ITC Press Releases
|Third Annual InsurTech Scholarship Open for Applications
The third annual InsurTech Scholarship is now open for applications for the 2018-19 school year.
POSTED JANUARY 30, 2018 9:00 AM
|Single Sign On Now Available on TurboRater
ITC's comparative rating system TurboRater is now capable of single sign on.
POSTED DECEMBER 12, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Adds Syndicated Blogging to Insurance Website Builder
Now available in Insurance Website Builder's Platinum and Emerald plans... syndicated blogging.
POSTED DECEMBER 07, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Adds Multiple Filters to AgencyBuzz
ITC announced today the availability of stackable multiple filters in its automated agency marketing system AgencyBuzz.
POSTED OCTOBER 26, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Named a Finalist for Digital Service Provider in the Inaugural Insurance Business Awards
ITC named a finalist in the Best Digital Service Provider category for the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards.
POSTED OCTOBER 13, 2017 9:00 AM
|Meghan Axtman Wins the Second Annual InsurTech Scholarship
Congratulations to Meghan Axtman, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on winning the 2017-2018 InsurTech Scholarship.
POSTED OCTOBER 10, 2017 9:00 AM
|Second Annual InsurTech Scholarship Open for Applications
The second annual InsurTech Scholarship is open for applications. Deadline to apply is September 15, 2017.
POSTED JULY 17, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Named a Top Technology Provider in Insurance Business America for Second Year
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a provider of websites, marketing, comparative rating and management software and services, announced today that readers of Insurance Business America have named ITC a top technology provider for the second year in a row.
POSTED JUNE 26, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Launches GAINSCO Buy Now in TurboRater for Websites in Texas
ITC launches GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Buy Now in Texas in its online consumer rater TurboRater for Websites to help independent agents compete effectively online.
POSTED MARCH 20, 2017 9:00 AM
|Albert Appouh Wins the Inaugural InsurTech Scholarship
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a provider of agency marketing, rating and management software and services, announced today Albert Appouh as the inaugural recipient of the InsurTech Scholarship.
POSTED NOVEMBER 09, 2016 9:00 AM
|Where Are My Leads? Making the Most of Your Website’s Contact Form
What is the point of a website? That’s a loaded question.
In the world of insurance, though, you probably have one thing in mind: Leads.
People come to your insurance website to reach out to you. It’s a simple process. But, it can have great benefits as more leads tend to equal more revenue.
Shameless plug: Insurance Website Builder offers a slew of features to help generate leads. But, the most important might be your contact form.
It’s an easy-to-use feature. And, it won’t require more than two minutes of your customers’ time.
With that being said, you still may not be seeing leads. It may be because your contact form is under-utilized or under-advertised.
I’ve got some great tips to help you make your website’s contact form more visible and get the most out of it.
Make it Easy to Find
You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention online. Aside from that, customers don’t like having to click through a bunch of pages to find something. People don’t like searching for things.
If you want someone to reach out, present that contact form as soon as you can. It should have its own place on your navigation menu, for sure. But, you can also present it in other ways.
Check out this homepage.
Click to view full website
It provides a call to action in bright, vibrant letters at the top of the screen. Click that link, and you’re on a form. Your agency gets a lead, and the customer gets to enjoy the rest of their afternoon. It’s a win-win.
You can also build this form right into your home page. Check out this option.
Click to view full website
This is my favorite option. There are literally zero clicks or scrolls required to find the form. It’s an obvious call to action.
Include More Than Just a Form
I’ve spent the better part of this blog talking about the form part of your contact page. It’s entirely possible that someone doesn’t want to fill out a form.
Perhaps they’d rather talk to you or visit you (unusual concepts, I know). To that end, display your contact information on your contact page as well.
In your Insurance Website Builder administration console, all you have to do is fill in your employee directory and location information. Our system does the rest and adds this information to your contact page.
Check out this Contact Page example. There’s a form, phone number and address.
Click to view full website
In this day and age, most people would rather communicate with you digitally. But, it’s best to provide options to all customers.
Remember some people do still make phone calls with their smart device. A phone number on your contact page can go a long way.
Keep it Simple (Silly)
Most of us are familiar with the KISS principle. The simpler something is, the more likely you are to get a response.
Our contact page only asks for first name, last name, email and phone number. If customers or leads want to leave a detailed message, they can, but it’s not required.
Our platform allows you to go in and customize your forms. But, ignore the urge to go in and edit your Contact Us form.
People get overwhelmed when they see large quantities of required information. The more fields, the more likely someone is to click off your page and go somewhere else. Leave this one alone.
In fact, if you’re inclined to edit your own forms, you can probably remove the less necessary fields from other forms, while you’re at it.
These are a few of the ways you can make your contact form work for you. Follow these tips and let’s see if those leads come in a bit more easily
Seeing an improved response from these tips? Want to learn more about lead generation? Leave a comment below!
POSTED MARCH 19, 2018 9:50 AM
|ICYMI: What Facebook's New Algorithm Means for Your Agency
In the March 2018 edition of Masters of Marketing, SEO Consultant Stephanie Ewen discussed Facebook's latest algorithm change that decreases the reach of business page posts. She also covered ways in which insurance agencies can combat this and increase engagement, reach and relevancy to Facebook followers.
If you missed the presentation, take a look at the slides below or watch a recording here.
Join us next time on Thursday, April 19 at 12:00 p.m. CT for How to Turn Your Website into a Lead Generator, hosted by Website Coordinator Matt Farrell.
POSTED MARCH 15, 2018 1:50 PM
|Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Phases of Developing Your Website
Getting your insurance website up and running can seem daunting. It’s natural to get it launched and take a step back.
Not everyone can be a designer, developer or AdWords specialist. But, knowing your business and its customers still allows you to take your website in whatever direction you choose.
As a business owner, it’s expected to set goals for your agency. Your website is no exception.
The priority is usually website traffic, visits, conversions, and search engine rankings. There are on-site choices as well.
Consider addressing these goals in a rotation so as to not get overwhelmed. Setting miniature goals can make them less formidable. And, no matter how big or small the goal, it’s important to continue iterating the process.
Here are a few focal points to ensure your website is always improving.
By the Numbers
Whether you enlist the help of a professional or play by ear, getting a feel for activity on a website is important.
Without being an SEO expert, you can still have a good sense of whether the website is working for your audience.
See what frequently asked SEO questions you might want to ask yourself at this phase. Address the analytics for your website. They’re important whether the website is just getting started, or has been established for some time.
Get in Formation
Optimize the flow and function of your website. Based on the activity of the website and your knowledge of the target audience, it’s time to find a balance between form and function.
As trends and traffic evolve, review these tips for breathing new life into your site. Switching things up to an entirely new design is also a possibility.
If you’ve been playing with the same design for a few years, a facelift could be a fun change.
Maintain to Sustain
When done on a regular basis, maintenance for your website is a valuable asset.
This could entail blogging, content tweaks, and off-site SEO. You can do your own website audit with a few easy tips.
Take the time to ensure your website is running smoothly and on all cylinders.
The mantra here is to never stop improving. Consider your website an ongoing project and a tool for your business. Continue improving your website while evolving and resolving any issues.
POSTED MARCH 14, 2018 9:42 AM
|This is the Way: Shannon Eaves-Dixon from Hallmark Specialty Personal Lines
A small town girl working in the insurance world, Shannon Eaves-Dixon from Hallmark Specialty Personal lines spent the first decade of her career developing media campaigns for a large multi-media company. As the internet starting making waves among traditional media, she began contributing to one-third of the overall online media revenue within her organization. This out-of-the-box thinking for building brands and businesses has contributed to Shannon’s success in her career.
An opportunity to join Allstate as an agent came along at a time when she was ready for a new challenge, and Shannon transitioned into the insurance industry. After a few years as an agent, she moved back into a corporate position in sales and marketing where she was able to apply her experience as an agent and her skills in communications, sales and marketing.
What Shannon likes about the insurance industry is the ever evolving and expanding landscape of distribution opportunities for both agents and carriers. “Both are having to adapt to the industry climate and respond to the insuretech movement. There are more ways than ever for a consumer to purchase a policy and we both must be ready to meet those demands head on.”
This is the way Shannon Eaves-Dixon works.
Our personal lines office is in Plano, Texas, near the “$5 billion dollar mile.”
Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Hallmark Specialty Personal Lines
One word that describes how you like to work.
Current mobile device:
iPhone 6S Plus
Dell Laptop with docking station and dual monitors (must have)
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
- Expanding distribution footprint for both of our product lines, through brick and mortar, call centers and identifying digital opportunities
- Developing a social media presence for HSPL
- Executing on 2018 sales and marketing strategy
- Streamlining our agency compliance audit process
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
- Building a multi-talented team that is willing to go the extra mile without being asked
- Facilitated and oversaw the execution and delivery of a newly design user interface for our agents
- Implemented 100% electronic signature in line with company initiatives
- My amazing husband and beautiful daughter
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Personal – Taking a few online courses in both digital marketing and project management, purchasing another investment property. In addition, I recently got married and built a new house, so looking forward to getting settled and making it a home.
Professional – Working towards and completing the projects outlined above
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Applying patience at times. Slow and steady wins the race.
What do you like most about your job?
Hands down, what I enjoy the most are the people I am surrounded by and work with daily. They are all talented individuals that inspire me to keep pushing forward.
Aside from your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
Kindle Fire. I love to read, and I can have several books going at once on one device… much easier to tote around.
What are the top three apps you use on your phone?
GoogleSheets for personal budget/household management. Facebook to stay connected with family and friends. And, Apple News to keep me up to date on current events.
Describe your workspace.
I work best with order, so it must be very neat. Everything has its place.
How do you manage your to-do list?
For myself, OneNote hands down is the best thing ever developed! Not only can I manage my current projects and tasks, but I can see everything I’ve done for the last five-plus years. I also sometimes opt for the old-fashioned way of hand writing lists. There is nothing more fulfilling than marking something off. When assigning out follow-ups to individual team members, Outlook Tasks is the way to go.
What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?
Closing Outlook to avoid distractions when I’m working on a project.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
Review my tasks for the day.
What is your best everyday habit?
Starting my day with minimal noise, devotion and prayer.
What do you listen to while working?
White noise or classical
What are you currently reading?
Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod thanks to a team members recommendation.
Favorite social network?
Since I don’t live near any of my family, including my daughter, Facebook manages to keep me connected with what everyone is up to.
Coffee or tea?
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I’m watching Outlander on Amazon. My husband bought me all the paperbacks to this series, and I can’t wait to start reading them!
How do you decompress?
Work out or read a book.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I’m in bed by 10 every night, even the weekends.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I start each day with quiet time, a devotional and prayer. I truly believe this is pivotal to ensuring I have the right mindset going into each day. Also, knowing each day is a new opportunity!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up at 4:30-5:00, quiet time, work out, office time with varying daily schedules, home by 6:30-7:00, dinner and downtime with my hubby and bed by 10.
Who are your business idols and why?
I enjoy listening to Tony Robbins, as he came from humble beginnings and even though he has built an empire, he still manages to stay humble, give back and help others.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Sometimes you have to hold on, but don’t hold still. Keep moving forward.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
I wouldn’t necessarily want to switch jobs… I enjoy what I do, but I do aim to have more time to devote working with elderly and hospice patients. It’s one of my passions.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Dennis Friere, Leavitt Agency
The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.
POSTED MARCH 13, 2018 9:27 AM
|The Link Between Your Website and Consumer Trust
Nine months ago I wrote my first blog entry for ITC. Its title? Why Your Customers Want Good Design (And You Do Too).
It was about how to make things easier for consumers on your insurance website. It also covered topics like making a great first impression, engagement and memorability.
Introducing that blog's little sister! And, one more reason why the look and feel of your website is important.
Your website’s looks matter for many reasons. But, perhaps the most important reason is building consumer trust.
To sell my point, I found this awesome study. The question the study asked was, "Do different design and information content factors influence trust and mistrust of online health sites?"
Or, does design influence a website's trust factor?
This study is about healthcare websites. But, healthcare can be equally confusing to the average person as insurance. So, they are comparable.
The study found if participants mistrusted a website, design issues were 15 times more reported than content.
Specific problems mentioned were…
- Inappropriate website name
- Complex or busy layout
- Lack of navigation aids
- Boring web design, especially use of color
- Small print or too much text
Here are some quotes from the participants of the study.
“[On] one of them I didn’t like the color of [it]. I couldn’t wait to get out. It was an insipid green backdrop. It just put me off reading it.”
“There was nothing I liked about it at all. I didn’t like the colors, the text, the layout.”
“I found the screen too busy. I couldn’t quite latch onto anything straight away.”
Now with that said, the study also concluded if a website engendered trust, it was due to content 83 percent of the time.
With web standards getting higher and higher each year, people don't just want good design. It's expected. And if they don't get it from you, they'll go somewhere else.
So, here are four ideas to boost the trustworthiness of your agency’s website design and content.
Quality Over Quantity
According to a study by the Nielsen & Norman Group, the first step toward trust is to make your website appear legitimate and professional.
Everything must be well-organized and use an appropriate color scheme and imagery.
Most insurance agents use blues and greens on their website. These exude trust and confidence in the industry.
But, if pink or purple is your favorite color, then go with it! You'll stand out and maintain your identity. Just make sure you do it in a professional manner.
When you were a kid, did you ever count out exact change for a $.49 piece of candy, but the total turned out to be $.53? Tax isn't hidden, but it’s not obvious either.
Make sure everything is obvious on your website. Or, at least located in a place that makes sense. Display your contact information and lines of business to help your customer choose you.
I did mention content got 83 percent of the credit for a trustworthy website. This means there is a right and wrong way for content.
In the Nielsen study, respondents said they appreciated websites with relevant content. This is because it showed the organization was “well-informed and committed to helping customers."
In your agency’s case, this is where a blog would be a great asset to your website. It gives customers important information, shows you care, and makes you popular with search engines.
Think of the last big purchase you made. How many reviews did you comb through to help you make the decision? Personally, my average is 10 good product reviews and 10 negative product ones.
As an independent agent, being on these review websites is important. So, go claim those Yelp and Google business pages. (Find ITC’s Guide to Google My Business here). But, also have a social bar on your website where those can link back to. Those social links show transparency and trustworthiness.
With digital everything and so much power in the consumer, a trustworthy website is one of the most important business decisions you make. It will take work, but anything worthwhile is worth working for.
POSTED MARCH 12, 2018 10:00 AM
|Use Your Insurance Website to Grow Your Social Media Following
Do you want a social media following, but have no clue where to start? The solution may be closer than you think.
Trying to build your agency's social media presence can be difficult. Especially if you’re starting from square one.
But, don’t get discouraged. Insurance agencies with large social followings build them up over time. Some may even buy followers.
Buying followers is a quick fix. But buyer beware: Purchased followers won’t know your agency or interact with your brand. Then, it’s a waste.
Earn An Engaged Following
The primary goal of growing your social audience should be earning engaged followers.
These are the people that will click on links you share. They’ll retweet your photos or videos. They’ll learn more about your agency and who you are.
These are the followers you want. So how do you get them?
Luckily, you already have a tool at your disposal to grow your agency’s social media following.
Let your insurance website do the work for you. Your website has it all…
- Specific information on who you are and what you do
- What services you provide
- How you can help visitors
- How your visitors can contact you
If your website is helpful and relevant to your target audience, you are likely getting decent online traffic.
Pass that traffic along to your social media pages. Then, your website’s visitors can find and connect with you around the web.
Add social icons to your website. Most websites have these icons displayed in the footer or header for easy access. The icons are small enough to be unobtrusive to your website’s design, too.
Most social media platforms have a widget that can be embedded on your website as well. These live feeds display your latest activity on the platform. Interactive buttons also encourage website visitors to engage.
The below screenshot shows an embedded Twitter feed on our of our website designs. Also notice the social media icons in the bar right above the feed.
Your website should be the center hub for all your social media platforms. But, also consider adding icons to your email signature. Make sure they link to the correct page.
Every person you interact with over email will have the option to engage. This also solidifies your agency’s branding. Your website, email and social profiles should appear uniform.
It is imperative to keep your branding consistent throughout these platforms. Your brand is a direct representation of you, and first impressions are critical.
In turn, when posting to your social platforms, try to provide a way back to your website. Some followers may not have originally found you through your agency’s website.
Include a link to your homepage or quote form in your profile bio. If you wrote a blog post or have a FAQ page about a relevant topic, share it in your post.
Drawing people back to your website will not only further endorse you as a business owner but also help with creating traffic.
Social Media Success
For the digital marketing novice, or the busy agent, social media can be overwhelming.
Start by researching and understanding the platform. If you are unfamiliar, yet you just dive in, success isn’t guaranteed.
Post on a weekly or bi-weekly basics. Show your prospects and clients that you are up-to-date with trends and in-the-know. This gives them confidence in you and your ability to assist them.
Take the time to learn these social platforms, and when you do, use them to benefit your business.
POSTED MARCH 07, 2018 10:00 AM
|The SEO Crossroads: Go Local Or Stay Organic?
Are you looking to grow your insurance agency online? Search engine optimization (or SEO) can be your golden ticket.
With effective SEO techniques, your agency can appear in search results. All at the exact moment consumers have an insurance need.
It’s a great way to drive targeted web traffic and potential leads to your agency. And unlike most forms of advertising, it’s not pay-to-play.
Still, you need to be diligent and strategic to get the most out of SEO. This includes choosing the right focus for your agency’s needs.
That process begins with a big decision. Should you go local with your SEO efforts or stay organic?
The Two Pillars of SEO
All SEO is not created equal. At least not anymore.
Several years ago, there was only one type of SEO. Agencies used traditional, organic SEO strategies to earn first-page rankings on search engines.
In those days, the search result pages were simple. They featured a couple of ads, followed by 10 website links. SEO industry professionals call these the organic results. If your agency appeared in the top three organic results for a keyword, you could expect lots of visits to your website.
Google soon realized their results page layout didn’t serve all searchers. In particular, the search experience was miserable for those searching for nearby businesses.
So, the search giant set out to solve this problem. Google unveiled universal search in 2007. This update connected the search engine to other Google products, including Google Maps.
Map results started showing up in the search results soon after. SEO professionals dubbed this section the map pack.
Here’s what that section looks like today.
This shift in search result appearance led to a split in SEO strategy.
Organic SEO tactics weren’t effective for earning map pack rankings. So, local SEO emerged to fill the void. But, it also caused a chasm.
There are now two distinct search strategies for businesses to grapple with. This leaves agencies with one critical decision.
What’s the Big Difference?
Local SEO and organic SEO have similar objectives. Both aim to increase your visibility in the search results.
The difference lies in their focus. Each strategy targets a separate segment of the search ecosystem. Here’s a closer look at each strategy.
Local SEO focuses on location attributes. For your agency, this means your office location (or locations). A local SEO strategy can boost your agency’s relevance in the area near your office.
Local SEO tactics include…
What does success look like for local SEO?
Your agency can show up in the map pack for searches such as Home insurance Boulder, Colorado. The same can apply for auto, business, life, or health insurance searches.
Your agency can also show up in the map pack when someone nearby searches Insurance agencies near me.
Local SEO caters to target consumers who are on the go. These consumers are looking for close by businesses that provide instant service. And they’re likely to call you or drop by your office to get that service.
Organic SEO focuses on trustworthiness. When you pursue an organic SEO strategy, you aim to establish your agency as an authority. You want your website to be the best resource for consumers’ insurance needs.
Organic SEO tactics include…
What does success look like for organic SEO?
Your agency can show up for searches such as Auto insurance options for a single car household. (Or for similar types of home, business, life, or health insurance searches.) You might even get a featured snippet for the result, as shown below.
Organic SEO caters to consumers with a longer buying cycle. These consumers might not be looking to buy a policy when they visit your website. They might not even want to contact your agency at that moment. But if they like what they see on your website, they could return with their wallets in tow. And if they do, they could become valuable, long-term customers.
Organic SEO is all about the long game. By building consumer trust online, you can tap a critical lead pipeline. But it takes patience, consistency and hard work to get results.
Which Strategy Should Your Agency Choose?
Both local and organic SEO strategies have unique, tangible benefits. So, which strategy should your agency move forward with?
Take a close look at your business model. Do you maintain several offices in a city? A few office locations in many metro areas? Do you focus on low rates or local accessibility?
Are phone calls and walk-ins your agency lifeblood?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, a local SEO strategy would serve you well. Prepare to leverage your location data. That’s your quickest path to getting results.
If you’re looking to target a wider geographic area, organic SEO will work better for you. You'll also want to choose this strategy if your agency targets a wide set of consumer needs. It will take groundwork and persistence to see results with organic SEO. But it will be worth the wait.
Regardless of which strategy you choose, you come out ahead. Why? Because you’ll tap into the vast resources of the internet to reach your target consumers. All without paying for spray and pray advertising.
So, what are you waiting for? Make your choice, and set a course on your SEO journey today!
POSTED MARCH 05, 2018 9:50 AM
|Staying Social: What Facebook's New Algorithm Means for Your Agency
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”- Mark Zuckerberg
As a business, you have no choice but to pay attention to the recent algorithm update from Facebook. It will likely affect your insurance agency's social media strategy for 2018.
What are the new rules? What will get your posts in front of the people that have liked your page? I'm sure you are wondering what is next.
Find out how your social media strategy can survive the Facebook algorithm update. Join me at 12:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 15, for Staying Social: What Facebook's New Algorithm Means for Your Agency.
Masters of Marketing is a free insurance marketing webinar open to anyone who wants to learn how to better market their insurance agency. All you have to do to attend is register.
I hope to see you there!
POSTED FEBRUARY 27, 2018 4:13 PM
|10 Lucky Content Ideas for March
Once in a while, you strike gold with a particular content idea. The blog post garners lots of engagement and generates traffic to your insurance website. A really lucky blog post can even generate leads for your agency with a good call to action. Will you get lucky with one of these March content ideas?
1. National Nutrition Month
Whether you offer health insurance or just want to spread the news, March is National Nutrition Month. This national holiday actually began in 1973 as National Nutrition Week. It grew to a month in 1980 because of growing public interest in nutrition.
The National Nutrition Month website has plenty of information and resources. Share them to your agency’s social media pages. Or, look for some useful tips to share in your agency’s March newsletter.
2. Employee Appreciation Day – March 2
At ITC, Employee Appreciation Day is synonymous with food. We are treated to breakfast, lunch and sugary sweets for a delicious day. Check out the dessert spread from last year.
Will your agency celebrate Employee Appreciation Day this year? If so, be sure to post some photos of the fun. Clients will enjoy seeing your agency’s personality come through.
3. Snow Shoveling Safety
Here in Texas, spring weather has already set in. But if your agency is in an area with plenty of snow, it’s worthwhile to share snow shoveling safety tips. The heavy lifting can strain backs and muscles. The repetitive motion can also cause dehydration and exhaustion. Write a blog post with your top five safety tips. It could save clients aches and pains.
4. Daylight Savings Time – March 11
Yes, it’s already time for Daylight Savings Time to begin again. Remember, in the spring we spring forward and gain an hour. Remind your clients to set their watches and clocks around the house to an hour earlier on this date. Smartphones do not need to be set. Write an evergreen blog about Daylight Savings Time to capture more online traffic.
5. A Day In The Life of an Insurance Agent
Do you ever wonder what some folks do all day at work? Well, they may have wondered the same about you. This topic idea could serve a few purposes. For example, it appeals to people who want to start their own agency. It would also be an interesting read for clients who work in sectors far removed from insurance.
6. The Ides of March – March 15
Ever wonder when the Ides of March really refers to? It is the day Julius Caesar was assassinated in Shakespeare's play of the same name. This March-themed trivia would be good for an interesting social media post. It is okay to share non-insurance themed messages to social media accounts. It keeps things fun and interesting for your followers.
7. Construction Zone Safety
Construction can lead to new businesses, much needed improvements and helpful facilities. But, the process can present hazards for the general public. Write a blog post about some of these hazards your clients should watch out for. For example, checking car tires for nails.
8. St. Patrick’s Day – March 17
Is your community having a St. Patrick’s Day parade? Are there other themed activities happening around town? Write up a list of these for your clients to read and share. Be sure to link to where folks can find more information about events. And, don’t forget to wear green.
9. Retirement Checklist
Are your clients on track for retirement? Make sure they have a plan. If your agency offers financial services or life insurance, you may already discuss this with new clients. But, I encourage you to write about this topic too. A blog post can end up driving traffic to your insurance website. Plus, it’ll definitely be helpful to clients.
10. International Day of Happiness – March 20
The United Nations founded this global holiday when it passed a resolution stating, “…the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal.” Also known as Happiness Day, it’s a simple idea, but a powerful one. Post about this holiday on March 20 to get you and your clients’ Happiness Day started on the right foot.
Bonus: Springtime Religious Holidays
Much like December, March has a great deal of religious holidays. Whether your agency chooses to post about them or not is up to you. Either way, they are still good to know and keep in mind.
- Purim – March 1 - Jewish
- Holi – March 2 - Hindu
- Lent – March 14 - Christian
- Palm Sunday – March 25 - Christian
- Good Friday – March 30 - Christian
- Passover – March 30 - Jewish
POSTED FEBRUARY 28, 2018 9:41 AM
|Recruiting and Staffing Your New Insurance Agency
One of the hardest challenges an agency owner faces is recruiting and hiring staff. This is especially true for new insurance agencies. But, finding qualified individuals to join your staff is crucial to the success of your agency.
Here are a few recruitment ideas to help you staff your new independent insurance agency.
Reach out to other agents, carrier reps, clients and other people in your community. Let them know you are seeking qualified individuals to fill a position. Some of my agency’s best employees have been referrals.
If you are not using LinkedIn for recruiting, you should start today. It is a great way to search for employees and review their employment information. To post a job listing on LinkedIn, you must have a LinkedIn company page.
Internships can be a great benefit to intern and employer. Work with local community colleges, universities, and high schools. They’re a great resource to help you create an internship for your agency. And, they can also help you find interns.
Another great resource is IIABA’s InVest program. InVest is a national program that works to educate high school and college students on insurance. It also encourages them to pursue careers in the industry.
Create a video introducing your agency to potential employees. It’s a great way to show off the culture you’re building and what your goals are. If you’ve got the office space already, you can show that too. Post the video on your job posting, website’s career page and YouTube channel.
- Career Page
Create an engaging career page on your insurance agency website. Make sure it tells candidates about your agency and existing opportunities. This information is what job seekers will want to know from your website. If you have a recruiting video, this is the page where you want to embed the video.
Finding potential employees is only part of the process in staffing your new agency. You’ll need to provide specific outlines on your expectations from employees.
Here is a list of items you’ll need for new employees so they know what you expect from them.
- Job Description
Each position in your agency should have a specific and well-defined job description.Providing an overview of the job will not only help you as the agency owner. It will also help the applicant determine if the position is the right fit for them.
- Employment Agreement
Most insurance agency employment agreements cover topics such as length of contract, termination, non-compete, piracy, compensation and other related topics. Having an employment agreement is essential to every agency. It helps make sure employer and employee are complying with the terms of the agreement.
- Employee Manual
Employee manuals are also another part of setting expectations and guidelines for your agency staff. Most employee manuals cover topics such as dress code, vacation policies, paid time off, disciplinary action items, and other agency policy and procedures. Look for next month’s blog post to read more about creating an employee manual.
Potential employees may inquire about benefits your agency provides. Having an outline of these benefits will help the hiring process.
- Potential for Advancement
Provide an outline for advancement opportunities within your agency. Many candidates will want to know if they’re going to be stuck in the same job or if there is a potential for advancement. Create an outline for how you envision that working at your new agency.
- Employment Assessments
In the insurance industry, it is common practice to use the Caliper Employment Assessment Solutions. It can help determine if an individual is suited for a particular position. Testing a potential employee will give you an idea for how that person might perform in a particular position.
No matter how good you are, you can’t run a growing, successful agency by yourself. Finding quality people to join your team can make a huge difference. Use these ideas to create a team of successful agents.
Got a question about starting an agency you’d like us to answer in a future post? Leave it in the comments below.
POSTED FEBRUARY 27, 2018 9:24 AM
News – Insurance Journal
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