It's crucial to stand out above the rest, and if you're sending your clients elsewhere to research Medicare or Life insurance or any other senior healthcare product, you're doing yourself a disservice.
You're the expert and you need to let your clients know why they should choose you. Marketing yourself and your services is vital to growing your business. If your tell clients to go to another website to research Medicare, the likelihood of them buying a Medicare Supplement from you is nil. After all, why should they? You didn't explain their options to them. They had to research for themselves and it's quite likely they will either A) buy from another insurance agent who will help them with their choices or B) buy direct from the carrier. If you're going to make them read up on Medicare or any other insurance topic that you're knowledgeable about, at least send them to YOUR website.
In order to market yourself, you need to let your clients know why they should choose YOU. What do you bring to the table that another insurance agent doesn't? What makes you so special? Your clients and prospects are online researching insurance agents and products, just as they're researching doctors, restaurants and real estate agents. And with that being said, having an online presence is paramount. Make sure your face-to-face presence is in alignment with your online presence.
Having a website is an expense I can't really afford.
You can't afford a website you say? Well let me tell you, NOT having a website is an expense you can't afford. You already know your clients are online doing research on an array of topics. If you don't have a website or even a micro site you're just losing out on potential clients. Websites don't have to be complex and expensive. They don't have to be chock full of bells and whistles. They DO, however, need to be current, informative and user-friendly. Your clients and potential clients need a way to research you and your expertise online. If you don't have that available for them, it lessens your credibility. You hand out business cards and brochures, right? Your website is your online business card and brochure. It's yet one more way to promote yourself. Your competition down the street has one, you can count on that.
Your website may not generate thousands of leads for you, but what it will do is increase your chances of being found more easily. And? It will demonstrate to your clients that you're on top of your game. When your clients can go to your website and read up on the services you provide, just as they would if you mailed them a brochure, they are more likely to refer your site to someone else who needs your services. How easy is it to send a link in an email? VERY.
Where do I start? Who do I hire to build my website?
We have a myriad of solutions to help you with getting your presence online. Be it with a full-blown website, a micro site, or simply claiming your business on Google and building a free site with Google's tools. Don't let the internet intimidate you from realizing your potential. Think of it as a giant encyclopedia, and you need to grab your page in it. You'll be glad you did. And so will your clients past, present and future.
Examples of what you should do on your website:
Tell visitors what you do and how you can help them. If they come to your site and have no idea what services you provide, they’re going to go to the next site in their Google search. Be clear and concise. And in order for visitors to find you, your web developer must have search engine optimization (SEO) including header tags (H1) in place. Otherwsie, your prospects will never find you or read about you.
You HAVE to have a digital presence. We ALL know that. You can't escape it. If you're not online, your clients and FUTURE clients will NOT find you. Google is what everyone does when they want to research ANYTHING. But, do you HAVE to have a website?
We say NO, and we'll tell you why...
When you Google something, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) pulls up the highest ranking (researched) results. If someone is researching insurance agents, you don't have to have a website to show up on the list.
What you DO need to have though, is an online presence. Your name and agency will show up in ANY online results, and that can be a business facebook page. A FREE page that allows you to advertise your services, share updates about your agency and give you that much needed digital presence.
Don't get us wrong, having a website is HUGELY beneficial, and if you have the budget, by all means build a website. But if you don't...
We'll even help you if you need assistance.
Read more on creating a facebook business page...
If you’re looking for ways to find new clients in 2017, hopefully you have a game plan already put into place. And if not? Have you considered these options?
Do you have a website? If not, are you building one for 2017?
Creating a website does not have to be daunting and expensive. Just having a landing page with your contact information can often times be enough initially. There are so many options for creating a web presence. It’s endless and you can have one in a matter of hours. WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix are all options that allow customers to build sites on their own without hiring a web designer. IXN Tech is a company we personally recommend for building insurance websites.
Do you have a Facebook page at the very least?
Not your personal Facebook profile, but an actual business page to let the world know you’re online, where they can come to your page and find relevant industry news, updates and contact information. Building a Facebook page is something everyone should absolutely do, and it can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. If you have a personal online presence, then it only makes sense to have one for your business and your brand as well.
Have you run ads on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?
If you’ve never thought about running a Facebook ad or an ad on LinkedIn to find potential clients, what are you waiting for? You can run ads and target specific demographics to alert your potential client base that you’re on social media, and you’re keeping up with the times (and looking to grow your business). Both sites, as well as Twitter, have step-by-step directions on how to go about running an ad. You decide your budget and you decide how long you want your ads to run.
Take the time to research your advertising options on the social networks mentioned, and build that Facebook page today. In a matter of minutes you can have an online presence and you can use your personal contacts and existing clients to help spread the word about your business profile. No one will know you’re out there, if you don’t tell them.
If you don’t have an online presence, you’re missing out on an enormous opportunity. More and more small businesses are understanding the need for a digital presence, and although it may seem overwhelming and overly crowded out there on the Interweb, it’s absolutely necessary for your business to expand.
Carolyn Portanova is the Director of Marketing at The Brokerage Resource and has been with the firm since 2012.