Many of the insurance agency websites I see these days are designed to look so professional, they end up being sterile and lifeless. Of course it’s important to project an image of professionalism. You want people to have confidence in your expertise. But you also want to encourage them to do business with you. In addition to projecting a professional image, you want your website to help you build relationships and sell products.
One of the most important developments in marketing in the past few years has been the tremendous emphasis placed on making personal connections. The most obvious expression of this trend is the popularity of social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, among others.
I don’t know why so many insurance agencies rely on the lists of insurance companies they represent and the products they sell to inform people about who they are. They may also offer a few words about when they were founded and how they provide superior service and the rest of the boilerplate that makes your eyes glaze over. But this is how they define themselves — with very little to say about their own people.
Sorry, but I have news for those of you who think this is good marketing. People don’t care about this stuff. What they really want is to know more about you and the people who work at your agency. Plus, they want you to tell them why and how they should do business with you.
Agencies that have started a blog or a Facebook fan page have made a good start at tearing down the barriers between themselves and their clients and prospects. It’s hard to stay formal if you want people to read your posts. You can’t just issue advice on preparing for floods and safe driving tips for the holidays either. You need to talk about people, too: Whether it’s your people (maybe an account executive or CSR had a baby this weekend), your clients (“Century Plumbing just raised over $5,000 for the March of Dimes.”) or people in your community (“See our photos from the Ashland Christmas Parade on our website.”).
There are basically three areas of your website where you should focus on relationship-building. The first two places I’ll mention really only document your agency’s ability to build relationships:
- Profiles. You should publish profiles of all team members along with photos. Help customers get to know the people they deal with. Be sure to include a little bit of personal information along with the professional credentials, such as where they grew up, their hobbies and family connections.
- Testimonials. People want to know how other people who have done business with you like your service. Provide photos, if you can. Videos of your clients giving testimonials will make an even stronger impression.
Next time I’ll discuss the most important relationship-building tool you can put on your website.