Do you want leads for your MSP? You’re not alone.
Oh no… you’re not alone at all.
In fact, you’re the opposite of alone.
I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you’re only one face in a sea of 40,000 US-based MSPs looking and longing for more leads. Everyone’s in your boat. Because the MSP market is one of the more crowded B2B technology niches in the world at the moment, and there are only so many good clients to go around.
So, you’re not alone. And yeah, MSP lead generation is not easy, because it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.
But don’t worry – it’s not impossible.
At New North, we’ve driven leads for dozens of MSPs, consistently helping firms to win their region, enter new markets, and even get successfully acquired.
Here’s what we’ve seen work repeatedly for MSP lead generation.
1. Differentiate your company with good messaging.
I recognize that this is pretty general advice, but it’s also pretty important, because most MSPs don’t clearly communicate the value they provide.
Particularly marketing-negligent firms put everything in tech jargon and then assume that potential clients will be chomping at the bit for their services. (In fairness, it’s difficult to talk about managed services in terms that are detailed and clear but not technically overwhelming. Jargon is natural – but it drives would-be clients away.)
But even firms that have put marketing effort in still struggle to stand out, because they usually end up with a similar (albeit admirably client-focused) message: “We give you peace of mind about your technology,” or “We take care of your IT so you can take care of your business.” Those are good messages. But the problem is that every marketing-savvy MSP is using them.
You need to refine your message so that it’s truly unique to your firm. Two tactical tips to help:
1. Develop your unique selling propositions (USPs).
For example, one MSP we’ve worked with is exclusively focused on the nonprofit space – that’s a differentiator that wins them business. Another employs vCIOs that have real CIO experience (like, decades working for top tech firms, not two years in sales). When it’s properly communicated, that’s a differentiator.
If your company is good (and you and I both know that it is), then you have something unique, too. Clarify and communicate it clearly, focusing on the value that it delivers to your clients.
2. Use photos of your team on your website.
Every MSP says their team is what makes them better than their competitors. That’s fair. But then many of those businesses use stock photos on their marketing materials.
The truth is that team is an over-used value proposition, but it does matter – and you can make it matter more if you feature real people on your website, in your marketing collateral, and so on.
We’ve found that the MSP websites featuring real people convert at much higher rates than the ones using stock photos.
3. Make it easy to request a quote.
Don’t bury the button, and make it clear what people can expect when they reach out with interest in your services.
2. Use paid ads to take your message to your market.
Once you’ve differentiated your company, it’s time to take your message to your market. The fastest way to do this is through paid ads.
I recommend using search ads to start, because they allow you to target potential clients as they’re looking for services like yours. Later, you can expand into YouTube or other social platforms – but start with search, because it’s closest to the bottom of the conversion funnel.
Target high-value terms that align with your service offerings, and designate time each month for optimizing your campaigns to make sure you’re spending money wisely.
Two quick tips:
Create ad groups targeting three things: “Managed IT service,” “IT support,” and a featured service (like virtual desktop deployment or cybersecurity audit). Target your service geography.
Be willing to spend at least $1,000 per month for six months. If you aren’t, you should probably skip paid ads, because you’re unlikely to collect enough data to get results. Land one client, and you’ll probably justify the spend.
In honesty, there’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s probably a topic for another post.
3. Start working on SEO.
Once you have your paid campaigns running, it’s worth the time and effort to work on search engine optimization (SEO).
This might sound obvious, but the key to driving leads through SEO is to have your website rank for a lot of good keywords.
Many MSPs focus in on one keyword ranking (like “cloud services” or “business continuity consultant”) without checking to see if there’s enough search volume around the keyword to move the needle. Most often, ranking for a single keyword won’t do much for your lead generation efforts. But let’s say you rank for “IT company” and “IT support” and “managed IT service” and “IT service” and “IT consultant”. Now we’re talking!
The best way to do this is to consistently create content that explicitly includes your targeted keyword in the SEO and post titles. It’s definitely not a given, but if you write a blog post each week for three months, there’s a good chance you’ll rank for your desired keyword in your location.
Rack up enough first page rankings for relevant and popular terms, and you will start to see consistent leads come in.
4. Run an ABM campaign.
We’ve written about ABM campaigns in more detail here, but the gist is this:
- Get a list of contacts who fit your ideal customer profile.
- Send them a series of emails featuring your services and communicating your USPs.
- Follow up on LinkedIn with messages that complement your emails.
Things can get much more complex than this, but the key is that you’re targeting the right people with the right message.
Done right, ABM campaigns are one of the best ways to generate targeted leads for your MSP. They aren’t evergreen (meaning they won’t run indefinitely, like SEO), but they are effective.
Want more help with MSP lead generation?
The four tactics we’ve discussed here are a good place to start – but if you want more help standing out from the crowded market and creating a steady flow of leads, let’s talk.
At New North, we’ve helped dozens of MSPs with goals like lead generation, dominating new markets, and getting successfully acquired. Schedule a free consultation today and we can discuss what a tailored lead generation plan might look like.