As the internet becomes more and more ingrained in everyday life, mobile phones are connecting us to each other more than anything, and traditional business practices and advertising techniques are becoming less and less effective, new methods for finding clients are emerging.
As challenging as it may seem to overcome the obstacles that these changes are bringing, they also bring us new ways to find clients, some of which are more efficient and cost effective than traditional methods have been.
In fact, there are several free ways you can reach out to potential clients that aren’t possible with traditional methods of marketing. The internet can be a wonderfully useful tool if you know how to use it!
The LinkedIn Technique
LinkedIn is a social media tool meant for professional marketing but it also offers you a lot of insight into professionals who may be in need of what you're selling.
For example, let’s say you specialise in indemnity insurance for health professionals, search LinkedIn for your ideal client. Try “osteopath” or “health professional” and see who you can find.
Next, filter your results by location. If you insure people in Melbourne, try filtering to that location to find locals.
When the results filter in, click the profile to view your prospects on LinkedIn. They’ll be able to see that you’ve viewed their profile on LinkedIn.
Repeat this for as many prospects as you can find – they could all be potential clients. If, over the next week or two, you notice any of these people viewing your LinkedIn profile, you can request to connect with them.
Once you’ve connected on LinkedIn, you’re in the same professional space. It’s now appropriate for you to send them a personalised message that includes a link to a highly relevant piece of educational content that you’ve created with the intent of getting leads.
This method allows you to target your niche and, if your LinkedIn profile is updated and relevant, could result in a lot of new business for you.
The Guest Blogging Technique
Guest blogging is one of the oldest and most reliable online lead generating techniques. It’s a good idea for anyone whose business has an online presence, whether you have a blog of your own or not (it does work better when you have your own blog though).
Guest blogging isn’t a job and it’s not something that you need to be paid to do – it’s not intended to benefit the blog as much as it is a way for you to benefit from the following of the blog you’re writing for. You’re positioning yourself in front of an audience that the blog owner has already generated. If you pick the right blog, it’ll be one that’s relevant to your business.
If your brokerage specialises in professional indemnity insurance for business owners, find a popular accounting firm that has a blog with a following. Ask if they’re interested in having you write a guest blog and explain to them how it will benefit their blog, but remind them that you’ll include links back to your own website as well.
The blog could be about the things business owners need to be aware of in relation to professional indemnity insurance, with a call to action and links back to your own site towards the end.
The Website Exit Popup Technique
A website exit popup is a popup that appears on the screen when a person tries to leave a website. Usually, when they scroll to the top of the page or when the mouse moves up quickly, this will popup.
As annoying as these kinds of popups can be, they are quite effective when used on desktop versions of websites – but not so much on mobile sites.
Why are exit popups so effective?
According to VentureHarbour, they grab the reader’s attention, refocus it, and create urgency. Just think – you’re about to leave a website and an offer pops up that’s hard to refuse, but it’s a popup.
How would you ever navigate back to it?
The Syndication Technique
Syndication is an awesome way to get the word out there about your brokerage firm. It can, however, require some skills when it comes to providing content. You’ll need a platform for content, like a blog, and you’ll need a way to get that content out there, like social media.
Sometimes, sharing on social media is considered syndication but there is a more effective way to share your content. This way takes a little more work – you have to get other people to do it for you.
If you can provide content that is accurate and relevant, and even entertaining to your target audience, you’ll build a social media following that will not only interact with your content, but your network will share it with their networks too.
The key here is to find a great content producer, which is likely to cost you some time and money. Great content producers know what their craft is worth to you.
For example, consider Insurance Ian. He’s 40 years old, has been in the industry for 10 years and originally started as an insurance underwriter. He has worked his way up to Senior Insurance Broker and Broker Owner, with a team of 9 working for him. In order to organically grow his insurance brokerage by attracting new business, what should Ian do?
Syndication is a great option for Ian! If he is a writer or if any of his employees are – that’s a great start otherwise he could hire a writer. Written content is a powerful tool to reach potential clients, to inform them, and to motivate them to become leads and to eventually use Ian's services to help them find the best insurance for them. The more they like the content, the more they will share with others.
Once he’s found a quality writer and set aside a budget for writing, he’ll either need to build a social media following or hire a social media manager. A great social media manager can create and provide quality content and grow a social media following to whom the content is relevant. When that network starts sharing his content, Ian’s business will grow exponentially.
The Content Repurposing Technique
There are two ways to repurpose content: you can repurpose your own content or you can repurpose other people’s or other business’s content. Both can be effective ways to build your following and establish yourself as a reliable source of relevant information in your industry.
When looking to create content that could one day be repurposed, keep the following in mind:
To reuse content, it should be what’s called ‘evergreen’. Like an evergreen tree, it’s always ready to go – it’s always fresh, always green, and always relevant. It’s not related to any one specific point in time, like a news article.
It should be short and easy to read. Consider short paragraphs, lots of white space, bullet points, infographics, and sidebars.
It’s relevant to your audience.
When you’re trying to decide whether to repurpose content that someone else has created, keep the above bullet points in mind in addition to the following:
Did the post generate good traffic the first time it was used? If it was shared often, generated comments or likes, or has been linked to in other online posts, it might be worth reposting.
Was the post value high? Does the information stay relevant and was it downloaded or relevant over time?A
The Joining Technique
LinkedIn is a great networking tool and it’s designed for professionals. LinkedIn groups are one of the most underused tools the website has. They can be a great way to generate new leads for your insurance brokerage.
First, keep in mind that LinkedIn limits users to 50 groups. This is much more than any one person should be able to handle as an active user, but try to keep the groups you join relevant, not only to avoid spamming, but to truly make the most of the groups feature for your business.
Once you’ve joined a group, from its ‘Members’ page, you can find and filter through members by job title, company name, location, and more. Start by looking for the most specific person you can – your ideal client. When you have a list, you can begin engaging within the group!
Remember to personalise your message. Explain why you want to connect, why you're in the group, how you found them on LinkedIn, and what value you bring to the connection.
Before you know it, you’ll have tons of leads!