Tracking the rise of social media over the last decade has been pretty fascinating, I have to say—especially within the context of MSP marketing. I’ve seen firsthand how these social networks grow and evolve. I’ve watched their influence build and wane on professional audiences in particular.
For the last several years, I’ve thought that one of the most critical social opportunities has been LinkedIn—particularly for MSPs going after very niche audiences like so many of my clients are. After all, LinkedIn now gives you access to more than 260 million users who are actively logging in each month.
But as is true with so many others, using LinkedIn to generate leads for an MSP business is not always such a straightforward process. One specific question that I hear a lot at Tech Pro Marketing is about the best way to leverage LinkedIn to generate leads, specifically, which would be a better place to spend your efforts: your company’s LinkedIn page or your own personal LinkedIn account.
In no uncertain terms, a LinkedIn personal profile will ALWAYS be more essential for an MSP than a broader, generic company page. This is true for a wide range of different reasons, all of which I'm going to go into more detail about right now.
The Art of Making Human Connections on LinkedIn
One of the reasons why your LinkedIn personal profile will ALWAYS be more essential as a managed services provider has to do with some of the limitations of the company page that are difficult—if not impossible—to overcome.
For starters, with your LinkedIn company page, you are totally dependent on organic interactions (meaning the people who find your page for one reason or another) and paid advertising opportunities. LinkedIn Sponsored Updates can be a great way to get your business in front of the eyes of a large group of people, sure - but they can also be very costly.
But the biggest disadvantage you have to contend with is that you can't actually connect with targeted prospects in a proactive way. Your company page doesn't allow you to reach out to someone who you know is looking for an MSP and have a conversation with them. It doesn't give you a chance to answer their questions or develop a true relationship with them.
Keeping It Personal
Your personal profile, on the other hand, does.
MSP lead generation relies in no small part on your ability to connect with people—not in the flashy, distant "social media" way that the modern era has brought with it. But in that real, down-to-earth way that you've been using in other avenues for years. With your LinkedIn personal profile, you can finally replicate the process of going to a networking event like a community brunch or dinner from the comfort of your own computer chair. If there's one particular local business that you KNOW could benefit from your approach to managed services, you no longer have to sit back with your fingers crossed and hope that they reach out and contact you.
Instead, you can get ahead of the game—and your competitors—by reaching out to them first.
In the end, it's important to think about things like this: at its core, managed services is already so dependent on personal relationships because you're offering more than just another technology solution. You need someone to put an enormous amount of trust in you—you need them to believe that you'll finally allow them to leverage IT in a way that can support and empower the hard work they're trying to do on a daily basis. You're not going to get to that point if they still see you as a cold, calculated company like so many others out there.
Because of that, your marketing needs to be personal as well. This, in essence, is why your LinkedIn company profile will never be more important than your personal profile with regard to its ability to generate new leads. Your potential customers connect with people - not reams of spec sheets or promises about what technology can do. They long for that human element—that quality that helps them see that they've finally found the right partner at exactly the right time.
These days, your LinkedIn personal profile is one of the best chances you have at accomplishing exactly that.
For more advice on ramping up your social media presence, feel free to contact either myself or one of my colleagues at Tech Pro Marketing for a one-on-one strategy call.
By Courtney Swift
By Scott Wittstock