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Most MSPs think of marketing as kind of an afterthought.

You focus on having good service and good products, but do you think about how to actually get prospects interested in your service?

Look at your local geography and apply the eighty-twenty rule. Eighty percent of your competition out there is doing nothing in particular when it comes to marketing. There’s a lot of room there for you to take advantage of and ultimately win. A few weeks ago Stuart did a webinar with Chris Stenbenc, VP of Sales at FreedomVoice. Here are some highlights of the advice we gave MSPs on how they can market their services online to attract new business:

The biggest challenge today in the MSP community is that we’re replicas of each other.

A line from Jim Rome, the sports radio guy on the west coast: He calls his listeners ‘clones.’ But it’s a fair assessment to make when it comes to the managed service community. We’re all clones of each other to a certain degree.

If you look at the majority of the websites that are out there, they all say the exact same thing. So how does a prospect or someone looking for what you have to offer differentiate you from all the managed service businesses that are in your locality?

In a crowd full of clones, you’ll have to stand out from the competition to succeed. Fortunately, many MSPs remain ignorant regarding the importance of marketing, providing you with an easy way to stand out. Having a well-polished website with genuinely interesting content will improve your standing when future prospects research which MSP is right for them. It’s not just a website: it’s a reflection of your professionalism and reliability.

One way to improve your website is to start a blog.

You should blog at least three times a week. It’s an integral part of your SEO strategy. What goes in your blog? Tips and tricks on problems your clients are having, information about applications they’re using, your case studies, your testimonials, your press releases, current events that are happening in the IT industry… Make sure you put this stuff out there, because people have a need, a hunger for this information.

In addition to blogging, any MSP will benefit from posting videos to YouTube as well.

YouTube is the second most used search engine, and video engages visitors, which is important for that Google ranking. Ulistic recently did an experiment with a client in New Jersey. We created a Windows 2003 server upgrade video for him, and put it up on YouTube and another site called Dailymotion.com. Within a day, if you did a Google search for Windows 2003 upgrade in New Jersey (Stuart knows that’s kind of a longtail search), his YouTube video was number one and his Dailymotion video was number seven.

There’s more to online marketing than blogging and posting videos to YouTube, but it makes a good start. Ultimately, standing out from the crowd all comes down to how you present yourself and your service. Good quality content, an attractive and easy-to-use website, and a web presence that actually reaches out to prospects are all vital to creating the kind of marketing connection you truly need to succeed today.

Stop living life like a clone, and put yourself out there. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. And Ulistic can help.

Only 1 in 100 IT firms think marketing first, but 100 out of 100 want more leads. Ulistic is here to help managed services providers think strategically about their marketing to get more leads while still focusing on running their business. Our team engages with your team every day, providing expert marketing materials and advice to create a foundation for stratospheric success. Learn more at Ulistic.com.

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