Tell us that this year has been a normal one for your MSP business, and we’ll ask whether you’ve been living and working on the same planet as the rest of us in 2020! However, while we’ve all experienced change, displacement, and the unknown, we do know that some MSPs have managed to handle the adversity and turn it into opportunity. These MSPs have simultaneously helped their clients through a rough time and grown their business to stronger, more lucrative positioning than ever before.
Looking at this case study of an MSP business that has had its “biggest year ever”, and has seen a staggering 45% growth, let’s look at some key takeaways, tried and tested.
Tripling your Marketing Efforts in the Face of Uncertainty
One clear message that we see from successful MSPs is that they never stop the hustle. This year has been hard for everyone, but what business didn’t need IT support when the pandemic hit the headlines? Many MSPs report tripling their marketing efforts and seeing huge results. While these MSPs kept their marketing wheels turning, the evidence would suggest that many IT pros took a step back, either needing to focus on the impact of the pandemic internally or choosing to wait for clients to come to them, reluctant to be seen as ‘ambulance chasers’. This meant that there were plenty of opportunities out there for MSPs who wanted to leverage the sudden gap in the competition, with sensitivity.
Of course, you may need to have a thick skin, especially in times of trouble. This particular case study reports the MSP seeing a 10x increase in what they call “nasty replies”, eg – prospects vilifying the MSP for campaigning for clients during a pandemic, or for reaching out using tactics like cold emails or calls.
Don’t Rely on SEO
It looks like SEO traction took a dive, with fewer prospects searching to find the help that they needed. We’ve heard many MSPs tell us during our popular MSP Minds webinars that it’s all about the relationships you form, and this year has proven that more than ever. Word of mouth is going to be a far easier closer than hoping that your latest blog post stands out from the crowd or reaches the right end-user. Especially during this difficult time where companies needed quick help and to onboard MSPs without delay, being recommended or vouched for has become extremely important.
One great way to get attention is by using webinars. In this case study, the MSP in question raised the number of webinars they created by more than 100% year on year. Webinars can be as simple as sitting in front of the camera and talking, without any added guests, complex slide decks, or additional materials. Just showing that you’re open for business, you’re skilled in current challenges such as working remotely or managing security from home, and that you’re looking to share that knowledge and support with the public can show real tangible results.
Learn from Other MSPs
We love this single piece of advice, “If you’re not signed up for every MSP in your area’s newsletter, you should be.” Firstly, this keeps you up to date on what’s going on in the industry. Are all the other local MSPs talking about new software, updates, changes, or processes that you haven’t considered? It’s easy to get stuck inside your own four walls as an MSP, and not realize how times are ‘a changing.
Secondly, this approach allows you to look at what your competitors are offering, and choose a new lane. Why go head to head with your competition with the same products and services, if you can stand out from the crowd? You can also talk to your prospects with intelligence into what the other names on their shortlist are discussing, even if you never overtly use them as a comparison.
A great quote that sums up 2020, is that “we’re all in the same storm, but none of us are in the same boat.” While the storm is COVID-19, some of us are struggling through a tsunami in a rubber dinghy, while others are riding the waves in a cruise liner. Remember, we’re all in this together, and Atera wants to be able to help as much as possible, no matter your situation.
If you’re worried about slow or stalled growth, why not read over our 25 impactful innovations that we’ve added in 2020, and see if any of these could help you get back that elusive mojo. This time next year, you could be sharing your own ‘best growth year ever’ success story!