Did you know there are approximately 424,564 insurance brokerages and agencies in the U.S? With such a large number of insurance agents, it might seem hard to stand out.
But, there is a way—Focusing on a niche market or specific type of business or industry. That can help you gain an advantage over the competition and keep clients around for years to come.
Why? Because you’ll become an expert in that field, which will make you even more effective at making recommendations and handling policies. And when you make your clients happy, they’re more likely to stick around and recommend you to their friends.
To help you take advantage of the niche markets in your area, here is everything you should know.
What is a Niche Market?
When an insurance agency, insurance broker, or independent insurance agent focuses on a particular industry, product, or profession, this is called a niche market. Examples of niche markets in the insurance industry include:
- Building contractors
- Hospitality industry
- Manufacturing companies
- Restaurants and food service companies
- Other local small businesses
Why Are Niche Markets Important in Insurance?
As an insurance agent, you may assume that the best way to get more business is to cater to everyone. It’s easy to think that if you cast a wide net and offer every insurance product to every industry, you will increase your book of business. But, more often than not, this strategy doesn’t help you land more clients. Sometimes it can do the opposite. It’s much harder to stand out when competing with tons of different insurance agents. But with a niche market, you can:
- Make your clients happier. As you establish yourself in a niche insurance market, you become an expert by default. This means you’ll get even better at making recommendations on what type of policies clients should get, how they can get discounts, risk management strategies they should consider, anticipating their insurance needs, and all sorts of areas that ultimately save your clients time and money.
- Get more referrals: When you have happy clients, they tell their friends about you.
- Increase efficiency: No more wasting time or marketing on industries that don’t yield solid profits for you. Instead, you can hone on the niches that make you the most money.
- Reduce competition: Instead of competing with the entire world of insurance agents, you’re competing with a smaller pool. You can get to know your match better—and know what they’re lacking.
How to Find the Best Niche Markets for You
So, now that you understand the value of niche markets, you'll want to identify the best ones for your insurance business. When figuring out your niche insurance market, it's wise to start by looking for niches in your community or region. Do a deep dive into your book of business and identify the types of clients you have. Is there a particular group or industry you enjoy working with over others? Or do you feel more knowledgeable about a particular type of business?
Once you start brainstorming some ideas, you can use the steps below to put a niche marketing plan into full swing.
Pinpoint Niche Markets Around Your ZIP Code
Is your city filled with a particular business or industry, such as automotive factories or brick and mortar retailers? If so, this industry or business might be a niche worth exploring. If nothing comes to mind right away, turn to Google to give you some answers.
You can also look at the friends and contacts you have. For example, do you know many people in the construction industry? If so, starting there may make the most sense since they can help you get referrals.
Decide Which Niche Markets are Right for You
After identifying some options in your area, it’s time to decide if these niche markets are worth exploring. Become familiar with the insurance coverage the niche needs.
Let’s use the construction industry niche market as an example. In that case, you’d make sure you understand insurance products like workers’ compensation insurance, liability insurance, errors and omission insurance, builder’s risk insurance, and commercial property insurance.
It’s also wise to research other insurance brokers or agents selling within the same niche. That way, you can determine if there is room in your niche. If there are a lot of brokers nearby selling that insurance, you may want to consider other options.
Keep in mind that it’s wise to start with at least three niche markets. This way, you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket. In other words, if one niche market turns out to be a flop, you have two more to put your attention towards.
Check With Your Insurance Carrier
Before you move full steam ahead with a specific niche, it’s wise to consult with your partner insurance company or underwriter. First, ask them if the niche you’re interested in is growing or declining, given the current state of the economy. They may be able to share some insight into which industries or markets yield the most success.
You’ll also want to verify that they offer the products that your new niche clients will need. If not, you could create a custom insurance package of products. For example, if your niche market is the restaurant industry, you could offer a workers’ compensation insurance policy from one company and a general liability insurance policy from another.
Continue to Test and Adjust as Need Be
Suppose you don’t identify the perfect niche right away. Don’t fret. Finding the right niche may require trial and error to see what works. As you test a niche market and gather information, you can adjust as you see fit. For example, if your niche is too specific, you may need to broaden the niche.
Remember, this entire process may take time. So, don’t get discouraged if your first few attempts don’t go as planned.
How to Create a Niche Insurance Marketing Strategy
Finding your niche market is only half the battle. Now you have to put your best foot forward and find leads.
While it’s tempting to throw up a website or landing page and wait for the leads to flow in, this lackluster approach will likely result in disappointment, not growth. So instead, you’ll want to create a marketing strategy. This way, you can make your presence known and eventually attract the right leads for your business.
Here are a few suggestions for creating a marketing strategy:
- Write informative blog posts: Educate your niche insurance market so you can show them you’re an authority in the field. For example, you could create a post outlining the types of insurance in that insurance market, give insight into local insurance requirements or update them on the latest news that could affect their rates. You can also turn these into videos, so your audience can digest the content if they aren’t interested in reading. Ninety-three say they gained a new client by creating a video.
- Place ads where potential clients are looking: Advertise on the platforms your clients use most. If they’re mostly googling to find the right type of insurance, buy some Google ads so you show up at the top of search results. If they’re on Facebook, go there and target a specific group or demographic of people so you can reach your niche market.
- Send out emails to your leads: Consider sending emails to the leads you have collected throughout your career. Include something helpful in them, like advice they wouldn’t get otherwise. Don’t forget to add an easy way for them to get in touch and learn more about your services.
- Post on social media: For better or worse, a lot of people are on social media. Like what you’d do when you place ads, find the platforms your clients are on and post regularly. Make sure these posts cater to your niche market. They can do a range of things–from making them laugh to giving them helpful information.
Go for those Niche Markets
Focusing on a niche market is an excellent strategy to grow your insurance business. Even if it seems overwhelming at first, it will become second nature with some planning. So, prioritize carving out your niche and gaining expertise within the industry. Keep an eye on the trends within the niche and identify how you can better help your clients.
Remember, an effective niche marketing strategy may require some trial and error. So, if it doesn’t take off right away, be patient and continue to assess your results. After all, as they say, if you don’t succeed at first, try again.