The idea of creating a niche to grow your book of business for insurance agents is certainly not a new idea.
However, I often hear from insurance agents wanting to find their niche market, but unsure of where to start.
This is a common question as there is no perfect science to establishing yourself as an insurance expert in a particular niche. While that may seem frustrating, discovering a niche market that may work for you only requires four key components.
If you can tie these four components together, you will be well on your way to becoming an industry leader in a niche you love, understand, and provides long-term opportunity.
Passion for a specific industry or type of coverage is how most agents begin the process of discovering their niche. I agree that this is the most important aspect, but it’s not the only qualification.
Having passion or love for a certain industry or segment is vital because you will be spending most of your time understanding, serving, and working directly inside this niche.
If your only reason to develop this niche is for commission, you will soon be chasing your tail in an industry to you don’t enjoy or relate with. That’s no fun.
So how do you even know what you are passionate about?
The easiest way to find your passion is to ask yourself a few questions.
- What type of industry (restaurant, computer service, dog groomers, etc) do you personally enjoy dealing with? Why?
- What types of business do your frequent or research most often?
- What industry or business segments has you the most curious?
- If you could go to a trade show event (not in the insurance industry), which one would you choose?
When you answer these questions you will soon discover specific key industries and segments that stir your passion.
This is so important because if you follow my marketing strategy, you will be living and breathing this industry or segment. You will have a burning want to help those within this niche. You will have enthusiasm to serve with excellence and give new insurance ideas and services to help their businesses succeed. Now that is fun!
Although having passion for a niche is imperative, it is certainly not the only reason. Let’s talk about the second aspect of finding and developing a niche in your insurance business.
Ability can come in various forms. Let me explain. Let’s say you are newer to the insurance industry, but spent 10 years running a restaurant. Although you are not a restaurant insurance expert (yet), you are still certainly a high level expert within restaurant industry.
Remember with any niche it is just as important, check that, more important, that you understand the industry you are serving as the insurance nuances that go with that industry.
Does this mean you can get away with being an insurance dunce? Of course not! You must learn the terms, coverages, and policy language.
Ability can also come from handling multiple accounts in a certain industry or segment. Maybe you write a few accounts within an industry segment, but haven’t really focused your time in this market. If you enjoy that industry (passion), have access to top-notch policies (insurance markets), you may have already started a profitable niche.
The last aspect of ability is actually not having any experience at all. Now this may sound counter-intuitive, but let me explain. If I hired a new producer with no business experience (I like challenges:), I would highly consider finding a niche or two that would be their focus. This would be in correlation with their passion, available markets and opportunity.
I would have that agent research the ins and outs of that niche or segment both from insurance coverage and industry knowledge perspective. I would make them write blog posts or social media updates (approved first) about that niche and how they can serve them. Not only will they learn a great deal about the specific coverages and insurance nuances, but they will begin to develop credibility and deeper knowledge of that industry quickly.
In my opinion, most new agents try to learn everything all at once. This often results in low knowledge retention and lack of credibility.
I’m aware that this approach may not work in all situations as this process can take longer to development long-term momentum, but is well worth it.
The point with these examples is that ability can come in various ways. You don’t have to be an expert on day one, but you do have to begin to place yourself as the expert and push forward every day.
So you have passion for a specific industry or segment and ability. What’s next?
You can have all the passion in the world and ability, but if you have no markets to use, you have just wasted a considerable amount of time.
You need to partner with at least 2–3 quality insurance markets that can serve, support, and help you market your niche business.
I have seen agents go gangbusters with one insurance carrier only to see that program disappear after a time. That is not only sad, but it’s disastrous.
If your markets can see your passion and ability in a particular niche that they specialize in, you will have their support. If not right away, definitely after you write a few accounts with them.
Accessing multiple markets also allows you to serve your niche at a higher level. Not every insurance company program is the same and you can design insurance programs with the insurance market that best fits your customer’s needs. You can’t be a one size fits all insurance agent.
This goes well beyond the typical marketing approach of insurance agents were the key value proposition is you have access to multiple markets. As a niche market expert in your industry or segment, you will already be building relationships and have credibility. Now you also will be providing the absolute best insurance company and coverage options designed specifically for that niche.
That is where you can fully leverage the power of your niche.
Passion, ability, markets…………..there is one last step before you start collecting all those commission dollars.
Before you fully commit to your niche marketing strategy, you need to understand the opportunity and do your homework.
This requires asking yourself more important questions.
- How many potential customers are in this niche?
- What is my geographical reach?
- What is the average premium per client for these industries or segments?
- Who are the key competitors, how much market share do they have, are they utilizing the same insurance markets?
- What is the best way to reach these businesses (locally, online, events)?
- What is the sales cycle for this industry or segment (from attraction, to sales, to policy delivery and service)?
The answers to these questions will spell out the full opportunity of working with this niche.
This entire process does take time and forethought, but is vital to make sure you target a niche will excite and sustain you.
Find your passion, leverage or develop your experience, find the best markets, and understand the opportunity.
Once you have these four satisfied, you are ready to jump in, become a trusted expert, have fun, and make some money!
Question: What is your unique niche? Let me know below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Brent Kelly is the CEO of BizzGrizz. BizzGrizz helps insurance agencies implement marketing and sales systems to increase profit and productivity.