Chances are your marketing guru or agency has been telling you the following.
“Don’t be their IT company. Be their trusted technology advisor.”
“Market yourself as an industry expert. Show your value.”
“Look like a thought leader. Share your expertise.”
And if you’re like most MSPs, you’re always thinking “Awesome advice, but aren’t you supposed to show me HOW to do these things? Why aren’t YOU, my marketing professional, positioning me as an industry expert?”
In this post, I’m going to tell you exactly why they aren’t doing it. I’m also going to tell you how we do it at Your Sales Energy.
In turn you will finally know what all that advice is actually telling you to do. (And you can act on it!)
Why Isn’t My MSP Marketing Agency Doing This For Me?
Telling you what to do is easy. Doing these things for you is quite hard.
In fact, it’s so hard to position a company as an industry leader/advisor/expert that most MSP marketing companies haven’t even positioned themselves that way.
Yes, they’re telling you to do something that they haven’t even figured out how to do!
Here are some red flags:
- They compete on price.
- They focus on piecemeal services like email marketing and SEO, not the big picture.
- They aren’t doing anything innovative or forward-thinking.
- They can’t show you long-term processes, plans, or strategies.
- They do a lot of “desperate pivoting” — i.e. trying random things hoping they work.
- Their in-house expert is very good at quoting other people but is not a thought leader.
If any of this describes your marketing professional or agency, they clearly don’t know how to position a company on a higher level.
Such marketing resources are commodities, plain and simple, and you don’t want to hire a commoditized marketer to drag you out of that same black hole.
How Did We Position Ourselves as Industry Experts?
This is important because our approach works for MSPs and MSSPs. (We know because we do some variation of this for each of our clients.)
The first step is making the commitment to being legitimately better.
You cannot just say you’re experts or trusted advisors and expect it to help your business. When we made the commitment to “rise above” in the IT marketing space, we had to make sacrifices. It meant investing in better tools and equipment. Spending even more time in courses and getting certifications. Studying, researching, building a network of top-level people in the channel.
Sacrifice is sometimes involved. Over the course of a year we cut our number of clients considerably because we redefined what a client would look like for us. We examined and restructured how we do everything — and I mean everything — ensuring that it’s not only different but better than what low-level marketing agencies are doing.
We started creating new applications, new processes, new methodologies and testing them in the real world. Months were spent on research and development. And hell, we’re not even done with this transformation because once you get ahead of the curve, you have to stay ahead.
This kind of positioning starts inside your business and becomes part of its DNA. It’s not just a tagline.
Ask yourself: Am I truly willing and able to commit to being better than my competitors?
You can’t fake being a thought leader or an expert.
If you’re going to play the thought leader card, you have to back it up. I have no qualms saying that I’m a thought leader because I create new things for my industry, including products, software applications, and research papers. I don’t just study YouTube videos and regurgitate what I’ve seen.
Everyone on our team shares the same mindset. We want to make, not just resell. We want to set trends, not follow them. We want our clients to know that they’re on the forefront, not just getting the dregs at the bottom of Gary Vanderschmuck’s social media feed.
Ask yourself: Am I contributing to my industry as a whole? Am I exploring new ways to approach what I do for clients? Am I open-minded enough to leave behind the old business models and cookie-cutter MSP formats that are losing momentum in this market?
You have to identify a segment and create high-order value specifically for them.
This is where we shine. Our team has become very good at growing businesses because we specialized in hyper-segmentation and innovative positioning.
Our segment is MSPs who are serious enough about marketing that they’re willing to undergo a few major changes to reap the biggest rewards. We don’t work with companies who just want someone to “do their marketing.” We work with companies that are determined to be the best of the best.
And we didn’t just target that segment. We developed our business to be 100% focused on giving that segment high-order value that they can’t get anywhere else.
By clearly defining what we wanted to do as a company, what the market needed, and where our preferred segment needed the most help, we were able to hone in on a niche and develop our business to cater to them.
This is real differentiation, not just marketing speak.
And that’s what you need to focus on with your MSP. Find where your desires, your strengths, and the market’s needs meet up. Identify and research those niche segments. Then position yourself to give them what they need.
That’s how you take yourself out of the commodity black hole. Like IT, marketing has become commoditized, but we’ve been able to increase our prices steadily for the last two years, not drop them.
We don’t have to compete on price. We only take the clients we want to work with. We mesh very well with every client we have, and we produce for them and make them happy.
Now ask yourself: Isn’t that the exact position I want my MSP to be in?
If so, give us a call. That’s exactly why we’re here.