Smarter Marketing & Networking for MSPs: Building Bridges
Joe Rojas: Hello, everybody, and welcome to The Start Grow Manage podcast. My name is Joe.
Jeff Loehr: I’m Jeff and I’m heading back to New York after a week of skiing in the Sierra Nevada. I’m feeling a bit down about going back, but I’m also looking forward to seeing my friends and family again. I skied an impressive 45,000 vertical feet and reached a top speed of 52 mph on Wednesday. How about that?
Joe Rojas: Holy moly. Impressive, man. That’s impressive.
Jeff Loehr: I love talking about skiing, but today we’re focusing on marketing. I’ve been thinking about what people struggle with when it comes to marketing. It seems like everyone has difficulty getting people to think differently about communication. So I’ve been looking into some of the fundamental ideas about marketing.
I’m introducing the concept of two different worlds: mine and theirs. What happens in my world stays there, and what happens in their world stays there too. My job is to bridge the gap between the two worlds, translating what’s happening in each one.”
Joe Rojas: You have to pretend you’re literally on separate planets. Literally.
Jeff Loehr: I’m on a different planet than someone else, and that’s okay. We each exist in our own world, which is everything we know, understand, and do. My world is MSP and technology, while theirs is accounting. We speak different languages and use different jargon, and even the idea of a network is completely different. For example, when I talk about a network, it’s a network of networks, but they’re just concerned with making accounting easier. When I hire someone to help build my business, I’m more likely to hire someone who knows the specific tools and tactics for MSPs.
Joe Rojas: I’m going to hire the person who understands MSP language and can think of tools to help them. They know about MSP business plans, SLAs, and MSAs, which are all important to the industry. It’s important to be able to speak the language of the client, not just industry jargon.
Jeff Loehr: I need to learn their language in order to communicate with them about what’s going on in both of our worlds. I can use my language when I’m talking to them, but I need to understand theirs as well.
Joe Rojas: This brings me to that beautiful phrase, ‘agnostic is where MSPs go to die.’ It raises the question of how to communicate with someone if you don’t know who they are or what world they come from. It’s a tricky situation, but it’s important to figure out how to bridge the gap.
Jeff Loehr: Marketing to a specific avatar requires understanding the problem they have in their world and communicating the transformation you offer in their language. You have to be able to make them happy, as people are only likely to buy if they’re unhappy in some way. Everything else is just a tool to help get to this point.
Joe Rojas: Excellent, this is very good, man. This is really good. I’m telling all of you out there that you need to pick an avatar. An avatar is the person you’re talking to who has a problem that you can solve. An avatar is not a vertical, it’s a person. Don’t resist, just do it!
Jeff Loehr: If you want to understand someone’s perspective and what’s going on in their world, you have to go over and talk to them. Don’t talk about your world because nobody cares. You have to be willing to listen and talk about the problems they have.
At a networking event yesterday, I noticed that everyone was introducing themselves but not defining their avatar. When I was specific about who my avatar is, people asked me how I was able to communicate so clearly what I do. I think that’s the challenge – how do we get people to understand and see this?”
Joe Rojas: We need to focus on repetition and getting people together in order to succeed. When someone narrows down their focus, they can get a flood of clients quickly.
Jeff Loehr: So we’ll see you next time and then Joe, you want to end take us out.
Joe Rojas: Remember that you are lov