Agencies that lead with education rather than sales are likely to be more successful with their business clients. There’s a real demand for more information among commercial clients than is currently being met.
Thought Leadership & Education
As legend Jay Abraham put it, “People are silently begging to be led.” Are you leading clients to more security, more profits and more peace of mind? With multiple channels to distribute educational materials, there’s no excuse not to step up and fill the role of market leader.
These types of activities position your agency ahead of the competition, and grant you direct access to the decision makers in your community. Once you master some successful techniques you’ll be able to establish an easy-to-manage on-going campaign.
Reports and White Papers
One proven avenue is to develop special reports or white papers. Either term is acceptable, but “white paper” tends to indicate a more in-depth and professional analysis, so may be appropriate for your business prospects. So how do you develop these reports?
Start with a simple list of products and questions that you encounter most frequently with your commercial clients and/or topics that you know will become important in the near future, even if they’re not yet top-of-mind.
Let Google lead the way:
Then add some keywords that relate to the topic you’ve selected, and see what pops up the highest in local searches.
For example, here’s a quick search of “Austin cybersecurity risks”.
The point isn’t to plagiarize the articles that come up, but it gives you an idea of some of the issues that are top priority currently. Then do your own write-up based on the research, or hire a professional. PIA members have additional resources, such as “Cyber 101”, which was created by the PIA Partnership to help educate agents and their clients about the most common cyber risks faced by small and mid-sized businesses as well as the business practices and insurance coverages that can reduce those risks.
Distribute your content:
Get your white paper in front of as many potentially interested people as possible. Use:
• Your email list
• Social media networks
• Your website/blog
• Convert to a webinar, and distribute via YouTube, and the distribution networks above
Spotlight Your Expertise
Make yourself available to speak on the topics you’re writing about, to reinforce your status as an industry thought leader. Platforms include:
• Civic groups
• Chambers or other business associations
• Local media-write a press release about the topic covered in your white paper, and distribute to local media sources
Thought Leadership Equals Market Credibility
Although writing thought pieces can be a challenge, looking for already popular topics can speed up the process. Inviting non-competing partners to collaborate can also reduce the work load, while significantly increasing the potential exposure.
Investing the time to build your library of white papers will pay big dividends in market recognition, credibility and recognition in your business community.
“How Insurance Agents Can Reach More Business Customers”, by Jeremiah Desmarais, July 26,207, PropertyCasualty360.com