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The AIMS Society blog is designed to provide practical, timely ideas to help insurance agencies improve results from their marketing and sales efforts. Wishing you much success!!! For even more, consider joining the AIMS Society and you'll have access to a powerful network of agents and carrier personnel focused on excellence in sales!

 

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How to Build Your Agency Presence

Posted By Donna M. Gray, Friday, March 2, 2018

How to Build Your Agency Presence

Last month, we shared a few articles on social media written by AIMS board members or featuring CPIA designees. It's incredible to see the reach our agents and members are having in the industry.

You may already have a company blog, and you may post to social media or send newsletters to your clients. But there are more ways to increase the reach of your content, attain high visibility and harness engagement from new audiences. So how can you magnify your scope outside of your agency's bubble? Here are a few strategies.

  1. Share your successes. No matter how small or local the publication, it's always worthwhile to share how you're growing. The Williston Observer in Vermont gave a shout-out to Niki Hayes of Kinney Pike Insurance for her CPIA designation award. Contact your paper's business section, a local magazine or insurance chapter to see how you can spread your company and staff accomplishments throughout the year. It shows the public (and competitors) you're cultivating a community of learning and achievement.
  2. Share your insight. You have ideas, you have experiences and you know what you're talking about. Think about how many clients you've helped. Continue to support others by sharing what you know with the local community. Reach out to organizations that share similar values in risk management to host an educational event for business owners. Leverage your knowledge and expertise to build community involvement and strengthen your agency brand.
  3. Share with video. You already know video is the next big step in content marketing. If you've never done it before, you'll certainly catch eyes when you start doing it. Create an objective, channel your audience, start shooting and see what happens. There are a variety of easy ways to create engaging video content, so why not give it a shot? It doesn't have to be highly produced. Just start your own YouTube channel and post on social media to expand your reach.
  4. Share with your industry. It may seem daunting if you've never published an article before, but it's a fun and effective way to get your name in a national publication. Just consider Robert Klinger, president and CEO of Klinger Insurance Group, who wrote an article for Property Casualty 360, "6 Ways Insurance Agents and Brokers can Find 'Ideal' Clients: Prospecting 101." You don't have to write revolutionary or mind-blowing stuff. Just stick to your own voice and areas of expertise.

What have you done to share content outside of your agency's digital channels? Let us know! We'd love to share your ideas with the AIMS Society community.

Tags:  Agency Management  AIMS Society  Branding  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media 

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How to Boost Sales with Social Media

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, November 17, 2017

How to Boost Sales with Social Media

As an insurance agency, you want to reach your customers on social media channels. Insurance is such a niche industry, that finding the right content to engage your audience can be difficult. Plus, consumers may not want insurance news on their feeds.

Since the average person spends nearly two hours on social media every day, it pays to find the tips and tools that will get their attention. So, what can you do on your social media accounts to ensure it's an effective sales tool for your business?

  1. Make sure your profile is up to date, accurate and catchy. It's the first impression a current or potential customer receives. Does your profile picture stand out? Is it easy to find your website and contact information?
  2. Drive customers from your social media page to your website — and through the customer funnelThe good news is you can do this in a number of ways. Make sure you have several areas and posts that serve as a call-to-action. And ensure the entire process is quick and convenient. Online shoppers expect a lot these days.
  3. Use targeted advertising. Did you know that Facebook lets you display ads to specific age groups, genders, incomes and regions? Targeting is a magic tool that allows you to maximize every dollar you spend. (Word on the street is that Facebook's new algorithm favors brands with big advertising budgets.)
  4. Reach out. Remember when Facebook was about connection and building deeper relationships? Tap back into that. Look at what your customers are saying, initiate a conversation and create a unique voice that is relatable.

Being social will enhance brand awareness, improve customer service and maximize your sales potential. It's worth it to take a step back to reevaluate and see where you can refocus efforts.

What are some ways you've used social media as a sales tool? What results have you seen?

Tags:  Agency Management  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork 

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Become a Standout with Value-Added Services

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, May 26, 2017

You sell insurance policies just like every other agency. So how can you possibly stand out from the competition?

The key may have nothing to do with insurance. Instead, value-added services could be all that are necessary to solidify your customer relationships, to make your agency seem irreplaceable.

Value-added services are just that — they don't replace your main product, but they can extend your reach and the perception that you've truly thought of everything when it comes to a customer's peace of mind. Ideally, value-added services don't need to be extensive or take a lot of your own time to deliver. More often than not, the only requirement is a thoughtful gesture to make your customers feel truly protected. And isn't that the very essence of any insurance professional's mission, to provide a sense of protection?

It's best to develop a few well-planned value-added services that relate to your existing customers. Then, find some trusted business partners to deliver your suggested offerings. You can build in a referral free to the partnership if you want to generate some additional income, but often, the greatest value comes from long-term customer loyalty you'll establish.

Start with your portfolio and niche businesses and craft a suite of value-adds from there. You don't need to be the expert in any of the services — leave that to your partners — but be certain to fully vet any organization you select as a partner and continue regular follow-up with customers to make sure they're happy with your recommendations. You may want to coordinate service delivery just to stay connected and in-the-loop.

Some value-added services that can bolster your market position:

  • Estate planning services
  • Funeral preplanning
  • Will preparation
  • Videotape or photography services for asset identification
  • Appraisal services
  • Disaster preparation planning list or a discounted price on disaster food kits
  • Tax preparation advice
  • Disaster business plan development
  • Cybersecurity traning
  • Wellness programs
  • Defensive driving courses for teens
  • Alarm systems
  • Winterization kits

This list is limited only by your creativity. Again, you don't need to have on-staff experts, just a connection to experts in the community. The goal is to offer a comprehensive program for those categories your customers' value most. You've already written the policies. Now go the extra step to show you've truly got the client covered.

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Tags:  Agency Management  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Personal and Commercial Coverage  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  teamwork 

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Why You Should Incorporate 'Giving Back' into Your Marketing Strategy

Posted By AIMS Society, Thursday, March 2, 2017


Why You Should Incorporate 'Giving Back' into Your Marketing Strategy

You may see marketing through a financial lens, but have you considered taking a humanitarian approach?

Caused-based marketing and making charitable giving part of your strategic plan is a great way to support the local community, give back to those in need and build better relationships. Not only will you feel good for doing it, but being a socially conscious agency can help improve your marketing and sales efforts. (AIMS Society Quik Sales Tip No. 12, "Give More, Get More: The Sales Benefit of Philanthropy).

Not only will companies who support local organizations boost morale among employees, but they will attract more of today's customers. Studies show that consumers want to support organizations who give back, especially if it's to a cause they care about as well. When your agency is vocal about its values and shows that it's helping those in need, you'll make current customers more loyal and earn respect form new ones. Plus, you'll break yourself apart form the competition who may not be as charity-focused along the way.

When you connect with companies who share the same core beliefs, your reputation will elevate and you'll earn respect. People will know you're committed to social responsibility, and you can experience big rewards as a result.

Helping a nonprofit or charity with an event can often mean free marketing for your company. Whether it's on the posters around town, t-shirts handed out at the event or included in social media posts, your agency's name will get some exposure.

It doesn't have to be big: You can volunteer at the local children's hospital for an afternoon, host a canned food drive at the office or donate to a local nonprofit. At the end of the day giving back will simply make you feel good — and you will likely see more sales as a result.

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Tags:  Agency Management  agency sale  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork 

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FREE Attendance at 2017 PRO-to-PRO

Posted By AIMS Society, Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to Get it PLUS a Designation!

Free attendance for the 2017 PRO-to-PRO? How can that be? Actually, it's quite the deal.

If you come to Celebration, Florida just two days early, you can earn your CPIA designation and then stay through the end of the week for the PRO-to-PRO Retreat — free,

Yes, you read that right: Anyone who signs up for the CPIA seminars February 7-9, 2017 and stays at the Bohemian Hotel Celebration in our event's block of rooms will have their PRO-to-PRO attendance fee waived; that's how dedicated we are to making your time in Celebration even more worthwhile. 

You're committed to only one trip (to a pretty awesome location, particularly in the middle of winter), but will reap multiple benefits, including the only focused sales and marketing designation in the insurance industry, as well as interaction with some of the smartest minds in the industry.

Here's the itinerary:

February 7 — Position for Success (CPIA 1) — Facilitator: John Fear

February 8 — Implement for Success (CPIA 2) — Facilitator: Becky Lathrop

February 9 — Sustain Success (CPIA 3) — Facilitator: Ed Lamont

February 9-10 AIMS Society PRO-to-PRO Retreat

February 11 Optional golf outing

Of course, we welcome everyone for any portion of the week, but would love to send you home with both the CPIA Designation and the PRO-to-PRO experience. It's not too late to register, either, and we're eager to answer any questions you might have in advance of signing up. Just contact Donna Gray at donna@aimssociety.org. Hurry! The cut-off date for the discounted block of rooms ends January 26th!  

Check out all the details of the 2017 PRO-to-PRO agenda, read more about the benefits of the CPIA Designation, and sign up today! We look forward to seeing you in Celebration!

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Tags:  Agency Management  agency sale  agency value  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  Friends  Insurance Education  Insurance Journal  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  PRO-to-PRO  Relax  Risk Management  self-improvement  sellability  Social Media  teamwork  Technology  time management  vacation 

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