Nick Berry

Marketing: A Field Guide for Insurance Agents

Marketing: A Field Guide for Insurance Agents

I would barely consider myself a “professional”. I’ve never worked at a marketing agency. I came into marketing through years of sales experience, although I did sell advertising for a couple of years. I have worked in-house for three companies as a full time marketer. So yes, I am a marketer, but not that kind.

One of the main reasons I decided to create this newsletter is I firmly believe YOU should not be doing the marketing for your agency, but not actually doing the work. I think you need at least a basic understanding of marketing before you make your first marketing hire, or go hire an agency.

So let’s talk about what marketing is, and what marketing isn’t.

Most people think marketing is about those slick commercials with celebrities or those ads featuring talking lizards talking about how fast you can get a quote. It’s so much more than that, and it certainly doesn’t require the budget of a Hollywood blockbuster.

The essence of marketing revolves around understanding, connecting, and continuously engaging your clients – without requiring you to spend a fortune or turn into a talking animal.

Let’s set the stage with Market Research. Picture trying to sell hurricane coverage in a desert. Not very productive, right? Knowing your target market – their needs, their circumstances, and their preferences – is as fundamental as knowing your product.

Next up is Product Development. Once you know your potential clients, you tailor your coverage options to suit their needs. It’s not about forcing a square peg in a round hole; it’s about finding the right fit.

Then we have Promotion. This is your time to shine, but you don’t have to rent a billboard in Times Square or air a Super Bowl ad. Today, there’s an array of options like social media, email marketing, SEO, and content marketing that won’t cost you your entire commission.

Next in line is Sales. The holy grail, where your potential clients become actual clients. This isn’t a one-night stand. It’s a courtship. You woo them with your support, showing them how you can protect what matters to them most.

Finally, we come to Customer Relationship Management. You’ve won them over, but the work isn’t over. It’s cheaper to keep a client than to gain a new one. This is less a sprint, more a marathon. Keep your clients happy with excellent service, and they might just introduce you to their friends.

Now, let’s lay to rest some marketing myths:

Marketing is not just advertising. If marketing were an orchestra, advertising would be the trumpet. It’s loud, but it’s not the entire band.

It’s not instantaneous. Like a brisket or perfect fall off the bone ribs, good marketing takes time. It’s a slow cook, not a flash fry.

It’s not always expensive. Yes, you read that right. Effective marketing doesn’t require you to sell your kidney. In fact, with smart tactics, it can cost less than your monthly coffee addiction.

It’s not about trickery or deception. Though we do enjoy a good magic show, marketing is not about sleight of hand. It’s about authenticity, providing value, and earning your clients’ trust.

It’s not a one-time thing. Marketing is like brushing your teeth. You can’t just do it once and forget about it. It’s consistent, ongoing, and crucial for your success.

Marketing is the lifeblood of any insurance agency. It’s about putting your clients at the heart of what you do and meeting their needs in a way that also benefits you.

If you made it this far, and you’re feeling good, stop it. Just kidding, kind of. Now that we’ve got the fundamentals explained, I want to give you a secret. All of these things are 2 or 3 roles. Finding someone who can do it all is never going to happen. 

What I would recommend is finding one person who’s good at a few of these things. Don’t worry too much about social media, if I was asked to do social media at this point, and I had a solid content library I’d sign up for something like lately.ai and automate the majority of it.

Your first marketing hire should probably be someone who knows insurance, is willing to push up their sleeves and learn content marketing, email distribution, and knows their way around a couple tools like your CRM and Zapier to connect things like your forms into your CRM/AMS.

The reason I would approach it this way, having someone who knows insurance is going to make it much faster for you to crank out content and emails. Without having to go back and forth a bunch of times and everyone getting frustrated.

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