ITC Press Releases
|Sarah Knaub Wins the Third Annual InsurTech Scholarship
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a provider of website, agency marketing, rating and management software and services, announced today Sarah Knaub as the recipient of the 2018-2019 InsurTech Scholarship.
POSTED OCTOBER 02, 2018 8:30 AM
|For Third Year, ITC Named Top Technology Provider by Insurance Business America
ITC, a provider of websites, marketing, comparative rating and management software and services, announced today that for the third consecutive year they were named a top technology provider by Insurance Business America readers.
POSTED JUNE 21, 2018 10:00 AM
|ITC Launches Data Analytics Portal for Insurance Carriers
ITC, a provider of websites, marketing, rating and management software and services, launched TurboAnalytics, its carrier insight portal, today.
POSTED APRIL 12, 2018 11:00 AM
|ITC Receives Majority Equity Investment from Accel-KKR
ITC, a provider of websites, agency marketing, comparative rating and management software and services, announced today that it has received a majority equity investment from Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm.
POSTED APRIL 04, 2018 10:00 AM
|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
|What Do Millennials Want From Their Insurance Agency?
Much has been written about the millennial generation and insurance, so let’s cut to the chase.
The most obvious differentiator between millennials and previous generations is technology.
Most millennials are fluent in technology and the internet. They are comfortable with using it to their advantage. They treat it as a resource to aid themselves whenever and wherever they want. Entertainment? Check. Help? Check. Insurance? Check.
Millennial buying power is estimated at $200 billion. Want to tap into that market? Luckily, your agency likely doesn’t have to make drastic changes to capture more millennials. Simply consider what millennials want from their insurance agency.
An Online Presence That’s Mobile-Friendly
People trust you with their most valuable possessions and even lives. Your agency needs to appear as reputable as possible. Part of that trust comes from an online presence.
For millennials searching online, if a business doesn’t have a website, it probably isn’t reputable. Step one for your agency? Have a website.
Your insurance agency website must also look good on mobile. Remember how I said millennials are internet natives? They are mobile natives too. It’s standard to search for something like insurance using a mobile internet browser or maps app. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly to capture those prospects.
A Website or App to Get Quotes (and More)
Millennial customers want to use their agent’s website to address common insurance needs. They don’t want to play phone-tag or wait until normal business hours to take action on their policy.
“I don’t want to have to talk to anyone on the phone. A streamlined website and app experience is way more important to me than anything else. Policy changes, new quotes, etcetera, all need to be done online.”
Phillip Long, Internet Marketing Product Manager
Millennials are used to helping themselves with online customer service tools. A successful insurance website should be able to handle common requests. For example, an online quote form. Plus, as more customers use automated channels, you’ll have more time to dedicate toward other agency needs.
Many Communication Channels
It’s a good idea to have many communication channels open for your customers. This can be a phone line, website form, texting, social media, email, and more.
“I personally like being able to call them up and speak to them. Insurance is so difficult to understand, I can’t read it all and make sense of it, so I prefer to actually speak to them and ask a real live person all my silly questions.”
Darmini Kara, SEO Consultant
“I prefer if everything can be done over text or email. Not even a phone call. My agency was calling to set up an in-person meeting to go over my policy changes for the year. They asked me to come to their office for a whole discussion. I had to decline because why would I take time to go to my insurance agent during business hours?”
Henna Javed, AgencyBuzz Coordinator
The distinction to bear in mind with millennials is similar to the previous topic. Millennial consumers want to contact you in a manner that is most convenient for them at that given time. At your agency, work to keep a range of channels open. Make sure each channel is staffed. As a contingency, have automatic replies set up to let customers know their message was received.
An Online Business Listing with Good Reviews
Before a millennial clicks to your website, they’ll see your agency’s Google My Business listing. In the age of the internet, it’s easy to get scammed. As internet natives, millennials are always on the lookout for signs that a website is credible.
A complete Google My Business profile lends plenty of credibility to your agency. Make sure there are plenty of good reviews, too.
Consider this: 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If your agency relies on referrals, treat reviews with the same importance. When a customer has a positive experience, ask them to leave a review. Run an email campaign with the intent of gathering reviews from longtime customers. Or, have producers conclude each sale with a request to leave a review.
A Rising Tide Raises All Boats
If you want to understand their expectation of your agency, this is a good starting point. Invest in meeting these expectations. It will also improve the experience of other customers. Millennials will only continue to patronize businesses who put their experience first.
POSTED OCTOBER 15, 2018 9:52 AM
|3 Reasons Why Your Insurance Agency Isn’t Too Small for a Website
Websites. A large project like that may seem out of reach for your agency, regardless of size and scope. But, websites are an essential part of the business-customer process. It’s important not to rule them out because you might think your agency is too small.
Here, I’ll go over a few reasons that, regardless of size, websites are an important tool for you to have in your tool belt.
1. Start Small, End Big
Few small businesses want to stay small. There’s a natural progression to fill the available space within your market.
Having a website already in place as you begin your trek of business growth can pave the way for a smooth road. A website allows you to have new eyes on your business and all new opportunities.
One thing growing agencies have in common is an effective, information-rich website. Getting your agency brand and mission on the web sets the tone of your growth. Who knows what opportunities may come from having a global face to your agency?
2. Presence & Credibility
Today, not having an online presence is a scarcity. People today expect to be able to pull up information about anything at any given time. This is reason number two your insurance agency shouldn’t rule out a website.
The market today gets their information online, the most available resource. And, consumers will stick with that resource as long as it provides what they were looking for. If you don’t provide your information and your approach to business, there’s no way to capture and convert the curious into regular customers.
People perceive an online presence as a baseline indicator of credibility. Without that online office, not only are you limiting yourself, but you may seem less credible. Having a listing in the Yellow Pages boosted not only business, but credibility as well. Today, the internet is the platform to get the neighborhood to notice your agency.
3. 24-Hour Employee
No matter how small your agency may be, an always-open, ready-for-business website can work for you even while you are doing something else. An optimized website can generate leads without you needing to seek out and gather them.
Signup forms, quotes, claims, and more can be automated using a website. The website can send that information to you after processing it all on its own. While you’re sleeping, or helping another customer, your website could be getting valuable business. Business that you otherwise would be leaving on the table.
The more you automate or offload to your website, the more time you will have to grow your business and nurture the business you already acquired.
POSTED OCTOBER 10, 2018 9:20 AM
|This is the Way: Cindy Diccianni of Diccianni Financial Group, Inc.
Before becoming a financial adviser, Cindy Diccianni spent 25 years as an operating room nurse.
“At the hospital where I worked, we started an investment club to learn about the markets and investing,” said Diccianni. “Needless to say, I fell in love with investing!”
As a nurse, Cindy enjoyed working to help people get better and live better lives. Financial advising was just another way to leverage her passion for nurturing others.
Part of her journey into financial advising also stemmed from her parents going bankrupt in the 1970s after a failed business. It struck a raw nerve in Cindy. She hated that someone could work hard, but still fall into a bad financial situation.
“I swore I would never let this happen to anyone I knew, if I could avoid it,” said Diccianni. “If I could educate and help people navigate the complex maze of investment solutions and strategies, then I could help people build wealth over time and end up financially secure.”
A pivotal moment for her was when she took the leap to start her own financial advisory business. Although many people told her she would be great at this business, and she believed she could do it, the turning point was a conversion with her husband, Dan.
“He said, ‘If anyone can do this, it is you,’” said Diccianni. “He said he would work as many jobs as he could to keep us going and ‘My money is on you.’ How can you say no to that?”
At Diccianni Financial Group, Cindy enjoys the satisfaction of being there for her clients. Whether it’s portfolio strategies, building wealth, or making her clients’ retirement dreams come true.
“I just love all of it,” said Diccianni. “The satisfaction and security I can bring to my clients is just awesome.”
This is the way Cindy Diccianni works.
East Norriton, PA
Financial Adviser (in my own independent advising firm); Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC); Accredited Estate Planner (AEP); and Certified Long-Term Care (CLTC)
One word that describes how you like to work:
Current mobile device:
ASUS Laptop and Lenovo Desktop
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
Financial plans for clients which will control portfolio downside while capturing more upside returns and minimize risks.
I am on a board of directors for three local boards, and within these roles I am working on women’s issues through education and mentorship programs.
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
Creating an independent adviser firm; Obtaining my designation ChFC, AEP, and CLTC while keeping my nursing license active; Being awarded the “Women of the Year” by the Philadelphia chapter of WIFS; Named Alumni of the year (2012) for MCCC (Montgomery County Community College); Immediate Past President of the MCEPC (Montgomery County Estate Planning Council)
Cindy at dedication of nursing lounge at Montgomery County Community College
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
To bring more women into the financial advisory business. This business is a perfect fit for women who are willing to work hard and who want to be impactful to others. It is just a great business to be in.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Definitely social media and keeping up with current trends. I read daily, the volume of pertinent information is important, and being mindful of current trends is critical.
What do you like most about your job?
Helping my clients achieve financial success and stability. It changes their lives forever and the lives of those they love.
Aside from your phone and computer, what gadgets can’t you live without and why?
None, not a big gadget girl.
What technology, apps, tools can’t you live without?
Outlook. The calendar helps me run my life. Also, the Laser app has streamlined my business.
Describe your workspace.
My office surrounds me with the things I love, pictures of family and friends. The sun rises on the side of my office and sets on the conference room across from my office. I spend a lot of time there and the office brings me peace. It is my home away from home!
How do you manage your to-do list?
Being a former OR (operating room) nurse, I learned early on in my life how to prioritize important tasks. Those get done first. The more time intensive issues get done in my do not disturb environment after hours or on Fridays. Home “think tank time” is critical.
Cindy and husband Dan
What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?
Overview the coming week on Friday afternoon. This way I know what will work the best and plan the upcoming week. I try to keep Mondays open because it is the most chaotic day of the week for us.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
Turn on my computers and make coffee.
What is your best everyday habit?
I think my best everyday habit is walking my dogs in the morning. It gives me time to enjoy my neighborhood and just being outside.
What are you currently reading?
Just finished Jane Blaufus’s With the Strike of a Pen.
Favorite social network?
Coffee or tea?
Night owl or morning person?
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
Not watching Netflix now
How do you decompress?
I love the beach, it allows me to decompress
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I generally wake up between 4 and 5:30 a.m. My alarm clock is Sebastian, our little dog!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Up early reading, checking emails, get to the office between 8:30-9:00 a.m. Sometimes I have later client appointments that get me home at 8:00 p.m. or later or events in the evening. Dinner with my husband by 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. most evenings.
Cindy and friend at conference
Who are your business idols and why?
That’s a tough one. I love women who are survivors. Some of my colleagues in this profession, Angie Ribuffo, Kathleen Godfrey, Sheila Stith, Karen Roberts, Susan Combs, are strong professionals who care about their clients and who never compromise their integrity.
They have the Oprah effect.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
“Never fear failure.” Failure is the stepping stone for great success. All I have achieved has come from a failure event. You have to have grit in life.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It was actually from a former teacher who said to me in high school, “You can do anything you put your mind to!”
Don’t let the failures define you, let them be the fabric of your landscape. Anything is possible in life.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
No one, I have the greatest job of all!
Who would you like to see in the future This is the Way post?
Sheila Stith of Stith Associates, Kathleen Godfrey of Godfrey Financial Associates, Karen Roberts of Emerald Financial Group.
POSTED OCTOBER 09, 2018 9:17 AM
|The New Face of the Insurance Provider
The following is a guest blog post courtesy of Jetty, a source for affordable renters insurance.
Insurance agencies and providers that best serve their customers are those that stay abreast of new trends in technology and service standards. By implementing the latest tools and offering customers flexible options, an agency or provider is more likely to continue making the right impression on clients and keeping their trust.
Specifically, insurance companies and agencies should start focusing on three major tech developments: the rise of self-service dashboards, a focus on customer-centric service departments, and the introduction of add-on products as insurance continues to become part of a greater “services” industry.
Regardless of whether an agency operates within the auto insurance, apartment insurance, or any other insurance field, these innovations are transforming how the industry operates. The information below will help you better understand these trends, and how they impact a customer’s relationship with their agency or provider.
Big data and analytics are important for virtually any major organization in today’s digital world. However, while the technology to analyze and store data has improved rapidly, the ability of the average user to take advantage of these developments may still lag. That’s why insurance agencies and companies should implement self-service dashboards that allow their employees to more easily manipulate, analyze, and draw conclusions from existing data sources.
Providers and agencies can also create dashboards for customers. These will be less data-focused than the ones used internally. Instead, they can give customers the chance to review their individual policies and make adjustments without going through the tedious process of contacting a support representative. Eliminating the “middleman” simply allows for a greater degree of convenience.
Customer-Centric Service Departments
Technology has the potential to dramatically improve the overall customer service experience an insurance provider or agency offers.
For example, insurance agencies should adapt to the changing times by allowing customers to access various service department features through multiple channels. Again, calling up a customer service representative can be a time consuming and frustrating process. Giving customers the chance to easily access these features via a mobile app offers a more efficient alternative.
Imagine a customer wants to file a claim. Instead of calling up the agency or provider directly and having to coordinate with a representative, all parties benefit when insurors create a mobile app which guides the customer throughout the process swiftly.
This can reduce operational costs by limiting the need for active customer service representatives. The insurance agency can pass the savings along to the customer, offering improved service at a more affordable cost.
Increasingly, insurance agencies are offering add-on coverages and products that let customers tailor plans to their exact needs. When doing so, it’s important to be transparent. Customers should clearly understand what’s available, what the cost is, and what steps they must take to add these features.
Keeping clients informed is crucial. Wells Fargo recently got into trouble when it was revealed that customers were paying for add-on products they didn’t know how to take advantage of. In many cases, they didn’t even fully understand the product when it was added to their plans. Now Wells Fargo must issue those parties refunds.
This is another reason a mobile-friendly, customer-centric approach is essential. Simplifying the process of purchasing and adjusting an insurance plan should be a key goal of any insurance agency and provider. By taking advantage of technology, it’s possible to offer a greater degree of personal service than ever before, while avoiding unwanted outcomes like those suffered by Wells Fargo and its customers.
POSTED OCTOBER 08, 2018 9:36 AM
|Live Q&A with the Ladies of Insurance Website Builder
Do you have questions about how to appeal to today's online consumers?
We have answers.
Join us for the next edition of Masters of Marketing as our panel of experts take your insurance marketing questions in a live, question-and-answer style webinar.
In addition to your questions, we'll cover topics like...
- What online prospects want out of your agency website
- How to generate more quote requests from your website
- Getting your website appearing higher in online searches
- ...And more!
Whether you are stuck in a marketing rut or just want a second opinion, join us on Thursday, October 18 at 12:00 p.m. CT for a Q&A with the following insurance marketing experts: Karly Baker, Website Coordinator; Caroline Davidson, SEO Consultant; and Jayci Morrison; Website Designer.
Attendees can ask questions during the live webinar, or submit them early by commenting on this blog post.
POSTED OCTOBER 05, 2018 10:00 AM
|5 Design Mistakes That Can Turn Off Customers
Web design can be difficult and easy to mess up. That's why there are professionals to take care of everything. But, consumer preferences change. Design trends move faster than they ever have before.
Website design features fluctuate in importance. This means mistakes can happen more easily than ever. Stay diligent to make sure these mistakes to bring down your traffic and conversion rates.
The biggest mistake on your insurance website is not making it mobile-friendly.
Have you ever navigated to a website on your phone that isn't mobile friendly? It's hard to read and even harder to find what you're looking for.
According to Forbes, "Nearly everyone who does research on a product or service on smartphones makes a related purchase within just one day."
Since conversions are usually an agency website's biggest goal, a mobile site is a must.
Also, while having a mobile website is amazing, you need to make sure that it follows the friendly part. One major complaint of mobile websites is the navigation not being touch-friendly.
I can only explain this in the most jargon-est of manners, so I will refrain. But, check out www.getitc.com or www.nationwide.com on your mobile. Those are great examples of touch-friendly navigation.
2. Auto-Playing Media
Please don't. This used to be an old issue, but it happened to me recently on a shopping website. Immediately my ears (and my cubicle) were surrounded by classical music. The music could have been worse, but I wasted no time trying to find the stop button. As a potential customer, I was very annoyed. As a business, the last thing you want to do is annoy people.
And, that auto-loading media could be slowing down your website. The longer a website takes to load, the less likely people are to wait. Which brings me to #3…
3. Webpage Load Times
If your page takes too long to load, potential customers can go elsewhere. Design elements that cause long load times are large or too many images, videos, and plug-ins.
When using images, make sure to optimize them for web. If you are using a video on your website, make sure it has a purpose (like How-To or FAQ). If you're not using a video as a background or header (check out our Nebula template), remember to restrict the actual height and width of the video.
When using a plug-in on your website, make sure it's from a reputable source. And, it won't load too many extra files.
4. Text Readability
Using light gray text on a white background is hard to see. If you want to make a statement, sometimes white on black works great, but it’s best to stick to the basics for text.
While we're on the topic of text, please check your spelling and grammar. In insurance, customers trust you with their most important possessions and even lives. In my eyes, nothing makes a company lose credibility like poor grammar and spelling.
One more thing with text: Don't make it too small! Not only will those on mobile not see it, your typical 18-year-old can't either. Almost all of ITC's website templates use 14pt font.
5. Search Bar
You don't think much about website search bars until they're missing.
Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. Your website isn't Google. But, that doesn't change that people want to find their answers quickly.
The more a potential customer must toil around your agency website trying to find what they need, the more likely they are to leave. And remember what we said about annoying our customers: Not a good idea.
These are all simple issues to fix if they are on your website. And, by taking the time to fix these issues, you will be rewarded. You’ll get a better, more customer-friendly website that can lead to a drop in bounce rate and an uptick in conversions.
POSTED OCTOBER 03, 2018 9:48 AM
|Tick Tock: The Importance of Timely Reviews
Websites can be a costly investment. Don’t undermine that investment by letting the website go untouched and get stale. As with any star pupil or employee, if left untouched, its focus and luster may start to fade.
At the very least, a yearly review should be performed. Between browser technology, design trends, SEO rankings, and consumer needs, some factor of your website is bound to need updating or reviewing.
A website should ideally be reviewed and updated once a month. Your website can have all the tools and ability to shine, but without execution, it’s useless. Design trends change, SEO rankings fall, and consumer needs grow. Websites need updates to accommodate these changes.
From technical tips to practical approaches, here’s a few key reasons to review your website in a timely manner.
The Missing Link
Your agency website could have dead links or missing images. It’s important to click around and check your website for errors that users could run into. If a consumer thinks you’ve dropped the ball on your own website, they’re bound to think you will drop the ball while handling their business as well. Make sure your first impression is a good one.
Browsers update more than you might realize. The latest update might not be kind to your website. It’s easy to have a favorite browser. But, check different browsers on various devices to make sure your website is still loading and functioning properly.
New Phone, Who Dis
Some people land on a website with the intention of calling to speak with a real person. Make sure your contact information is always accessible and updated. Depending on your target demographic, this information could extend beyond your phone number, and require a link to your Google reviews or Facebook page. Don’t miss out on a potential lead by not thinking beyond your website.
Some Give & Take
Consumers love to see what’s fresh and new. Whether there’s a service you’ve recently added or one you’ve stopped offering, make sure your website reflects this. You could be disappointing hopeful consumers or missing out on new business entirely if you forget this step.
Napping on the Job
Search engines never sleep. Don’t get caught slacking with your website. Going too long without adding or updating content on your website will reflect poorly in search engine rankings. Reviewing your analytics and website data should be done at least once a month. You should then be able to use that data and research to know what areas of your website need attention.
After investing in a website, it’s your job to manage it and unlock its potential. A little consistency and effort on your part can go a long way towards the success of your website.
POSTED OCTOBER 01, 2018 10:00 AM
|10 Seasonal Content Ideas for October
The most difficult part of writing content can be coming up with a topic to talk about. The same applies your insurance agency’s blog. If you have an insurance website, it’s vital to keep the content on it updated.
Updated content serves two purposes. First, it positions your insurance agency as a leader and information resource for consumers. And second, it increases your website’s visibility when people search for insurance online. Plus, the easiest way to update content is to write a blog post.
So, what are you waiting for? Here are 10 topics you can use for your next agency blog post! (Be sure to check back next month, too, where we will have 10 more new topics to choose from).
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Fall-themed items are ubiquitous this time of year, but so is the color pink. That’s because October is breast cancer awareness month. There are many ways to participate in the festivities surrounding this month. See if your area is having a 5k or fun run your agency can participate in. Or, wear pink to work on Fridays. Afterwards, post about it in your blog or share photos on social media.
- Your Property Flooded – What Next?
As hurricane season winds down, flooding is still fresh on everyone’s mind. Write a blog post outlining the steps your clients should take if their property floods. If heavy rain or flooding affects your area again in the future, re-share that blog post to your social media followers or include it in your email newsletter.
- National Golf Day – Oct. 4th
This holiday takes place each year on October 4th, and is a charitable event put on by the PGA. Local gold courses may host their own events to commemorate this day. If you think it’s relevant to your customer base, write a blog post about this holiday. Remember, it’s okay to write about topics that aren’t strictly related to insurance sometimes. It just depends on your customer base and what they’d like to read about.
- Niche Coverages
Does your agency offer any niche coverages that isn’t advertised on your website? Write a blog post about them. You may gain interest from prospects and current clients regarding those unusual coverages.
- World Teacher Day - Oct 5th
World Teachers’ Day began in 1993 to honor teachers around the world each year. If you believe teachers deserve recognition, add this holiday to the calendar page of your insurance website. Or, add it in your next email newsletter’s upcoming holiday section.
- Car Seat Safety Tips for New Parents
Child car seats can be tricky to install for first-time parents. Do some research on the web and make a checklist of five safety tips that parents should know about car seats. This topic would be well-suited for first-time homebuyers and younger families.
- Columbus Day - Oct 8th
Always occurring the second Monday of October, this holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the New World for Europeans. Nowadays, this day is a retail holiday marked by sales and discounted goods. Write a blog post about the history of this day for your next insurance blog post.
- Are Mobile Payment Apps Secure?
If your clients aren’t already using peer-to-peer cash apps, their kids may be. Although these applications are fast and easy to use, are they secure? Do some research and see what the industry consensus is. Then, write about your advice in your next blog post.
- Frankenstein Friday – Oct 26th and Halloween – Oct. 31st
Everyone knows about October’s most popular ghoulish holiday. But have you heard of Frankenstein Friday? Always occurring the last Friday of October, Frankenstein Friday celebrates the birth of Mary Shelley. Shelley wrote Frankenstein at the age of 21. Post this fun fact to your agency’s social media pages on Frankenstein Friday this year.
- How Do You Know if Your Home Has Roof Damage?
Homeowners and agents alike know how much of a headache a new roof can be. What can you clients do to identify roof damage? Write a blog post about the top telltale signs of roof damage – be it commercial or residential.
POSTED SEPTEMBER 26, 2018 9:50 AM
|What is Your Why?
There is a common business saying that people like to do business with people they like.
What this really means is people are more interested in you and why you do what you do rather than what you actually do.
Or, put another way…
“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”
Author Simon Sinek described this more in his book Start With Why and TED Talk on the same subject. It’s worth a watch when you have 18 minutes:
The Difference Between What and Why
I have two ways I talk about what I do. I might just say I work for a software company in the insurance industry. Or, I may say I help independent insurance agents be more efficient and successful.
The former is the fastest way to end a conversation. The latter is more engaging.
The first is more focused on what I do. The second is why.
Talking about what you do doesn’t differentiate you. And, frankly, it can be a bit boring.
When you start with your why, you are sharing your passion. What gets you out of bed in the morning. What gets you excited.
People respond to passion. Far more than they would when you talk about the what. Because when they see your passion, they know you’re going to care about them too.
Your why is your story. It’s your purpose. Your why is what makes you different.
Sharing Your Why
If you’re not sure what your why is, start with these questions:
- Why do you keep showing up every day?
- What do you do that gets you excited?
- What problems or challenges do you enjoy solving?
Keep digging until you find the story that best illustrates why you do what you do. Keep reflecting on what makes you and your story unique.
Once you have identified your why, it’s time to start sharing it. There are many places you can use your why and tell your story.
- In the content of your insurance agency website.
- When networking and building relationships with referral sources.
- On social media.
- In any video or email marketing you do.
- When talking to prospects so they know why they should choose you.
Your why needs to the center of your agency’s message everywhere.
But, don’t just say it. Show it too. This is where video and social media can really help out.
Your why is your passion. It’s what inspires you. It’s what keeps you showing up every day. Show your passion, and you will succeed.
I believe in the value and importance of the independent insurance agent channel. And, I want to help agents and brokers be more efficient and successful in achieving their goals.
This is my why.
What is your why?
POSTED SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 9:28 AM
|5 Simple Ways to Give Your Agency Website a Boost
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a continuous process. But, there are things you can do on your insurance agency website to help with your search visibility. Today, I will talk about strategies you can put in place to help generate more traffic over time to your website.
1. Write a Blog!
Content is very important to search engines. Their primary purpose is to give the most relevant answer to a user’s question.
If your website has content for consumers who search for topics related to insurance, this can generate traffic to your website. With blogging, you can create relevant content to cater to your target audience.
If you have an Insurance Website Builder site, you have a default blog page available. It has all the features you need to create your own blogs. Just go to the blog option within the Administration Console.
Blog within the administration console
To get some ideas on what kind of things you can write about, check out our monthly content idea blog series.
2. Connect Your Website to Google Analytics
You’ve heard the statement data is king, right?
Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool that tracks traffic coming into your website. You can use it to collect data about your insurance website. Find out the types of people visiting your website, or the highest-performing webpages. To start using it, you must connect Google Analytics to your website.
If your agency has an Insurance Website Builder site, it is simple to connect this to your website and start tracking today. Within the Administration Console, find the Web Statistics section. From there, paste and save the Analytics Tracking Code (it would look something like UA-700000-11) and you’re done!
Having this tool set up will give you valuable insights into the performance of your website and see where you can make improvements over time.
*Web Statistics section of administration console
If you want to learn more about some of the data you can get by default on Google Analytics, check out my last blog about The Top Google Analytics Reports for Insurance Websites.
3. Add a Partner
Backlinking is when another website has a link that leads back to your website. Backlinks are important because they signal to search engines that your website is considered valuable to others. They are also one of the top two ranking factors in SEO.
There are many ways to obtain quality backlinks. But, one simple strategy is to create partnerships with other businesses through a partners page.
To add a partner to your Insurance Website Builder partners page, go to the Partners and Local Resources section within the administration console. Fill out the information within the Add Partners area. To create the backlink, just ask your partner to do the same on their website.
*Partners and Lead Resources Section of administration console
4. Create a Google My Business Listing
Have you ever done a Google search for a service, and a map appears listing different businesses within your area? This is a free product called Google My Business.
Google My Business allows a business with a physical address to create an online listing. The listing includes information like business name, phone number, website URL, photos, and etcetera. For a local business like your agency, having this listing can lead more users to finding your website.
If you don’t already have a Google My Business listing, use this link to set one up today!
5. Get Testimonials on Your Website
Getting reviews from your clients is a great way to showcase your brand. But, it is also another way to help with your SEO efforts.
If you have a Gold or above grade Insurance Website Builder plan, your agency’s testimonials page integrates with the lead generation website IWantInsurance.com.
So, when a customer leaves a review on your testimonial page, it updates automatically on IWantInsurance.com. This creates a backlink, which as mentioned previously, is a major indication of quality to search engines.
What are some other ways you use your agency website?
POSTED SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 10:39 AM
News – Insurance Journal
|Kurata Named Hawaii’s Captive Insurance Administrator
Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito has appointed Andrew Kurata deputy commissioner and captive insurance administrator for the department of commerce and consumer affairs insurance division. Kurata previously held the position in an acting capacity. The captive insurance administrator oversees the …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 9:01 PM
|Lead-Paint Makers Rejected by Top Court in $400M Case in California
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Sherwin-Williams Co. and Conagra Brands Inc., leaving intact a ruling that requires them to pay more than $400 million for lead-paint remediation in California. The rebuff, issued without comment Monday, is a blow …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 8:55 PM
|Oregon Study Shows California Workers’ Comp Rates Falling, but Still High
Workers’ compensation premium rates fell considerably nationwide, while California continued to see among the worst rates in the nation, according to a new study out from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. The department puts out its Oregon …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 6:29 PM
|Hub Acquires Oklahoma Retirement Plan Consulting, Financial Services Firm
Hub International Investment Services Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Chicago-based global insurance brokerage Hub International Limited (Hub), has acquired the Oklahoma-based retirement plan consulting and financial services business of Felix Jones, Jones Retirement. Terms of the transaction were …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 4:41 PM
|4 Alabama Counties to Receive Federal Disaster Funds for Michael Damage
President Donald Trump has approved federal disaster aid relief for four Alabama counties affected by Hurricane Michael. The emergency disaster declaration covers Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties, which are near the Florida panhandle where the hurricane made landfall Oct. …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 4:39 PM
|Chicago Restaurant Chain to Settle Sexual Harassment, Retaliation Suit for $160K
Chicago-based Rosebud Restaurants Inc. will pay $160,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC’s lawsuit charged Rosebud, which owns approximately nine Italian restaurants in the Chicagoland area, with …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 4:17 PM
|Firefighters Say Natural Gas Explosion at Virginia Home Injures Nine
Authorities believe a natural gas explosion at a Virginia home caused a fire that has injured nine people. Chesapeake Fire Lt. Anthony P. Barakat tells news outlets that the two homeowners were hospitalized in critical condition following the “significant explosion” …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 3:06 PM
|California Train Agency Fined $650K in 2 Worker Deaths
Regulators fined the San Francisco Bay Area’s transit agency $650,000 on Thursday for safety failures that led a commuter train to strike and kill two workers inspecting track five years ago during a union strike. The California Public Utilities Commission …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 2:56 PM
|Colleges Handling Surge in Claims of Past Sexual Harassment
For 35 years, Ruth D’Eredita tried to dismiss her former professor’s behavior — the way he touched her, groped her and kissed her. But last year, as dozens of women came forward to share similar encounters with powerful men, she …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 1:58 PM
|P/C Insurers Double Net Income in First Half of Year
U.S. property/casualty insurers saw their net income after taxes more than double to $34 billion in first-half 2018 from $15.5 billion in first-half 2017, with the help of lower catastrophe losses, growing premiums, and an increase in investment income, according …
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2018 1:46 PM