Pick a Niche, Be Unique

Modern Life Insurance Selling Podcast


If you were to start all over, what would you do? I get asked this question a lot. Over a year ago my response to this question would have been much different, up until I discovered an amazing strategy that works for quickly creating life insurance leads – niche marketing.

The single quickest way to start generating life insurance leads from your own efforts is, hands down, picking a single niche, being unique, and being the best in it. Listen to this week’s episode to find out about the vast variety of ways of getting traffic to your website when you get hyper-focused in one area. You don’t want to miss these actionable steps and techniques that will set you on the way to successful niche marketing!

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Jeff Root: Welcome to Episode #21 of the Modern Life Insurance Selling Podcast. I’m your host, Jeff Root. Today I’ll be talking about the quickest way to start generating your own life insurance leads.

I get asked this question a lot, “If you were to start all over, what would you do?” This answer has actually changed over time. If you asked me a year ago, I’d say you should buy aged life insurance leads with a dialer, and build your base of prospects for at least 3 months, go after referral sources, all while writing your own blog or learning some other marketing skill.

That was before I discovered the power of niche marketing. If you asked me today, I would pick one niche, be unique, and be the best in it. That’s the fastest way to generate your own leads from your own efforts, because there’s so many ways you could get traffic to your website if you’re hyper-focused in one area. I’ll get into that in just a second here.

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So let’s dive right into this. After you’ve been running an internet life insurance business for a while, you’ll recognize that there are some prospects that are simply more trouble than they’re worth. On the other hand, there are some fantastic prospects that I can’t get enough of, and those are the ones I want to target. There are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of untapped niches in life insurance. By untapped I mean there isn’t a go-to resource with an agent servicing this niche. Over the last 6 months, I’ve seen internet life insurance agent production rising quickly all across various niches.

These specialists, in my opinion, have a more stable internet life insurance business than the generalists. Why? Because there are so many ways that you can market to niches that you can’t just be a generalist who targets everyone. It makes so much sense to start here, rather than just be a generalist like most life insurance agents choose to from the beginning. There’s no problem being a generalist, and riding everyone, but what really sets you apart? What makes you unique besides being independent, and offering access to all the top rated carriers in the market? Every life insurance agent can say that.

Let’s break this down into three sections. The first section will be Niche Selection, next one will be What’s Your USP, or your Unique Selling Proposition, and number 3 Marketing to Your Niche. We’ll start with Niche Selection.

The premise behind nicheing down to a smaller group of life insurance prospects is to super-serve that subset extremely well. You need to serve this niche better than any life insurance agent. I’ll talk about how to do that later in the podcast, but just keep this in mind while selection your niche to target. Selecting the niche you want to target is perhaps the most important early decision in your business that you’ll make. Don’t worry, you can always go after multiple niches, or even switch niches later on. Pick a niche that you already know something about. Perhaps you could leverage knowledge that you’ve gained from one of your hobbies, or prior a tough case that you’ve placed. Maybe you already know several people in this niche you can ask for feedback, advice, or even introductions. The key is to have a working knowledge of your niche before you try to serve them.

If you pick out a niche that you know nothing about, you’re prone to make a lot of rookie mistakes. My advice is to make sure you pick a niche that is stable or growing. A stable niche would be any health condition, such as diabetics, or people with depression. There really are hundreds of different health conditions that you could work. You could also target groups of people like doctors, or small business owners, or even people in your local area. These niches will always be around, and there are plenty of business outside of life insurance that you can leverage for targeted traffic for your website.

A growing niche, at least at a time in this episode, would be something like e-cigarette users, or marijuana users. Those 2 markets are exploding right now. Just make sure you don’t pick a niche that is too small or too hard to help. For example, a niche that’s probably too small would be rock climbers. There’s a need, but how many actual rock climbers are there in the US that you could target? To get started, I would make a list of all the niches you have a working knowledge of, and decide which one has the biggest potential. Then you need to create your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

After you’ve identified your target market, your next step is to determine what will make you different from your competitors in your prospect’s mind? You need to develop your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, which simply answers the question why would your customers buy from you instead of your competitors? You have to determine what unique features are benefits that you can offer to your prospects that your competitors can’t. You’re Unique Selling Proposition should make a promise to your customers about what they should expect from your business and it’s products and services.

Let’s go over some examples here. Here’s some successful examples of USPs in corp history. Everyone knows of FedEx, their USP is when your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight. You know what you’re getting with them. One of my favorites is Tom’s Shoes. I don’t know if anybody here wears Tom’s, but with every product you purchase, Tom’s will help a person in need. That’s something different that sets them apart. Domino’s Pizza, you get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free. These are USPs you can’t forget. It separates them from the competition. Your Unique Selling Proposition doesn’t have to fit into a one sentence catch-phrase like the ones I just mentioned, but it should define who you are as a business. Your USP can be just about anything that your customers care about that differentiates you from your competitors.

The best way to develop your USP is by talking to you potential customers and listening to what they don’t like about the space that you’re in. For example, if you were to tackle the diabetics niche, what are your customers saying their biggest pain is in obtaining life insurance? You could turn that frustration into your Unique Selling Proposition. I’m looking at the diabetic life insurance websites out there right now and none of them have a Unique Selling Proposition. They’re all saying that they’ll get you the best rates. That’s not unique because everyone is saying that. What would be unique in that situation? If you’re a diabetic yourself, you could relate to your prospects in your USP in something along the lines of diabetics helping other diabetics understand and find the lowest life insurance rates. In that instance you’re telling them that you understand them, and can relate to them. You have diabetes and can help them through this process. Or you can be the guy who secures life insurance for diabetics with no medical exam, as many diabetics don’t like exams. That’s another USP you can use.

There’s one thing that shouldn’t be your Unique Selling Proposition and that’s a price. It needs to be something other than price. Price should always be there, you should always mention it, that you’ll get the lowest rates, but that shouldn’t be the only thing. Your USP should never be that you’re cheaper than your competitors. Instead, provide your potential clients more value or unique benefits that your competition can’t offer. Than could be expertise, experience, technology, maybe access to a product that most agents don’t know about or can’t sell. If you can’t come up with a Unique Selling Proposition, the you probably shouldn’t enter that niche. You have to be unique and offer something other agents don’t. When you come up with your Unique Selling Proposition, it should be displayed prominently on your website. Everyone should know your USP.

Now you’re ready to start marketing. You have your niche, you have your USP, and this is where most agents get stuck. So number 3, Marketing Your Niche. Mist agents build a website and think people will find them. I like to compare it to the movie “Field of Dreams” where agents are hearing the same voice that Kevin Costner hears.

Movie excerptIf you will build, they will come.

Jeff Root: Which is completely false. If you build it, they won’t come. Building an internet life insurance business is not the entrepreneurial version of “Field of Dreams”. If you build it, there’s no guarantee that anyone is going to come. When you build a bricks-and-mortar business on a street corner, or in a crowded shopping mall, customers will naturally wander into your store because they’re nearby and see your sign. When you build an internet business, you’re located in the digital equivalent of a lone storefront in the middle of the countryside. People won’t just wander onto your website and request a quote from you. You have to actively convince potential customers to come to your store and to buy your life insurance products, but how do you do this? You identify different marketing channels and create a different marketing plan. Ideally you’ll have over 3 sources of traffic. Some agents live nicely off of one source of traffic, but that can be taken away from you at anytime. It’s very volatile. Every niche will be different in this regard.

Here are some ways some successful internet life insurance agents are getting in front of their niche. Again, this depends on what niche you choose. I’ll go through about 10 or so. Number 1, all agents start with a website with the most helpful information for their niche so they create a resource that builds trust. That’s the first thing and it’s the first thing everyone should do.

Number 2 through 10 here are all niche dependent, so it all depends on which niche you choose. Number 2, you can start outwards to a different niche to different websites by guest blog posting, asking to share content on social media. So you target to people within your niche. Let’s take the diabetics for example. Target other diabetic blogs, people blogging about their issues. Target other Facebook or Twitter accounts and ask if they’ll share that article you just wrote on how to get the cheapest life insurance for diabetics, and you map it out step-by-step. So if you create an awesome resource, ask people to share it, that’s one way agents are getting leads.

Another one is buying advertising on various websites within that niche. For that diabetic example again, you could advertise it. It could be anywhere from $50 a month to $500 a month depending on the traffic to a website. If it’s getting all diabetic visitors, that’s your target market, and if you can buy advertising there that’s targeted traffic to your website. Another one is finding opt-in email lists to market to, or if it’s a business they scrape the names themselves because you can business-to-business cold email, market legally buy to consumers that need to be opted-in.

Again, take the diabetics for example, you could find a diabetic email list. There’s plenty of them out there, I’ve seen them and this goes for all health niches. There’s just a bunch of different lists for all of these different niches that you can pay people $100 to $500 to $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the size of the list to send an email blast with your offer, and that gets people to your website. You could do that consistently. Again, you can buy targeted ads across the internet via media buying or Facebook ads, so you can target diabetics on Facebook.

You can purchase booths at events, depending on your niche you can do very well with this. It usually takes just one sale to make your money back in those instances, but you get a lot of prospects along the way to nurture. I have an agent that actually befriends the people he speaks with at these events that he buys booths at and gets lots of referrals in the process. A long-term strategy is to build your own email list within this list. The most stable internet businesses in general have engaged email lists.

Another way is to direct mail. You can find lists of people who have your condition or are within the specific group of people you want to target and direct mail to them, and direct them back to your website.

There’s participating in forums within your niche. Get to be a resource in these forums, and then put an offer in your signature or create an offer there after you’ve been there for a while.

Of course there’s SEO where you try and rank for your target market is searching for. The problem with SEO is tracking ROY, it’s very hard to do as far as results in driven advertising as we talked about before. Some examples of driven advertising are direct mail, or email blasts, paper click, buying media, buying banner ads on those niche websites. That’s stuff you can track with ROY. With SEO you can’t really track ROY, it’s very hard and it takes time to rank. I absolutely recommend you do it, but just know that it’s going to take a while to get that ball running.

I’m just scraping the surface here. There’s a lot of other ways to get targeted traffic to your website, these are just a few that agents are doing and doing successfully. If all or most of these marketing strategies don’t make any sense to you, and you have no idea how to get started, do what I did and what every other life insurance marketing agent does. Either learn these skills yourself, in which I can point you in the right direction just email me, or hire someone to do it for you. I built my business upon hiring professionals to do everything for me, and then learned what they do. I saw an action, and then said, “Oh, okay that’s how you do it.” Then I research, I reverse engineer it, and figure out how to do it myself. That’s how I learned how to do everything, but in the beginning I hired professionals to do it for me and to set up all of my campaigns.

I recommend that you regularly test out new customer acquisition records and advertising strategies. The vast majority of marketing strategies that you try won’t be effective, but every now and then you’ll find a profitable way to acquire new customers. You can know if a marketing strategy is effective if your cost of acquiring a customer from that particular source is less than the lifetime value of your typical customer.

I’m going to go on a small rant here. A lot of agents don’t factor in the lifetime value of your client. Let’s say you write a life insurance policy and it gets a $750 total commission. If you’ve been in the business long enough and keep an engaged client base you’ll re-write that client sometime in the future, or get a referral. Sure, not all clients will re-write or refer, but some will, which increases the lifetime value of your client. So that $750 commission is actually worth more to you in the future over the next few years, next 5 years, even over the next 10 years, if you are engaged with your clients and keep in touch with them. Just keep that in mind when you’re marketing. I should actually go in-depth on this for another podcast, because it’s actually a really, really important subject.

Once you’ve found something that works, do everything you can to maximize the flow of new customers from that traffic stream. Whether that be an increase in your advertising spend, or publishing more content to that particular platform, just double-down on it. Whatever is working, move your marketing dollars over there. When you’re first getting started, I recommend trying at least a dozen different strategies for a couple months. Then honing down on the strategies that are working well. After your website is up and running, I recommend testing out a new marketing strategy every month if you can. Yes it takes money to test. If you don’t have the money to market, then you’re not ready to be in this business anyway. Every business has to spend time and or money on marketing. It’s no different in our case.

It’s really as simple as taking a niche, nailing down your USP so you can differentiate yourself, and confirm that you have an upper hand on the niche you selected, and then test different marketing. Once you find a marketing funnel that’s consistently profitable, you’re in business. The great thing about this is once you learn these marketing skills, you can try it on other niches.

I’d like to close this podcast on the note that you can be generating your first leads within a niche within 6 weeks if you put in the time, money, and effort. Pick your niche, develop your USP, pay someone to build your website, and then hire a marketer to start driving traffic to your site. I’m currently helping a few agents develop their niche, and we’re seeing some really good results. I personally developed some new niches as well. With that said, I highly recommend taking this route if you want to jump in to the internet life insurance business. Just know that you’re never finished with marketing. You’re always optimizing for better ROY and learning new skills. That will never stop.

People in the episode:

Mentioned on this episode:

Recent Action in the Sell Term Life Community:

The major discussions in the Sell Term Life Community this week can teach you:

  • This week in the community there is a topic on what to do when you’re on the phone with a prospect, and they have a health condition you’ve never heard of. Agents discuss what they do, resources they use on the fly, and how they don’t let that stop the conversation.
  • There’s another topic on diagnosing under-performing pages on your website. We discuss why they are under-performing and have a list of reasons why they’re not getting much traffic or no traffic at all.
  • Another interesting topic in the community is about where we consume marketing information. Check it out to see the agents’ go-to resources.

Learn how you can get access to these discussions, a powerful community of like-minded life insurance agents, and much much more by visiting the SellTermLife Community.

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