How I Became A Person Of Action, Met With 60 Clients In 60 Days And Grew My Business By $360K In One Year!

Darren Patoni Genius of the Month

Darren Patoni

Darren Patoni,
The I.T. Workshop

Before, I Was A Mess, My Business Was Bleeding And I Was $172,000 In Debt!

Before I joined Robin Robins’ Producers Club, I was a real mess. After years of doing the same thing over and over again and somehow expecting to see different results, I knew I needed a serious change. My business was hemorrhaging money, I owed $172,000 and “growth” was a word that wasn’t even in my vocabulary.

The business I created was based solely on referrals (not a winning marketing strategy). Although I did have some great clients, my company wasn’t even growing at the rate of inflation, let alone the average industry rate of growth.

I knew I needed to change some habits, change my thinking and change my mindset. If I was going to have a healthy, growth-focused company, then I would have to be healthy myself. For far too long, I had surrounded myself with people who kept telling me I was going to fail. That negativity permeated my mind and my business and did its share of damage. Rather, I had to surround myself with others who were better at executing than I was.

I also knew I needed accountability and proven marketing solutions to grow my business, and I was finally ready to take action and do the work necessary to get it done. Boy, did I take action…

Utilizing “Insane Productivity” To Generate Insane Results

Since joining Producers Club, I’ve become a person of action. After hearing Darren Hardy speak onstage at one of Robin’s events, I’ve adopted his “Insane Productivity” ideas, as well as foundational marketing concepts from Robin. My new level of productivity included:

  • Creating several marketing oil wells that are producing on a regular basis.
  • Writing a book!
  • Becoming an expert on data breach notification laws.
  • Meeting with the Attorney General’s office and local legislators to successfully change state law in our favor!
  • Meeting with 60 clients in 60 days that resulted in $15,000 in new MRR!
  • Embracing the concept and even leveraging the benefits of accountability.

Oh, and I paid off ALL of that debt! $172,000 ERASED!

Why Losing 3 Top Clients And $15,000 In MRR Didn’t Sink Us

Robin has brought some amazing thought leaders to Producers Club meetings, and I have read every book and embraced new concepts to help me change poor habits and poor thinking. From these presentations and books, I’ve learned that some things are within your control and many things simply are not. The key is to focus your time and energy on what IS in your control.

About halfway through the year, I got some very frustrating news. I learned that we were going to lose our top customer and two other good clients due to acquisitions. Unfortunately, bad news like this, where the loss of projected monthly recurring revenue is over $15,000, is enough to make a lot of MSPs consider downsizing or limiting their marketing budget. We took a different approach.

Rather than focusing on this significant loss in MRR, which I had no control over, I led my team to focus on what WAS within our control. I committed to my Accountability Group to have a new cyber security offering packaged and productized within 30 days. Not wanting to look like an idiot to the rest of my group, I completed the task, added a sales process, and our new Cyber CareTM solution was introduced.

We continued to add new and relevant cyber security solutions that we learned about from Robin. Then we spent the latter half of the year marketing these new solutions and cross-selling these opportunities to our clients.

Marketing Campaigns That Added $360,000 In Profit!

In 2018, we tried a lot of new marketing concepts and campaigns. From Robin’s Sneaky Duck in a box to the faithful publishing of our Tech Tribune newsletter within the first quarter. By the end of the second quarter, we had integrated a new “Robinized” website and began building and scrubbing a new marketing list of 5,000 local businesses. We launched a direct mail campaign, and by the third quarter, we introduced a cross-selling VoIP campaign. We were on target with our growth strategy and business plan.

These are the top marketing campaigns we used to profit nearly $360,000 for the year…

$15,400 In New MRR From 60 Cyber CareTM On-Site Consultations In 60 Days

After attending Robin’s Cyber Security Seminar, I created an introductory solution called Cyber CareTM and used Infusionsoft to schedule meetings with clients to discuss cyber security threats as well as a newly amended Arizona data breach notification law. This new law is one of the toughest data breach notification laws in the country, yet most business owners haven’t heard about it.

In 60 days, I personally met with 60 clients and added over $15,400 in new MRR with our Cyber CareTM offering.

TechTip E-mail Campaigns Increased First-Time Appointments By 50%!

We use Infusionsoft to regularly send out TechTips e-mails to over 3,000 targeted prospects within our geographic region. We carefully analyze those users who faithfully open and read our TechTips e-mails. From those specific users, we strategically target them for additional campaigns, resulting in a 50% increase in first-time appointments.

2 Cyber Security Seminars Netted Contracts Worth $297,648

After attending Robin’s Cyber Security Seminar, we engaged with the Town of Gilbert’s Economic Development Department to promote a Lunch-and-Learn Seminar in March and another in August. Forty-five business owners attended the March seminar and we closed three managed services deals for a total of $5,500 in new MRR, with a grand total of $200,448 over the life of the contracts. The August seminar brought 32 business owners. We closed four new Cyber CareTM packages for a total of $2,700 in new MRR, which will bring in $97,200 over the life of the contracts.

$12,950 In New MRR From “Robinized” Website

We completely revamped and “Robinized” our website. To better establish credibility and authority before requesting a face-to-face meeting, we used strategic landing pages to post our Cyber Security Crisis reports and targeted prospects through Infusionsoft to download the report.

The new website definitely improved our overall SEO ranking and Google AdWords quality score, resulting in six to eight leads per month. Before improving our site, we were paying a lot of money to Google. We were getting clicks, but not the form-fills or phone calls to see the conversions that we are now. Since revamping the website in June, we have closed six new clients from website leads. This adds $12,950 a month in new MRR and a total of $466,200 over the life of the contracts!

Mindset Comes First

Before the $360,000 in added revenue and before you execute the marketing campaigns and seminars, you must first adopt the right mindset. Turning failure into success and liability into opportunity takes a different mindset. Not everyone has this quality naturally. I don’t believe I have this natural ability. However, you can adapt and change this mindset to your advantage. Having a burning desire to make this happen, along with a strong group to hold me accountable for my actions, has been my primary tool set for change.

Not only has Robin’s influence enabled The I.T. Workshop to grow like never before, her influence sparked a personal change within me. I decided to change my physical activity level this year. I knew I was going to need additional focus and energy to complete what I wanted to accomplish. I invested in a gym, got a physical trainer and set a goal of completing a half marathon! This seemed outrageous because I hated running and couldn’t go more than 200 yards at a time without stopping.

I guess I needed to prove to myself that if you want something bad enough and you are willing to do the work necessary to accomplish it, you CAN achieve it. Well, I completed the half marathon, and I’m in better shape now than I’ve been in 20 years! Plus, I have the additional energy necessary to lead my company and to better serve those around me.

Going forward, I will continue to invest in both my personal and professional development throughout the year. I will continue to leverage the power of accountability by taking the next step and leading an accountability team. Plus, I will read at least six books in 2019, and I will have completed my first Olympic triathlon.

Truthful accountability can help you change poor habits and execute what needs to be done. But you have to be willing to do the work and receive the feedback. Now that I’ve said it and committed to it, I must be accountable to do it. This single principle has changed my life, and I will continue to invest in this type of personal development to reap the benefits that go along with charting my passage and making course corrections along the way.

My expectation for my business is that we will continue to grow our Manage IT and Cyber Security solutions at a 30% growth rate for next year. My plan is to maintain at least a 25% growth rate for the next five years to hit $4 million in revenue and $10 million by year 10.