Why Today’s Agent Needs A Rocking Virtual Presence
Insurance agents of the 21st Century have to deal with a pesky thing called Internet to make it in today’s world, but the successful ones don’t think of it in negative terms. If anything, they’ve been able to leverage the ‘Net as a powerful tool — not just for survival but unending growth and success. How did they do it? By having a rocking virtual presence! In the following article we talk about how to get there without pulling your hair out and why it’s important that you do.
But first, a word on what it means to be “rocking.”
This doesn’t mean simply registering a domain name, throwing up your contact information, and waiting for the world to find you. It means being active and staying close to your customers.
As For Why It’s Important
The phone book is dead, and most customers are heading online to solve their insurance problems. That means if you’re not online, they won’t find you. Furthermore, if you’re not noticeable, they’ll go with the first person in your area who is. It’s important to stand out. How do you do that? Start by going where they’re most likely to be. In the insurance business, customers are savvy. They shop around for the best prices and often use sites like Hometown Quotes to figure things out. Your virtual presence can help get your name in the mix, and it can bring shoppers to your website and/or social media channel on their own time.
This Is Where You Can Rock Their World
Think about your product and the variety of people in the market for it. Use both your knowledge of the customer and the knowledge of your product to answer questions and offer information that is vital and specific to them. Use your virtual presence to provide value before they’ve even committed, and you’ll be a leg up on your competition, regardless of whether you win on price. In fact, value transparency is one way that firms like Progressive were able to distinguish themselves from competitors in the early days of the online insurance market.
Serving a specific individual’s insurance need as related to your line of products offers a similar value-added service — one you can provide online — and chances are strong that you’ll have little region-specific competition for the virtual market space.
There is also an overlooked way in which a rocking virtual presence can help.
In ‘The Real World’
While most insurance products that an independent agent will sell are region-specific and therefore of most use to people living within the state, that shouldn’t stop one from going “global” with their expertise. Information that you share with your customers online — answers to their questions, blog posts, in-depth articles on a specific insurance problem — can be repurposed into publishable content. Programs like Kindle, Smashwords, and iBooks, make it possible to share your expertise with the world. CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) allows attractive, on-demand print editions for seminars and trade shows at minimal cost.
You can essentially take the work you’re doing to establish a rocking virtual presence and parlay it into a foundation for your immediate business. Aside from providing another stream of income, going this route with your career can establish you as “the expert” within your community, which could pay big dividends down the road.
The important thing you should take from this as an agent wondering where your place in the 21st Century is, is this: a “rocking” virtual presence isn’t just a web-based business card. It’s a domain for you to show your stuff and help people even if they don’t end up becoming your clients. By sharing your knowledge and exploring multiple places in the virtual world to reach insurance leads & customers, you can make your real world experiences much more valuable. Good luck as you forge ahead with your career!