According to Webster's, marketing is “the process or technique of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service”. The same source defines an expert as “one with special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject”. So how do you take these two definitions and apply them to the world of managed services? The answer can seem surprisingly simple, but in actuality can take years upon years of practice and study. I would venture to say that it would apply to anything in life, equally as well as managed services.
Being the Expert
First and foremost we will discuss being an expert. If you are going to claim to be an “expert” at anything, make sure that you can back up the claim with cold hard facts. If you are going to profess to have a “mastery of a particular subject” you are best suited to actually know everything there is to know about the subject; past, present and future. This is the part that could take years of hard work and dedication. A sure fire way to completely fail in any marketing campaign is to be perceived as a fraud. Do not make the mistake of claiming something that is false. The ramifications of this could be worse than a failed marketing campaign and could actually have a reverse effect. A basic principle in any type of sales is that consumers buy with trust. If that trust is broken or violated in any way, sales will suffer. More than anything else trust and honesty help make sales.
Assuming that you have the expertise and all the technical skills one can imagine, the second part of the equation will deal with marketing. The key to understanding marketing is communication; you have to be able to communicate that message to your audience. Some time and study must be given to the art of communicating, both in writing and oral presentation.
For some people, speaking publicly comes naturally and without any effort at all, for others the sheer thought of speaking in front of more than just one person sends them into panic. In either case one should enroll in some sort of formal “public speaking” class or program. You will find that these are available rather inexpensively at practically every community college.
As far as writing skills are concerned, the same community colleges offer courses in basic writing skills, there are also various online programs. Mastery of both components of effective communication simply requires practice. If you've taken a public speaking class but still feel the jitters (which is common in almost everyone) get more practice. Practice in front of family, friends, coworkers, random groups of strangers on the street corner, on the train, in the mall – anyone will suffice. If you have taken a basic writing skills course, but still sit in front of the keyboard blankly staring at the screen, unable to put your thoughts into words, practice. Practice by writing letters and emails to friends and family, writing a personal journal, and blog. Just make sure that when doing so, you are incorporating basic writing skills, no acronyms here.
Marketing as a Managed Services Expert
Understanding how to market yourself as a managed services expert is simple, be an expert communicator and be an expert in all subject matter pertaining to managed services. And remember – being an expert in these areas is going to take time, hard work and dedication; as would being an expert at anything.
Leverage MSP University to help you become that expert!