Your personal brand is about your reputation and being known for what you do. Have you heard of it? Let me fill you in.
Regardless of where you are on the experience scale of insurance brokerage, or how thick your book is, you probably know that if your clients are currently falling from the sky, busting down the door to work with you, that it won’t last forever. Similarly, if you are just starting out on your own, thinking about how you’ll build up your business could take up a bit of your time. Here’s where a strong personal brand can help.
Your personal brand is being known by others for what you do. That means when people are discussing insurance and their requirements, that it is your name brought up in conversation, and not your competitor’s.
All you need to build up your personal brand is a bit of prep work, and some consistent delivery of value to anyone you come across.
Let’s assume you’re starting from scratch, and no one knows who you are. You’ll need to kick off with some prep work.
Define your brand
Insurance is a big game. What type do you specialise in? How do you help your customers? Who are they? Do you help retired people feel secure with their house and contents, or are you working with younger people who may have bought their first home? Do you work commercially with businesses? Once you know where your skills are best suited, you can start to build your purpose statement. And this statement can be used in your social media bio statements, too.
“I help business owners to understand what insurance they need, so they can feel secure knowing they are covered for any eventuality.”
“I help young families understand what cover they need for their homes and families, so they are covered for any eventuality at home.”
In this purpose statement you can also add what makes you different and why people should choose you to help them. You could state your years of experience, or your empathy and understanding if you have a young family too.
Once you’re clear on who your customer is, and how you’ll help them, it’s time to start building your profile and reputation. And you can do this by demonstrating your value online. Note, this is not the time to pull marketing offers together or use social media as a sales channel. For now, you’re going to earn the trust of random strangers on the internet and get known for what you do.
Arguably the best place for you to demonstrate your expertise is a website or blog. Somewhere you can create important and useful content that your potential customers are already searching for. A new website won’t necessarily have enough power behind it to rank on the first page of Google, but you can start by thinking about all the questions you’ve been asked by your target market, and writing content that is snappy, short, and interesting on those topics. Perhaps the most frequent question you get asked is “how much cover do I need?” and while you’re possibly groaning at the response you always give, this is a great opportunity to be the insurance broker that explains all things insurance in simple to understand, and entertaining ways. Perhaps a video is the best way to explain. Or maybe you are a killer illustrator in your spare time and can draw your explanation. The main thing is to think of questions you get asked all the time and answer them in a way that your target market will love.
Online promotion of what you do is no longer optional. It’s also a lot of hard work. In order to be successful with social media for your insurance brokerage, it’s important that you only choose the platforms where your target market hang out and platforms that you love to use. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find your target market of retired people hanging out on Instagram, but Facebook is much more likely, and so that’s where you need to put most of your effort. Keep this in mind though, social media is not a channel for direct selling, only for contributing to the conversation.
Who are you?
It’s also important to name your social media channels with the same account name. We are talking about raising up your profile here, and so if you are called John Doe on Facebook, but JDInsurance on Instagram and DoeInsurance22 on Twitter, people will have a hard time finding you when they have heard or read about you somewhere else. A strong personal brand will be based on your first and last name, not a made-up company name, however, the most important thing here is that your name is memorable. Perhaps you work with young families, maybe you have a young family yourself. You could create a website called “The family guy – explaining insurance to keep your family protected” Rather than “John Doe Insurance” It all comes down to your target market and what sort of name will be memorable for them.
And if you’re a new recommendation to someone, they will be looking for social proof that you’re worthy of a phone call. Here’s where using your blog and your social channels to deliver value will help. That value can be a blog post on how to read the fine print of an insurance policy document, a run through of types of insurance a new business owner needs, or maybe your niche is actually looking after the insurance needs of a contractor in public service – you could write a mini glossary of what terms mean to help them understand what they need to be fully covered at work.
If any person looking for insurance cover feels well supported with the value you’re sharing before any exchange takes place, your personal brand will reflect this.
Lou Draper is a managing partner of communications specialists Draper Cormack Group.
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