1. Go to local events.
While most people do everything over the Internet these days, meeting people in person is still different and will never go out of style. So, aside from inviting clients to your office, you want to be where you can be most visible to people in your local area. One of the best ways to get in front of large numbers of people is at local events. Many communities have such events, especially in the spring and summer like fun runs, parties, BBQs, fundraisers, concerts, and even community theater shows. What better way to meet the local people in your community than to go to such events? How about meeting those people as a sponsor, co-sponsor or just an attendeee? How about donating some of your "swag" to the sponsor(s) to hand out. Most are happy to do so as long as your "swag" isn't a conflict with the intentions of the event's organizers.
Of course, if it's your first time attending such events or you're not sponsoring them via your agency, don't go for the hard sell immediately. Be prepared and take some of your calling cards, but go out, have fun, and meet some new people. It'll give you a feel of what local events are like, plus you won't send people running in the opposite direction when they see you next time. Invite team members to "divide and conquer" at various events throughout your market area.
2. Get spotted at local places (on social media).
Aside from local events, you should also patronize your local business, such as mom-and-pop restaurants, bookstores, cafes, and even your local hardware or grocer. Of course, you're not going to these places just to find clients, but it could be a good social media opportunity for you.
Now, we won't go on about how to use social media (we've covered it extensively in our Social Media Guides and a few blog posts, too.) So, we'll assume that you already use social media for your agency. Now, if you do happen to be going out to local places, let's say you're taking your office out to your local sub shop for lunch or buying some office supplies at a local stationery shop, go ahead and take a picture and post it on your Facebook, Twitter account, or G+ account. Make sure you also tag the business and check into the location.
Not only does this make you more visible especially when people check in to the location, but it also shows that you care about the community by patronizing local businesses.
3. Advertise on local radio.
Don't listen to rumors - radio isn't dead. In fact, it's booming - with baby boomers, that is. Baby boomers are a hidden goldmine for radio advertisers. Check out the excerpts from this article about a study done by The Radio Advertising Bureau:
"...28 percent of radio listeners age 47 to 65 are reached between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., and that radio is Baby Boomers' top media choice for that period of the day. Radio's sway with Boomers continues into the workday, with 40 percent of listeners tuning in between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., making the medium second only to the Internet."
In fact, the article goes on to say that even GenXers are still reachable by radio. Perhaps, this is most likely due to the "drive time" when people turn on the radio on their way to and from work. So, radio isn't dead - the demographics have just shifted. While the Millennial generation may be the biggest demographic, don't forget the older generations, too. Many of your competitors may be ignoring them, which could mean a big opportunity for you, especially when it comes to increasing your local visibility to insurance shoppers.
4. Participate in local charity events
Giving to charity is always a good thing, not just for tax reasons. If you've already maximized your donations and contributions, don't forget other ways you can help. You might want to sponsor prizes for raffles, or even help get the word out through your social media pages. Of course, participating in local charity events isn't just about publicity, but also a good way to give back to the local community.
5. Claim your online directory listings
Perhaps one of the best things you can do to increase your local search engine visibility is to claim your online directory listings. In fact, if you're reading this blog post, you can even do it right now from your mobile device or computer. What does this mean exactly? Well, many websites and search engines like Yelp, YP, SuperPages, Foursquare, City Search, Yahoo! and of course, Google, list local businesses and details about them (usually address, phone numbers they obtained from your website or other public information). But, they also allow the actual business owners to claim their pages and post their own information, pictures, links, and even respond to reviews. Doing this prevents other people from claiming your business, but it can also help increase your visibility to insurance shoppers. You can update the page with better information, for example, if the details listed on the site are outdate or incorrect.
Think about it this way: Bob and his family just moved to your city from another state. One of the things he needs to do is find is a local insurance agent for his car, especially since his teenage son is going to start driving soon. He doesn't know anyone in your city, or even how to navigate around. He'll probably use his smartphone to search for "local insurance agents near me." He finds your office through Yelp, but not knowing where it is exactly, he just uses his phone's navigation app to lead him to the address listed. But, unfortunately, the address on Yelp is incorrect, and sends Bob to the opposite end of town. Now, not only did Bob not get to your location, he's probably pretty upset that he's wasting all this time unnecessarily. See how you could have prevented this by correcting your address in your local listing. If you want to know more about using online directories, do check out our FREE e-book Using Online Directories for SEO Success.
Your local community is the best place to drum up business for your insurance agency. After all, most people want to deal with real people in their local area, not just for convenience, but also to support local businesses. However, you have to make sure people can find you in the first place. By following these tips, you can become more visible to people in your area and hopefully, get some leads and customers for your insurance agency.