Other People's Work: What You Need to Do... What Others Can Do for You

You don’t need to do it all yourself. Marketing is a team sport.

Your own team – the agency staff – must be engaged. To help the agency ‘listen’ and record questions that your marketplace has. And, to help distribute content using ‘the Lagniappe Method.’

But, your team – and your expanded team – can easily help you accelerate the production of high quality content.

Let’s identify some of the key roles in content creation and distribution:

  • Strategy. Content marketing – like every other activity in your business – must fit within some larger strategic context. Where is the agency going? What are the trends, supportive and obstructive, that will affect your ability to get there? Where will you get the most results relative to the investment of resources? How will you deploy resources most effectively? How will you present your ‘brand’ to most effectively support your strategy. These are ‘big picture’ issues that must guide your content strategy.
  • Writing. Most content involves some writing, even if it’s an outline or a general script for a video. Editing and proofreading can be put into this broad category.
  • Design. All content has some ‘look.’ From a Facebook post to a special report, someone needs to deliver design that supports the content of the message itself.
  • Video and other A/V. More and more content is using video. It’s not hard. It doesn’t need to demonstrate Hollywood production value. But, decisions need to be made – and someone needs to push buttons! (With a little training, I ‘push my own buttons’ for my weekly podcast series. That’s a lot of buttons!)
  • Somebody needs to effectively get this content into whatever platforms your using.
  • And, somebody needs to make sure your audience knows about it.

Picture of the podcast studio Michael Jans uses to record Agency Revolution's Connected Insurance Podcast

Now, what do YOU need to do? And, what can or should you let others do?

Of course, that depends on your role.

Let’s touch on that for a moment. Agency staff structures are changing. More and more agencies are waking up to how good marketing accelerates growth – whether it’s in personal or commercial lines.

And, that has meant that people need to do things that agencies didn’t have to do before.

I interviewed Chuck Blondino, Director of Agency Capabilities and Programs at Safeco Insurance for Agency Revolution’s Connected Insurance Podcast series.

Safeco assessed the difference between their top performers and their average performers.

Here’s a critical difference: the top performing agencies communicated more, and, in order to make that happen, many invested in some form of position that didn’t used to exist in insurance agencies: marketer.

In smaller agencies, more of the marketer functions tend to be executed by leadership. Sometimes all of them.

But, in larger agencies, more principals are realizing the enormous ROI of marketing, and they’re investing in some commitment to make that happen.

The functions of that position may change. And, I suspect, it may evolve as the industry matures its commitment to marketing.

But – a key point – many of the functions of ‘marketer’ do not have to be performed by a full or even part-time staff member. (As we’ll see in a moment.)

However, some functions must be maintained at the level of agency leadership.

Strategy belongs to leadership. Leadership has to make certain key, high level decisions.

  • Where does the agency most need to put its attention now?
  • Attracting more leads into the marketing funnel?
  • Attracting better leads?
  • Increasing the conversion rate?
  • Generating more revenue per relationship?
  • Boosting retention?
  • Which lines of business will deliver the most opportunities?
  • Which niches?

Team selection belongs to leadership.

  • What functions will be performed by whom?
  • How much resource will be committed to it and where will it be deployed?
  • What will be performed by staff and what will be outsourced?

Approval of plan and performance belongs to leadership.

  • Leadership doesn’t necessarily need to develop the plan. But, they need to ‘own’ it.
  • Likewise, leadership doesn’t need to execute the plan, but they need to ‘own’ it, too.

So, some functions can’t be abdicated. But, some can be delegated.

And, they can be delegated to ‘outsiders.’

If you want to delegate a lot, you can easily find a full-service agency (as in ‘marketing agency’ that can drive the whole process.

But, beware. Do not delegate the three functions I identified above. Nobody cares about results like you do, so don’t give away the critical pieces of the puzzle that belong to you.

Or, you can easily piece-meal your delegation.

For example, Google ‘freelance content writers,’ and you’ll find about 1.4 million suggestions.

It's easy to find freelance designers on Google

Or visit freelance job sites, like Upwork or Fiverr.

You can do the same with anything. You can find designers. If you want to get a little sophisticated and deliver a podcast, you can find people who will do everything for you – including the actual interviewing.

The biggest caveat on delegating – whether you’re doing it in-house or outsourcing it: if you don’t provide some clear strategy, it’s expensive. Because there will be a lot of waste.

That understood, hiring outside expertise is remarkably affordable. Nothing should stand in the way of accelerating your growth quickly – if you act.

Once again, marketing is a team sport.

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