Strategy First, THEN Build Your Website

Discussion in 'Insurance Websites' started by cminer, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. techie

    techie New Member

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    This was a very informative post.
  2. cminer

    cminer Member

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    CALTCAgent, the point I'm trying to make is that there is no separation between your marketing efforts offline that you're already doing and your marketing efforts online, rather they should be integrated together and compliment each other.

    Example: If you do a direct mail campaign have a landing page on your site specific for that campaign and direct people to it, they're probably going to look you up online before picking up the phone anyway so you may as well focus your message to them.

    Your target market and ideal customer are the same online and off and yes of course geography is a major aspect of that. If you're an agent in Sometown, California then people in Sometown, CA are a criteria of your target market.

    I don't know how you're defining who you're currently targeting, are you defining it as anyone over 50 in Sometown, CA? If so then you need to refine it down further because it's too broad, instead maybe you want to target people over 50 that own property valued over $250,000 because you sell long term care and that's really just about protecting assets.

    Now, maybe you relate best with farmers, maybe you grew up on a farm and you can carry a relevant conversation with them. Most farmers around Sometown, CA would fall into that target market and have assets well over your $250,000 mark. This is getting closer to your ideal client.

    Now it's a matter of determining where farmers around Sometown tend to hang out, make a list of places & events they tend to go to and inject yourself into them.

    Here's what you need to come to terms with, farmers around Sometown aren't actively searching for long term care insurance on the old Google by the thousands. You're never going to get hundreds of leads per day by doing "search engine optimization" in this situation, you're probably never even going to get 1.

    What they will do however is go to your site if you ask them to from a direct mail piece, a radio ad, a newspaper ad or if one of your existing clients refer you to someone. Maybe you've discovered that a lot of farmers tend to hang out at the local cafe every morning and drink coffee so you make sure you have breakfast there regularly as well and get to know them, even these people that you interact with personally will look you up online if you plant the seed.

    Maybe Sometown, CA has a meetup group for people into restoring and showing old tractors, don't laugh because this is actually a popular thing and guess what types of people tend to be into this? It's not a cheap hobby and most of the people involved come from a farm background, right in your sweet spot. Now you're really narrowing down your ideal client.

    Ok, so now you're going to ask why your website matters because all of this stuff is offline right? Well these people are all still more comfortable going to a website than they are calling you to get a high pressure sales pitch (everyone thinks a call to you is a high pressure sales pitch regardless of what you actually do).

    So we've just figured out that these people into this tractor restoration hobby are a pretty good fit and a pretty tight community, I would bet that there's some Facebook groups for that exact thing and some probably just for people in California. So now you join some Facebook groups and start interacting with the members there, not trying to sell anything but just putting yourself in front of your ideal clients in your exact target market on a regular basis and just talkin tractors. At some point people will ask you what you do but until then you don't mention it at all, be patient and they'll ask and being in a tight-nit community like this the word will also spread.

    Now when they do ask you what you do it's not time for the hard sell, not even time for a soft pitch. Instead what if you had a landing page on your website specifically for people into restoring old tractors with a message focused directly to them because you're into restoring old tractors too and you want to help them protect those tractors if God forbid they ever need to go to a nursing home and it would be a damn shame if those beautiful tractors they spent so much time and energy on got auctioned off just to cover their ltc expenses. When that person says "hey Bob, what do you do when you're not messing around with tractors?" you can say "well Henry, I help protect people's assets if they have to go to the old folks home, actually have some information about protecting those old tractors of yours on my website, here's the link and let me know what you think".

    So maybe you're not a tractor person and have never seen a farm in your life, who cares? Farmers into restoring old tractors is just one scenario of a target market and ideal customer, just one little subset of people over 50. If you really sit down and do some thinking I'm sure you can find your own version of an ideal customer within your target niche market.

    What you need to understand is you have to always be having a conversation with your ideal client in your target market, doesn't matter if it's online offline or on the moon. This is the only way to build true momentum and grow your business for the long haul. Your website is just a tool within this broader strategy that helps you convey your message and convert prospects to clients. It's not a get rich quick machine that's going to crank out sure-sale leads all day long, you still have to put in the time and effort and do that old fashioned leg work.

    Going back to the original premise of this thread you have to have a strategy in place before you consider building your website, otherwise the website has no real purpose.

    In the example I just gave by first determining that farmers over 50 were your target market & that farmers into restoring old tractors were your ideal client you could then determine that the majority of your marketing efforts should be focused on personal interactions with members of that niche community. Now you can start to lay out a purpose driven plan for your site designed to compliment your overall strategy.

    In this case you're going to want a more generally focused home page subtly focused on farmers which is your broader target market but not exclusive to farmers, you'll also want a landing page to super target your message for farmers into restoring old tractors. You also know that the majority of these people that will be visiting this page will probably already somewhat know you and have interacted with you personally so the messaging will be less formal than if you're targeting complete strangers. You're also using this primarily as a bridge from "hey what do you do" to getting into a deeper conversation about long term care so your primary call to action would be to schedule a consultation and nothing about product options and details, rather it's all about conveying that YOU will help them protect their assets and tractors so you're selling yourself more than you're selling a long term care policy.

    So this was all based on LTC but the same would hold true for anything you're selling including final expense. Final expense obviously would be a completely different target market and ideal client, most people with significant assets don't really need or want final expense insurance since they're leaving plenty of assets to draw from. Just use the same process though, break it down and think who's your market for FE? Mostly seniors without a lot of assets probably mostly living on social security and a small amount of savings that don't want to be a burden to their kids when the time comes.

    I did do some FE back in the day and at least for me women were much more receptive than men on this stuff so you could narrow it down a little more to women. Still too broad for my liking but it really gets down to what you know and who you relate with to start drilling it down deeper.

    Now the nature of your market here is a little different than most other lines of insurance given the age you're targeting and product you're selling. It's not going to be the potential clients visiting your site so much as it will be their kids. What will happen is they'll get your direct mail piece and have some interest but often times they'll mention it to their kids and tell them they're thinking about doing something like this. Being protective of their mom the kids will want to check this thing out and make sure you're not some con man trying to fleece mom of her last bit of savings, if you've done much FE you know I'm not wrong.

    Knowing this you're messaging will be focused primarily on these kids and relaying a sense of trust and assurance that mom wants to do this because she doesn't want to leave them with the debt when the time comes. This is also a very rare time where your call to action would be more towards the person calling you for more information as opposed to scheduling a consultation or getting a quote right then and there on the spot. You don't have to sell the client here, you have to sell their kids.


    Determining your ideal client in a niched down target market allows you to build the rest of your strategy on this foundation, without it you're just pissin in the wind.

    Once you have that initial foundation you can determine where those people are and the best way to get in front of them.

    Your website is just a tool to help you close deals and depending on the market your in possibly drive some local targeted traffic from search engines. Knowing who you're targeting and how you're targeting them allows you to build your site around that and give it a true purpose.

    There are no algorithms or complicated mumbo jumbo buzz word thingabobs involved here. You're not a multi-million dollar corporation selling widgets over an e-commerce platform, you're an insurance agent going after a mostly local market offering a non-tangible service. You don't need a thousand dollar per month SEO or social media marketing campaign, you just need to get in front of people all day every day and where technology can improve the process do it, but don't build a website just for the sake of building a website or in the hopes that it's going to get tons of business with no effort, that's crazy.

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