NEWS: Global Mentoring Solutions is now part of the Sherweb family. Click here to read more about the acquisition.

Tune into daily business news leaders like CNBC, Bloomberg and CNN and immediately one gathers proof that the global stage is buzzing around cloud technologies.

Like it or not, the media is informing and educating the market on cloud solutions for business, personal and social.

Many business professionals tune into these programs and are asking themselves “is the cloud right for me?”; “Who is currently out there to address these challenges?”

Is it your MSP? The competitor down the street? Or maybe the guy or girl on the other side of the continent who is endorsing cloud technologies, and how they enable businesses to increase efficiencies while driving down the costs associate with technology. Cloud technology firms are sprouting up offering low-cost alternatives to traditional applications and services.

Where does that leave your MSP?  Should you still leverage cloud services?  How do you educate the market about the benefits of cloud-based technologies and how you can help them figure it all out? How do you plan on supporting it all once you have it sold?

Marketing the cloud isn’t all that hard, especially when mainstream media is educating business and consumers alike, providing a tide that lifts all things cloud.  The questions remain:

Where are the opportunities?  What is available? How do you build cloud marketing into your overall MSP marketing plan?

In my opinion, the cloud provides MSP’s with a great opportunity to provide thought leadership in their respective markets.  Providing answers to the many business owners out there with questions. Just like you and I, we all need assistance in some way. Through thought leadership content (whether that be presentations, blogs or other social media means) an opportunity exists to provide timely advice to SMB owners and decision makers on the right technology to enable their workforce and increase overall office efficiencies.

Do you see yourself playing facilitator and helping to educate the market on the benefits of cloud services?

Here are a few tips to aid in your cloud services marketing:

  • Tune into the business radio stations. The major business channels on radio and television are interviewing and showcasing cloud companies all the time. Find out who has market share, who the up and comers are and who is just starting out. And most importantly how they will fit with your business.
  • Reach out to all of the cloud service vendors.  Just like many of us have strong alliances with large distributors, it is also important to reach out to the new cloud players as well, opportunities may be greater with a start up.  Find out what their solutions offer and ways to link up.
  • Plan how you will support the new technologies – cloud entails 24/7 connectivity. Are you ready to staff up? Or is an Outsourced MSP Help Desk Partner more appropriate?
  • Make yourself a resource.  Instead of running and hiding, reach out to the media and become a resource yourself.  Besides your local TV, radio and newspaper consider subscribing to Help A Reporter and offer your knowledge.
  • Seek out peers.  It is no secret that peer groups work.  If you are serious about making a go with cloud services, find out who is having success and create a peer relationship or get a bunch together to discuss cloud and how it is working.

The cloud is here to stay.  Bandwidth, security and applications are all readily available.  There are many opportunities for the managed service provider looking at cloud services.  Like anything in business we just need to find out where they are.  This takes hard work, a little bit of luck and a lot of establishing the right Partnerships and Advisors.