What’s the vision you have of your insurance business? In the ideal world, what does your end game look like?
In order to answer these questions, and more related to your business’ growth, strategic planning is critical to staying on track and reaching your goals.
The most crucial aspect of branding and the vision for your business is your ideal client. Who do you want to work with and what does that relationship look like? Once your ideal client and area of expertise has been established, how do you organize your messaging? Is the way you communicate to your target market clear and succinct or is there room to narrow the focus?
Often times, in their decision-making process to work with you, the ideal prospect wants to know why you are specifically suited to work with them. What expertise and experience do you have in working with their demographic? Do you effectively weave in these details with your messaging?
A slogan is a powerful communication tool. It is a simple statement that describes what you do and for whom. For example, “Long Term Insurance for Doctors” could be a great slogan if who you truly want to attract and are willing to commit your marketing efforts to at the same time are doctors. The slogan is simple and answers the questions of what you do and for whom.
Many business owners confuse slogans with taglines. A tagline speaks to the client experience, and might not give the client any idea of what you do without knowing your brand. For example, State Farm’s tagline is “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” It’s very catchy, especially with the sing-along quality of the tune, but if a consumer doesn’t know what State Farm does and for whom, it’s just a meaningless statement.
Deciding the size of your team can be challenging, but is important in ensuring your brand is in place and messaging is clear across the board. If you plan to be a solo-preneur, the brand and messaging is one that only you need to be very familiar and comfortable using. However, if you plan on having partners, associates, or even staff members to support the depth and delivery of success in your business, the communication to reinforce your brand must be consistent and clear throughout the organization.
Taking it one step further, the responsibilities of every individual person must be delineated clearly for the business to grow in a success-oriented fashion. You need to know who is managing a specific part of the business, who is taking action on what task, , and in every case, who will be responsible for following up and keeping team members accountable for results.
Marketing & Branded System
Once your brand is established, along with the vision of the company, it is critical to create your branded system which is a step by step way of messaging to consumers that is consistent across all channels. How you articulate what you do for your business partners, clients, and centers of influence, illustrates your value and establishes how you stand out in the marketplace.
Marketing and business development are two of the ongoing aspects of the strategic planning process that are focused on attracting your ideal clients. Here, you should determine what the most effective marketing channels or mediums to use are to attract those ideal clients. Alongside the marketing channels, you will want to assign who will be taking action on what task, and playing to your team member’s strengths.
For example, you may have individuals on your team who are extroverted, love talking to and attracting prospects in person, while having a comfort level in actually transitioning prospects to clients. A great role for that personality and skill-set may be to attend networking meetings and spread the message of the business with speaking engagements. Others may be more comfortable writing or creating content for blog posts, newsletters and supporting search engine optimization on your website or social media platforms, which is still messaging the business but in a “behind the scenes” manner.
By tapping into each individual’s strengths and allowing them to take the lead in these critical areas, within the context of your branded system, you not only place your business in a better place for growth, but highlight the opportunities to fill the gaps.
Create a Customized Marketing Plan
After these critical aspects of your business’ growth are solidified, and communicated to the team at large, the next step is getting the message out via various marketing channels. Answer these two priority questions to get started:
- What marketing channels will attract your ideal clients?
- Which of these channels will you employ consistently?
Often times, business owners dive full-fledged into every marketing channel available to them, and spread themselves too thin. Hone in on the few that would truly attract your top-tier clients, and utilize them consistently and effectively. If you’re already utilizing several marketing channels, look for opportunities to enhance and increase your reach within existing channels while looking ahead to see which channel you might focus on next.
Review Your Strategic Plan Regularly
Many insurance professionals review and revise their strategic plan at the beginning of the year and then forget about it until the following year. My advice is to review and revise quarterly as the business can go through extensive change over the course of just one or two quarters, and it behooves the organization to align the partners, team, and clients on your branded system consistently.
Susan Danzig is a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder and a Certified Business Development coach. Through Coach U, the premier coach training program in the world, she has received training in advanced business, corporate and personal coaching skills.