Do you struggle with promoting yourself or your business? All day long, there’s a lot of noise pinging from various media channels. It’s never been easier to shout your message from the proverbial rooftop.

But how do you make sure that you’re not just adding to that noise? Know what to say and where to say it.

Let’s take a look at your current marketing and promotion strategy. No matter where your company is on the spectrum, these simple steps will modernize your marketing plan.

Listen to this article:

Stop Promoting and Start Branding

Think self-promotion and personal branding are the same thing? They’re actually quite different.

{self-promotion} the action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one’s activities, especially in a forceful way

{personal branding} the practice of marketing yourself and your career as a brand

Personal branding can be a much more effective and long-lasting benefit to your business. Building a brand requires brainstorming, research, and planning to develop a strong vision. That vision then becomes embedded in your marketing strategy, encompassing all of your communications and interactions.

Think self-promotion and personal branding are the same thing? They’re actually quite different.

Know Your Role

In order to effectively market your business, there are four basic truths you need to understand. Start off by answering the following questions.

  1. Function
    • What goods or services do you plan to provide?
    • How do you plan to provide them?
  2. Appeal
    • How is what you’re doing different?
    • What makes you unique?
  3. Identity
    • How will people associate with your brand?
    • Will you use your name or your business name?
    • What image (photograph or logo) will they associate with you?
  4. Audience
    • How do you plan on connecting with people?
    • Which platform will you use?
    • Which materials will you need?

Once you’ve answered each question, you’re ready to move forward. How long will the process take? We recommend a minimum of two days, but for some, this process may take weeks or months.

Establish an Online Presence

There’s no arguing over this one anymore, not when nearly 3.5 billion people actively use the internet, according to the marketing strategists at We Are Social. You want your clients to be able to find you when they type your name into a search engine. That way they connect with you and not your competition.

On Your Website

Every website has a unique domain name and that’s where your research will begin. Brainstorm a few different names for your website, but keep it simple. While unusual spellings might look clever on paper, they can fall flat when spoken out loud.

Unusual domain spellings might look clever on paper, but can fall flat elsewhere. Keep it simple.

Next, you’ll need to decide who will host your page. Many hosting companies charge $10 per year to house your domain online, and you’re responsible for everything else. Prices go up as you add features, such as additional storage, higher bandwidth, customization, etc.

Price points and features will vary between hosting companies. AgentMethods is a hosting company that specializes in the creation of insurance websites and offers three different plan options. Like any other product, it’s important to shop around for the best deal.

Which additional features should you consider? Embedding a blog onto your site enables you to write about current events and offer insight. You can use it to build credibility and gain a solid online following. If you’re thinking about hosting a blog, be sure to choose a platform that offers the option.

If you sell Medicare, Ritter offers a great way to round out your site! A branded Medicareful page can exist as one of many pages hosted on your site. Or, if you’re looking for something simpler, your Medicareful page can function as a low-maintenance website with your contact information. The choice is yours!

On Social Media

Effective marketing requires a social media plan. While you’re brainstorming, consider different username options. Test for availability on all of the social networks you plan to use. Ideally, you want to be able to use the same name across every social media platform.

There’s no shame in signing up for more sites than what you initially plan to use. It will ensure that your branding stays consistent, even if your marketing strategy shifts down the road.

It’s okay to sign up for more sites than what you initially plan to use. It ensures consistency.

Next, do your homework, and determine which demographics you want to target. If you’re selling Medicare products, it makes your math pretty easy.

Here are the most popular social media platforms and why you should use them.

  • Facebook: Enhance visibility and share content with 1.6 billion users worldwide

  • LinkedIn: Position yourself as a thought-leader among your professional peers

  • Twitter: Growing in popularity among seniors, Twitter is a real-time discussion on many topics

  • Google+: Boost your brand visibility in Google Search results

  • Instagram: This photo-sharing platform boasts the highest level of brand engagement

  • Pinterest: 42% of all women online use this worldwide creative bulletin board

Good Old-Fashioned Networking

Digital goes a long way, but here at Ritter, we know the value of face-to-face interactions. That’s why we recommend including traditional offline networking when formulating your marketing plan.

  1. Learning experiences: Workshops, seminars, and trade shows are a great way to stay current on industry trends and meet like-minded individuals.

  2. Networking events: Mixers and open houses enable you to meet individuals in other industries who could use your product and connect you to potential clients.

  3. Partnerships: Look for business opportunities with others who also serve your demographic. Financial planners, other insurance agents, and local business owners are just a few examples.

  4. Local community: Never underestimate the power of service organizations, business associations, or your local Chamber of Commerce. These groups offer a way to connect with other professionals and keep your finger on the pulse of your community.

Marketing Materials

As an agent, you’re always on. That means a constant supply of materials for potential clients and networking contacts. Did you know that on some occasions we offer partial marketing reimbursement when you contract with Ritter? You can submit expenses for business cards, lead mailers, and even advertising expenses. For more information about what’s covered, contact your regional marketer.

Advertising

Don’t forget to budget for those times when your message needs more reach than you’re capable of on your own. Are you moving to a new location or making another significant change? Advertising is a great way to convey information to a large but specific demographic of potential future clients. Formats include digital, print, television, and radio advertising.

Compliance

Lastly, and most importantly, everything you communicate must comply with standards set forth by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including social media posts. Remember not to broadcast carriers or specific plans as it’s considered sensitive information. To learn more about compliance, download Ritter’s Code of Conduct.

Go Forth and Market

Ready to start working on your strategy? Planning, research, and honesty will go a long way in developing your successful marketing plan. Add in your own experience, knowledge, and personality for a truly authentic touch. You can rely on Ritter to keep you updated with the latest innovations in marketing as our industry grows and changes.