How Does A Start-Up MSP With Zero Marketing Experience Respond To A Lockdown? With A 5,300% INCREASE In Monthly Recurring Revenue!

Posted On October 30th, 2020

Terry Blacksten and Kerry Brown,

BITOS LLC

Who Opens A SECOND Business One Week After Launching An MSP? This Guy…

Just one week after finalizing the paperwork for my new MSP, I got a call from a friend about starting a BIOS company with him. “Sure, I can run TWO brand-new businesses simultaneously. Why not?!” (Insert eyeroll here)

I figured my MSP company would be my “quick hit” since the sales cycle for my software business was 12 to 18 months. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After just four calls, I got a massive deal writing BIOS for Chromebooks, which kept me and my 15 new employees busy for four years!

But when our huge contract ended and revenue dried up, I realized my partner had not done ANY marketing or sales. I guess he preferred to be a “silent” partner, contributing nothing in capital funds or work. His next move: stealing a year’s worth of company revenue and sticking me with payroll. With my software business dissolved, I turned my attention to my poor, neglected MSP.

Using The Phone Book As Our “List,”
We Realized Marketing Was Not Our Strength

Up until we needed our MSP to bring in revenue, we considered it a hobby. SERIOUSLY. We ran it as an organic business with ZERO marketing and waited and waited for a trickle of referrals to fall into our laps.

When we turned the calendar to 2020 (something we don’t advise, BTW), we realized that our MSP – BITOS, LLC – was simply a start-up. For us, a husband/wife team, our MSP was our new baby. Unfortunately, we had no direction, no roadmap and no clue where to start. Our first “attempt” at marketing was a hideous postcard campaign. Our “list” was the local phonebook…60% of the postcards were RETURNED…and we never even considered following up. NO LEADS!

Next, Kerry would spend days “canvassing” businesses (which really meant wandering around office buildings with an OLD LIST and getting disappointed when he learned they moved out). NO LEADS!

The sobering reality was that our new MSP was truly a family business. Kerry is the President and Owner. Terry is the Wannabe Marketing Guru. Our son is the Chief Technology Officer, and our daughter is our marketing assistant. We were spending our retirement savings to desperately grow this business. And if it failed, we fail EPICALLY because FOUR family members are out of work! Sure, we’re CRUSHED when we invest 12- to 16-hour days and WEEKENDS, and NOTHING is happening. Rather than give up, we chose to become stronger. I think the Blues Brothers said it best…

“We’re on a mission from God.”

Our son watched Robin Robins’ videos and recommended her program to us. Since we were draining our retirement savings on wasteful marketing and since the world fell off of a cliff in March, we were ALL-IN! Before we knew it, we bought the Toolkit, signed up for the Rapid Implementation Workshop in June and joined Accelerators Club.

Not only do I tend to overanalyze everything, I am ultra-reluctant to spend money. When Terry and I first got married, it took me almost three months to agree on a $600 couch. Joining Accelerators Club was no couch. In fact, at the time, it was roughly 10X our MRR. We weren’t just dedicating 10% of our revenue to marketing…we were investing 1,000% of our revenue to Robin’s marketing!

(Spoiler alert: It WORKED!)

Our Aha Moment Resulted In A 3,166% Increase In MRR!

While at the Rapid Implementation Workshop, Robin asked us to send 9-Word E-mails and her “Got A Minute?” e-mails to clients and prospects. We were a start-up MSP with only $150 in MRR to our names! How could WE compete with these big MSPs that had been in business for YEARS? We were going to get slaughtered!

But we actually WON! We sent 244 e-mails in one day, which was more than the rest of the class COMBINED, and we won a two-day training with Chris Voss! That was our Aha Moment that we COULD compete with larger, more experienced MSPs. Even better, that single exercise resulted in a new IT opportunity at six locations for $4,900 in MRR and also $4,900 in project work. That’s a 3,166% increase in our MRR just by confidently sending an e-mail! (To get the actual e-mail click here)

Defining Our Target Market And Increasing Our Growth To 3,333%!

Throughout the 12-week Rapid Implementation Program, each week we gained more knowledge about our business to improve our sales and marketing. We started with identifying our target market, which took MANY attempts. No wonder we couldn’t market or sell our services. We didn’t know who we were trying to sell to! We finally landed on a target market that aligned with our business and goals.

During week two, we visited with prospects within our target market and asked them 33 questions. This simple exercise not only gave us a ton of insights, it brought us a new accounting firm client for an additional $250 a month. Total growth = 3,333%!

Asking For Testimonials Is A Sneaky Way
To Score More Business!

Next, we learned how to turn ho-hum testimonials into EXCEPTIONAL success stories. We now have a really nice testimonial pamphlet that speaks highly of our services. Simply reaching out and asking for testimonials helped bring in a new VoIP system from a customer anxious to bring us referrals!

Our Favorite Oil Well Brought Us $2,700 In New MRR…
Up To 5,300% Growth!

When we started working with Robin, we were frustrated that it took so long before you could send the Aspirin campaign. Now we see the method to her madness, because you first need to understand your target market, USP, X Reasons Why and more to get the BEST RESPONSE from your campaign.

Finally ready to do it right, we pulled a list from InfoUSA, prepared our landing page and report, and started religiously mailing 35 Aspirin Letters a week, complete with phone-call follow-up. We plan on doing this campaign forever, or at least until everyone in Colorado has received one. This effort recently landed us a new client worth $2,700 in MRR, plus two JV partners who have benefited our company as a whole! Growth catapulted to 5,300%!

From Wannabe Marketer To Marketing Machine!

Before going through Robin’s 12-week program, Terry had no marketing experience and little passion for it. Today, she really enjoys all aspects of marketing and is getting better every day. Gone are the days of embarrassing postcards sent to random people in the phone book. Today, we are putting proven marketing systems and oil wells in place, including:

  • TERRY’S FAVORITE: Our Shock-And-Awe Binder. With 48 hours before our first big sales presentation to a new client, we were FORCED to build this FAST! We firmly believe it has been the difference in landing multiple contracts.
  • KERRY’S FAVORITE: MAP Infusionsoft. Before Infusionsoft, I was always disorganized and forgetting tasks. Now we can easily build our list, segment them and automatically market to them with minimal thought and effort.
  • Done-For-You Newsletter: We send this out on the first of every month to our prospects and clients.
  • TechTip Postcard: Terry has pre-created six cards to be rotated throughout the year. Our daughter mails these out on the 15th of each month.
  • TechTip E-mails: Thanks to Infusionsoft, organizing and sending these each week has been a breeze.
  • Done-For-You Website: Our website reflects our USP, X Reasons To Choose Us, target market, cyber security report and more.
  • Done-For-You Digital Marketing Services: Robin’s Done-For-You team provides a blog for our website and promotes our company through Facebook and Twitter. Terry picks her favorite articles and pastes them into LinkedIn several times a week.
  • In addition, our son has been tasked with writing short, keyword-rich articles to post on Facebook and LinkedIn to increase our SEO ranking. Plus, thanks to Mike Stodola’s talk at the Dallas Roadshow, Terry is learning about Retargeting!

While Terry’s new wheelhouse is marketing, Kerry’s has always been sales. “I have been in sales for over 30 years, but sales today is nothing like it was 30 years ago. Robin’s program has helped retrain me in better ways to attract customers, make more focused and persuasive sales calls and retain our client base.”

Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone!

With two marketing newbies trying to grow a start-up MSP in the middle of a global pandemic with businesses locked down, we were doomed to fail. But we DIDN’T! How? We stopped being COMFORTABLE with what we always did and learned how to TRULY grow an MSP. Staring at retirement and worrying about supporting our family, we had no choice but to embrace the unknown. That’s why we put 100% of our effort into sales and marketing.

I challenge you to do the same. Take yourself back to when you didn’t know when the next client check would come. If you’re comfortable, you’re not doing enough. That’s what Robin is doing. She’s knocking us off of our pedestal and making us a little less comfortable. That’s when you’re hungry. That’s when you push. That’s how we exploded our new MSP to 5,300% GROWTH! And we have no plans to slow down!

Additional Resources: Get the complete case study along with the actual marketing pieces Terry and Kerry used by clicking here.