First of all, they say every snowflake is different. As David Bradley points out on his blog sciencebase, this is true of larger, fully formed snowflakes. But not necessarily true of smaller, “simpler crystals that fall before they’ve had a chance to fully develop into the familiarly evocative hexagonal flakes.”
So, then, it could be true. Every fully developed insurance agent can be different like a snowflake.
I’m pondering this analogy because it’s clear that the number one most difficult thing for most agents to do when creating a website (or writing a marketing strategy, for that matter) is to figure out what makes them unique. This is important because they need to differentiate themselves from their competitors, so they can build a compelling case for why people should do business with them instead of their competitors.
Still, there are many fully developed agents in the U.S. today — probably the majority of the more than quarter million agents — who don’t know why they’re unique. Obviously the humble snowflake has an advantage in this regard; it doesn’t need to know it’s unique. But it doesn’t have a website or need a marketing plan either.
I maintain, however, that like a fully developed snowflake, every fully developed insurance agent is unique. And the sooner such an agent figures out how unique he or she is, the sooner he or she will start becoming even more unique.
Let’s look at few simple ways to discover your uniqueness:
Demographics. This is the easiest way to differentiate yourself. Specialize in a particular industry group, like restaurants, architects or wineries. If you sell individual and personal insurance products, specialize in young families, young professionals or senior care. Find a group with insurance needs and become the expert. Can you specialize in several industries or demographic groups? Sure, just create a different positioning strategy and website landing page for each group.
Geography. If you work in a small town or rural area, there may not be a large enough population for you to specialize in one or even two or three target markets. You have to be generalist. Fine, your specialty is knowing the needs of your community, being active in it and understanding its unique subtleties. On the other hand, if your business is in a large metropolitan area, you can become the 94044 (Pacifica, California) specialist in auto insurance.
Product knowledge or specialization. Maybe you’ve acquired deep product knowledge and sales skills in a particular area of insurance, such as business interruption or long-term disability. You are the expert and you write articles, blog posts and give speeches and presentations on the subject all the time. This doesn’t mean you don’t sell other types of insurance, too. Your specialty knowledge is the magnet that pulls clients and prospects toward you. By the way, this comment goes for any of these ways to be unique.
Personality. Is there something special about you, something unique about your interests or personality? Do you wear a kilt? Do you always play Santa at Christmas? Were you formerly a high school football coach who took your team to the state championships several times? Are you an avid golfer, skier, mountain climber, whatever, who’s got stories to tell and knows everybody that’s anybody in your vocation? Well, I could go on, but you get the point. Build your professional brand around your personal brand.
If you still haven’t figured out what kind of snowflake you are, I’ve got one more idea for you. Have your customers audit you. This can be quite a valuable experience for several reasons. I’ll show you next time.