Experienced Agent Looking for Advice

Oct 13, 2016

  1. Insurance_Guy05
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    Insurance_Guy05 New Member

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    I've been a Health and Life Agent for 10 years now always working under someone and have decided to go out on my own. I have about $1000 a month I can put towards marketing if I need to. My question is what is the best way to use that money just buy leads? Put it towards a website? Just looking for a little direction. Thanks
     
  2. ModernInsurance
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    ModernInsurance Super Genius

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    1. Quality website
    2. SEO
    3. Organic leads
     
  3. Insurance_Guy05
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    Insurance_Guy05 New Member

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    Any websites or services you would recommend for this?
     
  4. ktmorgan
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    ktmorgan Expert

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    1st: do not buy leads! Total waste of money unless you're slinging Guaranteed Issue Final Expense. Even then in that market where 20% are laydowns buying leads is a tough row to hoe.

    2nd: SEO is a dying/dead art. It's not with out it's merits. You still want to optimize your site as best as possible with appropriate keywords, but every 10 year old in the world is already doing that. However, at $1000/mnth you have very little chance of making it the first page of any search engine, which use to be your ultimate goal with SEO. You can't compete with someone willing to spend $100k a month doing Pay Per Click(PPC). After Google changed it's major algorithm is few years ago SEO has become almost irrelevant. Don't let someone talk you into SEO, it's waste of what little resources you have.

    You can do most of the major SEO work your yourself, or have it outsourced as a secondary service.

    Outsourced or partially outsourced: You do want to create has many backlinks as possible that are sprinkled around the web that point back to your site. This is done by Blogging, Guest Blogging, Podcasting, Being a guest on a popular Podcast, having an "influencer" in the business write on article on you that links back your site, submitting an article and having it published in a local newspaper or periodical that links back you site...etc... will create the needed backlinks. This is essentially what SEO is trying accomplish anyway. Doing this beat the snot out of what people call SEO anyway, which generally refers to merely keywords on your site.

    But if you actually want to a have chance of competing in the 21st century against people who know what they're doing you absolutely MUST have a "Sales Funnel." IMO, you cannot be successful on a high level unless you have a Sales Funnel.

    Sales Funnel High level overview (not detailed): You drive traffic to a "Landing Page or "Squeeze Page," this is hard work in of itself. You entice that traffic to "opt-in" to your list by offering something of high and unique value. You create an ebook, or personal video's describing what you do (Facebook, Google, YouTube, Periscope love video's and rank them extremely high). Or you create a .pdf, (example) "The 5 Best Ways to Save a $100k on Your Taxes Each and Every Year,"...something of great value that you can provide to get them to opt-in to your list. Once you build a list then you actually have something you can work with. You then build an email marketing campaign to connect with that list on a continual basis, you're always in their inbox with something of great value showing and educating them on why they should work with you verses your competition. This works like magic.

    If you don't have a list of customers already and you don't want to build one yourself you can always Joint Venture with someone who does.

    As has been said "80% of all sales come between the 5th and the 12th contact you have with your prospect. With my business I find this to be 100% true. We as Insurance/Financial/Pension Professional's fail when we don't have enough people to talk to. Having a professionally built Sales Funnel cures that problem overnight. Done correctly you'll soon be hiring two junior agents and a assistant to scrub apps and and do admin work.

    Otherwise you really have no chance of competing against others who know how to do this.

    If want to talk more about this hit me up at [email protected] or https://www.linkedin.com/in/ktoddmorgan

    Best Regards,
    KTM
     
    ktmorgan, Oct 26, 2016
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  5. I. M. Green
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    I. M. Green New Member

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    Going on being an independent agent for two years now. When it comes to acquiring customers on your own, here are a few things I learned so far:

    It's always best to diversify. Don't be a one-trick pony. If one lead source dries up or you find yourself in a position where you can not compete, wasted marketing dollars can be easily shifted from one stream to another if you already have them in place, up and running.

    1-Generate leads locally, through networking, volunteering, print marketing, etc.

    2-Mailers

    3-Social Media (hire someone if you don't know how or care to participate)

    4-Buy leads (keep that at a MINIMUM)

    5-develop your own website for lead generation

    It will take some time, but once you find the right combination of where, when, and how to allocate your marketing dollars it will keep you in business long-term.

    Since you are newly independent, and have limited funding for marketing, you really need to look at which carriers and their FMO's are willing to partner up with you and provide assistance.

    Pay VERY close attention to this next part. A huge part of your success/failure will be figuring out which carriers to contract with directly, and which carriers to use an FMO for. Some carriers now have their very own FMO (subsidiaries) that you can partner with. Those FMO's can set you up with pre-set appointment leads, co-op with you on mailers and print ads, provide you with customized marketing materials, etc. The level of assistance and availability will vary depending on your market. Insurance Carriers provide FMO's with marketing money, find out how a potential FMO uses these funds to help build up your book of business. Getting this one step right can double/triple your marketing dollars. It is absolutely critical that you heavily research each carrier individually to avoid missing out on opportunities. Insurance carriers will either provide directly appointed agents with support ($), or provide a local FMO with support ($) that is to be shared with agents appointed with the carrier through an FMO.

    Let me write you a reality check, cash it ASAP. You are now in business for yourself, therefore, a new set of rules apply. The insurance business is cut throat. You will come across an endless number of soul-less people who lack any morals whatsover, who have no problem lying to your face, mis-leading or mis-informing you. In the business side of insurance, this is otherwise known to them as 'smart'. Their philosophy: It is 'smart' to exploit the ignorance and trust of honest people. The goal is to get you to add them to your upline so they will collect an override or worse, to get you to assign your commissions to them, keeping a chunk of your commissions in addition to override. These jokers literally keep all the marketing money they receive for themselves.

    Having said that, Trust NO ONE. Put it out there that you are going independent and here come the schiesters. They can smell your blood in the water better than a shark. Many so called GA's, FMO's, Agencies, and even other independent agents, will try harder to screw you than a teen- age boy on prom night. While some (very few) are helpful and will try very hard to work with you, provide co-op marketing assistance and many other valuable services to you, many are just there to collect override on your commissions while providing nothing of real value. Those that offer 'training and advice' or promise a quick and easy release from your contract are a waste of time. You are not new and don't need their outdated advice on generating leads that worked back in 1995, take my word for it, doesn't work in 2016. You don't need to attent a training session that explains the basics of Medicare. Plan/product specific training is provided by each carrier.

    Do not trust the word of agent managers, sales execs, etc. You can trust what the agent managers tell you because you both share the common goal of selling plans/policies for the insurance carriers, who they are an employee of......right????

    WRONG. You will come to learn, the agent managers themselves may not necessarily have the right answers, unintentionally giving you wrong or outadted info. There are also many side deals that are cut that they can not or will not talk about or will not include you in. They can not, will not tell you which FMO/GA's to avoid or to got to in your area because many times, they have relationships with the same SHADY FMO/GA. Some of them have hundreds, even thousands of agents in their upline that they do absolutley nothing for, but still make money for their employer, the insurance carrier.

    Granted, you are newly independent and most places will want to see you put some business on the books and build a relationship with them before they really work with you. That's fair, however, there are many opportunities to be had out there for new agents, there are FMO/GA's that are happy to assist newly independent agents. They will assist you in building your book for the first couple of years until you reach an income level that doesn't require assistance.
     
  6. Insurance_Guy05
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    Insurance_Guy05 New Member

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    Is it best to outsource for all this if I don't know how to do it so I can just concentrate on selling?
     
  7. thomasm
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    thomasm Guru

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    Sure! How much money you got besides the $1000 a month?
     
    thomasm, Oct 27, 2016
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  8. Insurance_Guy05
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    Insurance_Guy05 New Member

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    I have more than $1000 a month if I need to so money isn't the issue. I just wanna be spending it in the right place
     
  9. I. M. Green
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    I. M. Green New Member

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    No.

    Focus on selling, LOL. That is what you USED to do working for someone else.

    Now that you work for yourself, your job/role is very different. 80% (if not more) of this business is marketing, 10% operations, 10% sales. That is the case regardless of any business, you can be the best salesman on earth, the reicarnation of Z.Z. himself, if you can't get your phone to ring or can't get potential customers in front of you, you will not be able to sell anything.

    You are everything, hence the word independent. You are the secretary, CEO, COO, Comptroller, HR Dept., janitor, salesman, customer service... you name it, your it.

    Everything you outsource takes money away from your marketing budget.
     
  10. DaKine
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    DaKine Expert

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    I think your best bet is to smile and dial and set appointments to meet with business owners, partnerships, and small corps. Network with accountants and lawyers. Contact people who have recently had life events. Work with members of your church to help them with their charitable giving. Join toastmasters and BIA. If money is burning a whole in your pocket, try direct mail. Build a database of all the people you meet and stay in touch with them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
    DaKine, Oct 30, 2016
    #10
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