Networking is a crucial skill for every insurance agent, and a high-quality network is the most crucial asset for people working in this industry. It’s not what you know, and it’s not how many people you know, either. It’s about who you know and how you create strong relationships with those quality people.
In a people business like insurance, your connections are your bread and butter, and networking helps you achieve the strong relationships you need to succeed. However, networking is not a skill that comes naturally to everybody. So if you are a newbie in the insurance industry and working independently, here are the best strategies that can help you build your network:
Create a website
Selling final expense insurance, or any other type of insurance, for that matter, is not as easy as it was when the market was still not saturated. Nevertheless, having your own website is one of the best ways to generate new leads and establish your presence online. Here are some pieces of important information that you would want to include on your website:
- A great elevator pitch
- The different policies you offer
- An ‘About Me’ page to help people get to know you
- A blog with educational and helpful articles
- Testimonials from current clients
- Contact information
Join social media
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools for all types of businesses, particularly insurance. Being on social media helps you extend your reach and easily connect with people in a less formal setting. Moreover, people are more willing to talk about insurance and finances over social media than in a face-to-face meeting, especially when they are on the fence about signing up for a policy.
Having a good social media presence is essential for insurance agents and brokers alike, not only for building a network, but also for nurturing client relationships as well. When starting out on social media as an independent insurance professional, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Keep your social media pages active. Inactivity can make clients think that you are not able to attend to their needs promptly.
- Create valuable content. Plan and create content that can educate and entertain clients about finance, insurance, industry news, etc.
- Invest in graphics. Hire a graphic artist to create attractive graphics for your social media pages.
- Engage with followers. Reply to comments and messages as much as possible to foster a good relationship with your followers.
- Tone down the sales pitch. Avoid making too many promotional posts. Followers don’t like it when you’re always trying to sell them something.
- Personalize your page. Let your followers get to know you and be as authentic as possible. When followers know who they are talking to, they are more likely to become clients.
Attending seminars, conferences, and industry events is another great way to build your network, especially when you’re just starting out. It can be nerve-wracking to suddenly be among more experienced industry professionals, but it’s a necessary part of growth and a great opportunity to connect with other people in the industry. Moreover, seminars and conferences are highly educational, which can further expand your knowledge as a new insurance agent.
Diversify your network
At first, you might be inclined to stick with the type of people you’re comfortable with, but there will come a time that you need to diversify your network. Why not start now and get ahead of your competitors? Seek out people outside your circle of influence. Connect with professionals in other types of industries that you may or may not be familiar with. Learn from individuals that are from a completely different flock to expand your world view.
Expanding your connections don’t have to stay in the same direction. Keep in mind that to build a successful network, you need to find people that can help you grow, and this might require stepping outside your comfort zone.
Most importantly, don’t stop networking. Many new insurance agents are disheartened when their network is not growing as fast as they want it to, but this is completely normal when you are just a beginner. All insurance professionals start somewhere, so don’t stop pushing until you achieve your goals.
Growing a healthy network is one of the most common challenges for independent insurance agents, and networking is one of the most critical skills that an agent should possess. With hard work, perseverance, patience, and the right networking strategies in place, you will start to gain traction before you know it.
Do you have other networking tips to share with other beginner insurance agents? Drop a comment below!