Internet life insurance agents have the world at their fingertips, quite literally.
With online marketing channels like social media, paid advertising and content marketing, agents essentially have access to almost anybody they want.
The only problem is the same opportunities exist for large, online agencies who have the resources and budgets to attract massive audiences.
For these companies who can spend tens of thousands of dollars on targeted ads, the internet has been a goldmine, leaving independent life insurance agents wondering, ‘how can I compete?’
Fortunately for the solo agent, these giants take a generalist approach to their online presence. A quick visit to SelectQuote or Intelliquote will show you broad written and visual content that’s intended to work for any demographic.
This means that despite driving massive amounts of traffic to their site, many visitors are going to be unsure if it’s the right company for them.
For any company or salesperson, if you’re trying to market to everyone, you’re essentially marketing to no one. Unless you have a massive marketing budget to work with, this type of strategy will not get you very far.
Yet therein lies the opportunity for independent internet agents.
Instead of being a generalist, like the large agencies, be a specialist and market your services in a way that makes individuals feel like you ‘get them’.
In other words, select a niche.
Selecting The Right Niche Is Critical to Increase Life Insurance Business
When selecting a niche, you want to find a balance between your own expertise and/or interests, the size of the market, and the level of competition.
Right now, selling life insurance online is still in its early stages, which means that there are hundreds if not thousands of underserved or completely untapped niches just waiting to be dominated.
It’s your job to find the one that works for you and become the best agent within it.
Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a niche:
Choose a niche that’s aligned with your passions or interests
When you spend the majority of your waking hours selling something, it probably is best that you enjoy what it is you’re selling and the people that you’re selling it to.
If you find that you have a very hard time relating to and engaging with senior-level executives, then you should probably steer clear of that demographic.
Conversely, if you are passionate about traveling internationally, then you could easily focus on selling to others who enjoy visiting other countries.
By doing this you’ll immediately have something in common, easy rapport, and a reason to connect.
So when selecting a niche, ask yourself the following:
- What are your interests?
- What can you speak about with passion, and more importantly, ease?
- What kinds of interpersonal connections come easily to you?
If you pick a niche you are uninterested in, it will be a long slog to profitability.
If you do ultimately select a niche you know little about but feel would be a smart move, then gain a working knowledge through research and interviews.
That is the beautiful thing about the internet, we can become well versed in just about anything with a little curiosity and searching.
A niche that’s aligned with your expertise
If selecting a particular lifestyle or hobby isn’t of interest to you or if you want to niche down even further, consider focusing on a particular life insurance product, medical condition, or personal attribute that you’re familiar with.
This a primary reason that developing buyer personas can also help your marketing efforts.
Maybe you’ve been an agent for a while and you’re especially good at selling or explaining a certain life insurance product.
Perhaps you know a lot about a particular medical condition either through your own life experience or through selling it many times.
You may have even developed expertise in selling to veterans, large families, or Millennials.
That’s your competitive advantage.
To come up with this, think back on your time as an agent and recall moments where you felt really great at your job or where you really enjoyed a conversation with a certain type of person.
Three things you can focus on, include:
- Certain insurance products: Term life insurance, final expense coverage, no medical exam, whole life, or cash-value.
- Certain health conditions: Diabetes, depression, sleep apnea, anxiety, high cholesterol or obesity.
- Particular attributes: Military, veterans, young adults, families, federal employees, small business owners or people over 60.
Keep in mind you can always combine two areas if the market size supports it, such as term life insurance for diabetics.
A niche that is worth your time
In order for a niche to be worth your time and energy, it must have a growing or stable audience and be able to withstand the test of time.
By selecting an ‘evergreen’ niche, like diabetes or people over a certain age, you can ensure that your offering will still be relevant even years from now.
This also helps you to select a niche that is large enough to market to.
Do some keyword research to see how many monthly searches are being conducted in your chosen niche with Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
This will also help you understand how competitive it is and what you can expect to spend on PPC campaigns.
Be sure to pay close attention to growing trends across the US too, like the widespread use of e-cigarettes or the legalization of recreational marijuana in eight states.
These changes are here to stay and will provide new opportunities for life insurance agents as these users begin to have questions about their ability to qualify.
Be careful to not select obscure medical conditions or lifestyle choices, like recreational ice climbers. Although it may be interesting to you, it may not provide a large enough audience to drive a high volume of traffic to your site.
Why selecting a niche is important?
Focusing on a niche market does two things:
1) It makes it easier for you to run your business, and
2) It makes it easier for people to find you and want to work with you.
To fully appreciate what ‘niching down’ can do for both you and your business, let’s break these two benefits down even further.
Choosing a niche makes it easier for you to run your business
- It makes it easier for you to market. Each time you go to write a piece of content, create an ad, or post on social media, your content will be easier to create by knowing exactly who your audience is and where they are.
- It plays to your strengths. By selecting something you’re interested in or you have a working knowledge of, selling and learning even further becomes really easy.
- It helps you build credibility. When you focus on a specific area and build a brand around it, you will become the go-to agent for that niche. This makes it even easier to market yourself, become a thought leader, and gain incredible exposure.
Selecting a niche makes it easier for people to find you & want to work with you
- It’s easier to be found in search engines. By selecting a niche, there will be less competition, and your long-tail keywords will rank higher, faster. Think about this: when people search online, they search by specifics, not general terms. A diabetic who is interested in life insurance will search, ‘life insurance for diabetics.’
- It opens the doors to different (and profitable) marketing channels. This can include being showcased at niche trade shows, sponsoring relevant events, being interviewed on niche podcasts, and guest blogging on complementary sites.
- It’s great for word-of-mouth marketing. Since people with particular lifestyles or conditions oftentimes know other people in similar situations.
- It allows you to serve your audience really well both online and offline. When selling to somebody over the phone you’ll have a long list of talking points in your arsenal if you need them, and you’ll also have great material to work with at in-person networking or sales events.
What to do after you select your niche
Once you’ve decided what target market you’ll be selling to, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start becoming the go-to agent for that group.
Here are four things to get you going on your path to success:
- Define your value. Chances are you’re not going to be the only one serving your niche for long (or even right out the gate), but you can be the only one selling to them in your own unique way. Ask yourself the question: why would my ideal customers want to buy from me instead of another life insurance agent?
Once you’ve answered this question you will have your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, and a framework in which to guide all your business activities.
Your USP is your promise to your customers about what they can expect from you and your business.
Everything you do should be driven by your USP, which will help you be seen as consistent, reliable and trustworthy.
Get focused. Now is the time to be laser focused on your efforts. From the way you design your site, to the content you blog about and the platforms you market your product on, everything must be specifically tailored to your chosen demographic.
Be the best at it. You didn’t select a niche to be mediocre at it. Go big with your efforts, learn everything you can about this group, get inside their heads and anticipate their needs.
Find what works and double down. Test your marketing messages across a variety of marketing channels, including PPC, Facebook Ads, content, social media, link building, guest blogging, strategic partnerships, and more.
Once you see what’s converting, double down on those efforts and begin refining your strategies.
Stop putting time and money into any marketing efforts that aren’t driving traffic or helping you convert.
As you begin to build a niche life insurance business, avoid feeling intimidated by the large agencies with deep pockets.
Their strategy works for them because they can afford to drive hundreds of thousands of visitors to their site and convert a small percentage.
Your strategy can be equally as effective, and at the end of the day, much more valuable.
Since purchasing life insurance is an important responsibility that’s not without emotion, your customers will feel that they are in much better hands when it’s someone who truly understands them and sees them for who they are.
So go on, find your niche and build your empire.