In this episode of Bullpen Sessions, host Andy Neary speaks on the importance of being searchable in this industry, why you NEED to invest time in building your online presence, and how to effectively create a sphere of influence through social media.


Video Transcript:

This transcript was auto-generated. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.

Hey, hey. Welcome back to the podcast in this episode, I am going to teach you how to become the most searched advisor in your market.

Because today we’re going to answer the question. When somebody Googles you, what are they going to find? So this is one of my favorite topics. I’m excited to do a podcast episode about this because when I look at what we are doing as a business here at Complete Game Consulting, I often find myself asking, what do we do really well?

What is that one thing that we help our clients do that I think we do better than anybody else in the market, and that is help them build credibility with their prospects before they ever walk in the door. And search ability is a big piece of that. And I’m going to teach you how to do that today. There’s three areas I’m going to have you look at, have you review that I think are going to help you really ensure that when prospects look you up, they’re going to be confident with what they find, which is going to give them the confidence to hire you.

And I think this is where where I want to jump off today to start. Today’s podcast episode is last week, I had a chance to give a keynote talk at, an industry association event, and this was the topic I talked about. You know, my main keynote is called the Insurance Agent Sales Playbook, the three step process to go from unknown to unstoppable.

And the last step I talk about is how to become very searchable and this is a topic that people struggle with. It’s something people in our industry struggle with greatly. And, you know, one of the things that.

I find difficult when I travel around the country and deliver my keynote talks, I find it frustrating because I know there’s nothing I can do about it, is when I stand in front of a room full of 101 hundreds of people who are in our industry, they are committed to growing their business. I know that the advice I’m giving them from stage is only going to impact very few people.

Meaning I know the people in the room. Out of the hundreds people sitting in the room, only a couple are actually going to take what they learn and apply it. And that is frustrating. I wish there was a way I could ensure more advisors left my keynote talks and took action on what they’re learning. But it’s the simple truth, and I guess it leaves more to the people who do take action, right?

It’s more ground they can gain on the competition, but in my keynote last week, we talked about how how to become searchable. And when I look at the insurance landscape today, this is a problem. Far too many advisors, far too many agencies are simply not searchable enough. And when your prospects look you up and they can’t find enough about you, you lose credibility.

And I have too many advisors I talked to. Some of them are clients that are coming in second place far too often, and that’s the challenge you have right now, is it is very frustrating to come in second place. And when you do, you often catch yourself asking questions like, is it my knowledge? maybe it’s my age.

Maybe I don’t look old enough to win the business. Or is it my agency? Are we not big enough to win this business? And all of these thoughts come up in your head when the reality is you just might not have enough credibility. Think about that for a second now, is it possible that your age, the size of your agency, all play into calculating your overall credibility?

I guess. But what I want to try to help you do today is overcome any of those hurdles you might face and build a machine, an awareness machine that helps you build credibility. And it helps give your prospects the confidence to say, this is the person I can hire. This is the agency I know we need to hire because the pain right now is real, right?

You are busting your ass. You know that you are talented enough to win business. You know you have the right strategies. Sometimes you have great rates, but despite all of that, you’re still not winning. I’m having several of these conversations today with some of our own clients. They’re very talented advisors. They have great strategies. They look different than their competition, but they’re still not winning.

And I wish I had a secret formula to help them ensure that they had 100% success rate, but it’s just not going to happen. However, creating a ton of awareness for who you are and what you do is going to help you overcome a lot of those challenges. And where this topic really popped in my head is something I wanted to share on an episode of the Bullpen Sessions podcast happened just a couple weeks ago.

We got several referrals from one of our clients, as potential complete game university members and so after we got the referrals, I had our director of marketing, Chris Floria, reach out or actually start by searching for these agencies so that he could reach out to the applicable, the appropriate person and have a conversation about having them think about joining Complete Game University.

And what was interesting is Chris came back to me after spending an hour or so researching these agencies, and he was kind of dumbfounded because he said, Andy, I have tried to look up these agencies on Google and I can’t even find them. I said, man, think about that for a second. If we’re just trying to collect some contact information and we’re struggling to find these agencies online, imagine what a prospect feels like when you have put a proposal in front of them.

You have a good strategy. Maybe the rates look great and then they say, hey, let’s do a little background check. Let’s look these people up, see what we find, and they can’t even find you. Think about what is going through your head. Their head. Excuse me about their level of confidence in hiring you. Are you somebody who has the credibility to help them achieve their goals?

And the answer is no. And this topic has is something that I often get pushback from in the insurance industry, because there’s still a lot of people out there who believe having an online presence isn’t that important. But let me set the record straight for you.

In 2024, the number one strategy to attract people into your ecosystem in the insurance industry is still the cold call. That is still the number one way we train insurance producers to grow their business today. Now let’s talk about that. How has that become more difficult? Well, number one, it takes 18 phone calls on average today to get a prospect on the phone just to get them on the phone.

So in order for you to get ten prospects on the phone, you have to make 180 phone calls. And if you are a speed dealer and dial every minute on the minute, that is three hours to reach ten people. Think about that. Cold calling is harder than it’s ever been. On top of that, we’re calling more cell phones than we ever have.

So if I get a number on my phone I don’t recognize I’m not picking it up and letting it go to voicemail. And worse yet, your phone might tell their phone, excuse me, might tell you you are spam. Think about this. So online activity is important today because that is where people hang out. If you want to try to get your prospects attention, you have to find a way to get inside their phone because that’s where our eyes are attracted to these days.

Other than calling them. So what does your social media presence look like? What does your website’s present look like? We’re going to talk about YouTube. If you are doing any kind of video content, you got to have a YouTube channel, because when people Google you and they’re going to those are the things that are going to pop up first.

And when I think about my journey into building awareness for who I am and what I do, it all started when I moved out to Colorado in 2014, and I found myself in a market. Nobody knew who I was. I decided in 2014, a decade ago, to build a personal brand, and at that time people thought I was crazy.

We don’t do that in the insurance industry. And so, Andy, what are you trying to do? You in love with your ego? What’s going on it. But I knew I had to get a lot of people to know who I am, and I had to build awareness. Now, the first three years I struggled with this, I didn’t know what that look like.

I fumbled, I tried a bunch of things that didn’t work. But then something happened in 2017, which really shifted my perspective. And I share this story. In my keynote 2017, Amy and I decide that we are going to go to a Tony Robbins event, and if you’ve ever been to a Tony Robbins event, they are a full day affair.

You get there at about 8 or 9 in the morning. They go till 9 or 10:00 at night. Truth be told, we left a little early that evening because Tony just kept going and going and going. But at these events, there is a lineup of speakers who make up the first half of the day before Tony comes on stage.

And at this event in Denver in 2017, there was a speaker who I had never seen before by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk, known as Gary Vee Online. And up until this point, I had never seen this guy. I didn’t know who he was. All I knew after watching this talk was this dude drops a lot of F-bombs on stage, but man, what he is saying sounds so true.

And it what he was saying on stage that clicked with me was the following. Number one if you want to grow your business today. Now, mind you, this was seven years ago. If you want to grow your business today, you have to think of yourself like a media company who happens to sell the product you sell. So if you’re an insurance agency, you need to think of yourself like a media company that happens to sell insurance.

Hmhm interesting. Number two, he said. If you want to create credibility, you got to dominate page one of Google. When people type in your name, they type in your agency. You have to dominate page one of Google. We’ve got to see everything everywhere. And number three, and this is what bought me and this is when I said I am going all in on this concept is when he said if you create enough awareness, you build enough content.

You will literally guilt people into doing business with you because you’re bringing so much value to them. Now that’s for a separate episode, a separate topic on how to build content that brings a ton of value to your prospects. However, what this all does for your business is it makes you searchable. If people look you up, they’re going to find a ton.

And if it’s directed in their direct ad directed at them as a target audience, it’s going to give them the confidence to hire you. But right now, if you do not have a good online presence, it is costing you business every single day. It is just the truth. You cannot bring your personal bias to your marketing strategy. I know you may not like social media.

I know you don’t think having a really good website that clearly speaks to your target audience is that big of a deal, but you got to have it today. If prospects are going to be confident in hiring you, this is why you’re losing to the big boys. If you’re a smaller, independent agency, whether you like it or not, they have a great online presence.

When I use when I say the words homeowners and auto insurance, what do you think of? I have asked this question on stage to plenty of audiences when it comes to homeowners and auto insurance. Who do you think of? And almost every single time I get Geico, I get Allstate and I get State Farm. Why? Because of awareness.

We have got Jake from State Farm, we have got havoc from Allstate, and we have got the Geico, the gecko from Geico. Now, are they the best insurance products in the market? Absolutely not. But they’re the credible ones because you see them everywhere. This is what I’m talking about. Hey, hey quick announcement. If you are an insurance professional looking to optimize the way you prospect and generate leads and you find yourself intrigued by LinkedIn but just don’t know where to start, I want to talk to you about the Social Media Sales Academy.

Listen, the idea of diving into the social media and putting yourself out there can be daunting, and the fear of presenting your best self online is real. But let’s face it, the traditional methods of prospecting are failing you and it is time for a change. Who is the social media sales academy for? If you are a driven insurance professional looking to grow your revenue but strapped for time, you’re looking for a more efficient way to prospect and you are just watching others have success on the platform and you want to have the same success.

I want to talk to you over six weeks. You are going to learn directly from me the ins and outs of LinkedIn using our proprietary playbook, the LinkedIn Diamond Playbook. By joining the Academy, you are going to learn how to create a prospect friendly LinkedIn profile, how to find your ideal prospects, and send connection requests that actually get accepted.

You can learn how to post content that engages and attracts your ideal prospect. You’ll learn how to show up on video with confidence, and you’re going to learn how to send direct messages that turn connections into sales conversations. If this sounds like something you know you need to do, I want you to go to complete Game Backslash Academy.

That is complete game backslash Academy. You’ll jump on a call with us, see if it’s a fit for you, and we’ll get you enrolled. The next class starts on May 1st. I hope to talk to you soon. So how do we create Searchability? How can you become the most search advisor in your market? So I’m going to walk you through three areas.

I just put up four fingers, three fingers, three areas that you need to review right now to help you be more searchable. Number one, social media. Now, for the sake of this episode, I’m going to assume you are in the B2B insurance space. So you’re selling the businesses. And if that’s the case, I’m talking about your LinkedIn presence.

Number one, you got to have a LinkedIn profile that is prospect friendly. So if a prospect happens to come upon your profile, what does it say about who you serve and what you do? Is it clear? Does it speak to the prospect how you can help them? Do you have a call to action buttons in your profile that make it easy for a prospect to schedule time with you?

If they’re interested? Does your bio tell me about the type of prospect or client you serve? You see, you’ve got to make it so appealing to me as a prospect that I want to know more. That’s number one. Number two connections. Are you sending out connections every single week to potential target prospects? Content are you building content that brings value to those prospects?

And are you using direct messaging to try to turn connections into conversations? This is how you build an online presence. Now, in the case of being searchable, we need to focus on your profile and focus on your content because the better your profile looks, the more content you put out there. When somebody Googles you, guess what they’re going to find.

They’re going to see your profile. They’re going to see your contacts, or it’s important. You’re very clear who you target and what you’re doing for them. That is the first place you have to focus. What does your social media presence look like? Because if somebody types your name in your agency name into Google, your LinkedIn profile is often one of the first things that come up.

It’s got to be good. It’s got to be clear. Your profile pictures got to be accurate. You got to have a good banner behind your first profile picture that tells me who you are, how I can, how I can contact you. You got to put the time in to make sure your profile is prospect friendly, and then you have to frequently put content out that delivers value to that target audience.

I’m not going to go into depth on either one of those today, but I want you to review what your LinkedIn presence looks like right now. The second place you need to look is YouTube. Now, this is specific. If you are doing video content, if you choose not to do any kind of video content, you don’t need to have a YouTube channel.

I understand. However, I’m going to challenge you to think about how you could incorporate video into your marketing and sales strategy. It is a very effective tool to let people get to know you and learn from you. At the same time, there really isn’t a more effective tool out there than video. How can you incorporate educational video content into your overall marketing strategy, and what does your YouTube channel look like?

Does it speak directly to your target audience? The banner the description does it tell me as a prospect who you serve and what you do? Do your videos clearly educate a specific tike type of ideal prospect. You see, the reason this is important is if I google you, YouTube is going to be one of the first things that pops up.

If you have video content. YouTube is owned by Google. Of course, it’s going to be one of the first things that pops up, but if you are incorporating any video into your strategy, you have to have a YouTube channel today. Now, the third place I want you to review, and it might be the most important place to review we’re going through it right now is your website.

Now, I understand you might be an advisor listening in who doesn’t have control of your website right now. I fully understand, but what I’m about to share could be tips you give to your management or whoever does have influence on the website. Your website is something that is going to pop up when people Google you, and I hope it has been optimized for SEO so that when people type in your agency’s name, the website is one of the first things that pop up.

But what are people going to find when they come to your website? What do you have on your website today that is going to keep people there? The first thing is you’ve got to look at the message on your website. You can’t be talking about yourself. I want to see a message that is directed at your ideal prospect.

If I come upon your website, I am a prospect and you’re telling my story, I am intrigued. I want to know more. So you have to focus on what kind of message are you delivering on your website today? Who is it speaking to and who is it speaking about? And the biggest shift you need to make in your website is it’s not a place to share your story.

It is a place to share your prospect story. Now, the second thing you have got to focus on with your website is you must have some kind of resource library today where prospects can come and learn from you. So if you are creating video content, if you are creating article content, maybe you’re writing LinkedIn newsletters right? Do you have a page on your website dedicated to videos, blogs, articles that people can come to and learn from you?

If I’m an advisor, if I’m an agency right now and I am using video content in our marketing plan, I am using articles in our marketing strategy. I am going to make sure that all of those videos and all of those articles are posted on our website in some form of resource library. Why? Because when prospects come upon your website, it is a place they can go to learn now.

And the longer they stay on your website, the better it is for you. Because as they continue to scroll from one video to the next, they read one article after another. Your agency is building credibility and this is what’s going to pop up early when people Google you, you see what you’re trying to create is a sphere of influence.

And if you can create a very targeted message to a very specific type of buyer, and you can make sure your social media presence, your YouTube presence, and your website presence are all speaking to the same person, and they are all interacting with each other in harmony. You are creating a sphere of influence. And when you go out and you perform your sales activities, you do the discovery calls, the proposals, the finalist meetings, and your prospects look you up to give them that warm and fuzzy to finally say yes, guess what they’re going to find?

They’re going to find a ton of stuff. And the more they find, the more credibility you have. Let me give you a real life example and I know I talk about them over all the time. However, there is nobody I have worked with that has executed this to the tee as well as he has. And that is Chris Hamilton.

Chris started putting out his content about two years ago, and this man has remained consistent for the last two years. But you know what else he did? Not only did he make sure he has a very targeted LinkedIn audience, he has a very, very consistent LinkedIn presence. He actually did the lead work to build a YouTube channel to houses video.

He actually built a website for his strategies that he is sharing. He’s tied that website to his own agency’s website. And what Chris has done is he has built tremendous awareness. I guarantee he is the most searched advisor in his market, and he’s in a big market. What is this done for them? Hymnal number one, it’s allowed him to actually win agent of record letters that he has never won before.

Number one, he’s winning groups larger than he has ever won in his life because he is the one walking in with credibility. These new clients are referring him to a larger business where he’s walking in the door almost like he’s a celebrity. He to use that word. But he’s walking in with so much credibility because of his online presence, people are excited to meet with him.

Think about that. This is what it takes to win business today. You know, when I was 22 years old and I got in this industry in 2001, I was given two pieces of advice. Number one, I was told to dye my hair gray so I looked older. And number two, I was told to go buy a membership at a golf course I couldn’t afford because that’s where my target prospects are hanging out.

Well, times have changed. There are still country club memberships, however. You know where everybody’s hanging out today on their phone and you need to find a way to get in their phone. And when people look you up, they search for you. They need to be able to see a lot, because the more they see, the more credibility you are going to build.

Here’s reality the more searchable you are, the more credible your and the more credible you are, the more profitable you are going to be. Now, Chris is just one example. There are plenty of others, but I am excited to share this with you because next week this episode is airing on Friday, April 19th. Next Thursday the 25th. Chris is actually joining me on our monthly workshop to teach you how to become the most searched advisor in your market.

You do not want to miss this workshop. I have put the registration link in the show notes, so make sure you go and sign up for this episode today. It’s this workshop today. It’s one thing for you to hear it from me. I’m going to let you hear it from the somebody who has taken what we have taught him and execute it.

I want you to hear it from somebody else. So this is your chance to come meet Chris. Learn from Chris. Ask Chris questions on April 25th at 12 p.m. eastern. This is when the workshop goes live. You’re not going to want to miss this, but whether or not you attend that workshop or you just take what you learned in this episode today and you apply it, please take my word seriously.

If you want to win more business, if you want to stop coming in second place, which is what so many advisors are struggling with right now, you got to become more searchable. You got to be able to clearly answer the question, when people Google you, what are they going to find? What is your LinkedIn presence look like? What is your YouTube presence look like?

What is your website present look like? If you are very clear about who you are targeting and what you do for them, and you have tons of content that backs it up, you are going to have credibility and you’re going to win so much more business than you are today. Take Gary these words to heart. Think of yourself like a media company that happens to sell insurance, and the more you put out there, the more searchable you become.

Yes, however, you will literally guilt people into doing business with you because if you create clarity, clarity breeds confidence. Confidence breeds consistency. And when you’re consistent, you know what happens next. You become unstoppable. So I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Don’t forget to sign up for the workshop on April 25th. The link is in the show notes. I can’t wait to see you there.

I can’t wait for you to hear from Chris, because I think it’s going to change your business forever. Be good. That’s all we got for today’s episode of the Bullpen Sessions podcast.