Bootstrap Marketing for IAs

You’ve heard by now the importance of investing in marketing for your agency, but 1) who has the time to launch several successful marketing campaigns and 2) where would you find the money to pay for them? The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to build up your agency’s popularity. It is totally possible to grow your business with minimal investment into marketing if you’re willing to learn. Take a look at these five techniques we’ve compiled and see which one is right for you!

  1. Build an Email List

One of the most economical ways to stay in touch with your clients is by utilizing email marketing. It’s important to note that this technique is mainly used to build recognition and shouldn’t be your first pick to boost instant sales. You can promote your products and boost your agency’s popularity to boot. Your first step is signing up for an email marketing service that allows you to easily send specific messages and track their responses. For more info about which system to use, check out ASNOA’s Fuse platform!

  1. Know Your Clients

This is insurance 101: build a strong rapport with your customers from the get-go! Not only will this increase the likelihood of receiving a referral, but the main component of any effective marketing plan is a thorough understanding of your target market according to Knowing your customers’ needs will help you customize your offerings and distinguish yourself from other agencies in the area. Try incorporating these strategies to get to know your customers:

  • Ask for their testimonials and use them in your marketing
  • Send past customers incentives to regain their business
  • Create a customer-satisfaction survey (be sure to track the results!)
  • Customize some holiday postcards to send out
  1. Get on Social Media

If you aren’t yet using social media for your business, you are missing out on an extremely cost-effective way to reach your audience. The most commonly* used form of online marketing, social media is now an expected part of any successful business. Often customers are confused or put-off when agencies don’t have a social media presence, which means you could be losing out to many other competitors. The power of social media doesn’t just stem from directly promoting your offerings, but from a combination of self-promotions through various other outlets. You could start a business blog, for example, and post about its latest update in your community Facebook Group! You can record videos of you speaking about certain topics, then link them to your agency’s YouTube channel! Social media is all about connecting different platforms to strengthen your voice, and the nice side effect is that it builds your credibility.

Remember to take a second and create a plan before diving right in! Feel free to email for advice!

  1. Giveaways

This is one of our favorite strategies, because (when implemented correctly) it has the ability to build strategic partnerships with local businesses as well as generating great content for community outreach! Think about it, everyone loves getting something for free, so use gift cards to other local small businesses to entice potential prospects! One fun way to do this is by partnering with a local restaurant to give away coupons/gift cards! Make sure you ask to leave some swag at their location so restaurant-goers see it upon arrival.

One thing you should keep in mind is the value of the thing you want to give away. Make sure that your giveaways represent your agency’s values while appealing to your demographic’s interests. Consider how the item looks (is it cheap or well-made?) or the integrity and reputation of the restaurant before partnering with them. You also want to make sure you are not giving away too much, just enough to draw attention and excitement.

Giveaways can also include charity work! A great way to show your community involvement is by giving away your time to help local non-profits and charity organizations. You could sponsor a local sports team, host a (virtual) charity event, or even launch a campaign where the proceeds go directly to an organization of your choice!

  1. Go Grassroots

When in doubt, go about it the old-fashioned way: talking to people. Introduce yourself to the local community, get involved in your town’s activities, and consider expanding your marketing activities to include other businesses. An obvious way to maximize your presence is by joining the Chamber of Commerce or other local professional organization but be sure to prepare an elevator pitch and bring business cards before you start networking! You can co-sponsor an event with another local business like sponsoring their stall at the town’s farmers market. Wearable marketing should always be on your radar, we’re talking t-shirts, hats, bags, you name it! All of it is passive promotion and will get your agency noticed more.

The simple rule of any successful marketing campaign is that it requires a plan, so take time to develop a unique strategy for your agency! This is especially important when you’ve got a small budget because you want to invest in the strategy that yields the greatest reward, and you have to take the cost of every action into account. These marketing techniques are a great way to get your feet wet and start promoting your agency one step at a time!

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