Is your independent insurance agency known as a jack of all trades – selling a variety of insurance policies without having any real specialty?
Instead of continuing to spread yourself thin, grow your book of business and improve your service by focusing on a niche. Operating within a niche reduces competition and allows you to let your expertise shine. You can fill a gap in the market and increase your revenue with this strategy.
Let’s go over some tips to help you identify a niche that you can use to grow your independent insurance agency.
Consider Your Areas of Expertise
Begin by thinking of your areas of expertise. Think beyond your insurance experience and consider industry knowledge. For example, did you spend time working in the wedding industry? Maybe you adopted a child and know the ins and outs of the adoption process, or you serve an important role in running your church.
You don’t need to have experience selling insurance policies to the niche. Instead, industry experience can go a long way in helping you identify the needs of people who work in specific industries.
Clients want to work with someone who understands their pain points and needs. They don’t want a generalist when buying policies for particular niches.
If you have industry experience, you can then educate yourself on the insurance offerings. Your insurance background will help you navigate the process, so you can become an insurance expert in the niche.
Unlock Your Passion
Having industry experience is one thing, but are you passionate? As a niche insurance agency, you will spend all your time working with people in a specific industry. If that industry doesn’t excite you, you’ll get bored quickly.
Go through all the areas you’re experienced in and cross any off that don’t get you excited. If you aren’t passionate about any industries you’re experienced in, you’ll need to come up with new ideas. Think about industries that you are interested in researching. Make sure that you do a deep dive into the industry, though, since you’ll need to learn as much as possible before specializing in that market.
Make Sure There Is a Need
As a niche insurance agency, you will have a much smaller market. You need to make sure there is a need in your market when you start selling policies to your niche. Conduct market research to determine the number of customers in your area. You also need to consider the average premium that clients in that industry pay. Then, look at the competition. Is the market already served, or can you provide a valuable service?
This will give you a good idea of how much you can make if you work in this niche. If it’s profitable, you know that you’ve selected a good niche.
Don’t Forget About Shoulder Niche Opportunities
Once you pick a niche, think about shoulder niche opportunities. This refers to niche markets that are closely related to your existing niche.
For example, if you decide to sell policies to wedding venues, you can also branch out and reach vendors and suppliers. You will still work inside the wedding niche, but you will be able to sell more policies.
Research the viability of shoulder niches to get an even better idea of how much money you can make.
Research Your Carrier Options
Before you can start selling policies, you need to research your carrier options. Are you currently working with insurance carriers that serve that niche? Can you sell those insurance products to your customers? You might discover that you need new carrier appointments to work in your niche.
Some niche insurance agencies make the mistake of starting out with a single carrier appointment. However, that poses two problems. First, your clients will have a lack of choice. That makes it hard to satisfy their needs. Second, the carrier could stop selling products to your niche market. That means you wouldn’t be able to offer products at all. If possible, get at least three carrier appointments, so you can serve your niche.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
You need a strong marketing strategy to reach customers in your current niche. Consider attending trade shows where companies in your niche will be present. You can also attend local functions and events.
An online marketing strategy is also critical. You can build an insurance agency website catering to your niche. You can also use your insurance agency management system to send text and email marketing messages.
All of your marketing efforts need to focus on the niche. Highlight your expertise to drive up leads to your agency.
Identify Opportunities and Grow Your Agency
These tips will help you identify a niche that allows you to showcase your passion and experience. You’ll be able to serve your clients better, and you’ll also enjoy the excitement that comes with doing something you love.