Insurance is like electricity. Or water. Or any other commodity.

At least that’s what most “non-insurance” people think, right?

Of course, we know this isn’t true and that one size policy doesn’t fit all. But, as independent insurance agencies, is it even possible to break through the “save 15%” noise to get others outside the industry to see it like we do?

I think so.

Back to basics – it’s about people, right?

I’d argue that it’s all about relationships. Personal, trust-based, in-it-for-the-long-term relationships.

After all, isn’t that what you really offer?

Over the past 15+ years, I’ve worked with hundreds of agencies across the country. And, fortunately, for most, “relationships” aren’t the problem. Get them in front of someone and they’re golden!

However, today, with all of the in-your-face marketing, social media and general “noise” out there, breaking through and getting into a position of establishing those relationships is where most agencies fall flat.

Simply put, the landscape has changed. It’s not like it was when my dad started his career at Chubb in the 70’s. It’s much different. Much more competitive. Much more confusing.

And, let’s be honest, much scarier.

5 ideas to get you thinking differently

Here are a few ideas for being different in today’s always-on, 24/7 world.

You, smiling

New flash! Business is about people. So, wouldn’t it make sense to feature your employees on your website? I think so!

It’s simple, isn’t it? People want to do business with people. And, for independent agencies, this is a HUGE selling point – especially when compared to 1-800 numbers that most of the big players use.

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In fact, did you know that the “About” page is usually the #1 visited page for agency websites? It’s true. So, make sure (a) you have one, (b) it’s part of a great, mobile-friendly website, and (c) you have photos of happy, smiling employees.

Hello Producer™

Here’s a cool one. More and more, your prospects are visiting the agency website to vet the company and learn more. It’s a sign of the times.

With Hello Producer™, each producer (or employee) can send prospects a specialized link that customizes the website with that producer’s contact information and photo. That way, prospects always know exactly who to contact and how.

It’s easier seen than explained. First, click this link:

http://www.newagencypartners.com/

Notice how the generic contact info is at the top right of the website?

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Now, click this link:

http://www.newagencypartners.com/#speck

See the difference? Every page of the website is now customized with Steve Peck’s photo and direct contact information. Pretty cool, right?

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Clickable Coverage™

Let’s face it, insurance isn’t sexy. There, I said it.

So, how do we get non-insurance prospects and clients to understand and value the proper coverage? Clickable Coverage™ is one idea.

Rather than explain it, you can try it for yourself below.

HINT: You can use the gray drop-down menu at the top of the graphic to view other scenes covering Personal Lines, Commercial Lines and more.

Imagine having these scenes on your agency website and sending prospects there to learn more about their risks and related coverage options.

With Clickable Coverage™, you can!

Not only is this a cool way to stand out, but it also helps position insurance in the right way. So, rather than focusing on the cost of the policy, prospects focus on their unique risks and ensuring they’re adequately covered.

Read more and give it a try!

Sharing content (writing, vlogging and more)

You may already know the power of sharing your expertise in the form of blog articles, social media posts and the like.

In fact, this article is a perfect example of that.

There are so many ways to get yourself (and your agency) out there. You could…

Post status updates on LinkedIn. And, for bonus points, be sure to tag important prospects or clients when you do (just start typing their name). That way, they’ll know you’re thinking of them.

Write articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Click the “Publish a post” button on your main LinkedIn news feed. Here’s an example of what an article looks like once it’s posted: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141002185522-5069063-50-years-from-now

Record videos and post them online. Ryan Hanley over at Agency Nation has a great post on that here: http://www.agencynation.com/how-to-build-your-own-video-studio-on-budget/

Post articles to your agency blog. You do have a blog, don’t you? Not only does this showcase your expertise, but it also helps improve where your website appears in the search rankings. And, even better, it gives you a great resource to use in the future. For example, I can send you to this article I wrote about why email is more powerful than social media. https://forge3.com/articles/the-hidden-power-of-email-relationships/

“Social Proof” (Testimonials, As Featured In…)

If you’re in a crowd and everyone started running in one direction, you’d probably follow.

As humans, we tend to follow the crowd. The same goes when buying insurance.

People want to see proof that you’re “legit” and that other people have had success with you. To accomplish this, showcase any associations of which you’re a member, publications in which you are featured, testimonials from happy clients and any other “social proof” that makes sense. In doing so, you establish credibility.

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Here’s the bottom line…

It doesn’t matter if you embrace some, all or none of these. Life will go on regardless.

Whatever you do, though, keep in mind that the future is always different than the past.

And I want you and your agency to be part of it.

Author Jeff Teschke

More posts by Jeff Teschke
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