:05:36] Speaker D: A half years ago and that's to. [00:05:38] Speaker C: Take a week of your time and track everything that you do. If you go and search on my website for the word timeula, T-I-M-E-U-L-A-R it's a little device that I used and I talked about it in the podcast. [00:05:51] Speaker D: In fact, I had someone on from. [00:05:53] Speaker C: Timeula as a guest because I was in love with timeula for about six months and then the love affair ended because timeula helped me to fix my problem. Timeula is just like a time tracking dice. It's got, I think it's eight sides and you allocate each side to a task that you're doing and then as you're doing your work during the day, you just flick the dice round to represent the task that you're doing. [00:06:14] Speaker D: And then at the end of the. [00:06:14] Speaker C: Week you can see what proportion of your time has been spent on which tasks. Right, I think you can actually simplify. [00:06:19] Speaker D: It right down to what am I. [00:06:21] Speaker C: Doing that are red tasks, what am I doing that are yellow tasks and what am I doing that are green tasks? So red tasks are things you should not be doing any admin, anything that is less than third line tech, anything like that, anything that someone else could be paid to do for you, those are red tasks and the chances are that right now you're doing too many of them. What are yellow tasks? There things that kind of you should be doing but you don't want to do too much of. So third line technical work, for example, would be a yellow task and then green tasks are things that you should be doing as much of as possible. So green tasks should be talking to existing clients, bringing on board new business, developing your staff. [00:07:00] Speaker D: Those three things we were just talking. [00:07:02] Speaker C: About, maybe it's worth I wouldn't do it this week because this is a weird week going into Christmas, but maybe your second or third week in January you'd get a time alert. Or use Toggle or one of the thousands of other time tracking applications out there just to see. What are you actually spending your time on? That was so powerful for me, actually it must have been about three years. [00:07:23] Speaker D: Ago, three or four years ago to. [00:07:24] Speaker C: Go through that exercise to figure what I was spending my time on and then to eliminate as much of the red tasks as possible. And these days I spend my time mostly on green tasks. Doing this podcast is a green task, taking part in a webinar, that's a green task. Chatting to vendors and to strategic partners, that's a green task. And I get to do more of that. Well, all the red tasks are done by my team and that's by design. [00:07:47] Speaker D: And that started with knowing what I. [00:07:48] Speaker C: Was doing with my time. So back to the ultimate question, the question I want you to think about over Christmas. What can you do in 60 minutes every day that adds the greatest amount of value to your business? [00:08:02] Speaker A: Here's this week's. Clever idea. [00:08:05] Speaker C: Here's another idea to pop in your. [00:08:06] Speaker D: Head and think about over Christmas. [00:08:08] Speaker C: When you do get a new client, how long do you ask them to commit to you? [00:08:14] Speaker D: So do you do them on like. [00:08:16] Speaker C: A monthly rolling contract basis? And there's nothing wrong with that. There are many good strategic reasons why you would do that. [00:08:22] Speaker D: The only downside of that is when. [00:08:23] Speaker C: You come to sell the MSP, which you will eventually, it might be 20 years away, but potentially your MSP will be worth less. If all your clients are on rolling. [00:08:32] Speaker D: Contracts, they can cancel anytime, as opposed. [00:08:35] Speaker C: To making a longer commitment, just something. [00:08:37] Speaker D: To bear in mind for the future. [00:08:38] Speaker C: So maybe you do it on a monthly rolling basis. Maybe you ask them for a twelve month commitment. Maybe you're a bit braver and you ask for 24. I know MSPs who ask for a 36 month commitment. They ask for a three year commitment. [00:08:50] Speaker D: Some do. [00:08:51] Speaker C: Kind of like a hybrid. [00:08:52] Speaker D: So they say, hey, we ask you. [00:08:54] Speaker C: For a twelve month commitment initially, and then if you renew and you're happy with us at the end of the twelve months, then we ask for a three year commitment. Which actually is a very smart thing to do. I think however you do this, you need to be prepared to answer the question, the inevitable question that someone is. [00:09:10] Speaker D: Going to push back on at some. [00:09:11] Speaker C: Point when they say, look, we want to work with you, but we're not happy with your initial commitment. And let's say you've asked them for a three year commitment and they push. [00:09:22] Speaker D: Back and they say, well, we don't. [00:09:23] Speaker C: Want to make a three year commitment. [00:09:24] Speaker D: We'Ll make a one year commitment or. [00:09:26] Speaker C: A two year commitment. You need to kind of know in advance how are you going to handle that? [00:09:30] Speaker D: I know some MSPs, in fact, I took part in a discussion with some. [00:09:33] Speaker C: MSPs recently where fact, same question came up. They had a new client, they were asking them for a three year commitment. [00:09:40] Speaker D: And the client said, actually I'm not comfortable with that. I'd like to go for twelve. [00:09:43] Speaker C: And we came up with two options. [00:09:45] Speaker D: For the MSP to look at. Number one was to do the twelve. [00:09:47] Speaker C: Months and then three year option so the client knows going into it okay, because you're a new client twelve months now, and then we will be asking. [00:09:54] Speaker D: You for a three year commitment. [00:09:55] Speaker C: So if you want to carry on working with us post the first year, you have to make a three year commitment. The other idea that we came up with, which was I think this is the one they're going to go for, is if the client won't make a three year commitment, then you charge them an onboarding fee. So you say to them, fine, we don't have to do three years, we. [00:10:14] Speaker D: Can do twelve months. [00:10:16] Speaker C: However, one of the reasons we ask for three years is because actually we. [00:10:22] Speaker D: Have to invest a huge amount of. [00:10:23] Speaker C: Time and energy and resources at the very beginning of our relationship, and obviously the profit comes to us over time. Another way of looking at this is you spend a lot of money or you invest a lot of your time and resources in what's known as the front end. So the start of the relationship and you make the profits in the back end. The back end is down the line. I mean, let's be honest, you know, your client that you've had for seven years is more profitable today than they were seven years ago, right? [00:10:49] Speaker D: Not only because you've maybe nudged the. [00:10:51] Speaker C: Pricing and the margins up, but also because they just need less work. Because now you've completely changed all of their tech stack, right? So you've got complete control over their technology. So that means less support requests. [00:11:03] Speaker D: So inevitably they're more profitable. [00:11:05] Speaker C: So I don't think it's wrong at all to explain this to a client and to say, well, we're in this to make profit as well as to do good. [00:11:14] Speaker D: Sorry, you wouldn't say that. [00:11:15] Speaker C: You'd say, look, we're in this because we love looking after people. But we're also in this to make. [00:11:19] Speaker D: A profit because I have to pay. [00:11:20] Speaker C: My staff, I have to pay my mortgage, I have to send my children. [00:11:24] Speaker D: Off to that very expensive school and. [00:11:26] Speaker C: Drive a nice car. And profit is an important, healthy part of doing business. I'm sure you would agree, Mr. Or. [00:11:32] Speaker D: Mrs. Business Owner, because that's why you do it as well. [00:11:35] Speaker C: The problem is that we make less profit in the first year than we. [00:11:38] Speaker D: Do the second and third years because. [00:11:40] Speaker C: Of all the reasons we just talked about. So we are going to charge you an onboarding fee. Yes, you can have a twelve month contract, but we're going to charge you. [00:11:47] Speaker D: XYZ XYZ fee, whatever that fee is. [00:11:50] Speaker C: And it should just be, I guess a couple of thousand shouldn't be greedy. But the idea is to show them why you're asking for the three year contract. Now, I don't know whether or not they're going to go for this onboarding fee or whether they'll just say, fine, let's do the three year contract. My gut feel says they'll go for. [00:12:05] Speaker D: The onboarding fee, or maybe they'll up. [00:12:07] Speaker C: It to a two year contract, I don't know. But the point is that these are the kind of things that you need to think about in advance, particularly if you're starting to ask for longer and longer terms on your contract, which I really do believe that you should be doing. So which of these sounds right to you? Which of them do you think you're going to do? In fact? Are you going to change anything in 2024 with your contract lengths or with. [00:12:28] Speaker D: Onboarding fees or something like that? [00:12:30] Speaker C: Let's have a discussion about this. We have a Facebook group that is exactly for this thing, and I'm going to tell you about it right now. Let me tell you how to get. [00:12:43] Speaker D: Into that Facebook group, which, by the. [00:12:44] Speaker C: Way, is for MSPs only. There's no vendors in there, and all we do is talk about marketing and growing your business. I'm there every single day. It's literally the easiest way to engage with me. So bring up Facebook on your phone. Go to the little search bar at the top. Type in Paul Green's, MSP. [00:13:03] Speaker D: Marketing. [00:13:04] Speaker C: I'm just doing it now on my phone. Paul Green's MSP Marketing. And do a little search for it. Now, the first thing that will come up is it will come up with my page. Don't click on the page. No one uses Facebook pages these days, but you want to go to groups. So on the little thing at the. [00:13:21] Speaker D: Top, you go to groups and you'll. [00:13:22] Speaker C: Find paul Green's MSP Marketing as a group. It might have my face on, even just tap on my face to join. There's a couple of questions to prove you are an MSP and not a vendor trying to sneak in. And once you're inside, I'm looking forward to talking to you there and helping you to grow your business in 2024. [00:13:40] Speaker A: The big interview. [00:13:43] Speaker B: Hi, I'm Tim Fitzpatrick. I am a B, two B Revenue accelerator and excited to be here today. [00:13:50] Speaker D: A B. Two B. Revenue accelerator. What a fantastic job title. That is certainly better than saying, like, I do marketing for MSPs or something like that. Tim, it is a delight to have. [00:13:59] Speaker C: You on my podcast. [00:14:01] Speaker D: You very graciously had me as a live guest on yours a few months ago, and it was one of those where all the technical things were going wrong, weren't they? Like 30 seconds before we were due to go live? But we did it. We did a great broadcast. So thank you so much and thank you for coming on here. [00:14:15] Speaker C: Tell us a little bit more about you. So what's your background? How did you get to where you. [00:14:20] Speaker D: Are now and what do you do for businesses like MSPs? [00:14:24] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate thanks for having me. Paul, I'm excited to dig into this with you, so I'll give you the Cliff Note version of me professionally. When I graduated from college, I was a math major. I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do, but my dad had been an entrepreneur for a long time. He was a manufacturer's rep, which is basically a middleman. And he had started a distribution company that was related to his rep business, and he had no full time employees at that point. I knew he needed some help, and I was like, hey, let me help you for three months while I figure out what I'm going to do. Well, that was it, man. I started, and I was hooked. And we were selling consumer electronics, so we were selling home theater equipment and distributed audio. It was just toys. And I learned more doing that in six months than I did in four years of college. I was just soaking information up like a sponge. And I ended up I became a partner. We had multiple partners in the business, but I ran the distribution company day to day, all the day to day operations. We grew 60% a year for nine years, and we sold it after that. I stayed with the company for three years, and I got laid off from the company that bought us, right? This was in 2008, 2009 time frame, which in the US. Huge meltdown. And we got bought by a public company. And so I got laid off from there. I transitioned into real estate. I had always been interested in real estate, so I became a residential realtor. And Paul, I hated it. It was such a stark contrast from what I was doing in just I started to wake up every day. You've heard of the Sunday Evening Effect where you're like, oh, my God, I got to go to work tomorrow. I had the freaking Sunday evening effect every damn day. And so I was like, this is stupid. I got to shift gears and do something different. And that's when I decided to shift gears and get into marketing. And I would tell you my road with marketing, it has not been a straight path. It's been a winding road. Like most entrepreneurial journeys, it's taken me a while to really find what I love doing and what I'm great at. But that's where I am today. I focus on strategy, planning, and leadership when it comes to marketing. So I act like a general contractor and the architect, but I am not the HVAC person. So I get involved and help clients who need a marketing leader, but they're not ready to pay for a full time marketing executive. And I fill that. So that's that's the short of it. If you can call that a short. [00:17:07] Speaker D: That's a that's a that's a pretty great story. And you and I were actually introduced by Justin Esgar, who's an MSP he's in New York, and he's been on this show, in fact, for a while. Justin had the honor of having the most listened to episode, which he's since been beaten by what's his name, the guy that wrote they Ask, you answer, marcus Sheridan, who is our special episode at the beginning of this year. And I know that Justin will be listening to this and that it will be annoying him that he's been beaten for the most listened to episode. [00:17:38] Speaker C: I also know from the conversations you. [00:17:40] Speaker D: And I have had that you and I could talk for hours about stuff. I think we're both very much in the same head space and emotional space when it comes to marketing and how it frees business owners from their world. But what I want to do is focus you in on something I know you're very, very good at, which is targeting. So talking about target markets and buyer personas and that kind of stuff. Now, you and I both work with enough MSPs to know that MSPs marketing is enough of a distress activity to start getting into theory and difficult stuff like buyer personas and target markets and stuff like that. [00:18:14] Speaker C: Do you want to just tell us. [00:18:15] Speaker D: Why it's so important to have a very clear idea of who you're trying to target before you ever start doing any marketing at all? [00:18:23] Speaker B: Yeah. God, this is something so many people struggle with. Everything from a marketing standpoint starts with who you're targeting. Right. So if we don't have that narrowed down, we have no idea who we're attempting to reach. Right. What most MSPs do is target broadly. And when we target broadly, the target is so big we can't see it. Right. And we can't hit a target that we can't see. Now, there are a lot of byproducts from that that end up impacting your marketing results as well. But when we focus, things become so much simpler. I'm never going to say marketing is easy because there is no easy button. You got to do the work. But marketing can be simple, and when we focus, things become much simpler. [00:19:18] Speaker C: So give us an example of how. [00:19:19] Speaker D: That would actually work in real life then. So let's say I know you do work with MSPs. Let's say you start work with a new MSP today and they say to you probably what you hear all the time, which is, well, we've done bits of marketing. We've tried a few campaigns that vendors gave us. We've never really got any traction with anything. Where should we get started? Talk us through what process you would go through to try to figure out who they should be targeting and then define that market. [00:19:45] Speaker B: Yeah. So I'm going to keep this super tactical, right? Because there are multiple ways you can approach this. But one of the easiest ways to start, especially for an MSP that has been in business for a while, is most of the time we don't need to reinvent the wheel. We just need to look at who have we been working with and what are we finding when we start to dig deeper in that? So, Paul, I call it the Three Power Questions. Who do you love working with. And usually if you love working with them, they love working with you, which is what we want. Two, who are your most profitable clients? Oftentimes people default to profit thinking, oh, my largest clients, the ones that are driving the most top line revenue, oftentimes your top line revenue drivers are not your most profitable clients because they just eat up time, right? They ask you to do all kinds of things that you don't normally do. So we want to look at profitability, gross profit, who's really driving profit, and then who are you getting great results for? If you ask yourself those three questions? First off, if you're an MSP and you could work with somebody that checks all of those boxes day in, day out, how much better is your business going to be? You're going to be happy. Your team is going to be happy. You're going to be making money, and you're going to be working with people that you're getting great results for. Which means what? They're going to stay with you even longer, and they're going to want to talk to you about everybody that they know. So ask yourself those three questions with your existing and past client base. Take that group, and it's that group that you start to look at. Where are the commonalities and the similarities? So, Paul, I actually just interviewed an MSP on my podcast. The podcast is not live yet. Who went through this process? I didn't go through this process with him, but it was fascinating to hear it because it's just nice to hear that somebody else is going through this same process. About three years ago, he went through this process. He had been in business 15 years at the time. And he went through this process with a marketing provider that he engaged. And they started looking at it, and they were like, did you realize that half of your clients are in the healthcare space? And they were like, we never even stopped to really think about it. And as they started to think about it, they're like, well, half of your clients are in the healthcare space. Then we start to look like, do you like working with them? Right? Are they profitable? Are you getting good results for them? Yes. Well, maybe we should actually start focusing on healthcare rather than trying to target super broadly. And that's exactly what they did, was they chose to focus on the healthcare space. And he said to me, look, in six months, six months after we decided to do that, we had generated more leads than we had the prior three years. And when I go into a competitive situation with another MSP, I win nine times out of ten because I specialize in healthcare and they don't. So there are a lot of other I think there are some efficiencies from a system standpoint which can help boost profitability as well, right? You can create consistencies in your tech stack and how you're serving that particular market. But it becomes so much easier. So we don't need to reinvent the wheel. But look at your existing customers, clients, and who are we actually working with and what do they look like. It's the easiest place to start. [00:23:50] Speaker D: It is. And it's interesting you talk about efficiencies, because I think MSPs in particular have to be very careful which, if they do pick a sector or I mean, healthcare is a fairly broad is a fairly broad description of a marketplace, but it's still more refined than everybody. But you've got to be careful to pick something that is efficient. I quite often have conversations with MSPs who have manufacturers, and they say to me, oh, we love manufacturers. We want more manufacturers. And I'm very skeptical that manufacturers make great clients en masse. I think you can have one or two who make great clients, but if you've got 1020, 30, 40, you will not typically find that manufacturers will have well, healthcare providers will typically have a version of the same software, right. There'll be three or four big packages. They'll have one of those. They will all be regulated, which means they've got to buy high levels of cybersecurity protection. There will be other efficiencies. You'll be able to understand them if you've got a dentist and a doctor's surgery. They might do different things to people, but they're still running the same way. There's still a practice manager who is the influencer or the decision maker. There'll be some kind of standards. There'll be a corporate owner somewhere, or insurance needs or whatsoever. Whereas manufacturers, they can be completely different. [00:25:10] Speaker C: Even manufacturers of making the same things. [00:25:13] Speaker D: Will have different techniques, different machines. You always hear about someone who's running. [00:25:17] Speaker C: The most critical machine, the $10 million. [00:25:20] Speaker D: Machine, and it runs on a Windows XP machine that hasn't been powered down for 17 years. And you think, why would you want to support that? That's just hell. So anyway, I think you're right. The deficiencies, it's almost like the fourth of the three things that you were talking about. [00:25:36] Speaker C: What is it about having that? Well, actually, let me ask you two questions in one. [00:25:42] Speaker D: The first one is, does it have to be a sector? Does it have to be a gathering, like saying healthcare? Or could it be, actually, I want people with 20 staff? Or could it be, I want to have businesses just in this town? And then tell us why, when you. [00:26:00] Speaker C: Get down to the tactical marketing, why does it get so much easier when. [00:26:03] Speaker D: You'Ve got a very clearly defined audience? [00:26:06] Speaker B: Yeah, so I don't think it has to be a specific vertical. I think for MSPs, if you can buy into that and jump into it with both feet, I do think that it makes things much simpler. I mean, there are multiple ways you can differentiate, right. Focusing on a specific industry vertical. Is one. But the reality is, for most MSPs, they're not looking to bring on 200 new clients this year. They don't need that many new clients. And when you don't need that many new clients, narrowing in on a specific industry, I just think makes things much simpler. Because when you narrow down on a specific industry, and as you pointed out, look, manufacturing super broad, healthcare super broad, you can go even deeper than that within those because you can find manufacturers that do use specific types of manufacturers right. Or specific types of healthcare providers. But when you do that, it becomes much easier to create. I call it an ideal client GPS. It's the list of where those freaking people are. And this is not once you hone in on who it is, it is not difficult to create that list. It's very difficult to create that list when it's we focus on small business owners because they're freaking everywhere right now. It's also difficult when you target broadly to create a really good message that's going to resonate with those people. When it's narrow, it becomes much easier. But so, for example, you and I are focusing on the MSP space. When you choose to focus on the MSP space and you're going to create your list, where the heck are they? Right? Like, what are the associations? What are the events? Well, they go to It Nation or Datacon or they're part of the MSP alliance, or what influencers do they follow? Right there's. Gary Pika or Carl Palachak. Right. All those people and all those events go on that list. And now I know if I want to market to MSPs, these are the places I can go. I'm not casting a line out in the middle of the ocean. I know that I'm fishing. If I'm fishing for trout, I'm going to the local trout farm. And when I stick a line out in there, I'm catching a trout. [00:28:37] Speaker D: I love that. I'm going to steal that line. When I'm fishing for trout, I go to the local trout farm. I love that. [00:28:42] Speaker B: There you go. Right? So it becomes much easier, I think, when you focus by industry, but you don't have to. But I do think it becomes much easier to differentiate as well, because a lot of MSPs struggle with differentiation. You go to five MSP websites, the message is generic, it's varying shades of yellow. But it's really that boils down to the same message. And when that happens, the client, they can't differentiate, right? And when they can't differentiate, they default to price, and you compete on price. And that is a lousy place to be. [00:29:23] Speaker D: Yeah, exactly. And in fact, actually, even if your only differentiation is we only work with CPAs, or we only work accountants, we only work with lawyers, we only work with dentists, we only work with this or whatever is the case. Even if you have no other differentiation and you immediately stand out because all of the other MSPs are very generic. It's really interesting. I work with 700 MSPs on our MSP. You work on a Lot program? Yeah, and obviously I don't have a one on one relationship with all of those people because I'd have no life. But I try to talk to at least one member a day. Well, we have a Facebook group and I have Zooms, and we have drop in Zooms and all sorts of stuff where lots of engagement and I do talk to lots of different there's always someone new to talk to. And it's often surprising to me when you find someone who's got that they've got that kind of that differentiation through targeting. And then you go and look on their website and it's like, where is it? [00:30:24] Speaker C: It's like, Right, well, we're really good at CPAs. [00:30:26] Speaker D: We understand their software, understand this, we understand how they think and act. And you go on their website and it's like, I'm not seeing CPAs. I'm not seeing that. [00:30:33] Speaker C: It should be everywhere, right? It should be the number one message. [00:30:37] Speaker D: Because actually what we're talking about here. [00:30:39] Speaker C: Is making it relevant to them. [00:30:41] Speaker D: And that's the real power of this, isn't it, Tim? [00:30:43] Speaker C: It's taking that target market, and the more you can define down who they are, the easier it is to make. [00:30:51] Speaker D: Things relevant to them. And as you say, that's what we're doing here for MSPs. And we've both of us spent enough time playing with MSPs, talking to MSPs, learning about them, to make what we're saying utterly relevant to them. And actually, when an MSP is marketing to a business owner, you don't have. [00:31:07] Speaker C: To do that much work. [00:31:08] Speaker D: It just needs to seem relevant. [00:31:09] Speaker C: For example, talk to a lawyer. You don't call a lawyer's. [00:31:13] Speaker D: Well, I don't know about in the US. But certainly here in the UK, lawyers don't have businesses. They have a practice, like dentists. [00:31:20] Speaker C: Dentists have a practice, right? So if you're an insider, a true. [00:31:24] Speaker D: Insider working let's go with the dentist one. If you're a true insider working with dentists, you don't talk about their business, you talk about their practice. When you're talking to MSPs, you talk about their PSA or their RMM in the same way that you're talking to lawyers. You talk about their case management software or whatever. I don't know about lawyers. Whatever it is that they use. [00:31:40] Speaker C: And it's often making your message seem. [00:31:43] Speaker D: Relevant is down to those little things, isn't it? Just the tiny things that stand out to them. [00:31:50] Speaker B: It's a small nuance, right? But do you talk about practice? Do they have patients or do they have clients? Right? It's just those little things that make your message that much more relevant and specific. One of my mentors always said, specificity sells. The more specific we can get, the easier it's going to be for that message to resonate and then actually want people to actually do business with us. It's a loaded question when you're like, do I have to absolutely do this? No, you don't have to absolutely do it. But gosh, it makes things a lot simpler if you, you know, even within like, I was talking to an MSP about a month ago who's in greater Los Angeles, right? Which the greater Los Angeles market is huge. I mean, there's like 13 million plus people in the greater Los Angeles market. So focusing on the greater Los Angeles market geographically is still too big. Like, you could focus in that market on a specific industry and still have plenty of clients. Right. So it's a tough concept for people to want to go all in on, but if you can do it, it makes things much, much simpler. [00:33:14] Speaker D: Yeah, I agree. Okay, Tim, I could talk to you for hours, but we're going to have. [00:33:18] Speaker B: To wrap this up. [00:33:18] Speaker D: I've got three quick things to ask you. The first one is you just used a phrase which I absolutely adore. Specificity sells. Have you ever tried saying that after you've had three beers? [00:33:30] Speaker B: No, I haven't. Well, I don't drink that much, so it's very rare for me to drink three beers at one time. But that would be tough to say if I had too much to drink, right? [00:33:40] Speaker D: It is, trust me, I've tried that one after more than three beers as well. You cannot say that. [00:33:45] Speaker C: Second thing is, so when I appeared. [00:33:46] Speaker D: On your live podcast a couple of months ago, you do like a quick fire question thing and one of the questions you asked me was, what was something surprising that people wouldn't know about you? [00:33:57] Speaker C: Now, we don't normally do that kind. [00:33:59] Speaker D: Of thing on this podcast when you asked me, but I'm going to do it for you. When you asked me that question, I said that I was a massive fan of a British TV show called Doctor Who, which this year has celebrated its 60th anniversary. But we're not going to talk about that. I want to know, Tim, something surprising that people wouldn't know about you? [00:34:17] Speaker B: Something surprising about me? I would say I tend to be more of an introvert. Right. I've got a podcast, I do a ton of guest podcasting, but I recharge my batteries in solitude. I can get out there and interact with people, but I do not mind being by myself to recharge my batteries. So that's something that people might find surprising. [00:34:46] Speaker D: See, it's funny, actually, as a former radio presenter, I can relate to that. So although I'm extrovert through and through, most of the people I used to work with in radio back in the day were introverts. And no one really understood why radio presenters were so weird in real life. Because hear them on the radio and they think, oh, this person's the life and soul of the party. And actually you meet them in real life and they're very, very introverted people. [00:35:11] Speaker C: Not all of them, but most of. [00:35:12] Speaker D: Them, which is kind of interesting. So I get that completely. Okay, final question, Tim, and then we are done, which is how do we find out more about you? And I know that you have a really cool is it like a course or a guide that you would like to offer to our audience as well? [00:35:29] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So best place to connect with me is our website, which [email protected] that's rialto Marketing. You can also find me on LinkedIn. I think I'm one of a few. Tim Fitzpatrick search for tim P. Fitzpatrick what I have for your audience is over at Revenue Roadblockscorecard.com. So when we work with clients, we help them remove the revenue roadblocks that are in their way so that they can accelerate growth. There are nine revenue roadblocks that we focus on. If your MSPs want to know which of the nine roadblocks are slowing down their growth, they can do that [email protected]. So it takes less than five minutes. It's a self assessment, and you'll get really specific advice on which roadblocks are slowing down your growth. So hopefully they'll find that helpful. [00:36:21] Speaker A: Paul Green's, MFP marketing podcast. This week's recommended book. [00:36:27] Speaker E: Hey, how's it going? My name is Steve Spiegel. I'm the founder of CEO crew. I want to talk to you about one of my books that I read this year with my team. It's how to be a great boss, and it really teaches you how to create accountability and also let go of the vine and let your guys do what they need to do so you could grow your business. Check it out. [00:36:52] Speaker A: Coming up next week boom. [00:36:55] Speaker C: Just like that, 2023 is over. Well, as far as normal podcast episodes. [00:37:00] Speaker D: Are concerned, because starting next week, we've. [00:37:02] Speaker C: Got the first of three festive specials for you going right through into January. And next week's, the first one. Oh, what a treat it is for. [00:37:10] Speaker D: You, because I managed to secure a. [00:37:12] Speaker C: Very interesting interview with this guy. [00:37:14] Speaker F: Hi, I'm Tom Anjulis. I grew my MSP from a one band band in 2003 to a $40 million plus 300 plus employee MSP in 20 years through a lot of hard work and some mergers and acquisitions. So I'm excited to share what M A can do for your business in this podcast. [00:37:32] Speaker C: You're going to love everything that Tom has to say about growing your MSP. So join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP. [00:37:42] Speaker A: Made in the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green's, MSP Marketing podcast.

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