Big Red Media - September/October 2021

IT CHANNEL INS IDER September/October 2021 | Volume 6


Page 4

IT Channel NEWSFLASH Page 3

Page 9 CONGRATULATIONS To The CEO Of Galactic Advisors For His New Bestseller Book For MSPs!


A Big Red Media Production

Upcoming Channel Events 2 0 2 1

Digital Marketing Corner How A New Business In A New Industry Hit Back-To-Back Record Months While Locked Down

IT Marketing Roadshow SEP 28–29 Dallas, TX

Starting a brand-new business is challenging. Starting a business by creating a whole new market is extremely demanding. Starting that business in a pandemic where your entire country is on lockdown is next to impossible. But that’s just what the team at Augmentt recently accomplished.



Newark, NJ

2–3 Las Vegas, NV (Plus Virtual)


Chicago, IL


Located in Ontario, Canada, CEO Derik Belair co-founded Augmentt about nine months ago after leading the digital marketing strategy of SolarWinds for many years. The team at Augmentt fills an underserved need by optimizing and fully managing SaaS for MSPs and IT pros. While Derik wanted to make his presence known at Technology Marketing Toolkit’s 2021 Boot Camp in Orlando, Florida, the Canadian government had other plans. They locked the country down. Naturally, Derik pivoted and reached into his bag of digital marketing tricks to score 150 MSP opt-ins with a dynamic virtual booth with multiple digital sponsorships. In addition to their virtual booth, Derik’s digital marketing presence consisted of:  A premium directory listing  Online billboard ads  An ad in “Robin Recommends”  An ad in the online version of MSP Success magazine  A dashboard ad The results were immediate and exceeded expectations. Derik said, “From our virtual presence and digital marketing at Robin Robins’ event, we overachieved on our client acquisition targets and have managed to hit two consecutive record months! Even more impressive, we managed to stay under our partner acquisition targets!” Derik and the entire Augmentt team remind us that a sound digital marketing strategy will make your presence known, even when you’re 1,582 miles away (or 2,545 kilometers) away. 

DattoCon OCT 11–14

ConnectIT OCT 19–22

ITNation Connect NOV 10–12

MSP Demo Day DEC 8

For more information on this virtual event, please contact our Big Red Media team at 844-999-0555.

For a complete list of channel events, visit


Big Red Media | A Robin Robins Company


Movers And Shakers

international markets, and contributing to the company’s overall marketing and business strategies. “I made the jump to CrewHu because of the company culture and their focus on employees as the most important corporate asset and the key to success.” For more information, go to Kevin Lancaster, Former CEO/ Founder Of ID

Matt Solomon, Former VP Of Business Development At Kaseya, Is Excited To Announce His New Role As CEO Of Channel Halo “Throughout the last five years in the channel, I’ve been dedicated to helping the

Agent, Is Ramping Up His New Startup, ‘The Venture Mentor’ Kevin’s new venture (pun

companies I’ve worked with grow on the vendor side while also tirelessly working with MSPs/IT providers to help scale their businesses. In that journey, there were a lot of lessons learned about what to do (and not do), who to connect with, and how to present your company to the channel and to your customers.” According to Matt, “Channel Halo is my way of passing along those lessons. I am passionate about helping my clients develop strategies around events, create presentations that will resonate with their audiences, become more comfortable selling, and have an opportunity to give them a larger voice in their communities and in the channel.” To check out more about Matt’s new endeavor, go to

intended) offers strategic investments and advisory services for innovative technology vendors focused on the IT channel/MSP space. Check out the podcast on the YouTube channel Channelfied Podcast. (He gave Robin Robins a shoutout in Episode 1!) The Big Reveal will be September, so stay tuned!

Nerdio Welcomes Natasha Boyko As Their New Senior Director Of Partner Programs & Community Natasha is thrilled to expand

CrewHu Welcomes New VP Of Sales To Strategically Position Company To Accelerate Expansion Plans Ryan Denning, formerly with Blackpoint Cyber, is now heading up the channel program at CrewHu, which is the only employee recognition and customer satisfaction

Nerdio’s footprint in the channel and help MSPs develop strategies that will accelerate Microsoft Azure adoption for their SMB customers. She will be managing their event strategy and overall engagement with MSPs. “In order to have success in this community, we have to have a strong presence and connect with MSPs every single day, sharing not only our story but the stories of our successful partners. Nerdio is growing rapidly, and so much of that growth is because of our amazing MSP partners.” 

platform built specifically for MSPs. Ryan’s responsibilities will focus on streamlining the sales process, promoting sales team leadership, expanding CrewHu’s presence in new national and


IT Channel Rock Star

Zane Conkle Is On A Mission To See His MSP

Zane Conkle’s grandfather helped him understand that at the end of the day, what matters most is fulfilling customers’ needs and see - ing them succeed. The co-founder and CEO of Cytracom, Zane started his first IT business when he was just 15 years old after convincing his grand - father to let him set up a computer shop in a vacant building in the town where Zane grew up. His grandfather, who owned the building, knew nothing about computers but was a savvy businessman. “My grandfather ran businesses Partners Succeed With Robin’s Custom Marketing Campaigns Leading The Way

to market,” Zane said. “There was always this disconnect or misalignment with the vendors about how I interacted with my customers … from pre-sales to ongo- ing support.” This led Zane and his team to create their own hosted VoIP solution to serve his SMB clients. “We realized that if we didn’t own our own technology and our own IP and if engineering wasn’t in- house, we would never be able to really service the SMB market the way that it needed to be serviced,” Zane said. As he started moving his clients over to his internal solution, he saw his cus- tomers’ frustrations and phone challeng- es disappear. “When I saw that our solu- tion truly addressed their problems and how much happier our customers were, it became clear to us that there were more MSPs with the same challenge.” In 2008, Zane sold his MSP business to aggressively focus on building out Cytracom’s own IP from top to bottom, with the idea to serve the MSP commu - nity exclusively. After bootstrapping the business for 12 months, he and his partner took Cytracom to market. Today, Cytracom’s posture is a result of the early principles that Zane's grand- father instilled in him while growing his first IT business. Cytracom is focused on serving MSPs a truly comprehensive VoIP and UC offering for their business and their SMB clients. To ensure its

whelming demand for VoIP solutions. At first, Zane felt confident in recommend - ing solutions, but he began running into problems as he implemented and rolled out solutions from big-name vendors. Soon his grandfather’s words were burn- ing in his ears. “We had customers that wanted to move from old phone systems to voice- based solutions, but reliability was a nightmare,” Zane said. “Sometimes customers would receive their calls, and other times they wouldn’t. It was a huge distraction and challenge for their businesses.” The new features and advantages of VoIP also brought new complexities, as the solutions weren’t created primarily for the SMB market. “It got to a point where we no longer wanted to recom- mend VoIP because there were no good options in the market,” Zane said. VoIP vendors were also failing to help MSPs be successful. “None of the vendors understood the way MSPs went

throughout his whole life,” Zane said. “I’d been tinkering with computers for years, so I taught him technology and he taught me business. It was amazing to watch my 72-year-old grandfather go from barely being able to turn a comput- er on to tearing laptops apart and help- ing customers with their early Windows servers. It’s a great memory for me and something I cherish.” Early on, Zane did break-fix, serv - ing both residential and commercial customers in his local community. While growing his IT business, Zane recalled getting frustrated and not understanding the customer’s viewpoint. But his grand - father made him see things differently. “My grandfather created this burn- ing passion in me to help customers succeed, which has survived and lived on to this day.” Quickly, the commercial side of the business grew, and in 2007, after morph- ing into an MSP, he noticed the over -


Big Red Media | A Robin Robins Company

My grandfather created this burning passion in me to help customers succeed, which has survived and lived on to this day.

to help our partners be more effective,” Zane said. “The early results of this campaign have been extremely success - ful. We appreciate Robin’s dedication. She is heavily engaged in ensuring that this campaign drives the results we’re looking for.” Through partnering with TMT, Cy- tracom has experienced a good uptick throughout the years, but the most im- portant thing to Zane is seeing his MSP partners succeed. “The most rewarding thing for me personally is to think back to our early MSP partners that attended Robin’s seminars,” Zane said. “They were learning how to grow their busi- ness and partnered with Cytracom. To look at where they are now as compared to where they were and see how they’ve grown and the level of success they’ve achieved is super rewarding.” He adds, “The methodical focus we have on our partners’ success with their customers comes from my grandfather and ensuring we always do the right thing. Even when we don’t understand or see it the way the customer sees it. At the end of the day, our customers’ needs are always met and most important.” 

at Robin’s events is key,” Zane said. “We actively engage with our partners and potential partners on a one-on-one basis and leverage speaking opportunities to talk about new products. We’ve also sponsored happy hours and different events to gain access to new partners and new leads.” In 2020, COVID-19 accelerated their mission to connect the modern work- force and help users stay in touch and connected on any device, from any location. To help MSPs position them- selves better and sell VoIP solutions to their customers, Zane teamed up with Robin to create a series of marketing campaigns for MSPs to use. “We wanted

partners are successful, Cytracom goes deeper than just selling a product to the MSP community. “Every question we have and every decision we make — from product and engineering to customer success—revolve around how to create the best experience for our MSP partners and their customers,” Zane said. Cytracom’s engineering team works out of its Dallas office, allowing them to talk directly with support and product teams on an ongoing basis. This has al- lowed Cytracom to serve the nuances of the MSP community better and innovate more quickly. As a result of Cytracom’s laser focus, in-depth understanding of what MSPs need to be successful, and their willingness to act, they’ve brought products to market that no other vendor is providing, such as Voice Continuity and Shared Inboxes. “We listen to our partners and develop solutions to meet their requests,” Zane said. “Our partners can manage their customer life cycle journey from end to end at a very deep level, more so than they can with any other vendor.” In 2011, Cytracom got involved with Technology Marketing Toolkit (TMT). “TMT’s Bootcamp was the first event we attended,” Zane recalled. “We’ve found the TMT community to be highly engaged and interested in learning how to grow their business. That aligns extremely well with us, so we’ve heavily engaged with them ever since. TMT has brought us better visibility and created a platform to share what makes Cytracom unique with the broader MSP community.” Over the years, Cytracom has primar - ily partnered with TMT at Producers Club events and their annual bootcamp. Zane has launched new products at TMT events and worked with Robin Robins on strategic opportunities. “The booth

Zane Posing With Former Heavyweight Champion Of The World, George Foreman At The 2021 Producers Club Meeting Celebrity Photo Shoot Sponsored By Cytracom


From the Desk of Robin Robins


Big Red Media | A Robin Robins Company

I n the 1920s through the ‘50s, several inventors attempted to design and patent “teaching machines” that could educate an individual about a subject without a teacher and without failure. These machines achieved this largely by quizzing the individual very closely on the subject matter, delivering a piece of information, then immediately serving up a question on that data, making it very difficult — if not impossible — for the student to fail a test. (The rainbow consists of seven colors; how many colors are there in the rainbow? __________) Students did learn the material, and nearly everyone received a 100% passing grade; however, the minute they put those students back in

themselves into new situations where they are outside of their comfort zone and current level of abilities. Only by doing that, and embracing such challenges on a daily basis, can you get stronger. But that is absolutely not what usually happens. Most people repeatedly surrender and retreat to their own “safe zone.” When the pressure is on, they step back to a slower, easier pace, a more familiar path. Is it any wonder that 79% of the people running IT services firms never break the $1 million mark, even after running a business for five, 10, 15, or more years? They’re not dumb — they’re anti-chaos and anti-stress. Recently, we had a retired Navy SEAL officer, Jocko Willink, speak to our Producers Club members about leadership during intensely stressful and difficult times. Jocko served eight years in active duty as a Navy SEAL. He was commander of SEAL Team 3’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi and led operations to help bring peace to the war-torn city, facing and leading his unit through multiple intense,

a traditional classroom, where the guardrails were off and it was not easy to get the answers right,

life-threatening situations and firefights, witnessing acts so inhuman and terrible that he won’t speak of them.

the students came apart like a cheap suit, highly stressed and unable to deal with the failure. Unfortunately, there were no participation awards or “safe rooms” back then, so they had to deal with their failure the old- fashioned way — by toughening up. To the point: Dealing with and overcoming failure and big challenges, resistance, difficulty, stress, and the chaos of life is something that all humans need to

As Jocko repeatedly says, “Stop looking

for a shortcut … and find your discipline and your will. Then you will find your freedom.” That’s the essence of a leader. They stop looking for “easy” buttons and shortcuts and choose

to do the work. All of it. The ugly, boring, painful, uninspiring, stressful, detail-oriented stuff that must be done — and they do it with excellence. Not complaining, not procrastinating, not trying to pawn it off onto someone else, abdicating their responsibility. Own it. All of it. Extreme

Robin Interviewing Author Of 'Extreme Ownership' And Navy Seal, Jocko Willink, At The 2021 Producers Club Meeting.

experience to toughen up and get stronger. It is the only way to build resilience — by consistently overcoming difficulty. It is a “mental muscle” that can be

ownership. (Thank you, Jocko.) In tough markets, the weak do not survive by exhibiting greater weakness or by surrendering. Only the strongest of the strong survive and thrive. Note: Be sure to go for a short clip of my on-stage interview with him. You’ll laugh at my advice to him regarding “the enemy.” 

strengthened, and by strengthening your resilience, you simultaneously build your self-confidence. But like all muscles, resilience must be practiced and used or it will atrophy. Growing a company requires the “resilience” skill — and anyone with honest ambition, walking around with “owner” on their business card, must develop by leaning into failure, embracing chaos, and intentionally putting


But you cannot and will not make a difference until you make the decision to consistently and aggressively market and sell your IT services. Whether you plan to market your services yourself or plan to hire someone with marketing talent to do it for you, there are eight fundamental principles to keep in mind. To read the full article, visit: Marketing Sucks, But … Here Are 3 Ways To Get Uncomfortable In Order To Succeed Marketing isn’t a shot in the dark. It’s not a guess or a gut feeling. Successful client acquisition methods are all about discipline, consistency, and coping with ambiguity. I recognize that most business owners are in business to deliver a fantastic product or service they are passionate about. I also understand the desire to focus on doing just that. So, regardless of whether or not you embrace marketing, view it as a necessary evil, or feel entirely indifferent about it, I’ve got three ideas to help you improve your marketing efforts quickly. To read the full article, visit: Growing up, Darryl Cresswell Never Felt Safe And Secure …

How Elon Musk Uses Failure As A Strategy For Developing An Innovative Culture

Recently, Elon Musk’s mom revealed her reaction when the $200 million SpaceX rocket blew up. She couldn’t imagine how Elon felt …and assumed he’d feel crushed.

But to her surprise, he wasn’t paralyzed or distraught. Elon saw it as a success. Rather than get mad at his employees or curl up in a ball and hide from the world, his immediate reaction was to ask, “What went wrong?” and “What do we do differently next time?” Repeatedly, stories in the news show Musk’s emotional intelligence when it comes to failures. His tendency to always hold himself accountable and never let failure keep him down is one reason he continues to lead an innovative culture that keeps him at the forefront, no matter the industry he’s playing in. To read the full article, visit: 8 Fundamental Principles That Will Help Your Business Thrive “Marketing isn’t everything… it’s the only thing.”–Brian Kurtz Marketing will impact every part of your business, which is why it’s as important, if not more important, than your IT business. When you understand marketing, act with integrity, provide value, and apply marketing strategy to your business, your service becomes a vessel for delivering a positive change to the businesses and lives of the clients you serve.

With parents he says he “wouldn’t wish upon anyone,” he ended up in foster care, becoming a Crown Ward of the Children’s Aid Society in Canada before his 10th birthday. He was forced to constantly move, sometimes as frequently

as every two weeks. Continually having to change schools, he lost friends with each move and had no one he could depend on. Plus, because the foster homes were often at full capacity, he frequently spent time in group homes. “It was awful,” Darryl recounted. “Group homes are not family settings. There are kids that had trouble with the law. Some have an addiction. Some have been sexually assaulted … a mix of everything. There are no parents, just social workers and strangers. There was no stability and no feeling safe.” To read the full article, visit: 


Big Red Media | A Robin Robins Company

Congratulations To Bruce McCully, CEO Of Galactic Advisors, For His New Bestseller Book For MSPs!

At MSP Success Magazine’s recent Annual Cyber Security Livecast, Bruce McCully, CEO of Galactic Advisors, teamed up with Big Red Media to launch his brand-new book, “Level Up,” to the MSP market. Bruce’s book, nearly a year in the making, is the “Ultimate MSP Roadmap For Security, Operations and Profitability.” By launching this book during the Cyber Livecast event, with over 1,000 MSPs attending live virtually, Bruce’s book shot up the Amazon rankings, topping out in the top 500 of Amazon’s global book rankings and No. 1 in many categories, including Computers & Technology, Computer Network Security, and many more. More importantly, Bruce generated 319 hot MSP leads that day and got over 800 copies of the book in the hands of his target client …MSPs!

Here’s what Bruce had to say about the experience:

“From my experience as an MSP and now selling into the channel, writing a book is a great way to increase your sales. It positions you as the authority on the topic. People start coming to you to learn rather than just buy. Authority is the difference between a cardiologist recommending a pacemaker and a medical supplies shop selling you one. Who has a better margin? Who do you trust more? Who will you go back to time and time again? Positioning is critical to creating long-lasting profitable relationships.

"Working with Robin’s team on the book launch was amazing. They helped us identify the offers to get MSP owners interested in buying the day of the launch (critical if you want a bestseller). They brought the audience, a community of MSP owners who are interested in growing their companies."

Mr. Bestselling Author! Congratulations,


How A Small Texas MSP Added Almost $1 MILLION In Revenue During A Year Of Lockdowns Since starting Bazar Solutions in 2009, Mike Bazar has always been chasing that “one thing” that will confidently grow any MSP. He finally found it! It’s just three simple words: Do. The. Work. Last year, Mike’s team did the work by implementing multiple marketing oil wells they could simply “turn up” to get more revenue. Fueling his growth, these were Mike’s most successful marketing campaigns: w Asprin Campaign: Every week, his company sent out Robin’s Aspirin sales letter to 50 targeted prospects and followed up with phone calls and emails. 2020 Results: 3 new clients, $2,400 in MRR

 Google Ads: With an expert to manage their campaign that drove prospects to a dedicated landing page, Mike’s Google Ads delivered. 2020 Results : 2 new clients, over $3,500 in MRR  List Cleaning: Mike turned scrubbing his list into a sales opportunity. By calling prospects to verify contact information, he landed new clients! 2020 Results: 2 new clients, $5,700 in MRR  VoIP Cross-Sell Campaign: By simply calling his clients and offering affordable phone service, Mike cross-sold 19 new VoIP packages. 2020 Results: $6,200 in MRR  New Website: One of Bazar Solutions' most aggressive goals was rebuilding their website in just one quarter! 2020 Results: 11 new clients, $6,000 in MRR  “Lucky Day” Email Blast: How do you sell 35 refurbished computers in one day? A St. Patrick’s Day email blast! 2020 Results: $16,000 in revenue By doing the marketing, doing the sales, and doing the work, Mike’s team brought in nearly $1 million in new revenue last year alone! Plus, they added $33,000 in new MRR and experienced over 350% profit growth . Because he kept pushing during the most difficult

year to grow any business, Mike Bazar was recently named Technology Marketing Toolkit’s 2021 Better Your Best contest winner and Company Spokesman! 


Big Red Media | A Robin Robins Company

HIGHLIGHTS From Technology Marketing Toolkit’s Producers Club Meeting In Nashville!


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