Are You Obeying the Law of Sevens?
In a recent article for Entrepreneur, contributor John Brubaker discussed what he called “The Trump Effect,” or using the tactics of Donald Trump to get where you want to be with your business. While the entire article is worth reading if you have a job that is even remotely entrepreneurial, there was one section in particular that could be beneficial to insurance agents, and that is this: the law of Sevens. I’ll allow Brubaker to explain it for a bit before cutting back in with some practical application.
“People need at least seven ways to connect who you are with what you do. Trump’s seven connections are: Trump golf resorts, casinos, Trump plaza, NBC’s hit reality shows The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice as well as frequent appearances on late-night talk shows and ads for various products and now most recently his candidacy for president.
“What are seven ways people can connect the dots to your brand? For me, it is through publishing books, articles, a radio show, speaking engagements, producing a movie about one of my books, social-media engagement and a 100-percent referral-based coaching business.
“It’s not what you know or who you know, as the old saying goes. In today’s marketplace, who knows you trumps everything else. The best way to maximize who knows you is to give your audience multiple means to connect the dots to your brand. Do yourself a favor, create at least seven ways people can connect who you are with the value your brand provides.”
Let’s unpack this a bit because Brubaker provides insurance agents with a lot they can chew on here. Just putting his suggestion into practice, here are several ways of creating your “sevens.”
1. Offer your expertise efficiently
Anyone can get their name “out there” with billboards and business cards, but going this route only produces minimal impressions at best. A far better way to efficiently offer your expertise is to find out who the best, most widely read business reporters are in your area and then encourage them to seek you out any time they have a question or need a comment for a story they are working on in your sector. One insurance agent in my area even has a short weekly segment on the 6:00 news. Great way to be seen as an authority by your prospects!
2. Keep a blog
Blogs are ideal for communicating with customers, answering questions, offering tips, and cheaply making your products and services known. If you go this path, just make sure to maintain focus on your industry and what is likely to be of the most interest to your clients.
3. Social media — use it!
Facebook and Twitter are cost effective methods of promoting your messaging to customers, prospects, and leads. The data is hard, so you can see real results versus spend. And if you knock it out of the park with your posts, you can get a lot of free publicity quickly for no extra ad spend.
4. Local community involvement
It may not feel like you’re doing insurance-related work when you sponsor a fifth quarter at your town’s high school or contribute to one of the local charities, but these types of activities have resulted in more business than any 30-second television commercial. That’s because all of the individuals involved either need, have needed, or will need coverage at some point. If they feel you are trustworthy, then you will likely be the first person they come to whenever the need arises.
5. Offer educational events
Hosting a seminar with food and drink furnished can get many people in the door, and some of those folks could turn out to be your next customers. Of course, you’ll want to make sure the reward is worth the investment on things like this, so keep good data on how many leads or new customers were derived as a result.
6. Look for creative sponsorship opportunities in your area
By “creative,” we mean something outside the box of what an insurance agent typically sponsors. Local podcasts or high school/college coaches’ shows, your town council meeting broadcasts, a Tough Mudder race, a concert or roller derby. It’s really about being as plugged into your community as possible.
7. Newsletter and other content contributions
Don’t just sit around waiting for a reporter to call. See what you can make happen on your own end. Look up a list of local newspapers and magazines; see if there are any content holes you can fill in exchange for a published bio; and make sure your subject matter aligns with both your expertise and the publication’s core mission. If there is nothing in the area suited to what you want to do, consider soliciting contributions from fellow business people in the area and start publishing a small quarterly journal. Not only will this give people in your area something to read free of charge, but it could also help you with your local networking and add a measure of prestige to your brand. Who knows, if it were successful enough, you might even be able to float the printing costs (plus!) with paid advertising.
What we have floated above are just ideas. Some of them may work for you. Some may not work for you. Or maybe even all of them will not work for you. That’s not the point. The point is for you to start looking at your situation and all of the ways that you are getting your name in front of potential customers. Do you have a unified effort that follows the law of sevens? Are you close? Brainstorm a list of ideas borrowing from the above, creating your own, or building some variation on what you have just heard. Which ideas float? Which ones sink? How can you connect each one so that they serve your accessibility to customers? When you’re finished, we’d be honored if you shared your ideas in the comment section below.