Sabotaged By My Ex-Wife And Then Fired My Mom And Dad
I started consulting back when our years started with a 19. I quickly built a client base through word-of-mouth and absolutely no marketing. I was a tech trying to be a business owner, but also juggling HR, payroll, operations, EVERYTHING. Sound familiar? As a result, not only did I have a 9 to 5 business, it was also a 5 to 9 business. I was working all the time and had no life.
My wife at the time knew I was handling all aspects of my business. When my marriage started falling apart, she did everything she could to ruin my business as well. One day, out of the blue, she disappeared with both of my young children as well as my laptop that had all of my books, clients and my WHOLE BUSINESS on it! Fortunately, my mom and dad stepped in to help me out. Yes, I took in my parents as my first employees **sigh**. That went well for a few years until they put me in a position where I was hanging on by my fingernails to save my business. I had to FIRE THEM BOTH!
Finally Saying “NO!” To The Status Quo Of No Growth
I’ll admit that I used to believe that reaching $2.3M as an MSP with absolutely no marketing was something to be proud of. Like a badge of honor. Little did I realize how big we could be today if I had learned about sales, marketing and how to run a business years ago. But, like too many other members, I let the Toolkit “marinate” on the shelf and gather dust for years. Did I like life lessons and pain after all?
After attending Robin Robins’ Road Show in Vegas, inspiration struck like a hammer to the side of the head. I signed up for her Infusionsoft MAP program to start aggressively running marketing campaigns. Then, COVID hit. Sales flatlined. Clients tightened their wallets. California went into a seemingly never-ending lockdown, and we were forced to scale back on staff. But I was still HUNGRY to grow! So, with my new CRM and automated Done-For-You Tech Tips campaigns, I hired an appointment setter and purchased business lists in my area. Next, I attended the Rapid Implementation Workshop.
During this 12-week program, I was amazed and overwhelmed all at the same time. The work was fun because I learned so much more about my business and myself. Who knew I needed a target market to narrow my marketing to a group more prone to take action? And I learned that I needed to differentiate my business from competitors with a unique selling proposition.
My First Foray Into Marketing Added $31,280 In New MRR!
Results from marketing sometimes looks like this: nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, BOOM! Suddenly you’re flooded with new appointments, new clients and new revenue. Question is: do you give up before you hit pay dirt?
We thought the Aspirin Campaign would be the perfect starting campaign for us. But, I wanted to do it all the way. We sent the letters, called twice, did LinkedIn messaging and sent follow up e-mails. To make sure we could follow up correctly, we started sending just 25 letters a week. Then, we increased it to 35 a week, 50 a week and now 65 a week. It took six months of “nothing,” and then the floodgates opened! We started setting appointments and closing business. To date, the Aspirin Campaign has delivered $41,730 in MRR to 7th Dimension.
Perfecting Our Process. Knowing Our Numbers.
Ever since the Rapid Implementation Workshop, we have made quarterly business reviews a priority. During these QBRs, we discuss clients’ current and future cyber security needs. We also track every touch from our Aspirin Campaign and then send them a Mini Closer Look Campaign to better engage our prospects. By knowing our numbers, we can better predict future results. For every 120 calls we make a week, we average three to four interested candidates.
After Chasing A Big Prospect For Over A YEAR, One Simple E-mail Closed A $6,538-A-Month Deal!
You never know what circumstances businesses are going through that will suddenly shift their needs. We had been calling and e-mailing this one lucrative prospect for a year and a half! The lead had gone ice cold. We had all but given up hope, until we attended the Rapid Implementation Workshop. One of our first assignments was sending out the 9-Word E-mail to our dormant leads and prospects. I wasn’t optimistic.
I went for it and sent that prospect an e-mail consisting of exactly 9 words. Imagine my shock when I IMMEDIATELY got a message back saying, “I’m so glad you reached out. We just got hacked and need your help!” Turns out, this business got ransomwared. To make matters worse, this was their FOURTH TIME they got hit in the past year! Yes, each time they paid and got their data back… until it happened again and again. Now that we are their MSP — to the tune of $6,538 in MRR — we are confident there will NOT be a fifth ransomware event.
Gaining More Traction With A Better Converting “Robin-ized” Website
For years, our website needed help. That much-needed help came in waves. Last year, we worked with Pronto to start improving and upgrading our website. Next, through the Rapid Implementation Program, we fully “Robin-ized” our website. Throughout our website, we added compelling messaging that made 7th Dimension stand apart in our competitive market.
First, we now feature the Top 9 Reasons Why Small And Medium-Sized Companies In El Dorado Hills Choose 7th Dimension. On the home page, we included multiple client testimonials as well as a form to download our “Worry-Free IT” eBook. From these changes, we now see multiple form fills and leads coming through on a weekly basis. This NEVER happened before!
Finally Lining Up Multiple In-Person Speaking Events
Living in Sacramento, California, we’ve had to endure lengthy and restrictive lockdowns. That meant that in-person speaking events were a no-go. We are now finally able to resume speaking events! I recently spoke at a local chamber event, and I have another one planned this month.
I always try to educate my audience about today’s cyber threats and what they can do to bolster their cyber security. I recently ran a two-part webinar which highlighted the state of cyber security in 2021 and offered attendees a free dark web scan. Right now, we are in talks with the FBI to join us at one of our upcoming speaking events. Simply the appearance of an FBI agent will significantly enhance my credibility and leave a memorable impression!
Do Something. Anything. Even If You Have To Start Small
For years, doing zero marketing became my comfort zone. So, going from no marketing to massive marketing was pretty daunting. Therefore, I started small. I fixated on one main marketing oil well — the Aspirin Campaign. Next, I started small by only sending out 25 letters a week. I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew because I didn’t want to burn anyone out.
If you’re stagnant and stuck like I was, I advise taking a small step and just do SOMETHING. There are ways of doing it free or at a low cost. Maybe it’s improving your website messaging. Or gathering testimonials from clients. Or starting a direct mail campaign like us. Just do something and don’t stop. It literally took us about six months to see results, which would equate to about 1,000 sales letters. But the results were worth it! Put in the work and the effort and keep pushing.
Don’t Forget The MATH
Robin always says that successful marketing comes down to Market, Message, Media and Math — and the MATH often being the most misunderstood and neglected component. Numbers mean something, and with every marketing effort, I have been meticulous about tracking my numbers. I even keep a spreadsheet that tracks total calls; phone connects for the first and second calls; e-mail connects; LinkedIn connects; Dark Web scans sent; appointments set; and of course, new sales or new clients.
The whole reason I started tracking my numbers was so I could show every member of my team that their efforts were producing results. After a few weeks of following up on the Aspirin Campaign, my appointment setter was discouraged. Because I could show him precisely what his efforts were accomplishing, he’s been a top producer ever since!
My Promise To Myself. My Confession To My Peer Group
Before my first day at the workshop, I set a B.H.A.G (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) for myself: $25K in new MRR. I can confidently say I hit that aggressive goal in just my FIRST QUARTER! Yes, we went on to add $300,000 a year in MRR in just three months! That’s not all. We also earned $90K in project work and $100K in hardware sales — all in Q1. My results could not be more evidence that THIS WORKS!
My secret: I was Robin’s prized student and did everything asked of me. Okay, that’s not true at all. In fact, I was slower than most to turn in homework. Sometimes I didn’t fully complete a task. But, I was doing SOMETHING. And because I pushed myself and my business harder than I had in the past 22 years, we started gaining traction. I set time aside every day of the week to work on some aspect of marketing. That’s my commitment. Now, commit to yourself to be a better boss, a better business owner, a better you. And do some damn marketing!