The Who said, “Who are you..who who…who who?” How can people get to know you? How can you be known? How can you be “The Pro”? This is called branding. What do you do if you meet someone new? Have you ever Googled someone’s name? This is a trend that I believe will continue to grow as Social Media becomes more mainstream.
Over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, mainly marketing for property-casualty companies. The problem with our industry is that almost everyone sells the exact same product and same coverage but with a few extra bells and whistles. Although everyone is selling the same service, it doesn’t sound the same to the buyer. With so many agents competing for the same account, it is difficult to stand out from the crowd.
You have probably been in sales training. Most people know that customers buy with emotion. They do business with those they trust, respect, and like. You can use the internet to your advantage.
Your name is your brand. Your website should show that you are an expert in insurance. You may have expertise in a specific area. This is a great way to show potential contractors that you are an expert on their particular field. You join an association to network. To make it easy for your prospects to find you, add a personal website on your business card. You can post articles about common insurance issues for contractors and important insurance coverages on your personal website. When someone searches your name, a professional website about yourself will be displayed.
Branding would be a great benefit for new producers. They must build trust and credibility. It shows they are knowledgeable about their business and can help them make a sale. This will give them an advantage in closing a sale.
What about when you call to make an appointment with someone you don’t know? You can send them to your website, so they can find out more about you. You might find they share something in common. Your prospect will be able to see that you are not just a salesperson – you are an insurer professional.
While some might think this is a waste of time, I believe it will become a popular trend for professionals to use branding to their names. You can all be a “micro-business” by branding yourself. You can simply “Google” your name to see the results. When I ask people who are their insurance agents, they don’t respond with the name of the agency. Because they relate to you personally, I believe that branding your name online is a good idea.
Did you know that over 55 million people use social media sites regularly according to Mashable.com? This is less than 1/3 of the US population. Baby boomers are the fastest-growing segment of social networkers. They have discovered the benefits of such sites and are the fastest-growing demographic segment. Consider how you want your career to be successful. You will also want to integrate your personal website with the following:
LinkedIn Profile – This profile combines a resume, cover letter and references with a list of people in your network. To establish your expertise as an expert, join targeted online groups and post your articles.
Facebook Profile – Although over 160 million people have profiles on Facebook, almost none have created a profile. Referral business is possible through your friends. Your friends will be impressed by your Facebook posts.
Twitter Profile – This is a great way to connect with others using Twitter efficiently so that this medium, which is rapidly growing, does not get overlooked.
There are many tasks involved with branding yourself.
* Establishing a web presence that includes a website as well as a blog.
* Connecting with prospects via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
* Learn SEO/SEM techniques to ensure you are found in search engines for terms that lead prospects to your site
* Write and submit articles to article directories to be distributed to the relevant websites that target your audience
* Guest posting articles to relevant blogs to increase exposure
It may sound overwhelming if this sounds daunting. If I had to guess, it may be the main reason you have never done it before. You may also be unable to find the time. You may also need to work with existing clients.
A Personal Branding System is a great way to establish your online presence. It registers your domain, creates a customized website with hosting, integrates with your Social Media, and offers professionally written articles in your field. Your Personal Branding efforts will pay off in the long-term. You can start now to get ahead of your competition by investing time and effort.