Three Ways to Amplify Your Cybersecurity Voice for Prospective Clients

Matt Scully, channel chief, Mailprotector
Author: Matt Scully, channel chief, Mailprotector

If a business has any connection to the internet, it is a potential sales target for an MSP. While most IT services firms market locally, for obvious reasons, including maximizing face time and leveraging personal referral relationships, geography no longer limits potential opportunities. The world is open to the MSP community.

Of course, opportunity means nothing unless you can convey your message to the right people and get them to fill out a lead form or reach out to request more information. Most small MSPs rely on intermittent marketing strategies and only invest in promotions when business drops off. Some may go a year without posting a social media campaign or running a Google Ads when sales are good. They only dust off the marketing playbook and reengage after losing a client or experiencing a drop in revenue.

MSPs cannot afford to take that sporadic approach today. No matter the size of your business or how large a stream of recurring revenue comes in each month, sales and marketing efforts should be continual. Every potential client, large or small, must know about all the cyber dangers facing their organization. Those prospects should be able to feel the pain of getting caught in the crosshairs of cybercriminals to create a sense of urgency.

As an MSP, you must bring that message of concern and fear to your target audience as often as possible, especially with the increasing threats associated with the shift to remote work. Education through marketing is critical in this space. Business leaders understand the value of computers, phones, printers, and all the various solutions that keep their operations running. Many decision makers have a harder time comprehending that yesterday’s security protections are not robust enough to lock down their information systems today.

Unfortunately, some learn that fact the hard way by experiencing a ransomware attack or other type of network compromise (i.e., hacking, social engineering schemes). MSPs can provide those organizations with a less costly and less painful education in cybersecurity. Here are three tips that can get your clients and prospects thinking more about the threats ̶ and increase the revenue of your cybersecurity practice!

1. Pump Up Your Message Volume

MSPs must make cybersecurity a prominent piece of a comprehensive marketing/communications strategy, including periodic email campaigns and monthly newsletters, Google and social media ads, and event sponsorships. You can share and leverage the latest news concerning attacks on similar companies and use research and statistics to drive home that message. Set Google Alerts for keywords (cybersecurity, ransomware, email security, SMB threats, etc.) and dedicate time each week to search for relevant resources to share in these campaigns.

MSPs can make this a collaborative effort and incentive employees with the most or best contributions each month. Others may delegate the responsibility to key team members or the marketing department (if applicable). It really doesn’t matter who takes on the research and collection responsibilities, as long as they locate and share the types of quality cybersecurity content that will connect with your SMB clients.

2. Convey Your Risk Expertise

After all the processes are in place, step up the messages. No matter what marketing activities you invest in, remind prospects that the risk of cyber-attacks on their businesses are real, and every organization is a potential target. From the neighborhood law firm and credit union to the large manufacturing plant, most are just one poor password or ransomware attack away from extinction.

How do you get the decision-makers to buy into those concerns? That challenge keeps many MSPs up at night. “We’re too small to be targeted” remains the most common client objection, though an uptick in news reports related to ransomware and phishing attacks on the SMB is driving the conversation.

Cybersecurity protections are insurance policies. Getting decision-makers to set aside additional budget for threat monitoring, encryption, and penetration testing is tricky ̶ unless they truly understand the danger.

That is precisely why MSPs need to beat that drum strongly. Leverage every resource, from social media and email to billboards and postcards to drive that point home. Go beyond the norm by offering to write guest columns for the community newspaper or discuss the latest cybersecurity risks with the local television news anchors. Explore and take advantage of all the available opportunities to discuss ransomware, social engineering schemes, and other threats.

3. Beat a Constant Drum

Cybersecurity is not a “one and done” conversation. The discussions, like the threats, should evolve and expand over time. MSPs can’t afford to let their clients overlook the increasing severity and volume of cybersecurity incidents or ignore all the solutions available to prevent or remediate those types of attacks.

Make a big impression on your target audience by conveying your true cybersecurity expertise and point out the solutions that can help your clients and prospects the most. Focus less on technical specifications and more on the approach to good data protection policies.

Discuss proactive monitoring and prevention methods, as well as business continuity solutions that will ensure disruptions will be minimal if hit by ransomware or experience other potentially catastrophic events. Let them know that with the proper tools in place, they can pick right back up where they left off without missing a beat.

Deliver that message continuously. Beat the drum loudly around cybersecurity and steadily increase the urgency until clients and prospects decide to finally engage in the conversation and begin discussing the real solutions.

Author Matt Scully is channel chief at Mailprotector. Read more guest blogs from Mailprotector here.