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Why You Must Have Video

video-iphoneWebsites have come a long way in just the last two years.  Two years ago, content was king.  No new content meant no one cared, and two years ago, the buzz was all about mobile.  Now, if you’re not mobile, you’re simply not relevant.

Today, websites without video are just not very effective compared to those with.

Insurance agencies may feel a bit overwhelmed with what is needed to keep up with all of this.  After all, we’re insurance people not internet marketers!  Or are we?  The truth lies somewhere in the middle.  The fact is that almost all commerce, including insurance purchases, takes place either directly on the web or is influenced by it.

So, like it or not, keeping up with what consumers expect in their web experiences isn’t an option, at least for today’s winners.

With that said, are there some best practices for video that can be adopted by anyone?  Yes, to begin with, web videos should be short.  The stats seem to indicate that past 30 seconds you begin to steadily lose viewership, although interestingly people will currently watch videos longer on their mobile devices.  Go figure.

Of course, videos need to be interesting.  That can be a challenge if you only think of insurance in policy terms.  But think about Progressive’s, State Farm’s, and Farmer’s ads on TV.  They manage to convey a message, with humor, in 30 seconds.  You can do the same thing with web video if you flex your creative muscles.  Or, you can put some of the videos your carriers have created on your site.  That saves time, money, and creative brain cells and leverages their brands with yours.

Make it personal.  This goes a bit against the last paragraph but where local agencies have a real opportunity is to personalize their offerings.  This is especially valuable when you share the video beyond your site into your social media posting.  You’re posting on social media, right?

Be topical.  What makes videoes go viral isn’t production values, its interest.

Turn it over frequently.  Change things up every few weeks.  Anything on your site that is a year old is, well, old.

Being a 21st century marketer is challenging, but so was being a 19th century marketer.  Try things.  Fail.  Get better.  But try.  Video is where it’s at in website marketing for now.  Who knows what will be hot and required in another two years.  Virtual reality anyone?

Claim Your Share

Why are you in the insurance agency business? I know why I am. First of all, because it is a lot of fun. Also, if you are like me, you are in the business to make a great living and build a retirement fund for your family and your future. Recently, I was looking at the difference in income that we as an organization would get from our strategic partner carriers if we put the business with them. Guess how much money we’re talking about?

Watch to learn more.

Would You Like to Make a Quick $288,000?

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I sometimes think we get so busy just trying to get the work done in our agencies that we forget why we took the risk to start our own business in the first place. Most of us started our businesses so we could control our own destiny, and make more money. Remember?

I do too. But sometimes we forget.

Recently, I spoke to one of our member agents and asked her why she was placing $200,000 of business with an Excess and Surplus Lines broker instead of writing that business through a Strategic Partner Carrier of OAA. She told me it was because she liked the broker and didn’t want to offend her.

I don’t like offending people either, but like what Kevin O’Leary, the hyper-successful “Mr. Wonderful” from the television reality series, Shark Tank, always says: “It’s the money that matters in business!” Let’s look at the financial consequences of this agent’s decision to ignore the money:

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Our agent partner was forgoing $32,000 in additional compensation (260%!) to not offend someone? Incredible! But, that’s not all. I asked the agent “would moving this business require any more work?” The answer was no. So, where does the revenue go? To the bottom line of course.

Agencies are valued on a multiple of profit. Eight times profit is the going rate. So, this additional $32,000 in income meant the agency value would increase by $256,000! That means the total value of moving the business, to the agency owner in business to make money would be $288,000. That is a 1,440% increase in economic benefit to the agency owner from one simple change.

We are all in business to make money. Yes, we are busy. But are we busy doing the right things? The primary responsibility of a business owner is to maximize the money the business makes. Is there a chance you have some profit and income leaks in your business?

*I know this level of bonus seems incredible, but it is fairly typical for OAA members. If you’d like to learn more give me call or send me an email.

Four Ways to Drive Retention

I want to talk to you today about a way to drive growth to your agency, by creating retention of your existing business. I have a few ideas to share with you.

The first thing you can to do to make sure you “lock the door” to make sure customers don’t leave is to develop a welcome package when they first arrive. This is a great way to orient them to your agency and all the products and services you offer. Let customers know how you will protect them and their families. This is the first thing you can do to make sure you can keep customers forever.

My next suggestion is to communicate 8-10 times a year with every customer, in at least 2-3 different ways. Tell them about things they care about. Remind them it is about to freeze, remind them of other ways you can help protect their families, etc.

Third, be early with renewals. Provide the renewal 60 to 90 days ahead of time and be sure to give the customer options. Show them you are working overtime to take care of their needs.

Lastly, be grateful. People love to be appreciated and needed. Be sure to say thank you.

These four suggestions will help drive tremendous growth in your agency by “locking the door” and keeping customers forever.