In November of 2021, I gambled my entire retirement to purchase Simplified IT Solutions. Less than a month later, I lost one of my biggest clients before I even knew them – $40,000 a year GONE. Suddenly, I had lost 20% of the value of my MSP.
To replace that income, I contracted out my tech services. That was a rookie mistake since I was sacrificing my time as a business owner. Either I had to work 80+ hours a week or lay off my staff. Even worse, I risked LOSING EVERYTHING because I didn’t have the capital to upgrade my cyber security stack for my clients. As Robin Robins put it, “I bought a 30-year-old start-up.”
I Burned Through $60,000 In Bad Marketing Before…
What Could Possibly Go Wrong Now?
My previous ties with marketing were not productive. My MBA taught me nothing about real-world marketing, which is why I invested $60,000 in marketing at a previous company that delivered ZILCH. So now what was I going to do?
I knew I wanted to grow my business, but I wasn’t doing anything about it. So, I reached out to Kaseya to ask how other MSPs were doing marketing. They gave me two words: Robin Robins. I took their advice and enrolled in the Toolkit initially, then quickly upgraded to Accelerators Club for the implementation and accountability.
Also, just as a little side note, my wife was upset with me for signing up because I had lost $60,000 in my last attempt at marketing. She decided that she had to come to the Rapid Implementation class with me to see what I was getting into (and possibly make sure THIS TIME I didn’t throw my money away). She is now a true believer in the program and the process.
Intimidated And Embarrassed Until I Turned Lead Into Gold
My Accelerators coach, Darren Patoni, assured me there was GOLD in my client list (albeit small). I didn’t believe him initially because half of them were break-fix and only worth $50 a month – but Darren encouraged me to push them to a managed services contract. At $50 a month in revenue, what did I really have to lose by giving it a shot?
Obviously, those $50 per month contracts sold by the previous owner weren’t sustainable or even reasonable. So, with TMT’s advice, I created three unique service plan options for my clients. Next, I modified a TMT e-mail campaign. This e-mail explained that their existing plans were expiring, and they must choose an upgrade plan. With little to lose, I sent it out to all my break-fix clients.
To my surprise, I successfully converted five of my break-fix clients to managed services! It turns out that offering them the three plan options was “good news” for our bottom line because all of them chose either our HIGHEST-DOLLAR PLAN or our middle plan. I have Will Nobles to thank for that strategy because he advised me to make the lowest-cost plan unattractive. To date, this e-mail combined with my new plans converted FIVE break-fix clients to managed services!
My First Round Of TBRs Brought In $180,000 In Project Revenue And $2K In MRR!
During the in-person Rapid Implementation Workshop, I kicked off our Technology Business Reviews (TBR) campaign using the standard TMT campaign included in the MAP program. Since I was the new owner of the business, it was important to meet face-to-face with my clients. Also, because I knew we were underserving my clients, I used the TBRs to get their feedback on our three new managed services and cyber security plans.
By conducting these TBRs, I picked up on a valuable piece of information. I learned that my clients followed a strict budget process. As long as I come to the TBR meetings with a spreadsheet filled out with their expected IT expenses, they are more likely to say “Yes!” This new knowledge led to a network replacement project for our largest client worth $175,000. From the TBRs, we added $180,000 in project revenue and $2,000 in MRR.
My Accelerators Coach Helped Me Bring In $20,000 In New MRR!
While I was bringing in more revenue from our clients, I was still working a crazy number of hours doing tech work rather than acting as an owner. So, I sought the advice of Darren, my Accelerators coach. He told me I was going to have to take a risk and asked me to reach out to the company I was doing tech work for and ask for a guarantee of hours.
It worked! They offered me $20,000 in MRR! With that new influx of revenue, I accomplished four main things:
- I hired a Fortinet cyber security engineer to handle much of my tech work.
- I hired a marketing person to help us build a list and run Robin’s campaigns.
- I built up our cyber security stack so we could better help clients.
- I was able to finally focus on my business as a true owner.
How Our Weekly Cyber Security Tips Became A Profit Center
In order to maintain a continuous presence with my clients, we started e-mailing them Robin’s Cyber Security Weekly Drip Tips. Because these weekly tips keep my clients engaged and asking questions, we got a lot of positive feedback.
To my surprise, these weekly tips also sold a lot of cyber security training. Customers would call and ask about the cyber security tips they were receiving. While we explained that it was part of our cyber security education, selling our cyber security training was a natural fit. This training became another profitable bolt-on to their existing contracts!
Turning A Free Offer Into A Revenue Generator
Upon executing my TBRs, I realized I needed a low-hanging-fruit offer that provided value. So, I teamed up with Kaseya’s ID Agent and offered my clients a free dark web scan. Just about everyone I offered this scan to signed up for our dark web monitoring services!
It only costs me $15 per month for the license, but I sell it for $100 per month. This promotion not only added new MRR, but it also became an entry point to learn that these clients weren’t afraid of price increases.
The Perfect “Short Bridge” To More Profitable Clients
I’ll never forget Robin explaining that you don’t want to present your clients with a bridge that’s just too far for them to consider. Rather, it must be perceived as easy and manageable.Working with Webroot Antivirus, we found that our endpoint detection and response (EDR) became that bridge they can easily cross.
Today, we’re offering our clients what I call our Base EDR package, which is a simple upgrade in our security stack. I run this campaign for clients who are on the fence about upgrading to our managed services plan. This “shorter bridge” has generated $1,000 in additional MRR for us and pushed several clients one step closer to managed services.
It’s All About People And Processes
Setting your MSP up to win is just as important as the TMT marketing campaigns. That’s why I believe the greatest value in this program is working with the coaches. Darren Patoni advised me to renegotiate my recurring services contract, which brings in $20K in additional MRR. Will Nobles helped me to build out my three managed services plans and upgrade my cyber security stack.
Another key takeaway I learned is you must have the courage to face your clients and tell them what is best for them. Even if that means presenting them a managed services plan with a $1,150 monthly increase or risking losing them as a client.
Finally, you MUST have a marketing and sales process in place. It’s clear the previous owner had zero process. Without a proven and repeatable process, growth is impossible. Revenue is stagnant. Without a process, I know I would have just gone back to 100% tech work.
Revolutionary Results. And Just Getting Started.
It was eye-opening to learn that my MBA had taught me nothing about marketing. I know this because upon joining Technology Marketing Toolkit, I scored a 30 (which meant I was “HURTIN’”) on my Client Success Scorecard. Thankfully, in the last several months, I learned to follow the math, know our numbers and make marketing and sales a formalized process just like any technical process we follow.
As a result of realigning my clients with upgraded plans, restructuring my recurring services contract and following the TMT model, we have turned my “30-year start-up” into a growth-focused MSP with $23,500 in new MRR and $180,000 in project revenue!
Additional Resources: Sign up for our Marketing Strategy Brief for more MSP marketing tips by clicking here.
TMT members: to access all the campaign examples mentioned by this month’s Marketing Genius Of The Month, go to the Dashboard under the Marketing Strategy Brief resource and access them there.