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This Is The Single Most Valuable And Important Marketing Asset In Your Organization

2 Business OwnersHarken unto me as I reveal THE secret shared by highly successful entrepreneurs, sales professionals and marketers that is completely missed by the masses. This IS the difference between businesses that enjoy above-average results and even extraordinary success and the vast mediocre majority. What is it?

They are obsessed with the care, development and management of their LIST.

Without a doubt, your list is the single biggest asset in your business. If you were to sell your company, what is the buyer REALLY buying? Your software licenses? Your employees? Your office furniture? Nope. They’re buying your CUSTOMERS, which is another way of saying your “list.” The more productive a relationship you have with your list – specifically how responsive they are to you – the easier, more lucrative, more stable your business becomes.

But is YOUR list an actual asset? Read full article and comment →

Critical Strategy For MSP Sales Success: Negative Preparation

Sweating ItFrom sales expert Jack Daly: there’s hardly anything that goes on in a sales call that couldn’t be anticipated before one’s arrival. I would modify that slightly: there’s hardly anything NEGATIVE that goes on in a sales call that couldn’t be anticipated and PLANNED FOR before one’s arrival.

A couple of years ago at the Chicago Roadshow, mid-morning the first day, the power went out. Supposedly a squirrel met his untimely doom with a transformer.

No lights, no microphone, no air conditioning and no projector. I was onstage at the time and paused only for a minute to make a funny comment about the power being off, but then kept right on speaking. Many commented how impressed they were with my composure. One even railed on Facebook that all women entrepreneurs and feminists ought to take note of “how it’s done!” I found all of this funny.

There was only one reason I was able to go on with the show: NEGATIVE PREPARATION.

I had this same situation happen at one other event years ago and was woefully unprepared for it. It cost me dearly in sales because I was so dependent upon that PowerPoint that I was barely able to continue going. The room became swelteringly hot and I lost my voice – but I learned. Read full article and comment →

Does Your Marketing Feed Your Bottom Line Or Your Ego?

I was recently reminded of brilliant direct marketer Axel Andersson, a Swede who moved to Germany and later the US and who ran a hugely successful home-study school in Hamburg, Germany, before coming stateside. Axel hired one of his successful students and put his office right next to his own so he had to walk past his office every day. He did this because he “wanted to actually see one of my customers every day.”

He also hired a professor from a local university as a consultant. Axel wrote:

Before I would test a new ad, I would run it by my former student and also give it to the professor for her reaction. If the student liked it, I would go with it. If the professor liked it, I would change it.

So often I hear new clients taking a marketing campaign from the Toolkit and, instead of running it, they first give it to their techs or their spouse for an opinion before sending it out.

BIG mistake. Read full article and comment →

The #1 Challenge MSPs Face With E-mail Marketing… And 6 Ways You Can Overcome It

According to a survey we conducted on www.MSPSuccessMagazine.com, a shocking 34% of the MSPs polled said they are NOT using e-mail to market to their list, and 24% said they are “kind of” using e-mail. Essentially, 58% of MSPs are not doing any e-mail marketing or are doing it so inconsistently that they aren’t getting traction.

Cited as the #1 challenge they have with e-mail marketing: CONTENT CREATION. I suppose they’re correct in NOT sending anything if they don’t have anything good to send. But given that e-mail IS a cheap, fast and easy way to gin up some leads and opportunities, it’s a crying shame they don’t work on figuring this out – so below is a quick list of six ways you can find and create GOOD content that is easy to create, interesting and (as a side benefit) good for SEO.
  1. Use FAQs as a muse for content. If you’re struggling to come up with something to write about, the easiest place to start is to make a list of the top 10 most frequently asked questions you get, making each one the topic for a piece of content. Since these are FREQUENTLY asked questions, you know there’s a good number of people who are interested in the answer. For example, you might get the question “What do you guys charge?” from new prospects. Tweak that question into an article headline such as “What Should A Small Business In Nashville Expect To Pay For Good IT Services And Support?” Not only will this content give you SEO juice, but it will give you a good article to send to prospects who ask the question.

    Another strategy: write down the top 10 questions people SHOULD ask their IT consultant but don’t. For example, if you offered IT services to medical practices, a great article would be “How To Know If Your IT Company Has The Right Liability Insurance To Cover Your Medical Practice In The Event Of A Breach That Is Their Fault.” FAQs about cyber security, keeping kids safe online and online privacy are also surefire winners. One final good tip: after you’re done writing the article, record a video of you answering that same question and post it on YouTube. You could post both the video and the article on your site. Since some visitors are more likely to watch video than read (and vice versa), this gives you the ability to produce two pieces of content for every one topic/question.
  2. Use the TechTip postcards as the basis for a post or longer article. Included with your membership is access to the TechTip library. These short clips can be easily turned into a quick e-mail and blog post. Another good hack: take one of the free report templates we’ve provided you in the various programs and parcel out chunks for a short e-mail and blog post. One more: IF you are a Producers, Accelerators or Infusionsoft member, USE THE CYBER-TIPS CAMPAIGN!

    Our members consider this one of the most effective and loved campaigns, providing a quick, short and USEFUL cyber security tip every week. Not a member? Go to www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com/consult/  and book a free consultation to see if our program could be right for you.
  3. Comment on current events. Whenever there is a headline cyber security breach, people want to know what happened, how it may (or may not) affect them and what they should do now (if anything). This is ALWAYS a surefire winner for content – but timeliness is critical. Don’t wait a couple of weeks to send the e-mail. Ideally, get your e-mail/article out within 24 hours of the news hitting. You can release subsequent updates as more information is learned, giving you additional content people will want to read. Another newsworthy topic is compliance.

    If there are laws being passed – in your state or in others – that impact your clients, give an overview of what the law is, when it goes into effect and what people need to do to comply. Even if it’s not law in YOUR state yet, you can write about it as a warning of what might come. Another good topic is disaster preparedness checklists and information when a natural disaster is looming (like you’re coming into hurricane season) or immediately after a disaster hits somewhere in the world. Each niche and city has “news” happening all the time. Simply keep an eye out for new headlines and create your own spin on what it means and what people should do.
  4. Highlight client success stories. Just make sure the content is not merely an overblown testimonial. Case studies follow the format of stating/outlining the problem, discussing the solution they (you) implemented and the final result. Just make sure there are interesting and useful “lessons learned” that others can benefit from. To see an example of this, go to our website: technologymarketingtoolkit.com/articles/genius-of-the-month.
  5. Don’t shy away from sending sales pitches. Yes, you CAN overdo it. However, your list will not only tolerate the occasional sales pitch, but appreciate it. You can also blend content with a sales pitch (my favorite), where you e-mail clients to read an article that provides solid content but also offers a call to action at the end. For example, you might write an article on employees being the biggest threat to a company’s security, titling it “The Most Dangerous Cyber Security Threat Hiding In Plain Sight In Your Small Business.”

    At the end of the article, you could offer a cyber security training webinar for free as a lead generation strategy or for sale. If your article is well written, with interesting, useful content, your e-mail recipients won’t mind the pitch at the end.
  6. Share other people’s content. Specifically, if there’s an article you like or a video on YouTube you know your audience (list) would appreciate, it’s perfectly okay to share it via your blog. You don’t have to author everything. If it’s a public YouTube video, you can get your web designer to have it shared via your page without repercussions since it’s still hosted on YouTube. If it’s an article on someone else’s website, get permission to repost it.

    Many authors and websites won’t mind you sharing their content if you keep the author and source intact and provide a link to their site – but don’t assume that, and always ask. I would not recommend you simply drive traffic to that person’s site; instead, post the content on yours with clarity that you are not the author.
MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Sign up to receive your copy at www.MSPSuccessMagazine.com

Not All Leads Are Created Equal – 3 Things You Should Know To Spend Your Marketing Dollars Wisely

Calculate Business PlanRecently, a Producers Club member reached out to discuss her marketing plan for the upcoming year.

In preparation, she broke down all the leads generated from the previous year by source: direct mail, referrals, SEO, trade shows, e-mail (which is really a lead activation campaign triggered by e-mail follow-up), Facebook and telemarketing. However, what she failed to provide – and what became the primary discussion of our call – was the VALUE of those leads.

Without THAT, no intelligent decisions can be made about where to invest marketing dollars and effort, no conclusions can be drawn. After a bit of discussion, we discovered that direct mail with telemarketing provided the most QUALIFIED and likely to convert leads.

This was no surprise since she was cleaning the list and targeting specific companies. However, direct mail and telemarketing did not produce the highest quantity of leads, or the number of leads at the lowest cost. Facebook did. But the Facebook leads barely converted (less than 5%) and did not represent the highest ROI in the end. Read full article and comment →

How To Secure An EXTREME Advantage Over Your Competition And Make More Money By Not Acting “Normal”

Here's An IdeaThis shocking statement just in from the US National Library of Medicine regarding diets: “They all work…when you stick to them.”

Back when I was teaching fitness classes, the most common question I would get was “What is the BEST exercise I should do for _______ ?” with the blank being filled in with the body part or thing they were most unhappy about. Didn’t matter if it was a beer belly, flabby thighs, a big butt, cellulite or my personal favorite, “bingo wings” (look it up).

My answer was always the same: the one you WILL DO. Not the one you’ll think about, not the one you’ll read about and not the one you’ll talk about.

The one you’ll actually, truly, consistently DO.

Recently I polled a tiny group of brand-new members regarding their participation in a new program we’re experimenting with called “The 4-Week Fast Start.” This is a series of live webinars held weekly for a month to give them the easiest to implement and MOST successful campaigns I’ve got. Every week we give them ONE campaign (so as not to overwhelm them) with full instructions on how to implement. Sessions are delivered live so they can ask questions, and recorded so they can watch on demand. We also provide support via the QUE and an e-mail “hotline” for questions. Read full article and comment →

Is This Avoidable Mistake Serving Up Clients Directly To Your Competitors?

D'ohAccording to an article on SiteImprove, 131 of 135 websites analyzed (97%) had broken links and errors on their web page.

The websites they focused on were all Fortune 1000 companies, who arguably have the resources (money and staff) to ensure this doesn’t happen. YIKES!

While there’s no truly accurate way of determining what percentage of marketing campaigns go out with broken links, incorrect phone numbers, URL typos and broken response forms, I’d personally estimate that at least one-third of all campaigns sent out make one or more of these response-crushing mistakes.

Recently, a marketing firm took out a full-page ad in an industry PRINT magazine to promote their new Facebook lead generation program (yes, there IS irony there).

Curious to see what the competition was up to, I went to the URL, only to get a “Site can’t be reached” error. Worse yet, they used a bit.ly URL to track response (at least, I would guess that’s why they used it), which meant there was no main URL for the reader to go to. Read full article and comment →

Do You Know What Marketing Systems And Processes Look Like?

One of the biggest reasons people fail in marketing is that they never get beyond random, episodic campaigns to marketing assets built on SYSTEMS and PROCESS. The other day a marketing manager asked if we had any “summer” campaigns she could run; she said she had already done a number of our campaigns and wanted something “new.” Something for the 4th of July or “hot” days of summer? While using a holiday as the basis for a campaign is perfectly fine and often a very good idea, the part of the question that worried me was the “looking for something new,” because she had “already done” a number of campaigns. This tells me she’s not graduated beyond the “episodic” approach to marketing to establishing system certainty. But when I talk about “systems,” most really don’t know what that looks like and don’t truly have any in their business. So below I’ve given you a diagram to help you understand the PROCESS of improving and innovating a working, productive system vs. finding something “new.” The ONLY time we seek truly “new” is A) when the current system or process is no longer working, or B) as a means for looking for a new control WHILE we continue to run the current process. For starters, every “Process” needs at least five things: 1. What is the result we are trying to produce with this system? What does success look like? You have to define that to know, ultimately, if the system is working. Our Godfather campaign’s goal is to facilitate the new-client acquisition and sales goals for the sales team and “success” is defined by a number of consultations conducted or “sat.” 2. Why are we doing this? A good question you should routinely ask about everything you do in your business. In this case, we’re doing this to keep the company growing, which is a critical component of hitting revenue and profit targets. Nevertheless, you should document WHY you are doing something. 3. What metrics or KPIs, both leading and trailing, do we need to monitor? For us, it’s the number mailed, the number of dials, the percentages of bad addresses, unqualifieds, dials, prospects pitched, appointments scheduled and appointments KEPT. All successful systems require metrics to be measured, reported and analyzed. 4. Who’s responsible for making this happen? Often systems and processes may involve the cooperation of multiple people. In this case, it requires my CRM administrator to ensure the list is clean and qualified. It requires our appointment-setting team to be hitting their activity goals and metrics. It requires the marketing team to ensure the printer sends the campaigns out on time, and the marketing admins to send the e-mails, Facebook ads and LinkedIn connections correctly and to follow the process outlined. ULTIMATELY, it’s up to me to ensure all of this is done correctly. 5. Documentation on how the system is SUPPOSED to work. Processes require documentation on how things SHOULD be happening. If it’s in your head, or in someone else’s head, it’s not good to anyone. It HAS to be documented and shared. Once the above five things are in place, we go through a constant evolution of the following steps: INNOVATION: What is one thing we can test to try and improve the output, productivity or results? Recently we tested adding on an additional FULL-SIZED mail package after the first, sent a week later (we tested postcards in the past). Doing this nearly tripled our results. We are further testing a few variations on the e-mail and LinkedIn aspects of the campaign, as well as the scripts. Sometimes you get a BIG win like the one described here. Other times you get zero lift, or even a decline. IMPLEMENTATION: Once you’ve chosen an improvement or innovation to a system to test, it needs to be IMPLEMENTED properly. Quite honestly, THIS is where most systems fall apart. It requires management to check for compliance, and train and/or discipline when non-compliance is found. For example, a colleague of mine who does marketing for chiropractors had one of his members complain the ads and offers weren’t “working.” Being local, he decided to visit this client’s office and see what was going on. Upon visiting, he overheard the front- desk secretary say to a prospective client calling in that the “offer is just a hoax” and that they only do this as a “marketing ploy” to get new patients. Problem found. If you want to make sure the process is being followed, you have to monitor, secret shop and be willing to sniff around. NOBODY likes doing this, but it’s essential to know if the innovation or improvement you’ve cooked up is actually being implemented. QUANTIFICATION: Once you’re certain an innovation has been implemented, then we quantify the impact. When retailers tested, asking, “Have you been in here before?” against the normal “Can I help you?” they found a 30% increase in sales. Something as SIMPLE as that made a huge difference. EVALUATION: Once we’ve quantified the impact, we DECIDE if this is something we want to continue. We evaluate the results and decide what to do. DOCUMENTATION: If the impact is positive, we make that the NEW standard for that process and document this as the new operating procedure (next step). From there, we go back to INNOVATION. I will caution you NOT to test two or three “new” innovations in a process at one time. If you change the list and the telemarketing script, we won’t know which one had the impact. Some tests (innovations) will show instant, immediate improvement, while others will need to “simmer” for a while before you can come to any conclusions. Still with me? Good. I know this sounds like a lot of work. It is. But there are resources to help you. There are ways to make it easier. I’m going on tour this fall to show how to crush the five most common barriers that get in the way of marketing your business to become more profitable and I would love to see you there. Get more info and register at www.MarketingImplementationRoadshow.com And if you’re not there yet or you have questions, sign up for a FREE, private, one-on-one consultation where you’ll get a customized marketing road map to get more leads, appointments and sales for your company. Go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com/consult One of the biggest reasons people fail in marketing is that they never get beyond random, episodic campaigns to marketing assets built on SYSTEMS and PROCESS.

The other day a marketing manager asked if we had any “summer” campaigns she could run; she said she had already done a number of our campaigns and wanted something “new.” Something for the 4th of July or “hot” days of summer?

While using a holiday as the basis for a campaign is perfectly fine and often a very good idea, the part of the question that worried me was the “looking for something new,” because she had “already done” a number of campaigns. This tells me she’s not graduated beyond the “episodic” approach to marketing to establishing system certainty.

But when I talk about “systems,” most really don’t know what that looks like and don’t truly have any in their business. So below I’ve given you a diagram to help you understand the PROCESS of improving and innovating a working, productive system vs. finding something “new.”

The ONLY time we seek truly “new” is A) when the current system or process is no longer working, or B) as a means for looking for a new control WHILE we continue to run the current process. Read full article and comment →