14 Years Of Hiring And Firing Shitty Marketers
Reliable IT is a multimillion-dollar conglomeration of multiple companies that operates out of Texas, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Louisiana. Last year in a year when growth wasn’t expected, their 2 verticals brought in an additional $420,000 in new MRR for a $5,040,000 revenue increase!
Before discovering Technology Marketing Toolkit, we were the definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Our insanity was hiring and firing marketers for 14 straight years.
First, I went through a number of in-house marketing managers. We were in a constant state of battling the WRONG system, WRONG hire and basically wasting resources on marketing folks with no understanding of the MSP business. So, we let all of our marketing managers go. I just figured I sucked at hiring.
Next, we thought, “Hey, let’s OUTSOURCE our marketing!” That sounded like a novel idea, right? So, I tried my hand at outsourcing to a general IT marketing agency, and next to an MSP-specific marketing agency. Both were immediately BURIED, couldn’t keep up and never delivered results. Admitting they were in way over their heads, they FIRED US!
We soon realized you can’t have someone else do your push-ups. Marketing is NOT a “spectator sport.” After far too many years of disappointment and not seeing our marketing strategies produce results, we realized two things: our marketing must remain in-house, and I must be the CAPTAIN of that marketing boat.
Under My Nose The Whole Time!
My business partner, Aaron Biehl, purchased the Toolkit 14 years ago. Perhaps the cleaning crew was dusting the shelves a couple of years back and found that ornate Robin Robins decor. At that moment, we knew Robin held the answer to the systematic approach to marketing we desperately needed. So, we attended her Rapid Implementation Workshop.
You see, we can easily take what someone else does and implement it successfully. But I know I have a mental block when it comes to creating marketing from scratch. For example, although we’ve been asking for client testimonials for years, we were never able to get great testimonials until we started sending out the testimonial e-mail template. The Toolkit, combined with the workshop, gave me the direction, tools and campaigns I had been waiting for. So, I combined those advantages with two of my secret weapons.
Secret Weapon #1:
We decided years ago that we didn’t want to be just another MSP that serves everyone. We wanted to be the definitive MSP EXPERTS who specialize in servicing a couple of vertical niches: large physician groups and community banks. From that point forward, everything we did – from our services to our training to our marketing – had to revolve around those two verticals.
That means we don’t purposely target any group that isn’t community banks or large physician groups. If you’re not in our vertical, we won’t proactively market to you. Reliable IT is known in the medical industry as the MSP for large physician groups. Likewise, bankers know us as the MSP specializing in servicing community banks.
We accomplish this vertical-focused branding by tailoring ALL of our marketing. Yes, that means everything has to be DOUBLED. We have a website dedicated to large physician groups at www.rithealthcare.com, one targeting banks at www.ritbanking.com and one for generalized businesses at www.reliableitmsp.com.
But it doesn’t stop there. We have two versions of testimonials to serve both markets, two varieties of our 21 Questions, two dedicated Shock-And-Awe boxes, two social media initiatives, proposal presentations using Dave Dee’s model and every direct mail campaign must be rewritten to target each vertical. Yes, it’s twice the work, but the results are well worth it.
Secret Weapon #2:
Be Uncompromisingly Consistent
While we may not be the best marketers, I can guarantee we WILL be the most CONSISTENT. If you’re competing against us, just know that we will be uncompromisingly consistent week in and week out. Whatever marketing works for you, keep doing it and don’t stop. If you think webinars drive the most results for you, make sure you’re putting out a new webinar every few weeks and never stop doing webinars.
Consistent Marketing Helped Us Grow By $175K A Month ($2,100,000) In 2019 And By $420K A Month ($5,040,000) Last Year
Creativity, consistency and tailoring marketing campaigns to our two verticals made the difference in our success over the past two years. After participating in the Rapid Implementation Workshop in January 2019, we increased our MRR by $175K a month. In 2020, we shot well beyond our goal and increased our MRR another $420K a month! We expect to be between $20 and $21 million in revenue this year.
With over 5,000 contacts in our marketing databases, we have continuous communication with our prospects and clients via our weekly Cyber Security Tips e-mails. As part of our drip campaign, we also send monthly print newsletters to our clients and top prospects.
Our best direct mail campaign has been the Closer Look campaign. We modified the campaign a bit to target our verticals and fit our strengths. Because we had Infusionsoft, we were able to easily follow up with four phone calls, e-mails and additional marketing campaigns.
Our biggest success (before 2020, of course) was live events targeting large physician groups or banking. For those events, we would choose 20 top prospects and mail them a brand new DRONE! But here’s the catch: we did not include the CONTROLLER. Inside the box is a note that says, “If you want your new drone to work, simply come by our booth and have a conversation with us!”
In another trade show, we piggybacked on the Poker Chip campaign by including messaging like: “Bring your poker chip to our booth, and spin our roulette wheel for a discount off our service or Free Cybersecurity Assessment!”
How We Will Become A $20M MSP
WITHOUT Additional Salespeople
As Reliable IT’s Chief Revenue Officer, I have always believed you do NOT need several salespeople to hit your goal. What you DO need is a GREAT MARKETING TEAM to see out your vision and automate everything. While I have my hand on ALL aspects of sales and marketing strategy, I leave the heavy lifting of marketing to my incredible team.
We have two appointment setters, a marketing administrator and an automation specialist. My wife, Kami, is our Marketing Administrator who manages the appointment setters, drives the content and manages all campaigns. My daughter Taya is our Automation Specialist who handles all aspects of our technology and marketing automation, including Infusionsoft, TurboDial, social media platforms and more. It’s a true family effort, and without the help of those two, none of this would have been possible. They truly allow me to focus on sales. Reliable IT thanks you.
In addition, I have the best Chief Operations Officer in Aaron Biehl. Aaron helps to close opportunities when needed, but his main focus is taking care of our clients. Bottom line: without seamless operations and keeping clients happy, there is NO way you can close sales.
That’s right, as a soon-to-be $20 million MSP that operates nationwide from five states, we have all the salespeople we need. So, no matter what your size, if you think you need to hire a salesperson to get to that next level, I call bullshit. Rather, invest in automation tools and marketing strategy and execute on that.
Drive Them To A YES Or NO
Getting a new customer is a journey, and you never know how long that journey will take. They may consider switching the first time you call them, or it may take 50 calls. But are your competitors going to continue calling and sending the campaigns over and over again? Because the ones who keep marketing to them and reminding them WHO you are and WHAT you do will win out in the end.
Make an effort to be your prospects’ most VISIBLE marketers. Keep doing the Poker Chip campaign. Do the Aspirin campaign. Do the Godfather and newsletters and TechTip e-mails. Keep sending them. Your goal is to drive them to a “Yes!” or “No.” If you piss them off by bombarding them with marketing, who cares. Let them go. Now you’re not wasting your time and money on them.
Surround Yourself With Like-Minded Peers
I’m proud to be a long-standing member of my Big Guns Accountability Group in Producers Club. While accountability is key, the real strength for me is bouncing ideas off of each other. By sharing our experiences about what has worked and what has flopped, it’s “iron sharpening iron” and we all improve. For example, I’ve learned that calling prospects four times rather than three significantly increases response. We present our marketing plan to them every year and get great feedback!
In fact, every single time I’ve gone to a Producers Club meeting, I’ve gained at least one major takeaway. Sometimes I come away with two or three! Whether it’s being introduced to a new tech partner, adding a new product or service to our arsenal, or allowing my group to help resolve a problem for me, it never fails.
2019 = Game-Changer. 2020 = Record Year.
2021 Looks Even Brighter!
When Rich called me and told me I was the next Genius Of The Month, I told him I already knew I was a genius…this just made it official! Just kidding. There are many, many lessons we’ve already learned in these past couple of years since implementing Robin’s marketing. We have learned we must do the things others are not willing to do in order to achieve results and success. We must invest in our marketing to get our name in front of prospects and clients and do it in a MEMORABLE way.
In short, this program is changing our company. As a result, we will be able to make a change in the lives of our employees, clients and others placed in our path. We will be able to make an investment in things that really matter in this world. What better outcome could we have asked for?
Additional Resources: Get the complete case study along with 41 pages of the actual marketing pieces Mike used by clicking here.