Oftentimes when I sit down to talk to one of my prospects for my MSP marketing agency, a find myself fielding some variation of the same question over and over again.
“I spent a lot of time, money and effort on my website… and nobody is contacting me from it. I need it to generate leads and I need them now… but that just isn’t happening. What gives?”
At that point, I do what anyone would do: I sit down with their Google Analytics to see if we can find the story beneath all that data. Usually, I discover that their website isn’t generating leads for a very simple reason: nobody is visiting it in the first place.
Getting people to actually visit your site (we refer to this as “traffic generation”) is a topic in and of itself, and it’s something I’ve covered extensively in the past. But even if your website DID happen to be a traffic generating machine, that STILL shouldn’t be the only opportunity you’re using to get people to reach out and make contact with you.
In fact, there are three different ideas to that end that I’d like to go into more detail about today. They all represent their own distinct paths, but their journey’s end in the exact same place.
Social Media: Building Trust Through Personal Connections
If you truly want to generate MSP leads online beyond your website, the first place you should head is also one of the most important: social media.
To be clear, I’m not saying that your efforts should begin and end with sharing the latest tech news from your business Facebook page. While it’s always a good idea to share content that you think your audience might find relevant, you also need to go a fair bit deeper than that.
You should be using LinkedIn, for example, to reach out to business owners in your area and beginning relationships with a friendly introduction. If that’s too forward for you, don’t worry – you could always find a local business owners group on Facebook that you can join and actively participate in.
If any tech-related questions should happen to come up over the course of discussion, you could be the one to answer them. If someone posts a tech-related problem to the discussion boards, you could be the one to solve it. Before you know it, you’ll be seen as the “Tech Guru” of that community. As an MSP business owner, that’s an exciting position to be in.
Mostly, you need to A) reach out to people in your audience, B) introduce yourself either directly or indirectly, and C) provide value. These three ingredients are key in terms of making personal connections with people, which is ALWAYS the foundation upon which relationships are built.
Blogging Outside of Your Own Website
If you’re like most small business owners, you probably already have a blog. That blog probably exists on your website, and the chances are high that it’s not getting the type of traction that you’re looking for.
These are the things that I hear when MSP business owners tell me that they’re totally uninterested in using blogging as a strategy. But then, I always tell them the same thing: you absolutely need to keep blogging, but you also need to go beyond your own little corner of the Internet, too.
The Internet is great because it’s so community-focused. You can find a website or blog dedicated to just about any topic. You’re probably already a member of a group or two with a large following that has a blog of its own…
(You can probably see where this is headed).
For the sake of example, let’s say that your local Chamber of Commerce has a blog that accepts guest contributions. Like you, they’re probably always starving for content to publish… so why not submit a few pitches so that you can be the one to give it to them? There are probably a lot more businesses reading that blog than your own, which means that you have the potential to attract the attention of people beyond just those in your immediate circle.
There are many, many other opportunities like this that exist around the Internet – you just have to put in the time to look for them. Even social media or “web 2.0” sites like LinkedIn, Medium or Quora all have opportunities for you to publish content that will more likely than not get more eyeballs on it than your own website will.
The Death of Email Marketing Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
Last but not least we arrive at email marketing – still the number one way to reach out to your prospects, regardless of who they happen to be or where they’re located. You may have heard that in an era of social networking, display ads and programmatic advertising, email marketing is on its way out.
I’m happy to report that you heard wrong.
According to one recent study, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can usually expect to generate about $38 in return. Another study revealed that about 80% of professionals say that email marketing is one of the cornerstones of their customer acquisition and retention efforts. Likewise, Forrester revealed that people are literally twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook.
Put all this together and you’ve got an incredible opportunity for lead generation just waiting to be taken advantage of. Even if it’s something as simple as creating a monthly newsletter (a great chance to repurpose some of that existing blog content you created that nobody is reading on your site), or “cold emailing” prospects to connect with people in a more direct way, you’d still be hard-pressed to find something more effective and immediate than email.
How Are You Going to Generate Leads?
These are a few of the basic ways that you can generate MSP leads online, but the truth is they won’t work for everyone. Exactly how you leverage these or any other lead generation opportunities depends heavily on your market, your business and the channels that connect you. If you’d like to start to figure out what the right lead generation opportunities are for your MSP, then I encourage you to start by reaching out to myself or my colleagues at Tech Pro Marketing—we’ll deep dive into your unique situation and find out the right opportunities for you.
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