Using LinkedIn to network

Independent insurance agents depend on networking to earn referrals and grow their book of business. Online business networking, specifically the LinkedIn platform, can be a successful resource for insurance agent networking. Whether you’re looking to get started with LinkedIn or improve your current presence, these tips will help.

How LinkedIn can help your insurance agency

Did you know that LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform? Most professionals are aware of LinkedIn but some may not realize just how vast of a resource it can be, particularly for insurance agents. 

With over 830 million users, LinkedIn is bursting with both personal and business profiles. While individual insurance agents can create a profile to boost their online presence, it’s also important to create a LinkedIn business profile for your independent agency. 

Many successful insurance agencies think of LinkedIn like an extension of their website. It can be the first stop for potential clients and other business-to-business referral sources to learn more about your agency and decide whether they’d like to do business with you. Building professional connections on LinkedIn can translate into business down the road.

Personal LinkedIn profiles for insurance agents

Having a robust personal profile is the first step in creating a solid foundation on which to build your network of professional relationships. A strong and comprehensive profile is what sets an agent apart from the pack. Many LinkedIn users make the mistake of leaving sections of their profile partially filled out, or worse, blank. A bare profile not only gives the impression that you’re not truly present and active on the site, it also means you won’t benefit from search engine optimization (SEO) that having a complete LinkedIn profile provides. Insurance agents who use applicable keywords in their profile make it easier for Google to find them, and easier for potential clients to identify them as experienced professionals. 

How your profile looks (and reads) sets the tone for how others perceive you and your agency. Having a detailed, descriptive summary that confidently describes your expertise in a conversational way can help attract prospective leads. If your summary gets long, use paragraph breaks to improve readability. Include a call to action, for example, “Call me for a free insurance review” to encourage other LinkedIn members to reach out. Don’t forget to read what you’ve typed back to yourself, aloud even, to check for grammatical and spelling errors.

Remember, while your personal profile represents you, it’s also a reflection of your entire insurance agency. Your profile may be the first piece of marketing material a potential client sees for your agency so it’s important to maintain a professional yet approachable feel.

Your insurance agency’s LinkedIn business page

Once you’ve set up a personal profile, the next logical step is creating your independent agency’s business page on LinkedIn. The same tips that apply to your personal LinkedIn profile also apply here. 

In summary: 

  • Fill out the page as completely as possible, including adding images and branding that make the page distinctly recognizable as belonging to your agency.
  • Use descriptive and applicable keywords to help search engines and humans find your LinkedIn business page
  • Keep it professional, yet approachable.
  • Share content that gives value to your audience, not just fluff. 
  • Include a direct call to action so interested prospects aren’t left wondering what their next step should be.

The benefits of LinkedIn groups for independent insurance agents

Similar to other social media platforms, LinkedIn offers more ways to build relationships with other members besides simply hitting the “connect” button. Sure, you could spend time searching for your next client and sending connection request after connection request. But joining a group and being an active member can go a lot further than cold outreach. 

Many insurance agents join local or national professional groups on LinkedIn that are related to their areas of specialization. For example, if you sell a lot of workers compensation insurance and business owners policies, being active in a small business owners group will give you ample opportunities to engage with potential clients. 

As with other types of networking—both online and in-person—it’s important to remember when you join professional groups on LinkedIn, the more you give, the more you get. This means it’s not enough to just show up online and start advertising your services. To build up trust with your potential client base, make sure to: 

  • Participate in discussions
  • Add value by being a resource without asking for anything in return
  • Patronize the businesses you hope to do business with

In other words, don’t treat LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups as your personal advertising platform. Insurance agents who have success cultivating client relationships online are the ones who remember that the relationship is the most important aspect, and relationships are built by giving, not taking.

How independent agents can utilize everything LinkedIn offers

Organic LinkedIn posts

Increasing your activity on LinkedIn is vital if you want to see a return on your networking efforts. The more active you are, the more exposure you get, and the more likely your ideal client is to see you. This goes beyond just logging in once or twice a week. Posting regularly on LinkedIn is a great way to help your profile gain traction. It’s smart to both create your own posts and share posts from your connections. Liking, commenting on, and sharing others’ posts can help boost your own visibility and reputation while at the same time helping the original poster’s traction. You might be surprised to see more connection requests come in after you engage with someone else’s posts. And, in return, you may find people start liking and sharing your content too!

Paid LinkedIn advertising for insurance agencies

Sometimes a bit of advertising can help get your name out there. Pay-per-click ads on LinkedIn are another useful tool agents can harness to help increase their agency’s presence in the LinkedIn community. You can generate ads for a specific target audience to help you bring in more leads. LinkedIn itself offers advertising based on easily filterable criteria like job title, location, and industry.

Integrations to help your LinkedIn marketing efforts

As a platform itself, LinkedIn has a lot you can do to connect with others both for free and for an additional cost. There are also plenty of third-party integrations you can buy to take your LinkedIn insurance lead generation efforts to the next level. As with any sales and marketing efforts, the more you put in, the better your results will be. It’s important to remember, whether you focus solely on organic (non-paid) LinkedIn connections or choose to invest in tools to amplify your efforts, building the relationships that lead to future sales takes time.

Using LinkedIn to nurture your insurance agency relationships

It might be tempting to send as many connection requests as possible and try to build your LinkedIn network as large and quickly as possible. But remember, LinkedIn is just as much about maintaining and nurturing existing relationships as it is creating new ones. As an independent insurance agent, you already know the value of long-term partnerships and the work that goes into developing a relationship with prospective clients. Doing so online is no different. 

Try not to go overboard with selling in your initial conversation with a new connection and avoid sending more follow-up messages than necessary. Building rapport is the groundwork for creating potential leads. Letting others know you aren’t just there to talk insurance breaks the ice and helps strengthen your professional relationships. Play the long game to preserve your new contacts for future business. Even more importantly, don’t view your connections as just potential business. People can tell the difference when someone is truly interested in getting to know them and help them, versus building a superficial relationship to garner more business.

Take advantage of the benefits of LinkedIn at your independent agency

With the increase in remote work over the pandemic years, it’s no surprise that LinkedIn’s community of businesses and individual users continues to grow as people seek out alternatives to in-person networking events. Professionals who’ve been posting regularly on LinkedIn for years have seen the results.  

The ability to create and nurture more connections, not just locally but all over the U.S. and the world, is a great reason for insurance agents to join. Once you do, maintaining an up-to-date and comprehensive profile for yourself and a business page for your agency are key to setting yourself apart from the rest. Always remember your profile and everything you post under it represents both you and your agency to the world.

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