MSPs: 10 Simple Marketing Ideas
Marketing seems to perplex some small VARs and managed service providers (MSPs). Despite the misconceptions, there are tons of easy, low-cost, and even free ways to market your business. To help out, I have organized a list of 10 easy marketing ideas…
Take a look:
1. Build a Lead Database – Everyone you talk as part of your business is a potential lead, whether now, or down the road. Get contact information from everyone you talk to. Grab their business card and start building a database.
2. Market the Database – You also need to market this database. Send out newsletters, personalized emails, call your prospects once in a while, etc. Be careful not to turn into a spammer. Make sure your content is worthwhile.
3. Network, Network, Network – Did I say network. There is an old marketing saying “It is not who you know, but who knows you.” This is so true. Make sure everyone in your community knows who you are. Go to chamber meetings, join the Rotary, be visible in the local business community. Take every opportunity you can to meet other business owners. And don’t forget to get their business cards so you can enter them into your database.
4. Social Media Marketing – Believe it or not, you can leverage Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to advertise your business. Invite your entire database to follow you on Facebook and Twitter. Keep them posted with what is going on at your business and your personal life. Remember; don’t be the annoying sales guy. Make it fun. The idea is to just keep them aware of your presence.
5. Write a Blog – Write content that will be useful and interesting to your target client. Don’t be a used car salesman when you write. If you provide valuable information and position yourself as an expert, people will call you when the need arises.
6. Ask for Referrals – This might seem obvious, but most people never ask for them. Ask your clients for referrals at least twice a year. You don’t have to bribe them either. Most people feel guilty when receiving payment or prizes for referrals. If you are doing a good job, they will willingly give them to you.
7. Give Something Away for Free – Prospects love to test drive before they buy. Offer a free, no obligation trial of your services.
8. Brand Yourself – Wear shirts with your logo on them. Get professionally designed business cards and hand them out often. Put a sign on your car. Put your logo and web URL on everything possible.
9. Use the Media – Become friends with the local media. Introduce yourself to everyone in the local media possible. They get paid to produce content and you can help out. Make their job easier by becoming the go to guy for technology questions and stories.
10. Easy-in Offerings – Structure your offering in ways to eliminate objections. Offering a money back guarantee is one great way to do this. If they don’t like your service, tell them they can leave and you will refund their money.
All of these things are easy to do and cost next to nothing. You need to think about marketing every single day. The objective is to let as many people possible know what you do and who you are. It really is that simple and it is easy to do if you just think.
Paul Barnett is marketing director for VirtualAdministrator, which offers hosted solutions for managed service providers. Read all of Paul’s guest blogs here. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of MSPmentor.net’s 2009 Platinum sponsorship.