Are you a new insurance agent? Have you just opened your very first Agency?
I spend a lot of time online, both for my business and for personal pleasure (yes, I’m addicted to YouTube; don’t judge). I work in the insurance industry so I read a lot of posts from new agents and new agency owners struggling with getting their name out there. I see posts asking “How do I let people know about me? Do I just go door to door and hand out business cards?” I also see a lot of statements like, “I don’t have lots of money to promote my business.”
Many new agents are pressing the flesh and sharing cards, but that is not brand building, and it certainly isn’t the most efficient way to start building your brand. There are some very inexpensive – even FREE – ways to promote your business and get your brand OUT THERE.
Remember that YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. People no longer trust big corporations. They want to build relationships and do business with individuals who share their values. Individuals must become their brand. Real people talk to other real people, not logos or company icons.
Get yourself out in the world for people to meet, connect, and build relationships with. Here are five things you should consider doing right away.
#1: Get a Great Website!
Get one ASAP if you don’t already have one. Make sure you are telling your story but the main character of the story should be the client. Continuously update and improve the story as you grow. Be sure to make contacting you as easy as can be. Don’t make your clients search for phone numbers or email information.
For more tips, check out 20 Free Website Builders For Small Business
#2: Get on Social Media!
Nearly everyone is online, for pleasure, work, shopping or school. You’d be crazy not to set your cap at capturing that audience for your business. If you’re truly just starting out, I highly recommend starting out with LinkedIn and Facebook.
✔ LinkedIn Personal Profile: if you don’t have one, get one! If you have one, make it better! You must tell the story of YOU. Fill it out completely. This is not a resume. It’s your chance to tell the story of you and what you can do for your clients.
✔ LinkedIn Company Page: if you have a business, get a Company Page on LinkedIn and deck it out with as much information and rich media as you can. Space is limited so get to the point and make it count.
Learn about creating articles and joining groups. This is a way of connecting with a larger audience, sharing knowledge, and offering added value to those who follow you. This will help build your influence, and expand your connections.
✔ Facebook Page: You need to create a Page for your business; this is not the same thing as a personal profile. You need to always keep your business pages separate from your own individual profile. When appropriate, you may share posts between your business page and personal profile. Be very careful as you never want silly, unprofessional, or embarrassing posts to accidentally be posted on your business page. Draw the line, and keep it.
Facebook offers Apps to help keep your Business Page separate from your personal profile on your phone or other smart devices.
- Facebook Pages Manager – Post directly to your company page without having to open your personal profile. This makes it easier to keep them separate. You can have more than one business page and toggle between them on the app.
- Facebook Ads Manager – Create and monitor ads on smart devices
- Facebook Messenger – Page visitors can text you via this app, and you can reply without having to give out your personal phone number.
Creating and sharing posts on social networks is vital if you want to gain connections and leads. Keep posts concise and meaningful. If sharing an article, be sure to let people know what the article is about. Being too vague can cause the reader to keep scrolling. I don’t recommend you go out and sign up on every available social network, unless you have the time and drive to keep those profiles active, fresh and relevant.
If you’re not always sure what to share, wait until you get down to #5!
#3: Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
One thing you must do is connect with the community you hope to do business with. Getting aligned with other local businesses in the Chamber of Commerce allows you to understand what is happening in your community. You can learn about issues that may have a direct impact on the local marketplace – your customers.
You will make business contacts, creating new networking opportunities, and you increase your visibility within the community. When you participate in Chamber events, such as meetings, grand openings, and coordinated local sales events, you have the chance to meet other business owners in the community and show them that you care about the same things. Being a member of the Chamber of Commerce can give you (a little) say in local business events. It also gives you the chance to take advantage of deals with other businesses that may only be available to Chamber members.
Chamber of Commerce Members are business owners. Business owners buy insurance. What are you selling?
#4: Attend & Participate In Local Events
Is a local club or organization having a public event in your community? Connect with the local Lions Club, Rotary Club, or Veterans Groups (VFW & American Legion, etc.) and get yourself out there to show your potential clients that you are one of them. Volunteer if that is an option. Spend time in the community, listening. People want to do business with those they feel respect them, listen to them, and pay attention to what is happening in their world.
You never know, you may find more than new friends and business leads. You may just find a cause that becomes a part of your own personal journey.
#5: Pay Attention to Your Industry
Make sure that you are staying current on what is happening in your industry. You want to be able to share and explain these changes to your customers, especially if it will have an effect on their service, or costs. Staying in tune with your industry can also benefit your bottom line as you will be prepared and have time to plan for changes.
Do I need to mention how great it would be if your customers were to get new information from you first? You can share the news, explain how this can impact their lives, and tell them “I’m here for you if you have questions…”
Good thing you’ve got that whole social media thing set up to help you spread the word … right?
THIS IS YOUR BUSINESS
There are thousands of ways to conduct your business and countless resources to use in doing that business. You should try new things, give them a fair shot, and see what works for you and your customers. At the end of the day, it’s about relationship building, and in order to do that, you must make yourself accessible and open to these relationships.
If you do decide to investigate social networks not covered in this article, here are a few links to help you find the right ones for you: