Five innovative marketing ideas to grab new customers

Ben Taylor

If you’re committed to growing a thriving MSP business, there’s simply no such thing as too many marketing ideas.

Sometimes, however, you may find yourself stuck for inspiration. So with that in mind, this article presents five innovative ways to grow your MSP business and extend your reach to some new customers. Hopefully you’ll find at least one here that’s worth putting straight into action – better yet, why not give all of them a try?

Referral Partnerships
refreealsDo you have established partnerships with other companies who send you regular sales leads? If not, you certainly should have!

Companies typically require a fairly predictable set of services to run their businesses: accountancy; graphic design; Web development; and IT support being four examples. So, why not, for example, partner with your accountancy firm and agree to refer clients in both directions?

How formally you wish to do this is entirely up to you. You could log all referrals and agree to commissions, or simply establish a friendly agreement to always “put in a good word.” Either way, these referral partnerships are a great source of business.

Forum Marketing
forumsFrequenting Internet forums related to your target sector is a good way to build relationships with people who could eventually become your potential clients.

This does require commitment and a significant time investment, but if you’re passionate about your industry you may find the process enjoyable and perhaps even do it in your spare time.

Most forums will allow you to include an HTML link to your own website in your post signature. If you’re consistently helpful to forum members, you will eventually become a trusted authority.

There’s a need for some caution here, however. Continually posting on these forums without truly “adding value” for those reading can be viewed as spamming, and could lead to a forum ban or a Google penalty on your search rankings. Make sure you perform your forum marketing responsibly.

Online Job Marketplaces
jobsFreelance job boards such as UpWork and PeoplePerHour may not seem like the most obvious place to find clients for your MSP business, but by registering and performing custom searches, you can quickly find companies looking for IT assistance in your local area.

Although sites like UpWork are typically frequented by people looking for contractors to work from home, people with on-site requirements do post them from time to time. The pickings may be slim, but you will find occasional opportunities, especially if you’re located near busy metropolitan areas.

While transitioning a company from a basic support requirement to a full MSP service may not be easy, getting in contact with leads in this way is still a valid tactic.

Media Coverage
mediaWhile we’d perhaps stop short of saying that “any publicity is good publicity,” thinking about how you could get your business mentioned in the media is a very worthwhile endeavor.

Anything from writing a letter about a technical issue to offering to produce a free computer advice column could result in free press coverage for your business. However, if you really want to gain high profile exposure, it’s probably worth getting in touch with a PR firm or consultant.

It’s worth noting that with more and more people now trying to promote their businesses in this way, the best strategy to get noticed is to come up with something original and innovative, such as a revealing new statistic.

Free Seminars
seminarsCompanies (and individuals) love to get something for nothing, and free seminars are a great way to offer it, while subtly putting across a sales message at the same time.

If your MSP business is focused on the local market, you could hold a seminar at a local hotel. Give out some free advice and some good-quality sandwiches, and politeness will dictate that you’ll get some face-to-face time with potential clients. Alternatively, an online webinar could work if you’re targeting a more widespread market.

The most successful MSP businesses never rest on their laurels when it comes to marketing. For the best results, you should always be trying something new – so why not try some of these methods straight away?