How We Transformed An MSP Losing $446,000 A Year To Add 10 PROFITABLE New Clients And $10,874 In New MRR, Setting Us On Pace To Hit $2.4 Million This Year

Kirby WatsonGenius of the Month

A few years back, I was working for an MSP and built their sales department, but when that MSP went bankrupt and was sold, the company buying them out asked me to run the business. That’s how Aligned Tek got started three years ago in Birmingham, Alabama, and I took over as the president of what I would discover was a house of cards.

Unbeknownst to me, the CEO of that previous MSP had promised clients that he would provide full managed services at a break-fix price. He would often roll a truck and come onsite for anything.

Kirby Watson
President, Aligned Tek

When I took over as president, the company was losing money After ending the next year at $1.2M, we still lost. That’s because our EBITDA was NEGATIVE $446,000. On top of that, our back-office operations and pricing models were just terrible. I discovered that our average endpoint was a measly 38 bucks, and an audit of our financials revealed that historical revenues on the P&L were overstated by over 30% due to billing irregularities. Although we made significant improvements, we still finished that first year in the red.

Knowing we faced an uphill battle with abysmal financials and absolutely no marketing, I knew we had to take massive action. I had heard of TMT and Robin Robins from a bunch of peers. Almost immediately, we jumped right in, joined Accelerators Club, went through Rapid Implementation Workshop, and then joined Producers Club. We went all in and started implementing EVERYTHING right away.

Aggressively Raising Our Rates Added $9,150 In New MRR WITHOUT Losing A Single Client

Knowing our average user endpoint was just $38, I wanted to get our operations settled and right-size Aligned Tek. We immediately implemented a rate increase across the board.

We were confident with our IT and cyber security stack but just weren’t charging enough for it. Our first effort to raise our rates was to have our client relationship manager meet with our clients. She would review their tickets and remind our clients what they were paying compared to the industry standard rate.

Next, by following TMT’s direction and Will Nobles’ structure and pricing model, we began conducting technology business reviews with our top 25% tier clients. Not only did we not lose a SINGLE client through these TBRs and client reviews, but we also increased our MRR by $9,150!

2 First-Time Appointments From Our Aspirin Campaign And List-Scrubbing Process

The Aspirin campaign has delivered the highest success rate and aligns with our medical market, so we went all in. We started with our target client profile: medical and dental practices with 15 or more employees and $2M in annual revenue.

In about eight weeks, we’ve mailed just under 600 Aspirin letters to this targeted list. We hired an SDR who follows up aggressively via e-mail, LinkedIn and 75 phone calls a day. This month alone, this concentrated effort resulted in TWO first-time appointments, which is a fantastic result given we were just getting started.

One of the reasons we had such success with our first TMT direct mail campaign was because we follow Better Your Best winner Adam Spencer’s proven list-scrubbing process. My SDR calls each medical or dental office from our list and tells them that our president wants to send them something via mail. She confirms their address, the practicing administrator or CEO and their e-mail address. She has that system down really well.

What makes our Aspirin campaign so efficient and effective is our adoption of TMT’s CRM Keap and their marketing automation platform (MAP). Being a Salesforce guy for the past 15 years, we are now committed to Keap. Just the ease of triggering that daily workflow to remind my SDR what to do the next day makes it a snap.

Driving More Sales With Our “First Aid” Shock-And-Awe Box

Prior to joining TMT, we had never utilized anything like a Shock-And-Awe box to help increase our appointment-sat rates and closing rates. Because our client base is probably 90% medical and dental, our marketing team created our custom Shock-And-Awe box to resemble a first-aid kit! With a stethoscope on the front and a message that says, “Open Immediately,” our box positions us as the IT experts for medical professionals. Then, when they open it up, we highlight all of the software we support that medical and dental practices count on.

In the three months since we’ve been sending out our boxes, our prospective clients have been very impressed. They love it. In each box, we include a Client Bill Of Rights, our IT Buyers Guide, our testimonial booklet, a branded mousepad, a four-port USB hub and some snacks. We rewrote the IT Buyers Guide for our target market, so they’re able to see the area’s average seat cost as well as loaded questions to ask their current IT guy.

For prospects who simply want a virtual meeting, we send them our virtual Shock-And-Awe presentation. We’ve had a lot of good responses from e-mailing that presentation.

Like Clockwork, Our Creative Printed Newsletters Are Mailed Every Month

Another piece of marketing from Aligned Tek that always looks phenomenal is our custom-crafted monthly printed newsletter. We have a bit of an advantage because we get to utilize the talents of Heather New, the director of marketing and communications from our sister organization, Lyons HR. She’s also a TMT member and comes to all the events. She’s super creative and also helped us design our custom Shock-And-Awe box.

Our clients LOVE getting our newsletters! Going forward, we plan to mail our newsletters to qualified leads and prospects as well.

Expecting Big Things From The 5-Around Drop Campaign In 2024

Intrigued by TMT’s 5-Around Drop campaign, we wanted to test this campaign around our clients. This campaign starts with a simple postcard offering a free cyber security assessment. You walk into a client’s office and ask permission to offer neighboring offices the free assessment. Finally, you personally visit five nearby businesses, let them know about the client you support and that they are eligible for a free cyber-assessment. It’s an easy way to a “Yes!”

Because medical offices are generally in clusters, our target market is a natural for this campaign. We’ve only implemented this creative canvassing campaign in a couple of medical office parks, but plan to hit it hard in 2024.

Our “Robinized” Website Has Become A Lead Generation Tool

From the moment we started with Technology Marketing Toolkit, we saw the value in their SEO-optimized websites that are built to convert. Therefore, when my full stack web developer was tasked with building our new website, I made it clear to everybody that we would be following Robin’s model to a T. From our new “Robinized” website we’ve received several leads and inquiries.

On the home page of our website are multiple calls to action, including a free guide, “7 Surefire Ways You Know Your Current ‘IT Guy’ Is Secretly Failing You,” and a form to book a free consult. The home page also lists “4 Big Reasons To Choose Aligned Tek To Support Your Computer Network” and several industry-specific testimonials.

Automating Sales Using Our Drip Tips E-Mails

Keap was also instrumental in allowing us to mass communicate with our prospects by automating our Drip Tip e-mails. That’s been HUGE for us! We’ve had clients get a cyber security tip e-mailed to them and then call us to ask about implementing that tip. From this “set it and forget it” campaign, we’ve sold some ancillary products simply because our clients get these tips every week.

Quickly Going From ZERO Testimonials To 10 Quality Reviews

While Aligned Tek has many satisfied clients, for far too long we had ZERO testimonials and reviews. That’s right, no third-party credibility enhancers that spoke to our service quality and attention to detail. Thankfully, for Rapid Implementation Workshop, we executed the testimonial exercise where we asked our clients to answer three questions.

It WORKED! Before we knew it, we had 10 quality testimonials that speak to our responsiveness, knowledgeable staff and proven technologies. Today, we use those testimonials everywhere, including on our website, in our Shock-And-Awe boxes and in our “Customer Spotlight” in our newsletters. We even have seven Google Reviews, all with high star ratings.

Landing A LARGE Client With Google Ads

To stay in front of our best potential clients, we have budgeted quite a bit for direct mail as well as online pay-per-click marketing. By marketing Aligned Tek on Google Ads, we booked two first-time appointments and landed one lucrative new client a couple weeks ago!

Trust The Process. Get Involved. Lean On Your Peers.

I’ve heard the stories of other TMT members who simply watch their Toolkits gather dust. That wasn’t us. From day one, we didn’t take our foot off the gas. That’s because we TRUSTED the process. Even if you’re the tech in your MSP, you need to dedicate time to it, trust the process, and follow the steps that are already laid out for you.

The best way to hold yourself accountable is by joining a PEER GROUP. Then, make sure you PARTICIPATE: go to TMT events and share your KPIs and value because someone else is going through the exact same thing you are. It’s all about changing your mentality. Then do the things TMT, your coaches and your peers are outlining for you. It absolutely works.

From taking over an MSP with an average endpoint up a paltry $38 to practically zero marketing, Aligned Tek was on the struggle bus for a while. Then, after going through Rapid Implementation Workshop and joining Accelerators Club and Producers Club, my team has been implementing as many campaigns as we effectively can.

Since finding Technology Marketing Toolkit, we have added 10 new clients (while also “Pumpkin Planning” difficult and unprofitable ones). We’ve added $10, 874 in new MRR and $130,498 in total contract value. We also generated $116,718 in hardware sales. While my B.H.A.G. is $2.5M in revenue, conservatively, we expect to end 2024 at $2.1M.

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.

Want to quickly and easily add 1-2 high value clients this month? Attend our next FREE MSP Marketing Training to learn how.