What do you mean, “There’s a Conversation Going On”?

Generating leads can be a challenging business because of the inherent subjectivity of the customer, the ever changing insurance market, and the economy all of which impact the interest level of the prospects, the need of customer buying the leads, and the accuracy of the list required to start a campaign. From a customer perspective finding the right lead solution is just as dynamic and risky. Sometimes telemarketing works, another time it might be radio or direct mail. Some agents do fine with referral-only programs.

Recently, and I mean the last few years, there has been a shift from traditional marketing modalities to internet marketing. But not everyone is on-board. There are a lot of people out there who don’t think this new marketing modality applies to them, or more accurately, they don’t think its a good fit for the type of business they write. There are also people who think they have their internet marketing and website design under control. If I was only allowed to say one thing to you, it would be “take a look”. Put aside all preconceived notions and just take look.

There is a major change happening right now, a conversation going on and this is one you won’t want to miss. There is a window of opportunity for local insurance agents to dominate the search engine result page (SERP). The longer you wait to start your optimization process accompanied by a good social media plan, the longer and more expensive it will be to catch up. If you read this blog regularly then I’m preaching to the choir and I apologize. However, on the off chance I reach someone new who is trying to find their way with internet marketing but isn’t sure it’s for real, here is what I want to tell you.

This is the biggest paradigm shift in a century. There hasn’t been a major communications shift like this since radio, and thirty years later, television. The difference here is the conversation happening on the internet is loud in that you hear this new language all around you, tweet this, add a widget, there’s an app for that, but at the same time it doesn’t seem to apply to you. Its almost like this subtle movement. You know it’s there like some kind of counterculture or something, but you’re not a part of it so you let it be. What the heck, they’re  not bothering me. In the meantime more and more people are starting their searches on-line. More and more people are signing up for Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In. These people are CEOs, small business owners, risk managers, and vice presidents and they ALL buy insurance.

Web2.0 is very straight forward. It means interactive internet. It means instead of posting a brochure-like website, you can post one that allows your user to do something. It means that you can Tweet your thoughts or something interesting you saw today and tell the world. Why would I want to do that, you ask? The same reason you talk to your barber, say good morning to people on the street, greet people at church, or someone in line at Starbucks, to start to build relationships, to prospect, and to ultimately sell more.My first-hand experience is this really works. We went from one lead every six weeks to at least six leads per day. I would love to hear from you. Tell me what you are doing now, or plan to do related to internet marketing in 2011. Let me know if you don’t think it applies to your business.