Getting started with digital marketing is and will be a challenge for many insurance agents. It is new concepts, ideas, and ways of doing business that most traditional insurance agents are not comfortable with. I get that it is not easy, but that is not a reason to not get started!
Everyone has to start somewhere. If you are reading this it is because you are ready for that step.
Some agency owners simply do not want to change. They do not want to adopt digital techniques and are fine having a Facebook page because they "have to." This blog is not for them.
I am writing this blog for those who want plain and simple steps to getting started with insurance digital marketing. Nothing fancy here, just straight forward tips that are easy enough for anyone to implement.
Here is the real challenge - Will you put forth the effort into making it happen?
10 Ideas to help you get started with Insurance Digital Marketing
Getting started with insurance digital marketing is the hardest part of all this but that's where the magic happens. Once you get the ball rolling you pick up momentum. Once you get started things start to click and fall into place.
The following 10 ideas are extremely simple and easy to implement. Don't overthink this. The ideas are just a way for you to jump start the process. So pick one or pick them all and get started! Good luck!
1. Create a vision
As the owner of the agency (or if you have been tasked with the job of implementing digital marketing in your agency) it is your job to create the vision for where the marketing is to go. Without a vision, you will randomly try things and it will fizzle out and/or the staff will never get behind your efforts.
The best way to get started is with a vision. What is the purpose of marketing? What will it look like? Once you have this, you will have a guiding light to follow.
2. Do your research
Not sure where to get started with digital marketing but know it's a necessity? Then research! You should be looking for a couple different things when you research:
- Ways to use digital marketing
- How to meet agency goals with marketing
- What are others insurance agency successes with digital marketing
There are plenty of places to go to do your research. Google is a great place to start. Try searching for ways to meet your goals. For example: "What are ways to increase sales with digital marketing."
You can also try social media. Connect with other agents who you know are doing things well and ask how they got started, or connect with industry experts and follow their advice.
If a new legislation struck your industry and you had to be compliant you would do the research in order to figure out what to do. And while digital is not required, it has struck and is changing the way you need to do business. So research and identify what needs done.
3. Seek guidance
Why not seek the guidance of someone who knows better than you? We do it for our computer systems, we do it for accounting, we do it for medical, we do it for legal, etc. So if we need help with digital strategies why do many of us fail to seek guidance?
Going digital with your agency is supposed to help with the business in the long run right? Then it may be worth investing into professional advice to get you where you need to be.
Reaching out to someone else will allow you to get started quicker or more effectively and will help you get over a hump when you are stuck. (Why not seek guidance from us?)
4. Choose a strategy and try it!
For some of us over thinkers (myself included) we see all these different options available and we get stuck. We want to do what is the absolute best choice or we don't want to make a mistake so we ponder, plan and think ourselves into circles. What really need to do is simply choose something that makes sense and try it!
There is only so much information we can gather and accurately assess until we dive in. Instead of thinking about different options for 6 months we need to test a strategy for 3-6 months then allow our results to help drive us forward.
You obviously want to be strategic with what you choose. I'm not saying don't think or plan. But so many insurance agencies are stuck because they never get to the point where they actually start.
Don't let the thought of failure or action's remorse bother you. It's not the end of the world if the first thing you try doesn't bring hundreds of sales. Jump in and try something. You will be surprised by where you are this time next year.
5. Schedule in time
One of the biggest reasons I hear from agents about not getting started with digital marketing is that they simply do not have time. I completely understand! You are already putting 50-60+ hours into your business so jumping into something that may not even have a return right away is a tough step to take.
But how important is the future of your business?
I asked Mark Reilly (agency owner for over 20 years) how he found time to invest into his digital marketing, run his agency and still find time to sell? His answer. He made time.
If something is important we need to find time to do it.
Let's pop up your calendar now. You may be booked for the next 2 months, that's OK. We will start 2 months from now. Add in at least one hour dedicated to digital marketing every week. Add it as a recurring event if you are able.
It doesn't matter if you have something to fill that time with or not. You can use that time to research, talk to people, jump into new strategies, blog etc... The most important part is that you are adding in the time. Then you have no excuse not to get started.
6. Outsource it
I'm not big on outsourcing. Maybe it is because our insurance agency implemented digital marketing organically (mostly) or because I see a lot of insurance agents getting ripped off from digital agencies who offer cheap outsourcing for their work. I don't know. But I realize that sometimes outsourcing is necessary.
Sometimes you need outsourcing because it is something you can't do yourself like build a website or set up a data system. Other times you want something done sooner than later but do not have the talent in house to do it yet.
Outsourcing, especially as a way to start, can be a great asset as it allows someone else to do the heavy lifting.
7. Look at others for inspiration
Some agencies know what they want to do, but don't know how it should be done. Don't let this stop you in your tracks. There are many who have already done what you are looking to do so feel free to take a look at others for inspiration.
- Not sure what to blog about? Read the blogs of others.
- Not sure what type of videos to make? Watch videos that other insurance agencies are making.
- Not sure what to send in your newsletters? Subscribe to the newsletters of other insurance agencies.
You can look at others outside your industry to find inspiration or you can find what others are doing well in your industry and make it better. Sometimes we just need someone to paint the picture for us and then we can take it and own it ourselves.
8. Ask your top customers how they like to do business
Are you going digital for yourself or for your customers? Do you know how customers want to interact with you digitally? As business owners, marketers and sales people, we get focused on the reason behind doing something (i.e. business growth) and don't think about the people involved.
One simple strategy to help you get started is to ask your customers what digital technology they would appreciate. Some will respond and some won't. But if you have customers come out and tell you that they want X, Y or Z then guess where you should start on your digital journey?
If we cater to our customers needs then the rest falls into place.
9. Have a strategy session
Lock yourself and other owners in a room (or have a retreat day) to sit down and plan out strategies to implement. Start putting together some potential ideas and specifics as to how things are going to get done. Give assignments, set timelines, plan your next meeting, and cover everything necessary to give your team confidence to start.
When you get back into the office begin putting in the work.
10. Ask your employees
Depending on your employees you could have 0 ideas or 1000. It is important as owners to remember 1) employees are consumers and they know the good and bad experiences they've had with companies and 2) many of them are on the front lines of the customer experience and may know what your clients need better than management.
This does not mean you have to explore every idea employees throw your way. However, if you are stuck, it is a great way to find new ways to use digital marketing in your agency.
How agencies who are successful with digital marketing got started
I am sure you've seen some of the rock stars in our industry. Their websites are beautifully done, they have a large social following, their videos are sharp, their blogs are well written, etc. But even those rock stars had to get started somewhere. And that somewhere is probably right where you are today.
Regardless of where you start or what you do the process of implementing successful digital marketing strategies is going to look very similar:
- Do the research
- Get an idea you want to try
- Try it (it does well or it doesn't)
- Review the results
- Research how to improve it
- Try it with a revised approach
Don't think that the other insurance agencies who are good at digital marketing woke up one morning good at what they do. They did their research, got ideas, tried something then learned from doing.
In order to get good you have to get started. Don't be afraid to try something and fail.
If you take 4 months to try something and it doesn't work exactly how you planned, well you still have 8 months left in the year! Trying and failing is part of the process. You learn, you get better, and eventually you see the fruits.
The Reality of Getting Started with Insurance Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is hard but it's not hard.
The hardest part of it is making time for it. Sure planning and building your digital presence can't be done with the snap of your finger, I get that. But what is really holding you back is the fact that you haven't been sitting down and just doing it. Talking, researching, trying new things, etc..
The tips in this blog were very simple. The million dollar question is what are you going to do with the information?
Some agents are waiting for a magic pill while others are waiting on their carriers to make it happen for them but neither is going to happen. If you want to use digital marketing to strengthen or grow your business then you have to do the work.
You need to think of digital marketing as part of your business just like sales or customer support. It's just something you have to set aside the time and figure out.
If you have questions or comments I would love to get them! Leave a comment below or you can reach out to me directly by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are on the edge and trying to figure out how to get started or what to do next then take the first step and reach out. Don't hesitate to start the conversation.
Until next time, Keep on Learning