How to Build an Insurance Agency the Right Way

You’ve created a business plan, focused on logistics, and launched your insurance agency. Perhaps you’ve been in business for a few months or a few years. Once the dust settles from your initial launch, it’s time to revisit, reevaluate, and reset your goals, so your agency continues to thrive. This guide extends beyond the logistics of starting an insurance agency and provides detailed information on how you can grow your business, boost your work culture, and optimize digital marketing tactics, resulting in improved overall performance.

Refresh Your Website and Make it Responsive

If you haven’t built a website for your agency yet, you need to make it a top priority. Whether you are starting from scratch or revisiting your website, make sure to spend some time ensuring your website is professional and draws in visitors. A shoddy website can drive potential clients away, never to return. Important things to include:

Professional Photos: All photos on your website should be professional, high-resolution photos, demonstrating to visitors your commitment to quality.

Substantive “About Us” Page: This is an opportunity to share your story in a sincere way to connect with visitors. Let them know about the types of insurance you offer and why you are dedicated to helping others with their insurance needs.

Lead Generation Tool: You can have one or more tools to help you generate leads on your website. You might use a simple “Contact Us” page, a free download for their contact information, or an email sign-up for a newsletter or blog.

Responsive Website: A responsive website is a site that users can view well across multiple devices and screen sizes; the website looks as good on their iPhone as it does on a desktop computer or tablet. Potential clients often start their search online and often from their mobile devices. If you don’t have the capability to do this in-house, search for a third-party tech person to make sure your site is responsive.

Blog: Establish yourself as an insurance expert and educate your visitors about insurance-related topics. Today’s consumers seek educational resources to help them understand and gain insights into the confusing world of finance and insurance. Blogs can help you become recognized as a resource and not just a salesperson.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media has become an integral part of business today. If you haven’t created profiles on the major social media platforms yet, do so immediately. Facebook is a great way to reach prospects, clients, and potential job candidates. In the event you want to spend money on advertising, Facebook Ad capabilities allow you to target super-specific markets by age, gender, location, activity, income, hobbies, and more. You should also start with LinkedIn and Instagram, which will allow you to reach a younger audience. Connecting with influential thought leaders in the insurance industry or adjacent industries is a good way to drive traffic to your social media accounts, website, and blog. If you are planning on adding professional videos to your website, create your own YouTube channel to post the same videos.

Upgrade Your Office Technology

When you have an awesome professional website and are providing engaging content on your blog and social media pages, you will start to build leads and acquire new clients. You need to remain organized and efficient to handle this growth. Spend the money to invest in marketing automation software that allows you to capture leads from email and social media, develop relationships, and move prospective clients through a sales funnel online. You also have the analytical capabilities to optimize your approach and focus on strategies that work best for you. Some examples here would be Hubspot and Aritic PinPoint. You can also use marketing automation software in conjunction with an agency management system that can track client quotes, policies, and other client documents. Some examples include EZLynx and Vertafore.

Invest in Sales Training

It takes far more than state licensure to succeed as a financial professional. Associates must have exceptional sales skills allowing them to educate potential clients, inspire their trust, and get them to sign on the dotted line.

If you are not yet providing professional sales training for your associates, it needs to be a top priority. It will impact production, producer retention, and client satisfaction – all good stuff.

If you cannot do this in-house, find an outside resource to supplement or provide this training. There are many opportunities available to help you with this, both live and online. You can also take advantage of seminars and training opportunities through nearby industry organizations and associations. One way to start implementing sales training at your agency is to hold weekly meetings and focus on a specific topic such as overcoming objections. A successful format may be to treat the meeting as a workshop. Here your associates collaborate on all the possible solutions for a particular objection, giving them the opportunity to actively learn.

Everyone knows that there’s a skill gap problem when it comes to associates building their clientele. In fact, LIMRA reports that over 87% of those who leave this profession, do so simply because of a lack of activity. Helping associates to develop their core competencies in how to build and run a successful practice in today’s ever-changing marketplace, while developing a focused activity discipline, should be the basis of a meaningful curriculum. Unfortunately, many organizations are attacking the problem the wrong way. There is a better approach that can solve the problem, by providing competency-based learning where people have a voice in not only what they need, but also have a choice in when and how they get it. A resource example includes FSEdNet.

Engage with Your Community

Whether you are in an urban area or a rural city or town, you need to engage with your community and encourage your associates to engage. You can attend or host formal networking events. Or, a more organic way to have face-to-face contact with potential clients is by joining a sports league, volunteering in the community, or attending community events. Begin by attending already existing local events. It’s a way to meet people or connect with contacts you already know, so you can build lasting relationships. When you meet other business members in your neighborhood or community, it can lead to you working together. For example, you meet a local real estate agent at a Chamber meeting or Cancer Society event. You can share that you own an insurance agency and let him know you are happy to help his first-time homebuyers who need homeowner’s insurance. Unless you are handing out some company schwag at a parade, you aren’t likely to be handing out business cards in most of these situations. Instead, you are taking time to get to know others and letting them know you. When they need insurance, you will be the first person who crosses their mind.