As a marketing leader, you advocate for networking as a valuable tool in developing new business, but what are you doing at the corporate level to take your own advice? You may think networking is a one-to-one interaction that your agents need to participate in individually. You can and should incorporate networking at the corporate level to grow your insurance brand.
Networking is about making connections and is often the first step in making a sale. At the corporate level, instead of networking to connect a producer with a client, you could be networking to connect your agency to the local community, creating large-scale connections between your insurance agency and other organizations, nonprofits, and industries. Networking for your insurance business can increase brand recognition and open doors for your producers to make more sales.
Here are some marketing tips you can use to grow your insurance brand through networking:
- Sponsor Events: Get involved in the big business and entertainment events going on in the regions you serve. Sponsorship usually comes with many branding opportunities. You might be allowed to put your logo on a banner, include your brochures in a VIP bag, or give a short presentation. Sponsoring events helps build name recognition for your insurance brand and develop goodwill with the communities your producers support.
- Host Fundraisers: Another way to develop goodwill and promote your brand is to host a fundraiser for your favorite local or national cause. People want to do business with companies that stand for something. Hosting an annual fundraiser establishes at least one aspect of your brand that will resonate with people, especially those who support the same cause. The fundraiser is a good opportunity to build brand recognition and develop partnerships with other organizations.
- Create Strategic Partnerships: When the owner of an insurance agency, the CEO of a law firm, and the VP of a credit union get together, business happens. Position your agency for success by partnering with other businesses that share the same or an adjacent client base. A strategic marketing plan in which you combine your resources and promote your brands together can yield big results.
- Participate in Trade Associations: Join trade associations for the industries you’d like to do business with. Gaining name recognition with the president of the manufacturers’ association or the building trades council could put your insurance agency in a good position for significant referral business. Many of these organizations have associate memberships for companies outside of their industry. A membership could help you gain opportunities to promote your brand to members and get to know the leadership.
- Join the Board of Directors: As a board member, you will interact with influential people in your community, develop professional relationships with other board members, and be positioned for referral business. Board members interact with other board members and professionals on a regular basis. They will likely think of you and your brand when an insurance need comes up.
Networking is not a new concept in the insurance industry and probably what you did if you started out as a producer. As a business owner, you need to think big to get the most out of this old-school sales tool. If you need help with marketing ideas, connect with LIGHTSTREAM. We create strategic plans for insurance businesses like yours to thrive.