Contact Richard:   +44 (0)121 663 0223 +44 (0) 7703 355045

Introducing the MSP Marketing Academy

StrategyIn my work providing expert advice to help IT companies grow, one of the most common challenges I hear IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) tell me that they wrestle with is marketing – getting their company out there and in front of prospective new clients.

As the saying goes “You can be the best IT company in the world, but if nobody knows about you, what good is that?” [TWEET THIS].

Marketing is a system, not an event

As I wrote in my blog post What are the top MSP Marketing mistakes IT businesses make? the majority of MSP’s I speak to have tried some type of marketing before, but with poor results. This is often because they are treating marketing as something important they want to do, but rarely seem to make the time for it – getting distracted by more urgent activities within their business.

As I’ve stated before and often, marketing is a system, not an event. If you only “do” marketing when you have the time to do it, you’ll never do any marketing – and subsequently nobody will know about you.

You can’t find the time to do marketing

Time LostIf you’re an IT business owner with good intentions who keeps meaning to do marketing, but then the end of the month (or quarter, or year…) comes along and those good intentions have been swallowed by the day-to-day hustle of running your business, then you’re not alone. I speak to MSP’s every day who say they know they “should” be doing marketing, but don’t seem to be able to make the time.

I understand. As a former MSP owner myself, I know how difficult it can be to make the time to do the important, not just the urgent tasks in your business.

Introducing The MSP Marketing Academy!

So when my friend and my “go to” Marketing expert Gemma Telford of the IT Marketing Agency approached me with a new idea for a “MSP Marketing in a Box” – I was intrigued. The more I talked about the idea, the more I realised it could help those MSP’s who know they need to be doing consistent marketing but don’t seem to be able to find the time.

It’s out of this idea that we’re announcing the MSP Marketing Academy.

The MSP Marketing Academy

The goal of the MSP Marketing Academy is to share the magic of marketing with you. If you don’t have the need or the resources for a full time marketing person, then the MSP Marketing Academy is for you.

MSP Marketing in a Box

The MSP Marketing Academy is offering 3 levels of membership:-

  1. The Gathering – Your invitation to the quarterly gathering which features expert guest speakers, workshops and round table discussions with your peers, and learning on how to marketing your MSP. If you want to know *how* to effectively market your MSP, this is the option for you.
  2. The Marketing Path – In addition to an invite to the quarterly gathering, you’ll be provided with a monthly marketing path bundle – a “campaign in a box” on a vendor-neutral topic. The campaign will include a thought leadership piece, a blog, email copy and a landing page for you to use to attract new clients. If you know how to market your MSP but don’t have the time to create the content to support your marketing efforts, then this is the option for you.
  3. The Growth Path – In addition to an invite to the quarterly gathering, and receiving the monthly “campaign in a box”, members of the Growth Path will have this campaign implemented for them. You’ll have helped designing and tailoring a website for your needs, with your own branding, look and feel. If you don’t want to change your website, you can have specific landing pages setup for each campaign, linked to your web site and following your own look and feel. If you want MSP marketing done for you at much less than it would cost you to hire a dedicated marketing person, this is the option for you.

For more details on all 3 paths, visit the MSP Marketing Academy website.

Your next step

You’ve probably got plenty of questions. That’s understandable! If you’d like to find out more, feel free to contact the MSP Marketing Academy for a chat with no-strings-attached.

If you’d like to find out first-hand what the MSP Marketing Academy looks like, then we’d like to invite you to join us in Buckinghamshire on Thursday 9th October for the Gathering. You can now register to join us for the Gathering.


I’m excited about the launch of the MSP Marketing Academy and helping Gemma’s initiative become a success. I know from experience in working with MSP’s one-to-one that when executed consistently, marketing works and business growth soon follows.

The MSP Marketing Academy will cost-effectively provide the education IT business owners need to understand how to market their business and reach new clients. For those MSP’s who know what they need to be doing, but can’t make the time to do it – the MSP Marketing Academy will provide you with the content to make it easy. Or do it for you. Your choice.

Questions? Contact me or leave a comment below – I’ll answer them all.

I look forward to seeing you at the Gathering on the 9th October in Buckinghamshire!

6 Brits You Must Meet At Autotask Community Live

Autotask Community Live 2014I’m at the beautiful Westin Diplomat Resort in Miami, Florida for this years Autotask Community Live 2014 conference.

One of the premier Conferences on the IT calendar, Autotask Community Live brings together some of the most successful folks in our industry space, all under one roof. I’ve previously shared my 5 tips for making the most of Autotask Community Live – and the number one tip on that list? It’s all about the networking!

There are around 900 IT Solution Providers, Managed Service Providers (MSP’s), Vendors and industry figures in attendance at Community Live this year, and amongst them are a large contingent of my fellow Brits.

While I’d encourage you to meet as many people as you can while you’re in Miami, here is my list of 6 Brits you must meet at Autotask Community Live! Don’t be afraid to seek out and learn from these folks – you’ll find it valuable, I assure you. To help you connect with them, I’ve shared links to each of their Social Media profiles within each description too.

Mark Banfield

Mark BanfieldCompany: Autotask

Title: Vice President International.

At the forefront of Autotask’s expansion from the US to the UK, Mark Banfield has grown Autotask’s UK operation from a handful of staff to 60+ employees based out of Richmond, London – all inside 3 years.

Whether you are based in the UK or further afield, seek out a conversation with Mark Banfield while you’re at Community Live.

What to talk to him about: Developing high performance teams, building International business units.


Chris Ward

Chris WardCompany: Vermont Systems

Title: Director

Vermont are a Southampton, UK based MSP who provide IT solutions to small businesses in the South of the UK. Chris Ward and his business partner Oliver Mackley have grown Vermont at an impressive rate, and have recently acquired another IT business to grow their client base further.

Ward is also the group lead of the Thames Valley SBSC Group – a group of MSP’s and IT Professionals who meet in Reading, Berkshire on a monthly basis to collaborate and share mutual learning.

What to talk to him about: Peer Collaboration, MSP Acquisitions.

Christie Walsh

Christie WalshCompany: Autotask

Title: International Account Manager.

As well as managing many of Autotask’s most valuable clients in the UK, Christie Walsh and her colleagues are also responsible for organising the valuable Autotask Accelerator events that take place regularly across the UK. Free to attend for Autotask Partners and MSP’s interested in learning more about Autotask, the Accelerator events are focused training sessions which help MSP’s accelerate their learning of and make the most of a Professional Services Automation (PSA) tool in their business.

Walsh also speaks French and Spanish, and was once an English teacher at the Royal Kensington Academy.

What to talk to her about: The Autotask UK Community, Increasing your ROI with Autotask.

Michael Freeman

Michael FreemanCompany: Southern IT.

Title: Managing Director.

Southern IT are an MSP serving clients in the East Sussex area of the UK. Under Michael Freeman‘s leadership, and after implementing Autotask in 2012, they have grown their business and acquired a reputation as one of the UK’s most progressive users of the Autotask PSA system.

Southern IT are also adept at using the Autotask API system, and have built an integration module between Autotask and the Kashflow cloud-based Accounting software.

Michael Freeman also used to work for the National Trust, beginning a life long desire to help support not-for-profit organisations and charities.

What to talk to him about: The Autotask API, Integrations with 3rd party tools, Serving non-profits

Mark Cattini

Mark CattiniCompany: Autotask

Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

Since taking the reigns at Autotask in December 2010, Mark Cattini has executed an International expansion plan that has seen Autotask grow into the UK, Europe, Australia and China – with more markets already on the horizon.

Born in London and now living in the United States, Cattini will be keynoting this years Community Live and if I were a betting man, I’d lay a wager that he’ll be sharing more details on the new Autotask User Interface (UI).

What to talk to him about: The future of the IT industry, The new Autotask UI.

Alistair Forbes

Alistair ForbesCompany: GFI Max.

Title: General Manager.

At the helm of Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) Vendor GFI Max from it’s earliest days as Hound-Dog Technology, and guiding the business through it’s acquisition by GFI Software, Alistair Forbes has helped to drive Dundee, Scotland based GFI Max to become not only the top RMM tool in the UK, but worldwide.

Through acquisitions, Forbes and his team are building a portfolio of solutions for MSP’s that goes well beyond RMM and into Data Backup, Anti Virus, Email Security & Business Continuity, Cloud Service provisioning and more.

What to talk to him about: Adapting to the changing landscape of the MSP market.



Although I’ve listed just six Brits, there are many more that you should seek out and talk with. I’ve long since learned that there are huge amounts of value to be gained from gaining different perspectives people across the world on what it takes to grow an business, and Autotask Community Live provides the perfect opportunity to do this.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the Brits above and ask if you can say hello in person while in Miami, whether it be over a cup of Coffee or something stronger at the bar! I know all six of the folks above personally, and you won’t find any individuals who are more happy to give generously of their time and knowledge – you’ll be glad you’ve made the time to speak with them.


7 Productivity Tips for IT Business Owners

Productivity Tips A heads-up that I’ll be joining my friend Rich Akullian of Autotask for a webinar on Thursday March 27th at 3pm GMT (11am EST) to discuss 7 Productivity Tips for IT Business Owners and how you can take control of your day!

Are you overwhelmed?

Are you overwhelmed by all the things you need to do as an IT Business Owner? Do you hear yourself saying “I should do that, but I haven’t had the time” about important tasks that will help your business grow? But how do you make the time to do the important when the urgent keeps interrupting you?

Register for the free webinar

In this one-hour webinar, industry expert Richard Tubb and Rich Akullian of Autotask will share 7 practical techniques for helping you get out from under, bring order from chaos and gain control over your time and energy.

You can register for the 7 Productivity Tips for IT Business Owners: Take Control of Your Day! webinar now – and if you can’t make it on the day, then make sure to still register for details of the on-demand recording.

I look forward to you joining us!


photo credit: Wiertz Sébastien via photopin cc

The 2014 list of IT Channel Events for MSP’s

IT Channel Event Each year I produce a list of IT Channel events that will be of interest to IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) based in the UK and Europe.

All dates are subject to change and I’d strongly encourage you to contact the event organisers directly before making any travel plans based on information listed here.


Updates and Amendments

I try to keep this list regularly updated, so if you have an event then please feel free to contact me and let me know about it.

Last Edit:  14th November, 2014. Latest updates in bold.

Annual UK IT Channel Events


Other Regular UK IT Channel Events


Annual European IT Channel Events




  • Jan 27th – 31st 2014 – Cisco Live! – Milano Congressi, Milan





photo credit: etech via photopin cc

Being Inspired at TEDx Warwick 2014

TEDx Warwick

Image courtesy of TEDx Warwick

I’ve just got back from this years TEDx Warwick event at Warwick Arts Centre in Warwick University. This is the third year I’ve attended TEDx Warwick, and each year I’m in awe at the fantastic job the organisers do and how much so many of the speakers at the event inspires me in so many areas of my life.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks then get yourself across to where you can see some riveting talks by remarkable people, all for free. Thought provoking, often inspiring and always educational – I mentioned recently that I’ve made TED talks a part of my Daily Productivity Routine to get me started for the day.

TEDx events are coordinated locally and independently, on a community-by-community basis. They are created in the spirit of TED’s mission, that being “ideas worth spreading”.

The theme of this years TEDx Warwick event was “Inside Out” – looking at the idea that in a world where globalisation is bringing about an increasing trend of localisation and individuation, seemingly paradoxical headlines are often daily features.

I thought I’d take a look at some of my personal highlights from TEDx Warwick 2014.

Happiness at work

First up was Nic Marks talking about Happiness. Nic has already recorded a very popular video about “The Happy Planet Index” and in this talk he looked at the business impact of happiness. For instance, in the Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2014 poll it was revealed that only 13% of employees are actively engaged at work.

What effect does this have on business? Well, Nic estimates that the cost of unhappiness at work in a 100 person business equals $1 million per year.

Examples were given of businesses that put employees first, such as Zappos, and the positive effect this can have on retention and attendance of staff, and for the business as a whole, an increased bottom line.

A thoroughly engaging presentation and I’d recommend following Nic’s business Happiness Works on Twitter for more insight. Food for thought for any business.

The Smartphone HomunculusUnderstanding and exploring Sensor Data

Gerson Dublon is a PhD student at the MIT Medial Lab where he develops new tools for understanding and exploring sensor data. In his talk he looked at how we interact with the world around us – or in the case of most of our Smartphone toting generation, how we sometimes don’t interact with the world that’s directly around us, just the tiny screen in front of us!

Dublon offered the Smartphone Homunculus (pictured left) as an idea of how we prominantely use our senses with Technology – which drew some chuckles but also some agreeing nods.

There were some fascinating projects offered up by Dublon including looking at how a building was used during a conference, and an Arboreal Telepresence – an audio-haptic display embedded in the natural environment.

I’d highly recommend checking out Gershon Dublon’s website for more details on his research.

Lighting a Billion Lives


Image courtesy of GravityLight and IndieGoGo

Jim Reeves of Deciwatt shared the story of creating Gravity Light, an eco-product that could help millions of people.

GravityLight is an innovative device that generates light from gravity. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight that powers GravityLight creating 25 minutes of light on its descent.

The product is a result of a plan to eradicate Kerosene lighting from developing countries – a dangerous way for people to light their homes after the sun goes down. Reeves shared how an IndieGoGo campaign aimed to raise $55,000 for this product and ended up pulling $399,590 instead.

The product has the potential to change the lives of millions of people who live “off the grid”, and I for one can see applications well beyond the developing world too.

If you’d like to be kept up to date on the progress of GravityLight then sign up for the GravityLight Mailing List for email updates.

Urban Beekeeping, Beatboxing and Green Graffiti

The talks I’ve mentioned above were just three of sixteen talks on the day. Other highlights for me included

  • Alison Benjamin, the editor of the Guardian’s Society section, who delivered a presentation called “Urban Buzz” on how becoming an urban Bee Keeper can influence lives, positively effect communities and change the way you view the world.
  • THePETEBOX who blew my mind with his loop pedal beatbox performance (check out THePETEBOX website for some of his awesome videos!)
  • Jim Reeves who is an advertising professional who loves Dirt! Reeves has created an unconventional method of advertising in GreenGraffiti, washing advertising into pavements, which has a lower impact on the environment and a higher impact on the audience.

But it’s fair to say that every single speaker inspired and provoked thought in equal measure.


A huge thank-you to everyone who puts so much time and effort into organising TEDx Warwick this year and to the speakers who give their time to stand up and share their thoughts in front of 1200+ people.

The event is always well organised, educational and inspiring in equal measure and if you’ve never been to a TEDx event, then I’d encourage you to seek one out near to you!


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