By Nick Hill, Director, Hillster Marketing
Unfashionable industries, like insurance, face an uphill challenge when it comes to building a profitable online and social media presence. Here are 5 tips to improve your visibility and traction:
1. Should I use personal or company profiles?
This is a common question. As a general rule, especially with smaller firms, personal branding is the way to go. All the social channels prefer individuals to post rather than businesses. With that said, unless you want all your prospects/clients to see the personal things you post on Facebook, having a business page makes sense. Effective personal branding will build your trust and credibility.
2. Use the right channels
Have a plan and focus on the channels that will work best for your business. For example, a resource like Advisr.com.au is a good alternative to classic social media channels, as it is actually built to deliver leads – and you can share content too. LinkedIn is great if you are targeting specific industries and Facebook is better if you are chasing smaller businesses in specific geographical areas.
3. Educate, don’t just sell
The rule of thumb is 80% education, 20% sales. Video content gets much more traction too – if you are using LinkedIn, upload the videos directly rather than share a YouTube link. Aim to post regularly, not just when you ‘get a moment’.
4. Don’t just post, broaden your reach
Most brokers I know struggle to get a large, engaged social following. There is little point in posting lots of content that just reaches a limited audience (unless that audience is your target market). By using your partners/sponsorships you can boost your reach without the need for thousands of direct followers. Paying to sponsor updates can be a good way for cost effectively reaching more people.
5. Integrate your offline and online activities
Use your offline activities to help provide content for your online channels and use online work to promote offline activities. Not only will this boost your content but also reduce the resources you need.
Social media can suck up a huge amount of resources, often with little return. You need to make sure you have a targeted plan and integrate it with your broader sales and marketing activity. This will mean you devote the appropriate resources to increase your bottom line.
Need a hand? Contact Nick for a free 30 minute insight session.
Nick Hill is the Director of Hillster Marketing with 20 years’ experience of marketing within the insurance industry around the world. Hillster Marketing is a Partner Service Provider for Steadfast and works with companies from all areas of the insurance industry. He can be contacted on 0419 371 018 or email email@example.com.
Congratulations to the top most viewed insurance brokers of 2018! The people below received the most views on their profile pages over the course of the year. This is great as it means people are searching for and finding the right person to provide advice for them. And that’s exactly what Advisr exists for – to connect people with the right insurance broker.
If you’re not featured yet, remember, profiles with photos get the most views by far, and adding content and a detailed bio boosts your chances of being found by new clients.
Brett is the business owner & insurance adviser at Thiedeman Insurance Solutions. Congratulations Brett.
Greg is the founder of Sureserve Financial Services based out of Sydney. Congratulations Greg
John is the principal of MS2 Insurance Brokers based out of Camberwell in Melbourne. Congratulations John.
Mark is a commercial insurance broker at Regional Insurance Brokers based in Rockhampton. Congratulations Mark.
Karen is a Senior Account Executive with Marsh and is based out of Adelaide. Congratulations Karen.
Emily is an Account Executive with Your Insurance Brokers as is based out of Caloundra, in Queensland. Congratulations Emily.
Elaine is an Account Executive with F D Beck based out of Melbourne. Congratulations Elaine.
Stephen is a Senior Account Executive with Trident Insurance Group based out of Perth. Congratulations Stephen.
Danby is the General Manager of AMA Insurance Brokers based out of Perth. Congratulations Danby.
Polina is the directory of ii-a and is based out of Sydney. Congratulations Polina.
David is an Insurance Broker with Scott Winton Insurance Brokers based out of Melbourne. Congratulations David.
Peter is the Managing Director of Genesis Insurance Brokers Australia based out ofBurleigh Heads in Queensland. Congratulations Peter.
Leigh is the NIBA Vic / Tas Young Professional Broker of the Year Award for 2018. Leigh is the Principal of Doreen Insurance Solutions. Congratulations Leigh.
Raymond is a Manager at Tony Bemrose Insurance Brokers. Congratulations Raymond.
Penny is the Director of Capital Mutual Insurance Brokers. Penny is the winner of the VIC/TAS NIBA Broker of the Year Award for 2018. Congratulations Penny.
Rochelle is the Director of Cairns Business Insurance Solutions. Congratulations Rochelle.
Ashley is the Strata Account Manager at Arcuri & Associates. Congratulations Ashley.
Frank is the Principal of B Frank Insure based out of Adelaide. Congrats Frank.
Meena Wahi is the Director of Cyber Data Risk Managers based out of Melbourne. Congratulations Meena.
The Christmas and holiday period is a funny time of year. It is either crazy busy, crazy quiet or a bit of both! Businesses often feel neglected at this family time of year.
Here’s a list of ten presents you can give to your business this year.
1. Have some fun – any business can inject a bit of life into their marketing and even the most corporate can get away with being light hearted over Christmas. How about getting the team to video a Karaoke thank you to send instead of a Christmas card, or gift wrapping all December proposals.
2. Social media never goes on holiday – even when they are on holiday, people will still be surfing the web and using social media. If nothing else, make sure you are monitoring any requests or comments so you don’t miss out – or worse, come back to find unhelpful comments have gone viral.
3. Sort out a project – use the holiday time as an opportunity to complete that project you’ve been meaning to get around to for ages. If you are a service provider, try offering to undertake a project for your client while they are on holiday.
4. Recognise your people – most businesses do give their people some kind of Christmas bonus or gift to say thanks. If you don’t, you should. Why not do something different this year like buy a family pass somewhere or even just give people an impromptu half-day shopping afternoon?
5. Thank your business partners and clients personally – sending that typical bland Christmas card with just an illegible signature, or an impersonal e-card, screams, “I really don’t care about you much”. If you are going to buy cards/presents, make the effort to personalise them properly – you could even use your own handwriting!
6. Catch up for a coffee or a beer – while many people are away, there are still lots of us who are still working. With less phone calls and emails flying around, often people have more time for a physical catch up.
7. Do some planning – time away from the business is perfect for working ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business. Sitting on a sunny veranda with a beer in one hand and a pen and paper in the other can be remarkably fruitful – or by an open fire in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t forget to drink responsibly though!
8. Make a seasonal offer – that isn’t just a typical holiday sale. How about delivering an ice cream to everyone in the office for a purchase? If it’s a big account, get an ice cream van to turn up!
9. Gear up for February – everyone comes back to work with a nasty bump after the holiday period. Prepare your next sales campaign, so you are ready to push the button, as soon as your prospects are back, will put you a sleigh ride ahead of your competitors.
10. Take some time off – if you are one of those business people who never stops working, treat yourself. Recharging the batteries will help reinvigorate you for the New Year ahead.
Above all I hope you, your loved ones, and your business have a safe and happy holiday!
And by the way there are free ice creams for any new Hillster Marketing clients in December – no matter where you live!
These days, people Google everything. You do it, your friends and family do it and your clients, well they do it too. People literally Google everything.
So as an Insurance Broker, how are you staying on top of the changes in the Google algorithm (how Google determines what to return when people search for things) and how are you keeping up with and ahead of your competitors? The team at Advisr can help you navigate the complexity of Google, optimise your profiles and develop great customer-focused content to attract the right customers.
What people Google
People Google everything. In regards to Googling for Insurance and Insurance brokers, people Google lots of different things that can loosely be grouped together into four key groups. These four key groups influence how we think and it is why Advisr is structured the way it is, to ensure you maximise your reach with customers across all their search intentions. So what are these four key groups.
People Google your name
Yes, that is right, customers Google your name to find out what it is like to work with you (customer reviews) and to be influenced into whether on not they should take action and reach out and connect. So have you Googled yourself lately and seen what comes back? Your customers are Googling you, so you’d better be thinking about improving what they are able to see.
People Google your company name
The name on the door matters. Customers want to find and connect with your company and to find your contact details, they Google you. So making sure that they find the correct details such as your office location, phone number and email contact details is essential. To ensure you have this sorted, you need to optimise your online company profiles across multiple online providers such as Google Business, Yellow Pages and Advisr.
People Google by insurance type
Customers search for insurance by the name of the insurance type. Whether it is at the start of their educational journey or at the pointy end where the purchase is imminent. Customers go looking for very specific information that matches their search enquiries and provides insights for them to consider. If you want to know specifically what people are searching for and how this is changing over time, you can use a tool from Google called Google Trends. At Advisr, we match our categories and insurance lines to the trends we see in the market, enabling us to create a rich customer experience centred around deep customer insights on very specific topics.
The insurance categories on Advisr have been determined based on analysis and input from tools like Google Trends. So making sure your Advisr profile has you listed in the right categories that align with your skills, experience and expertise is critical.
People Google by location
Or to put this in a more customer-centric way, customers search for insurance brokers in their location. You might happen to be in or be available to service that location. Customers do search for insurance brokers near them. So at Advisr, we have pages that match the location-based query customers are using to search for you.
Why your profile is important both now and in the future
As you progress your career, your personal brand and reputation matter more and more. Starting today on building and cultivating your online reputation is a smart move. The benefits will come. We believe that you need to take ownership of your reputation (online specifically) and determine how you want to be presented. Your Advisr profile should be a key part of your strategy.
Why your staff and employees need profiles
As a brokerage leader, the reputations of your staff are critical to your business’s success. Customers ultimately deal with your staff and so ensuring that your staff have good online reputations is part of modern business value creation. Your business is its people.
If you’d like to talk further about why an Advisr profile helps you dominate in Google, please reach out and get in touch with the team.
How do I start?
Posting your content on Advisr is a great way to drive new business by showing the world your expertise. We will help to share it online with potential customers and others in the insurance industry. You can share your Advisr Post on your LinkedIn, website and in emails, and send it to potential new customers to establish trust in your knowledge.
Choosing a topic
What are you an expert in? If you specialise in a certain type of insurance then focus on an aspect of that. Is there a change in how that type of insurance is offered? Consider what is timely and newsworthy – could you link your topic with something that will be happening soon in your readers lives, to maximise the chances of them wanting to read it? One example is insurance considerations for small businesses in the lead-up to party season. Are they fully covered and how can they minimise risks of being liable for any mishaps? (you can’t use that idea though because we’re publishing an article all about that on Advisr soon ;))
It helps to sketch out your initial structure in headings that represent each key paragraph or point, then expand and explain each point in more detail for your reader afterwards. Deciding a logical structure that naturally flows through to prompt the reader to contact you is easier to do at the beginning.
Add relevant subheaders to help the reader who scan-reads, and to set the context of each section.
Tone and language
While keeping the tone professional, positive and polite goes without saying, you can tailor the tone and language to your own personality and personal style. Do you like to have a laugh and joke with your clients? You can inject that into your article by writing as you’d speak. Like to tell stories to illustrate your points? Again, something to include in your article. Do you want it to be fun, lighthearted or urgent and serious? It all depends on your personal style, and the topic you’re writing about.
Use language that’s simple and easy to understand. Consider whether a ten year old could read and understand it. That’s the benchmark copywriters use.
Get someone new to look over your content at least once before you publish. When you’ve been editing and writing for a while you sometimes can’t see the wood for the trees and miss errors and mistakes, punctuation or typos. Check, check and check again. Also ask them to ensure it is clear, and makes easy reading.
Adding your content to Advisr
This bit is super easy – just follow the instructions below:
- Log in – using your email or username and password
- My content – click into ‘my content’
- Add content – copy and paste the text from your content
- Image – ensure you choose an image that is high enough quality and not blurry. If you know how to resize it, the size should be: 800 x 400 px If you don’t know how to resize it, just click the button below the screen and the Advisr team can do it for you once you’ve submitted it.
- Category – select the insurance category that aligns with the content you have added.
- Save – Your article is automatically saved every 5 seconds. So if you want to go back and edit your article again before submitting click ‘save’
- Save and send – Your article goes to the Advisr editorial team to review and then publish. You’ll be notified once your content has been published.
Need help creating content?
If you have an idea for an article but don’t have the time or writing skills to write it, we can help! Advisr ghostwrites articles for professionals just like you. And if you sign up for a premium profile we will write your first article for free using our expert copywriters. Just get in touch and let us know the topic you’d like to focus on.
The importance of a good quality professional photo can’t be underplayed. Potential customers often see you for the first time online, and first impressions count! Having a good profile photo on professional websites (such as your company website, Advisr profile, LinkedIn and Yellow Pages) helps people to identify you when you meet, puts a face behind the name so people can picture you, and adds trust and credibility.
Simply having a profile photo on a professional network results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. (according to LinkedIn Statistics)
Are you an insurance broker?
If you don’t yet have an Advisr profile, or your profile is incomplete then log in and udpate it today – be sure to add a professional profile photo.
The tips below will help you decide whether it’s time for a new profile picture, and give some examples of the type of photos to avoid.
1. Wear professional clothes
It goes without saying that you should plan the day before and wear something professional and smart. This all depends on your own personal brand of course – if your usual sense of style is bright and funky then go for that, otherwise neutral colours are an easy bet.
2. Hair and makeup
Make sure your face isn’t shiny. If you wear makeup make sure you don’t overdo it, unless you’re in the fashion industry! Wearing your hair as it usually is will mean people are more likely to recognise you. And of course, make sure it’s neat and brushed. Avoid excessive jewellery if you wear it as it can be distracting.
3. Use a high resolution photo
Nothing shouts unprofessional like a blurry pixelated photo. Make sure you choose one that’s crisp and clear. Ideally well-lit and professionally shot.
4. No sunglasses or a hats
Remember that people need to be able to recognise you when they meet you, so seeing your eyes and whole face is important.
5. Professional not social setting
Steer clear of pictures from weddings, nights out or holidays! You might love that photo of you, but remember, it’s not professional.
6. Positioning is important
Make sure you’re facing the camera. Professional photographers will often get you to position your body slightly to one side, but with your face facing forward.
7. Lighting should be direct, bright and consistent
Avoid taking your photo in low lighting or where the light casts strong shadows on your face. Shadows can make it difficult to see your face clearly and don’t look professional.
In today’s climate of mistrust in the insurance industry it’s more important than ever to ensure your online profile photos look professional, friendly and trustworthy. People buy from people and build trust with those they recognise.
If you’re an insurance broker, make sure your Advisr profile includes your friendly, professional inviting face:
Professional Indemnity is a hot topic in insurance circles and businesses need to pay attention. A number of insurers have stopped providing the insurance, changed their small print and significantly raised prices.
Here are 5 things you need to know:
1) PI – does not mean Magnum PI!
In insurance it means Professional Indemnity and its designed to cover financial damage caused from negligence, error or omission, misstatement or misrepresentation arising out of a professional service. Public liability insurance does not cover any advice you give – it covers physical damage.
2) Who needs it?
Anyone selling their skills and specialist knowledge based on their qualifications or historic experience. For example, consultants, designers, engineers, IT services, intermediaries and advisors.
3) Its more than insurance for your mistakes
It can also defend you should your client accuse you of a mistake (even if its unfounded), cover you for accidentally releasing confidential information, saying something deemed defamatory and the unintentional use of third party images.
4) You are still liable even if you didn’t charge for the advice
It doesn’t matter whether you charge a fee or offer some friendly free advice. Professionals owe clients a duty of care and if something bad happens, there could be a claim.
5) Watch out if you are in design and construction.
Some insurers are changing policy exclusions. These could lead to you be liable for cladding claims from work you’ve done in the past 15 years!
Connect with Penny Collins today to learn more.
Call us at Capital Mutual Insurance Brokers and we will walk you through what all this means for you and help you every step of the way.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
Today, reputations matter more than ever. We know that people only do business with people they trust. Trust is built via our reputations and our how we have delivered in the past. As Ford says, you can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
So if reputations matter, then why is it important to be a Trusted Insurance Broker and how can you ensure that you are known this way.
In particular, Insurance Brokers have a massive opportunity to differentiate themselves based on their reputations and on how trusted they can be and through a reputation based on what you have done already.
Why is it important to be a Trusted Insurance Broker?
Insurance is fundamentally about trust. Insurance is a contract that provides security for when risks occur. As customers, we never quite know what our insurance experience will be like until the moment of truth occurs and you seek to make a claim on your insurance policy. It is the future promise of assurance that customers are essentially buying.
Insurance at its core is a promise. As such, customers need to be able to trust insurance brokers when they making insurance purchasing decisions.
If you want to grow your insurance book, then being trusted is critical.
How to be a Trusted Insurance Broker
Understanding how to become a trusted insurance broker is critical. Becoming trusted doesn’t simply happen overnight, trust is built through a consistent and steady approach of saying what you are going to do and then doing what you have said you will do.
So, if you want to grow your insurance book, then being trusted is essential.
What can you do to be a Trusted Insurance Broker?
Here are 7 steps you can take to be a trusted insurance broker.
1: Be transparent
Being transparent with clients is critical. Customers have a great ability to have access to lots of information. So you can build trust through transparency and providing them with all the relevant information that they need to make their decision.
2: Seek public feedback
You reputation is driven by client feedback. Seek client feedback and channels to make it publically available. Clients want to know what it is like to work with you from others that have worked with you.
3: Do what you say you will do
A pretty simple principle, but to ensure you can do what you say you will do, you need to be clear on what you are going to say before you say it. You can start taking small steps on this today. For example, if you say that you’ll call someone at 10am. Call at 10am, not 10:07 etc.
4: Promote client testimonials
Your clients’ testimonials are business-critical assets. Promote their words, not your words and show people what it is like to work with you. Great client testimonials are the output from consistent work for your clients at every step of their process with you. So if you want to generate great client testimonials, then keep that in mind at every stage of your process.
5: Share educational content
Education is the key way of building trust, in particular for a strong digital sales process. We have shared more about how Education is the key to digital selling for insurance brokers.
Start sharing educational content that solves customers problems. Giving away your expertise enables customers to truly value your skills and understand more about how you operate.
6: Understand first, then look to match to products
As people, we love to be understood. So to build trust with potential clients, spend most of your time seeking to understand what it is they do and how they feel about their needs and requirements. Understanding a client, and checking that you really are understanding them is critical.
Keep asking open questions during your interactions. Such questions could be “tell me more about your business”, “What areas do you feel you need coverage in”, “What would happen if….” and “how does this feel for you?”
7: Be trustworthy
Simply be trustworthy. It is the most valuable business and career asset you can cultivate.
“Spending time meeting with insurance brokers, understanding more about what makes them unique and sharing how reputations, especially online reputations, matter more than ever!”
Our CEO and Founder, Andy Jamieson, is excited to announce that Advisr will be part of the NIBA Convention for 2018.
As part of our NIBA Convention 2018 special we are offering all the insurance brokers and brokerage principals the following benefits:
One-on-one consultations sessions
One-on-one consultation sessions are focused on your business. Explore your business opportunities and challenges – with Advisr CEO & Founder, Andy Jamieson
Sit down for a one-on-one session with Andy Jamieson, CEO & Founder of Advisr. Spend time discussing your business, and the opportunities and challenges you are facing.
Interested to understand why reputations matter more than ever? Keen to take your business, marketing and reputation to the next level? Lets talk.
To secure your consultation session, REGISTER YOUR INTEREST NOW: email Andy today.
Business Card Draw – WIN 12 mths Advisr Premium
Looking to accelerate your business and reputation in 2018. One lucky winner will receive 12 mths of Advisr Premium for free. Giving you great exposure to people who are looking for exactly what you provide.
To be eligible you need to:
1: Drop off a business card
2: Create your profile on Advisr
Winner will be notified in Hobart at the close of the conference.
Meena Wahi is an insurance broker from Cyber Data Risk Managers based in Melbourne. We’ve interviewed Meena to share some of what she loves about working in the insurance industry, her thoughts on where the industry is going
What do you love about being an insurance broker and an insurance expert?
Insurance broking offers the opportunity to add value to clients business, plus I like Insurance because it offers a high ROI to my clients.
What insurance lines are your core areas of expertise? Core areas you service?
- Cyber Insurance
- Intellectual Property Insurance
- IT Liability Insurance
- Director & Officers Insurance
What is the most unusual request you’ve had or heard about?
Another broker, who specialised in different insurance lines referring me their client as they did not fully understand cyber risk
What makes an ideal client? Why?
Someone who understand the risk and obligations and are willing to invest in mitigating the risk. I also like clients who understand emergent risk so take up policies that offer wider coverage.
When have you gone above and beyond for a client?
My client was refused cover by a number of Insurers. When they approach me, I was able to help them understand what they evidence they had to provide of their own internal procedures and controls, I spent a lot of time speaking with their team and explained to them in detail and also provided them with research. This lead to them to follow up on my suggestions due to which they were able to get the insurance cover required.
Why should someone consider using an Insurance Broker?
It is very important to use to an Insurance Broker as they can help you identify exposures, provide information to the underwriter which promises them full coverage, and educates your business about your obligations – so that you have a very high chance of your claim getting accepted.
What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 mths?
Businesses must do a health check on their insurances as changes in regulations and increase in use of the internet is likely to create more digital risk. Traditional insurance may no longer be relevant or provide adequate coverage from new and emerging risks like Cyber risks.
If you’re a broker and would like to be featured on Advisr, please get in touch.