10 ways to inject personality into your MSP’s website

People buy from people

Prospects don’t buy from ‘companies’, they buy from people and as a rule, people don’t buy dull, boring people.

In our online world, it’s not possible to buy from a person as such, however we all buy with emotion and the way you make people feel through your online presence will have a huge impact on conversions.

Who doesn’t check someone out first before interacting with them? So, why is it that companies big and small so often come across as dull, corporate, out of date and uninspiring?

“Sadly this is too often the case with the 100’s of MSP websites I’ve researched and/or reviewed in the last 18 months.

I’m on a crusade to help change that image. Please join me …”

Have you ever considered how many people have visited your website to check out what you do and have disappeared into the ether straight away, as they’re put off by what they see? It’s the equivalent of the “I really must go and get myself a drink” moment at an event, when you’re talking to someone … except online, you have no idea who’s walking away and it happens much faster.

There are many parallels between meeting face to face and researching online. Don’t assume your online presence will not evoke the same (gut) feelings and first impressions that you do in a face to face environment.

“The back button is only a few pixels away from a visitor becoming a prospect and a customer worth $£10k/year.”

It’s time to get personal

This article aims to inspire a little – as I lay out before you, 10 sites, with personality – or at least elements of personality.

I’m hoping that by the end of this page – you’ll take a look at your own online presence and find ways that you too can inject some personality.

1) Create an immediate impact

Paragus IT absolutely creates an immediate impact. For readers in the UK – this screnshot is a bit ‘Marmite’ (you either love it or you hate it) however – for me – that’s a much better approach than leaving people feeling ‘meh’. Dividing opinion online or face to face is OK. You want to get a reaction.

The “above the fold” on this site creates a huge first impression. It absolutely has personality – you can’t avoid it.

Clearly it aims to appeal to frustrated tech users – people who feel like taking a baseball bat to their computer once in a while – and we’ve all been there. The main headline shows empathy – it is then followed up with a ‘don’t worry – we can help’ statement – which I really like.

It’s bold. It’s brave. It creates an impact and a statement and it’s VERY RARE MSP sites do this.

Whilst I personally don’t recommend sliders – the next slide screams: “Employee owned. We don’t succeeed unless you do.

I’m fortunate enough to work with a lot of great consultants in our industry. I’ve yet to see anyone who presents themselves better online than Stuart Warwick.

I wanted to add this example for sole trader MSPs – and I know there’s plenty of you. Stuart is his business – he sells his expertise and so he is bold enough to put himself front and centre – because guess what – you’re buying ‘him’.

He makes his offer incredibly clear with both the headline and the short form copy underneath.

For me, it’s the perfect way to present himself – you’re drawn in, want to learn more and will continue to scroll.

Does your site create a brilliant first impression?

2) Create the perfect MSP homepage

That headline – “The perfect MSP homepage” is quite a claim isn’t it?

I’ve been reviewing websites for MSPs for a while now – I’ve done dozens in fact. There are very few I bookmark as shining examples sadly. The team at Ice Connect, here in the UK, have created something brilliant in my eyes.

The image above is a great start – but you do need to click through and look at the whole page and site to see it in all its glory.

It has all the component parts which make up a great home page.


Learn what makes a great home page in Website Success 101 for MSPs.

It looks great – the coffee draws you in and makes you want to scroll. It has social proof galore – it has real people on the site and tells a story.

Brilliant job.

3) Get creative with your “Page not found”

If you’re looking to put your toe in the water when it comes to being a bit cheeky or tongue in cheek – your page not found page or “404 page” is a great place to start.

Few people will see it (if your site is structured correctly!) yet – you know it’s there.

There are plenty of articles which showcase geeky and fun 404 pages. I’ve picked one from our industry. The Slack page is a work of art.

You’ll see if you click through that the image above scrolls left / right when you move your mouse – it’s playful. Screenshot it – and it even goes black and white, which feels quite random.

Of course, making a change like this is not going to win your next deal, however it’s the thinking behind creating pages like this, which actually begins to set you on the right path to developing something unique and with personality.

4) Have the confidence to create a unique design style

Exosource are Montreal-based and their site is unique.

It’s essentially a single landing page. The various panels scroll left to right as you continue to scroll down.

It’s different. It’s unusual. It stands out and it definitely has personality.

For me, it shows two things – firstly, it’s possible to have a great looking site, which is a single page. Too often I see sites which have a gazillion pages – most of the totally unnecessary. Secondly, there is huge power in a site which looks cohesive. This has a great design style and whether you love it or hate it, it certainly gets you thinking and talking.

If you are an MSP without a good looking office environment – illustration is a great way to demonstration personality, in lieu of great photography.

5) Take a stand – have a point of view

I’ve never had any contact with the folks at Atlanta-based Ripple IT – but I hope to one day.

I dislike intensely the focus on bots, automation and removing all forms of human contact from business and so I asbolutely love what they are doing here.

I talk a lot about Human Customer Service within my Helpdesk Habits programme and about “remembering the humans on the end of the end points” and so the idea of “Humans First” really resonates with me. I bet it does with prospects too.

Ripple have decided to base their portfolio around people. Are you a CEO? Are you a Manager? Are you a knowledge worker?

They put human beings front and centre of their proposition and use the 💓motif throughout their copy too, which I also really like.

Ripple – great job – but if you’re reading this – drop me a line – there’s a couple of big issues with the site!

6) Have an about us page which tells your story

I’ve worked with this brilliant Melbourne-based company over the last 12 months and I love how they interact – their personality shines through every time.

The screenshot above doesn’t do this page justice. I’d encourage you to read it though. It contains a snapshot of their journey, all the way back to 2010. That itself isn’t unique, although MSPs should definitely learn from this technique.

What is unique however is the personality which comes through within the page.

As a prospect, you are drawn to the fact that this is a great company, doing great things – irrespective of whether what they do is right for you as a customer. That gives KMT an amazing head start when it comes to comparison.

This page talks about their work in the community, their key hires, their growth and expansion (clearly indicating success), their public awards and acknowledgements and their awards for being a great place to work.

Many MSPs have similar credentials – however they fail to talk about them.

You are what you are online and if you don’t tell the world – how will the world know?

7) Create a careers page which actually makes people want to work with you

So I’ve watched the very brilliant Colin Knox grow his team over the last 12 months and see the personality come through with Phil the Flamingo in most things which Gradient MSP release.

I was actually surprised not to see more ‘Flamingo’ on the website. I’m guessing they felt it not to be appropriate. I’m not sure I agree – I think it would make a good constant throughout their marketing message.

Gradient MSP are full of personality throughout their online presence – take note of how the team share on Linkedin – there’s always tremendous energy and colour – you can’t fail to be attracted to them.

So many MSPs rely purely on the business owner to promote the business – tricks are being missed here – don’t forget to coach and involve your team to share what you’re getting up to. As a business owner, you can then help to amplify.

I wanted to pick up on their careers page – as it’s brilliant.

They have been recruiting like crazy recently, following their $10m Series A investment round. They’ve created a careers page which genuinely makes you want to work for them. It’s engaging and stands out. It’s not corporate and combined with their culture page, gives them an edge over their competition.

Take a look at your careers page today. Is it as good as Gradient MSP’s?

8) Offer a ridiculous guarantee

Whilst I put the love for my family slightly above my love for the Tech Tribe, it’s a close call.

Nigel and his team exude personality. Everything he does is full of energy and enthusiasm and his biggest task is to convey that energy online, as he continues on his mission to extend the network.

Nigel offers a crazy guarantee, just below their sign up box. In a nutshell, he explains that they are going to make this sign up a no-brainer. It is completely risk free – you literally cannot lose.

He wraps that guarantee up with personality. He talks about tacos and quotes a completely made up stat and I love it.

“For some reason, there’s plenty of people who think it’s illegal to raise a smile in business. It’s not. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

How could you inject some humo(u)r – some smiles – some unique personality into your sales process?

Could you offer a crazy guarantee when people book a no-obligation chat with you? Might you send them pizzas or buy them a scuba diving lesson or donate to a local charity if they don’t find it useful?
Hmmmmm 🤔 ….

9) If a bank can show personality – you can too

This is a bit of a wildcard and out of industry. If you’ve got this far and still think – I’m not sure we can do this – I am trying to make a point.

First Direct was the original challenger bank here in the UK. When they launched on 1 October 1989 – they disrupted the ageing, dinosaur marketplace with phone banking – a concept unheard of until then. I’ve been a customer of theirs since 1990. I wouldn’t ever switch – because they’ve always delivered a brilliant service.

This is a tiny example of their creativity – some simple words in their footer. Could you start there with your site?

To get to where they’ve got to – they’ve had to scrap and differentiate and despite the fact they’re owned by HSBC – they’re still allowed to breathe – and show their personality.

Even if you’re owned by a larger group – try to ringfence what you do and let your personality shine through.

10) Do copy right (see what I did there?)

I’ve worked with the SuperOps team over the last 12 months and more recently participated in their Super Summit, to launch their service.

As a vendor – their site stands out – in the same way their products do. They are bright, agile and fast moving and set themselves apart from the older, more tired-looking, legacy services. Their website absolutely reflects that.

What they do really well is copy. Scattered throughout the site there are little touches, which make you smile and take note of what they’re doing.

In a blog post to promote the Super Summit – I wanted to pick up on this piece of copy – it’s really catchy and not what you’d expect – it draws you in – and that’s a really good thing.

Alongside – on the ‘often-dreaded’ proactive chat box – they’ve gone for a different approach too – and I LOVE THAT! Why do so many people leave a default message in those boxes? The team here has bothered to do something different and acknowledge the tediousness of these boxes with a genuine offer to help.

Where next?

How often are visitors seeing your home page, being underwhelmed and bouncing right off, leaving £$ on the table every time.

Tiny changes and small regular investments in your online presence are some of the best marketing funds you can spend.

Take a good look at your site – or even better – get an independent review (maybe by someone like me?) and figure out if you’re making the most of your online presence.

A five step SOP for collecting customer testimonials for your MSP business

In my experience, a customer is only too willing to help a business they enjoy working with, to be successful.

Remember this statement, as you think of the right way to approach a customer.

Done in the wrong way, being asked for a testimonial for your MSP business can be seen as an onerous task by a customer.

The solution is to frame it correctly and take all of the pain away.

So often people dislike working with ‘clean sheets of paper’ – they struggle to know what to say or write when put on the spot to come up with something creative.

Go out of your way to make it easy for them.

Harness your often overlooked, marketing pot of gold

Use your helpdesk team

Your MSP’s helpdesk is one of your best sources for testimonials.

99% of the time, to an untrained eye, ad hoc compliments (marketing gold) get buried 1000ft down inside ticketing systems and are lost forever.

In my Helpdesk Habits programme, I talk about “Harvesting quotes and reaping testimonials.” 100’s of people have downloaded this desktop wallpaper as a reminder …

(Click the image and right click, to download it for yourself).

A 5 step SOP to marketing greatness

Step 1) Create awareness of the marketing gold embedded within tickets

It’s time to make your team aware of the importance of those ‘throw away’ customer comments, when a technician has really helped someone out or gone out of their way to solve an issue.

“You guys are brilliant – I couldn’t run my business without you.”

This type of quote you’ll see regularly in support threads. To the untrained eye – it’s a nice compliment at best.

Make your team aware of the fact that a comment like that could help to secure £/$000’s in business next week / next month / next year.

Prospects want to know that you’re a company who offers great service. There is no better person to tell them that, than your existing customers.  It’s so much more powerful that you saying it!

Incentivise them to spot these ad hoc comments and not to smile and dismiss them – sending them to the bottom of the database table, to remain there forever.

I consult with a handful of MSPs – we used the desktop wallpaper shown below for a couple of months to ask technicians to be proactive in asking for reviews (it worked).

Why not create your own and develop some great habits?

2) Technicians should copy relevant comments and send them to a nominated individual

Nominate an individual to run your testimonials programme. Make it a thing. Call it just that – to raise the awareness and importance of it.

When there is an individual responsible for this – things will get done. When no one is responsible – this type of programme will languish. Give this individual a target of drumming up 5 comments each month. Make them responsible for ensuring the teams keep delivering.

Create a simple shared spreadsheet – paste in the comment, the name and details of the individual and the date and place submitted, so that you have a record of where it came from.

3) Get permission and enhance

It’s important to get permission to use those words publicly. If they have originated from an adhoc ticket comment, then they will have no clue that their words mean so much to you as a business.

If the comment isn’t quite fit for purpose – perhaps ask them to expand on it or expand on it for them (yes really) and ask them to sign it off – adapting the template below.

Let them know you’ve added to it or edited it a little (keep the meaning and sentiment of course) and ask them whether they’d put their name to it. Providing it’s truthful and doesn’t change their original meaning – it’s unlikely they will say no.

Create a simple email template and send it to the customer. There’s an example template below to copy/paste as a basis.


Dear Customer,

We were so thrilled to hear you’ve enjoying the service we are offering.

When customers write proactively and tell us how well we’re doing, it genuinely makes our day.

I know that you were working with [TECHNICIAN NAME] last week. They sent over the sentence you used when the ticket closed. We like to share words like that with the team – and we have done – it really does make a difference to the team to know that they appreciate – so thank you!

We were hoping that we could use these brilliant words on our “Wall of Love” / Testimonials page on our website.

Would you be happy for us to add them to that page, alongside your name and company – to make it even more sparkly?

To remind you – the words we would use are here:


Just reply back with a yes – and we’ll get that done.

If we could ask one more thing – would you be able to copy and paste those words in a Google Review? It makes such a difference to our public profile and will help us to continue to grow and improve the business.

Simply click here <—- [INSERT GOOGLE REVIEW LINK HERE]

Expect a little thank you in the post next week – a small token for making a real difference to what we do.

Best wishes,

Note you can find your Google Review link as shown below – it’s within your Google Business Profile page:

Click the “Share review form” button – and you’ll see your unique link.

Note too – you should send that thank you gift- regardless of whether they leave a Google Review – it’s a thank you for the original words – NOT an incentive to leave a Google Review – that would be against the terms and generally bad practice.

4) Make the most of the words

I’m hoping you’ve a testimonials page on your website. If you don’t – then you need to take a look at my Website Success 101 programme!

Make sure the comment is added there – but if it’s really lengthy – edit it down – make it as punchy as you can.

Use snappy sentences around your website generally. If a testimonial is about a particular service – then add it to that page. If it’s from someone in a particular industry – then use it on an industry page – get the context right.

Finally – use a tool such as Trustindex.io to really make the most of your Google Reviews around your site. It demonstrates real credibility and trust if you’re a business with 20+ good reviews. Work hard to get them and then show them off.

5) Be consistent with your process

All too often, I see MSPs have gone on a review campaign for a week or two. They’ve grabbed a few reviews and then they’ve languished for a couple of years. This never looks good. It won’t help your rankings either.

Have a process in place to publish at least one or two testimonial on a monthly basis.

It does two things – it keeps eyes trained for ad hoc comments.

It also ensures your team are going out of their way to serve customers brilliantly on an ongoing basis.

And finally – how about a video testimonial?

To really go the extra mile – when you’ve a willing customer – found through a process like this – the holy grail of testimonials is a video one. Simplify the process – use a service such as Tech Testimonials (admittedly I’m slightly biased) to get that ultimate social proof on your site and as part of your sales process.

A small investment in time and money leads to building up an amazing bank of evidence that you’re the MSP to do business with.

Good luck.

A three step plan for choosing keyphrases for your MSP’s website

I have reviewed a lot of MSP websites over the last few months. A lot!

Every time an MSP books a review with me – I send them a few simple questions. One of those questions is for them to list the keyphrases or key words that they would like to be found for in Google.

I get four types of response.

  • “I don’t know”.
  • I will get sent a wishlist of phrases which it’s clear has been made up on the spot – as there is no attempt around the site to reflect these keyphrases in any form.
  • I will get a list of business-related keyphrases, where some thought has gone into the logic behind them, yet there is no understanding of whether they are correct.
  • I will get a perfectly researched list of keyphrases, alongside their monthly search volumes and questions why they aren’t ranking highly for them.

*** The fourth response has yet to happen. ***

In most cases – I get wishlists of keyphrases sent to me, with no real understanding of what they mean and what it would take for that business to be ranked for them

In this article, I wanted to provide a simple plan for MSPs who are mystified by the ‘keyphrase’ word and to show just how important this concept is to your business.

Whether you employ an SEO agency or have no idea what a keyphrase is – this article could save you $000’s.

STEP 1: Understand importance of keyphrases

Your website is there to do one thing and one thing only – to start a conversation. Getting someone there in the first place is an achievement. Getting them to read the page(s) and become engaged with it is SIMPLE! There really is no excuse for getting that wrong. My programme will help you with that.

A person will arrive at your site by one of three ways. They will have clicked a link from somewhere … they will have gone there directly OR, the holy grail – they will have found you via a search engine. That free organic traffic is an amazing thing and not to be ignored. Getting it is incredibly hard.

The only chance someone can find you via search (aside from your company brand name) is if you’ve actively been thinking about what you what to be found for.

“A search engine listing rarely happens by accident.”

What are the keyphrases that you want your business to be found for? Ask your customers. Ask your prospects. Ask your employees. Find out what people would search for to find the sorts of services your offer and write them down.

STEP 2: How to choose the right keyphrases.

Once you’ve a list assembled of say 20 phrases – now comes the magical part.

Spending a lifetime of $000’s optimising your site for “VOIP” or “Microsoft Surface” or “managed it services England” is the biggest waste of time and resources for two reasons. (I’ve been sent all of these phrases before now and many more like them.)

Firstly, even if you could rank on page 1 for one of these types of phrases (which you couldn’t), the search “intent” is so vague, the chances of someone clicking through and booking an appointment with you is zero.

The second reason is that with that last keyphrase, “managed it services England”, there isn’t a single search each month of that phrase. It’s therefore pointless trying to rank for it.

Time after time, I see equivalent keyphrases being sent to me and it’s making me cross!

This post is therapy. I’m currently typing this in a hammock.

When ticking off your list of keyphrases, you need to know that the phrase has some kind of intent and secondly, the phrase is being searched for each month.

It’s time for MSPs to stop wasting their precious time optimising for keyphrases with no traffic or not intent. Imagine what else you could put that time and money towards?

STEP 3: How to find keyphrase search volume and ratify your choice

There are a LOT of tools available and some can be expensive. I’d like to recommend one of the simple ones. For $10/year – I really don’t think it will break the bank either.

The service I use is Keywords Everywhere and it’s showing in the screenshot above.

It’s a simple browser addon. Download it from the Chrome store … grab your API and make the payment. You won’t regret it.

Once installed, whenever you do a search in Amazon, Google, Bing etc – you’ll see a set of numbers under the search bar.

Just start typing – and your eyes will be opened as you refine your searches.

The first number is the most important. It shows average volume (over the previous 12 months) of searches each month.

Whilst you could argue that these two searches are very similar in the mind of an MSP owner – you have to know that a dentist or manufacturing company has no idea what Managed Services or Managed IT is! It’s therefore not a surprise to see more searches for the consulting genre …

Note I’ve immediately started searching for a geographic area.

For me, this is key. Your prospects typically are searching for a service within a local area. If they live in Phoenix, it is unlikely they will search purely for “IT Consulting” – they typically need some context and to show intent with a geographic area.

Also, look at the average Cost Per Click (CPC) price! This is a great indicator of intent.

These are valuable keyphrases. Sure, you’d be happy to pay $70 for a lead – however we know it never works like that in practice. it takes dozens of clicks. Wouldn’t it be better to get that traffic for free?

What next?

Once you’ve identified the right keyphrases – you can then go ahead and start optimising your homepage and other pages too.

If you’d like to get the basics right and get more detail and walk throughs on keyphrase focus – take a look at the Website success 101 programme.

There’s a screenshot from this module shown below:

How to use CTRL-S to save a post or page – a WordPress timesaver

So here’s a real timesaver.

If you are a power WordPress user – particularly when you’re building / doing a major revision for your site, there’s a lot of page updating.

Quite often you’ve scrolled down to the bottom of a long page and your scroll finger gets a real workout as you head all the way back to the top to click the update button, which by default appears at the top of the post or page.

We’ve all become so used to using CTRL-S to save documents over the years (although auto-save is now of course, a tremendous innovation). That function doesn’t work out of the box when you’re working with WordPress. If you use CTRL-S, you’ll find Chrome prompting you to save the HTML page you’re working on – which is clearly not useful.

My recommendation is to install the “Save with Keyboard” plugin.

You can do this from within your Plugin admin screen. Click “Add new plugin” and then search for “Save with keyboard”.

There’s nothing to configure.

When you’re next working on a post or page – it’s quite magical to use CTRL-S and watch the page refresh. If the page is long – using CTRL-S really is a great habit to get into. This will stop you losing any unsaved edits.

Give your scrolling finger a break and install it today!