Between geckos, aprons, quarterbacks, and mayhem, how does the local independent insurance agent gain enough attention to grow?
from PropertyCasualty360.com, February 28, 2018
The P&C insurance industry, especially personal lines, is noisy! Between geckos, aprons, quarterbacks, and mayhem, how does the local independent insurance agent gain enough attention to grow? How can a small agency compete with the ad dollars in our space?
How does an aspiring new agent build a value proposition compelling enough to make a dent? These are the questions anyone from the outside would ask. These are the questions my parents asked me when we decided to leave a top 5 national carrier and open from scratch 8 years ago.
1. Social media levels the playing field
We gained a ton of traction as a fast growing agency the first 5 years through effective networking and hustle, but it wasn’t until we started investing serious time and resources in to social media that we realized how effective it could be to fight the goliaths. There has never been a business tool so powerful.
As a “small” independent, we feel like we have the upper hand against the insurance giants of the world. They can spend their billions on billboards, TV segments, professional sport sponsorships and celebrity endorsements.
On social, attention is underpriced, it’s easy to target your specific audience, it allows you to build and spread brand at a much faster clip than ever before. You can leverage it for marketing your brand and you can leverage it for lead generation.
The options are impressive and we’re only in the 2nd inning of social development. It’s not too late to get involved! Educate yourself on the tools available, design a strategy that aligns with your brand and goals, and then go all in and stick to it.
2. Social media offers virtual support groups
Our impression one, three, even five years in to growing our agency was that there was no one else like us. There were thousands of agencies and hundreds of very successful ones, but few if any were intensely interested and motivated to grow organically at a fast clip.
We’d talk to carrier marketing reps and ask for introductions, but other than a few connections, we felt like we were on an island with a handful of like-minded insurance agents. It wasn’t until we joined IAOA, a Facebook group for insurance agency owners, that we realized how wrong we were.
Facebook groups allow digital communities to grow, develop, and prosper like never before. Insurance Agency Owners Alliance is a FB group of thousands of agency principals looking to be better together. The group is led by Nick Ayers and Dave Jackson, who believe that selflessness, innovation, and collaboration is what is most needed in our channel.
Every day there are agency owners from across the country sharing challenges, successes and new tools in an effort to lift the group up as a whole. Most are focused on growing their agency the right way by being aware of avoidable pitfalls. The sense of give is strong and refreshing.
We would have never been exposed to so many amazing people within the industry all focused on the same core initiatives and interests if it wasn’t for social media. If you’re an agency owner, ask to join the group this second.