The Resource Blog
Being an independent insurance agent is a rewarding career, but the challenges that can come with marketing yourself and rising above the competition can be daunting. There are some clear and actionable strategies you can put into place to attract more clients and market yourself effectively.
When you think about the insurance products you offer, think about the target audience you want to focus on. If you only sell senior healthcare products, you want to make sure your message is targeting the senior demographic. If you sell Life insurance and Annuities, you have a much broader demographic that you can target. The goal is to reach your target audience with content that is meaningful to them.
People research everything online and that most definitely includes insurance products. If they stumble upon your website and you have little to no valuable information to share with them, they will quickly move on. Make sure your website is up to date, has a clear call to action, has your contact information easily accessible, offers the ability to run quotes, has informative information that educates the visitor about the products you offer and be sure your website is mobile-friendly. These are hard, fast rules that you need to have implemented. If your website isn't current and leaves the visitor feeling that you're not an expert in your field, they will not do business with you. You have one time to make a first impression, and your website is it.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a complicated and ever-changing process that search engines continuously tweak. If your website isn't getting much traffic, then it may be time to consider working with a professional. Ranking high in search results takes a lot of work and it's not something that happens overnight.
Meet Them Where They Are
Think about the age of your clients. Baby Boomers who are enrolling in Medicare do more online than you may give them credit for. They bank online, have social media accounts, shop online, research online. Millennials, X-Geners and Gen Z do everything online. I personally, don't remember the last time I picked up a newspaper, listened to the radio, wrote a check, used cash or walked into a bank and I'm Gen X. The point is, people do things very differently today vs. 10 or 20 years ago. It's crucial to pivot and meet people where they are.
Free advertising exists and it's available on your social media accounts. Sharing relevant, educational, informative content vs. the standard, run-of-the-mill content churned out by every other agent is what will set you apart. Paid advertising on social media will get you even further and it won't break your budget.
Running ads on Google is a whole other game that is best left to the professionals. It's a complicated bidding process that no amateur should enter into. If you want to run ads on Google, be sure to research a marketing firm that can assist you with that and be prepared to pay for that service. There are many facets to running Google ads and where they will be displayed, as well as many types: search ads, display ads and video ads to name a few.
Don't let the agent down the street take your clients away from you because you don't have a marketing strategy in place. Be vigilant with your efforts and reach out to us if you need assistance. In this day and age, it's imperative to take the reins and make marketing an integral part of running your business.
CMS released a memo last week regarding the marketing practices of TPMOs (Third Party Marketing Organizations - which includes independent insurance agents.) during the Annual Enrollment Period. They are quite concerned because they have reviewed thousands of complaints and numerous recorded phone calls and have identified issues with regard to the information that is being provided to consumers.
CMS has been conducting a "Secret Shopping" program by calling numbers associated with Medicare Advantage and PDP marketing efforts (tv and newspaper ads, internet searches and mailers) and these secret shoppers have been receiving inaccurate or misleading information regarding plans they inquired about. Additionally, some TPMOs are not complying with the new regulations put into place, and some are even pressuring consumers into purchasing plans that may not be the best fit for them or have been misrepresented.
CMS is closely monitoring all activities during the open enrollment period, and will take compliance action for activities and materials that do not meet their requirements.
To learn more...
CMS recommends that TPMOs immediately implement the following:
You're scratching your head again. You don't know how to get more clients. You want leads to just magically appear. Well, here's the reality. That's not going to happen. You have to take action. Break down your day from the moment you get to your desk until you walk out of the office. What fills your day? Is it responding to emails? Is it client phone calls? Is it submitting applications? Is there a chunk of your day allotted for marketing? If not, then now's the time to carve out an hour a day to share some content or run an ad. You have to market yourself. There's no way around it unless you have an influx of clients and can't possibly keep up with all of their demands.
How do you do that during a global pandemic? You do that online. And yes, attention spans are shorter than ever these days because people spend hours scrolling through endless content. But if your content strikes a chord with someone and that person turns into a new client, you've started the snowball effect.
What is the snowball effect? It's exactly what it sounds like. Marketing takes time. There is no instant payoff, unless you happen to share something that goes viral and you're all of a sudden internet famous. And yes, that happens every now and then, but let's be clear, you do not want to base your marketing strategy on a hopeful post going viral. Marketing takes commitment, dedication and hard work. You have to be consistent and share content regularly.
What content do you share? Helpful, informative content that educates the consumer. Don't plug yourself non-stop. That turns off likely prospects. Share content that showcases your knowledge and your willingness to help others. Make it easy for people to click, read more, and get in touch with you. Consistency is key.
Running ad content on social media platforms (specifically Facebook) is economical and simple. It's not rocket science. Facebook does the majority of the work for you. And once you start running ads, you'll realize how easy it is. To be clear, it will take several tries before you figure out what content draws the most attention and what demographics to target. But once you get those clicks, which eventually turn into leads, you'll be happy you made the investment.
Where do you get the ad content? If you're a contracted agent with us, we'll help you with ad content. We'll work with you to create photo or video ads that will speak to people and will encourage them to learn more about your services.
It would be great if we could all get instantaneous results with our marketing efforts, or had an endless supply of money to fuel ad spend, but since that's not the case, we're here to work with you and teach you. The more content you share, the more people will become more familiar with your brand (agency) and will reach out to you when an insurance need arises. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Cold calling isn't dead, and although it may get tiresome, it's still an effective way to grow your client base. Below are our best tips for cold calling Medicare eligible prospects. Remember to be mindful of their time, and don't be pushy. No one likes a sales-y approach. Introduce yourself and explain why you're calling and how you can educate and assist your potential client.
2020 was an interesting year in terms of business in the insurance industry. Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. Working remotely and meeting people virtually have been some of the biggest changes as to how we go about doing business. Zoom and Google Meet sessions are commonplace now. Seniors are more adept at using technology than ever before. With a vaccine now available, the question we all want to know is "Will 2021 return to the way we did things BC (Before Corona)?" Doubtful. Now that we've incorporated more technology into our daily lives, it's only natural that we will continue to rely on these tools - especially given the fact that we're not out of the woods in terms of this pandemic.
Seniors use Facebook, order groceries and prescriptions online, FaceTime with family and use tele-health features to meet with their physicians.
Although many agents did meet with clients face-to-face this past year, it's in everyone's best interest to avoid doing so if at all possible. Some older clients may not have access to technology, making traditional meetings the only way to review coverage and issue new business. If you find you have older clients in this situation, it's sometimes advantageous to find out if they have children or friends who can assist them with a virtual meeting. Seniors continue to be a high risk group for COVID-19 and minimizing their exposure is essential even with a vaccine now available.
Among the marketing tools we recommend using, we still have some old fashioned methods that can target those who prefer getting advertisements the old fashioned way. Prospecting with mailers or door hangers is still a viable way to let potential clients know about your services. Utilizing our T65 Prospecting tool can help with this form of marketing. And of course we offer all of our appointed agents free prospects, so the tried and true method of cold calling, albeit tiresome, can still be fruitful.
Implementing as many marketing tools as possible is the best way to grow your book of business. It doesn't have to be a daunting task either. We can provide you with marketing materials, advice and support in your efforts.
We've added several new technology tools this past year, and we hope you've taken advantage of them. Our biggest tool, was the launch of our new MedicareCENTER. It boasts one universal login to access an array of Medicare tools accessible on any device (MedicareAPP, MedicareLINK and Medicare Supplement quoting via CSG Actuarial). This tool also includes a Learning Center, as well as a built-in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to manage your clients.
We also brought our new T65 Prospecting tool to the table which allows you to prospect for Medicare-eligibles in any geographic area you're licensed to sell in. It's a quick registration form and you get immediate access to prospects' names, addresses and dates of birth. This tool also includes a quoting feature.
Lastly, we encouraged and worked with our agents to use Zoom to hold virtual client meetings and webinars. This free tool has made the need for face-to-face meetings obsolete. We held countless meetings with our agents via Zoom this past year. If you haven't used it, it's a quick download and it's very user-friendly.
As each new year approaches, we look for new ideas, strategies and ways to grow. Below is a list of marketing concepts you can implement in the coming year to grow your business and make 2021 more profitable than ever.
1480 Chapel Ridge Road
Apex, NC 27502
The Brokerage Resource, LLC. © 2024