Even after the social media boom of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others, many producers today still aren't using any kind of social media strategies to gain leads.

Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. Today, everything is done online. As I've said before, websites are the new business cards. At the minimum, every producer should have their own website, even if they aren't using social media. You can always link to your social media pages from your main website if you do utilize social media campaigns to bring in business.

Do you have your own website?

It's extremely likely that your biggest competition is out there, utilizing all of their resources to obtain leads from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and their very own website. Did you know that $300,000,000 worth of sales were generated online in 2010? Imagine how much that figure will increase in 2013. How much of that will you have contributed?

The bottom line is that all serious professionals have their own website.

According to a recent LIMRA study, 89% of consumers will research their financial advisor and the products or services offered online. If 9 out of 10 of your potential clients look you up online and you aren't anywhere to be found, what happens next?

They move elsewhere.

Two-thirds of consumers use the internet to find insurance and annuities.

These searches will lead them to who they, the consumer, deem the most knowledgeable agents. You could be one of the most informed agents in the industry, but if you don't have a website, those online consumers will never know it.

But here's the kicker.

One-third of online consumers still rate insurance professionals as more important than the information they find online. So what does this mean? Research shows that while over 60% of consumers do their research online, 30% of all consumers value the agent's knowledge more than what they've found themselves on the internet.

Let a website bring consumers to you. Even the most basic website is better than no website at all. From there, it's up to you to seal the deal.

So what should the most basic website entail?

First, you need a biography. Tell your readers a little bit about yourself. You certainly want to include your experience and expertise, but additionally, you need to humanize yourself too. My LinkedIn page, for example, lists my experiences as well as the causes and organizations I belong too as well as the volunteering I do.

Be informative.

Your expertise is life insurance. Great. What does that mean and why do consumers need it? More importantly, why do they need it from you?

I highly recommend incorporating a blog into your website to provide this information. You'll be issuing invaluable content to your customers and potential clients, and at the same time you'll be able to increase your online ranking.

Here are a few tips for creating a blog:

  • Make it easy to navigate — To start, keep it simple. An overabundance of choices and colors is distracting and overwhelming. If you're allowing your customer to visit multiple pages, make sure it's easy to get back to the home page.
  • Make sure you find your target niche — Whether you create it yourself or share content from industry experts, it must be relevant. Trending topics are OK, but link them to your expertise so that it remains relevant.
  • Make sure it's fresh — the blog that updates once a month is the blog that becomes forgotten in three days. Utilize your blog every single day if you can. If that's not possible, a minimum of once per week is a must. There's nothing out there that says you can't use outside resources from trusted third-parties. Be dedicated. Be consistent.

Accomplishing these three things will help you raise your online ranking, which will drive traffic to your site. More traffic equals more leads. More leads equal the potential for more sales.

And it all started when they visited your webpage.

Want more tips about transitioning your traditional agency into a digital sales & marketing powerhouse?

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