You’ve put the holiday decorations away and vacuumed up the last of the new year’s confetti. Now is the perfect time to create your marketing plan.
After all, you need to grow your book of business this year, right? But maybe you find marketing intimidating or overwhelming (up there with root canals?). Maybe you’re not sure if you have the time or energy to learn new marketing skills (as well as run your business).
Here’s the thing…
Even the smallest marketing efforts will help (like talking to family, friends and acquaintances about your business). But, with a well-thought-out (and simple) marketing plan, you’ll be on your way to an exciting and profitable selling year.
What is a marketing plan?
Basically, a marketing plan is a document you create that lays out how you will promote your business. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It’s also not just something you create in a Word Doc, bury on your hard drive and forget about until next January.
Instead, your marketing plan is a living document that your revisit, reassess and adjust throughout the year.
Start with your ideal client
When you think of your clients, who is your favorite — the one you’d clone if you could? What makes them a perfect fit for your business? Maybe they bought additional products, referred friends and gave you a great review on Yelp…
As you put your marketing plan together, think about your ideal client and what worries them about their insurance needs. Are cost, complicated Medicare language, insufficient (or too much) coverage a concern?
The key is to go beyond simple demographics and dig into their wants and needs. You can use that information to create targeted marketing collateral and convert new leads into happy clients.
And to help keep your ideal client the focus of your marketing, you can create a buyer persona. This is a detailed, fictional version of the client you’d love to duplicate — over and over — in your book of business. Use the persona to guide all your marketing efforts.
Get to know your competitors
Have you checked out your competition lately? You know, the local health insurance agent that shows up in the neighborhood paper…the one who writes the insurance-related articles for your target audience.
It’s time to uncloak your inner Sherlock and take a close look at her marketing efforts. Visit her website, follow her blog and check out her Facebook page and LinkedIn profile. Does she have reviews? Find out what her clients like (or don’t like) about her.
Do this with a handful of competitors, and you’ll get a good sense of what you need to do to compete.
Here’s the important part…
Once you know what your competition is doing, you can develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Think about your products and the services you provide. What do you do better or differently?
Maybe it’s the personalized service you provide or your ability to boil down complicated insurance jargon into easy-to-understand language. Work on your USP until you can describe how your service is unique — in one or two sentences.
Set your marketing goals and develop your strategy
It’s one thing to have a solid marketing plan, it’s another to define how you will pull it off. In your plan, include the marketing tasks you need to accomplish each week, month and quarter.
For instance, when will you send out your AEP emails? And how many times will you send follow-up reminder emails? Are there industry recommendations for the best time of the week or day for sending them?
Use these types of questions to shape your marketing strategy.Then set up your marketing calendar, including looking at the results (e.g., each month, look at your Google Analytics to evaluate your website traffic, and how that traffic is translating into leads).
Decide on a marketing budget
When it comes to deciding how much money you’ll spend on your marketing this year, you need to determine what you’ll do yourself and what you’ll hand over to the pros.
Interested in writing your own blog posts and running your email campaigns this year? Do a Google search, and you’ll find plenty of valuable resources — from beginner blogging to advanced A/B testing.
Not so comfortable with managing the technology side of your marketing? There are a lot of professionals — from freelancers to agencies — who can help with your website optimization, content creation and advertising.
Get started on your marketing plan today!
Whether you’re a brand new agent or seasoned Medicare guru, your marketing plan is essential for growing your business. Without a solid plan going into the new year, you risk the stress that comes with too few clients and a stagnant (or shrinking) book of business.
When it comes to creating your marketing plan, a little time investment now and monitoring the results throughout the year will help you rest easier at night, knowing you’ve got a solid plan for attracting the right clients to your business.
The Financial Grade team has great tips for getting the most out of your marketing — as well as getting contracted with the premier carriers. Get contracted today!