Growing Your Business Using The Golden Rule

Welcome to the Rialto Marketing podcast. Today's episode is a revenue acceleration series interview where we talk to seven figure B2B professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Paul Nebb for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

Watch This Episode


Listen To The Podcast

Subscribe To The Podcast

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcast
Stitcher
iHeart Radio

Read The Transcript Here


Podcast Transcription

Growing Your Business Using The Golden Rule

Tim Fitzpatrick
Welcome to the Rialto Marketing Podcast. Today's episode is a revenue acceleration series interview where we talk to seven-figure B2B professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience. I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. We believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. We also believe that if you want to accelerate revenue growth, you must remove your revenue roadblocks. I am super excited today to have with me Paul Nebb from Titan Technologies. Paul, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Paul Nebb
Hey, Tim, thanks for having me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Absolutely. I can't wait to dig into this with you. Before we do, I want to ask you just a few rapid-fire questions if you're ready to jump in with both feet.

Paul Nebb
All right, let's go.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, awesome. Very quickly, what do you do? How long have you been doing it?

Paul Nebb
I'm Paul Nebb, the CEO of Titan Technologies. We're a managed services IT security provider located in New Jersey.

Tim Fitzpatrick
How long have you been in business, Paul?

Paul Nebb
I started the company in 2008, so it's been 15 years now.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay.

Paul Nebb
Dang, man. Hard to believe, 15 years.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's a long time. You're doing something right. So Paul, in those 15 years, what's the most important lesson you've learned?

Paul Nebb
Don't give up. Now, there have been many times where things get tough, things get interesting, hairy, weird, but don't give up.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. We all know as business owners, there are times where we hit roadblocks. It's just tough times, right? Do you have any mantra or something motivational you say to yourself or you share with your team when you come up against those times?

Paul Nebb
Nothing really motivational, but just an ongoing basis. Good old treat others the way that you'd want to be treated. Think of yourself in the situation as the client. If you were having this problem, if this were your business, how would you handle it? And how would you want it to be handled for you?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Man, that's such a great mindset and such a great thing to have in the back of your mind because it's so easy for us to get clouded a little bit when we're in our business. I would imagine that when you say that to yourself, it hopes you take a step back and go, Okay, how do I think about situations objectively? Which I think is great.

Paul Nebb
Absolutely.

Niching to Specific Industries to Become More Efficient

Tim Fitzpatrick
So Paul, in the pre-interview, we had talked a bit about that you decided to niche in the CPA and the legal space about five years ago, which by the way, I think is a phenomenal thing to do. Most MSPs, frankly, most businesses do not do this. But I'm curious, what brought about this change for you? And what benefits have you experienced as a result of doing that?

Paul Nebb
So just as an aside, probably if I were not in the IT profession, I probably would have found myself in one of those two industries. So I take a personal interest to them. I also think that there are business that relies on technology, relies on computers a lot, relies on the need for IT security, and they're a little unique. I mean, they're fast paced, CPA firms, they have their busy seasons. They need someone that can be there for them during those difficult times of the year when they're working 27 hours a day. That's where we are. We are that company that matches their hours during tax season, is there for them on those late hours, those long weekends. The same thing for attorneys. They all have their early mornings, their late nights, and we match up to that skill set. Also the software that they use, CPA firms, they use special software from vendors, Intuit, Lacert, Drake, QuickBooks, just to name a few. Attorneys have the same different time tracking programs and document management programs and needs. And so because we know those systems, because we support so many of their peers, we're able to service them that much faster. And so when the CPA has a problem, they can call us 80, 90 % of the time, I'll say 90 % of the time plus, even if it's something in their own application, we'll be able to resolve that problem, saving them usually two, three hours on the phone with the vendor during tax season.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So at the time, I love the fact that you have an interest in those specific industry verticals, which drew you to them. Was there something going on in your business when you decided to focus on these two? I'm trying to identify what was it where you were like, man, we need to focus on specific industries here? Do you remember anything that was going on at that point?

Paul Nebb
It was the type of client that we had the most of.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Paul Nebb
I was the type of client that we liked working with and they liked working with us. And because of our interest and because of our exposure to them, we were able to provide them the best support. I'd have to say that we don't have other industries. Many of our attorney clients and our CPA clients, they're great and they refer us to their clients who might be in the same profession, but doctors, construction practices, management companies. And so we appreciate that as well. So to the tune of marketing, we look to also an industry that also can provide us referrals.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Paul Nebb
And those are trusted advisors just as we are.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You touched on this where when you've niche in a specific industry, it allows you to become more efficient because you're used to their tech. You're used to their tech, you can service them much better. From a marketing standpoint, were there things that you've experienced after making this shift to focus on these industries?

Paul Nebb
Absolutely. So when we're marketing, we're able to send items that are timely and beneficial to their industry. So right now, CPA firms are, while they're in their low season, they're also concerned about some new compliance that is coming down. Ftc safeguards is one of them impacting CPA firms. And being that we're in that community, we're part of that community, we attend the CPA trade shows, we're able to talk to the CPAs about empty safeguards and help them through that journey.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you can speak their language. And one of my mentors said specificity sells, right? And so if you're not in the industry of serving CPAs, you might not be up on the lingo, right? You might not talk about high season or low season. But when you can send out a marketing message that talks about these specific things that they're dealing with, it immediately engages them, which is huge. So before we move on to my next question, is there anything else you want to add there?

Paul Nebb
Just by having a niche and being specific to something. Now you look at the example of a general doctor versus a specialized surgeon. Who's going to serve their client there in that scenario? Their patient better? And selfishly, I had that little bit of extra knowledge. I'm entitled to make a little bit more money as well.

GET VISIBILITY TO YOUR REVENUE ROADBLOCKS

Get YOUR Revenue Roadblock Scorecard Today!

The Revenue Roadblock Scorecard is designed for professional service firms with revenue between $1-20M per year.

It helps you discover and assess which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your business growth.

Answer ten questions about your business and start removing your revenue roadblocks today! You'll have your results in less than 5-minutes.

Most Marketing Takes Time

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, absolutely. I know we had also talked about some of the marketing investments that you've made in the past. Some online marketing efforts didn't work quite as well as you thought, and you felt like it wasn't implemented correctly. Where do you think, and by the way, this happens all the time. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to ask you about it, because I think people can learn from this. Where do you think things went wrong and what would you do differently next time?

Paul Nebb
So I've made a lot of great marketing moves. I've made a lot of bad marketing moves. Talking about online marketing, I basically went with a consultant, hired a company and let them run with it. I probably should have been asking more questions and being more on top of the trends and being more directive, but not being experienced myself in that area. I didn't know what questions to ask. I trusted that the company that was doing it was doing the right thing and knew what they were doing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. You should have asked more questions, but you didn't know what those questions could be, which made it difficult for you to manage them and hold them accountable. Am I getting that right?

Paul Nebb
I would put that almost perfectly and also devoting the time just because you outsource a task, right? Especially when it comes to your business, marketing, finance, you outsource it to someone, that doesn't mean that you're removed from the process. And so the big thing I learned is I have to be just as involved as if I were doing it myself or doing it in-house.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. A lot of people have gone down the same path because it's really difficult. When marketing is not your thing, it's really difficult. You don't know what you don't know, right? So when you work with a consultant or you work with an agency, especially with marketing, not every marketer is going to say this, but most marketing takes time. They're not immediate results. Yes, there are some things that you can do from a marketing standpoint that generate more immediate results, like paid ads, those types of things. But in general, a lot of it takes time. And when it takes time to start seeing results, it can be really hard to manage that unless you've set very specific metrics and goals that you're going to track and you set waypoints where people are going to hit. And so when people are working on longer term marketing things, where you may not have a ton of metrics initially, it's setting those way points where it's like, okay, in 30 days we said we agreed we were going to be here and in 60 we were going to be here and in 90 we were going to be here. So what I find makes it easier to get this done is setting proper metrics and the right goalpost or way points that people are going to hit. That's how you can hold them accountable. But I think also having a resource that you can rely on from more of an executive level standpoint with marketing makes it much easier to be able to hold implementers, people that are actually doing the work, accountable. So I hope that's helpful, and you shared some really good stuff there because I think this happens all the time. I talk to business owners every week that are like, I just spent this money with an agency and didn't work. Like, nothing happened.

Paul Nebb
It takes time, obviously, for everyone listening, and especially when you're talking the internet, Facebook, Google ads, SEO, and I was prepared. I sat it out the entire year. I didn't lose faith or go crazy, but toward the end, there were some excuses made by the other side. I'm like, oh, you should have told me this six months ago. Maybe we've run something wrong.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Right, yeah. Which I think is where those waypoints or really help keep people accountable throughout the entire process so that we don't get to the end. Because the reality is, Paul, even though these things take time, you still have indications as you're doing the work, whether it's headed in the right direction or not. And if it's not-.

Paul Nebb
Sorry, I guess as they say, you've got to follow your gut.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Follow your gut? But also, when you look at marketing, it's no different than most parts of business. If you're choosing to do something, we need to have a goal, right? Like, why are we doing this? And once we set that goal, our goal for doing that specific thing then helps dictate what we're going to look at and track to determine whether we're on pace. And so we need to do that for each of the marketing activities that we're doing as well. Because look, some people are trying to brand build or some people are trying to generate leads, or some people are trying to improve lead conversions. All of those things are different goals, and you're going to be tracking different metrics to help determine whether you're on point for that. So we always not just with marketing, everything in our business, I think we need to look at what are we going to do? Why are we doing that and how are we going to track our progress towards that? So thank you for sharing that, Paul, because I think there's a lot people can learn from that because like I said, you are not the only person that has been in that boat.

Focusing on a Specific Niche to Get in Front of the Right People

Tim Fitzpatrick

So getting in front of the right prospects is a challenge for a lot of MSPs. Anybody in the B2B professional service realm, getting in front of the right prospects, what are you doing to push through that challenge?

Paul Nebb
The most successful, outside of... Actually, the most successful thing that I've done for leads and for getting in front of the right people is in-person networking. A member of a LTIP group, it's similar to BNI or Leads Exchange groups. Every weekend, I'm not afraid to go out and ask and say, Hey, I'm looking to meet CPAs who are in this geography, who have this business size. If you know anyone, let me know and then I'll take it from there. The same goes for asking existing clients for referrals. Happy customers bring happy customers. Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, birds of a feather flock together, right? Like CPAs, no other CPAs. Attorneys, no other attorneys.

Paul Nebb
And those referrals, they're very trustworthy.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to pull a few things out here that you've already shared, because to me, one of the simplest ways to get in front of the right people is to niche like you've done. When you can niche by industry, it becomes much, much easier to identify where those people are. You already touched on you're going to for CPAs, right? You can go to trade shows for attorneys. But when a lot of people target much more broadly, I work with small business owners or medium-sized businesses. Man, that target is so dang big, we can't even see the bullseye. All we're seeing is red because the target is so big. But when we narrow it down, it becomes much, much easier. We did this for a client that was actually a CPA. She specialized in veterinary practices. Well, the minute she narrowed that down, I call it an ideal client GPS list. It's a list of where you can go to find your ideal clients. Well, when it's by industry, all of a sudden, okay, I mean, you can just do a Google search for it, right? Veterinary trade shows, podcasts for vets, like associations they belong to, people they follow, websites they visit, email lists they subscribe to, all of those things become so much easier and so much more targeted when you go to a trade show, it's not a trade show for every freaking small business owner under the sun, it's for CPAs. It's for attorneys. You know that you're going to be talking to the right people there. The way I always think about it is like you're not casting a net out in the middle of the ocean, hoping you're going to catch a fish. You're going down to the local trout farm sticking a line in the water. You know you're going to catch a truck. You are in the right place.

Paul Nebb
That's great advice.

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
So I think one of the biggest things that you did to get in front of the right people is focusing on a specific niche because it's much, much easier. What's been the biggest driver of your growth?

Paul Nebb
You're going back to our mantra of treating others the way that we want to be treated, right? Getting those referrals, growing as an organization, growing maturity, operational maturity, as well as industry knowledge, context in the industry, context within our client profile, style.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What are your aspirations for the future, Paul? Where do you where do you want to go with Titan?

Paul Nebb
Love to get on that rocket ship and go to the moon, right? Yeah. Right now we service New Jersey, and we touch on PA and New York State and New York City over there. I'd like to grow more in the region and continue to grow the business and you'll really be the business that a CPA or attorney wants to have as their IT service provider.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Do you... Okay. We didn't talk about this, but I want to pull this out because I think there's a roadblock that a lot of people have. So you've niched serving CPAs and legal. You're also really focused on a fairly set geographic area, but you still have plenty of opportunity to grow within that area, even though you've niche. Yes?

Paul Nebb
Absolutely. Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Because I think that's a huge roadblock for a lot of people where they're like, Gosh, if I niche, I'm closing myself off to all this business, but it's really the exact opposite because when you niche, your message is so much better. And the reality is most businesses don't need hundreds of new clients every year. They need 10, 20, 30, and the market is still plenty big enough to get that many people even when you niche.

Paul Nebb
You just wait for them.


Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. Thank you, Paul, for taking the time. I want to ask you one more question before we wrap things up today, and that is knowing what you know now. Is there anything you would do differently?

Paul Nebb
Started marketing a lot earlier, niche a lot earlier. Don't be afraid of it, not being afraid of it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Thank you. That's a self-serving answer for me. I love it. So many people are... It's hard to make that leap to niche or to invest in marketing consistently. But gosh, I have interviewed so many business owners like you, so many MSPs like you that, man, their business changed when they niche, when they started investing in marketing on a regular basis, things shift. I was just listening to a podcast the other day from another marketer, and I talk about this a lot where he's like, look, as business owners, we are all... You are in the business of being an MSP, being an IT provider, but your first business is being a marketer because if you don't have marketing bringing in leads that convert to clients, then it doesn't matter how great of an MSP you are, right? And that's the way it is for all of us. We are marketing and sales people first and foremost. And then we're whatever we actually do, which I think it's a difficult mindset shift for a lot of people. But the minute you can accept that, your business is going to be so much better for it.

Paul Nebb
And the follow-up question for that is, who's responsible for sales in the organization? Everyone.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, every touchpoint, right? Every touchpoint that a prospect or a client has with your organization is a marketing and a sales touch point, right?

Paul Nebb
Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And we can't lose sight of that. Paul, it's been a fantastic conversation, man. Thank you so much for taking the time. Where can people learn more about you? How can they connect?

Paul Nebb
Yeah, check out our website, timefortitan.com. You also look me up on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. I love it. Timefortitan.com. And on LinkedIn, it's just Paul Nebb, N-E-B-B. So go search them, connect with Paul. Go check out Time for Titan. Paul, thank you so much for taking the time. Those of you that are watching, listening, I appreciate you. Thank you for doing that. Paul shared a number of different things that he's done, he's learned from within his business. We spent a lot of time talking about target market and messaging and that side of it, which are two of the nine revenue roadblocks we help clients remove so they can accelerate growth. If you want to find out which of the nine are slowing down your growth, you can do that over at RevenueRoadblockScorecard.com. You can also always connect with us over at RialtoMarketing.com. Feel free to Book a FREE Discovery Call. Be happy to help guide you into where you should be focusing your marketing efforts right now based on where you are and where you want to go. So Paul, thank you. Those of you watching, listening. Thank you. Until next time, take care.


Connect With Paul Nebb


Links From The Episode


About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

Do you want to accelerate revenue growth but need someone to lead or guide your marketing efforts to drive results?

There are so many different marketing channels and tactics today. Where should you invest your marketing dollars for the best return? How can you reach your revenue goals faster?

We understand how stressful and frustrating marketing your business can be. Marketing shouldn't be difficult.

We provide marketing consulting and outsourced or fractional CMO services to help B2B professional service firms that need a marketing leader to accelerate growth without the full-time cost.

Are you ready to become confident with your marketing? Let us help you remove your revenue roadblocks so you can amplify your marketing results.