College is not the real world. And it is imperative to take the time in college while you can to fully understand how different it can be.
Because once you’re a senior and about to graduate, you will have a limited time to boost yourself above your peers to truly exceed.
Now recently, I had the privilege of interviewing life insurance agency owner, Brian Greenberg. It intrigued me how Brian bucks the trend of your traditional face-to-face insurance agent, by not only selling insurance 100% over the phone, but also generates his leads almost exclusively on his website.
So I looked to interview one more expert in this space, and found, to my estimation, one of the most prolific lead generators in the life insurance industry. Chris Huntley is owner of multiple insurance sites, including www.InsuranceBlogbyChris.com, a life insurance site for consumers which receives over 20,000 unique visitors per month and produces over 1,000 life insurance leads per month.
After having a long conversation with Chris last week, I thought I’d share some of the key business lessons I learned from him. Many of these lessons can be applied to any business.
- Niche Down – Want to be successful in business?
According to Chris, you simply need to solve a problem for a niche audience. He says:
“We found that on our websites where we provide information for “anyone” searching for life insurance, only 5% of our visitors request a quote.
However, when we built www.diabeticslifeinsurance.org, we targeted diabetics specifically. By targeting a “niche” market, we are able to differentiate ourselves from the thousands of other insurance sites out there.
The result… an eye-popping 21% of people request a quote on our diabetics’ site.
In fact, many of our clients have commented that when they saw our site, they filled out the quote form because they knew we could help with their specific needs.”
Bottom Line: Focus on a particular niche, provide the best resource online to serve them, and watch your conversion and sales jump through the roof.
- Build a Better Wheel – We’ve all heard it said, “Don’t reinvent the wheel”. Chris adheres to the philosophy that you should see what’s already working online, build something better, and then market that resource.
For example, Chris recently created a page about saving on life insurance called Affordable Life Insurance – The 8 Most Overlooked Savings Secrets. This was no ordinary post. It was over 3,000 words long and was professionally designed.
Here’s how he chose to write about this:
“When I saw using Google Keyword Planner that over 2,000 people search for ‘affordable life insurance’ every month, I then analyzed who was ranking on the first page. I quickly learned that none of the resources ranking on the first page were really giving people much value. They were filled with your typical advice like ‘work with an independent agent’ or ‘make sure to get multiple quotes’. I knew if I created a resource superior in both content and design, I could overtake them.”
Chris didn’t guess what he should write about. He did his homework first. In summary, he found a term getting a high volume of searches per month, found other sites that were successful (already ranking on the first page for his insurance keyword), studied their content, and built something better.
- AB Test – Remember the proverb: “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, and give careful attention to your herds.”
In any marketing effort, on or offline, you’ve got to keep track of your numbers to be successful… Conversions, cost per lead, cost per client acquisition, etc. Then make small changes to your marketing message and test the result. This is called AB Testing.
Chris gave me an excellent example of a recent success he had AB Testing:
“The last few years, I noticed that the percentage of mobile traffic coming to my site had increased from 20% to 40%, and since my site wasn’t built in a responsive design, my conversions were dismal on tablet and cell phones at 2.8%. So I had my site upgraded to responsive design, and conversions on mobile traffic increased to 3.4%, which may not sound like a lot, but on a site with our number of visitors, it equates to almost 100 additional leads per month!”
- Diversify – In any business, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Chris admitted that for several years his business was heavily dependent upon organic search traffic from Google to his main site, Insurance Blog by Chris.
That’s why he has ventured out into lead purchasing, pay-per-click marketing, and revenue share agreements with other insurance lead partners.
In addition, he has created multiple other sites, such as the aforementioned diabetic’s site, as well as:
Chris didn’t stop his diversification with creating his own sites.
He’s also helped hundreds of other insurance agents learn online marketing tools at his site, eLifeTools.com. Now, besides just selling life insurance, Chris is teaching other agents how they can build their own sites, rank in Google, and follow in his footsteps.
If Chris woke up tomorrow and found Insurance Blog by Chris had lost all of its rankings, his income wouldn’t be lost with it.
- Be Persistent – Insurance Blog by Chris only generates so much traffic and leads because Chris consistently posted high quality content to the site over the years.
As an example, Chris’ site has over 300 pages on it, but says 80% of his traffic comes from his top 20 landing pages. That tells me that the majority of the posts on his site were not big winners. But he stayed persistent, continued to post good content, and eventually found the posts yielded results.
And now that you know as a college student at W.P. Carey, start now.
- Niche yourself to the job and market you want to ensure you get your dream career.
- Reinvent the wheel by never just follow the pack, whenever you enter a new field or organization, take what works and is useful and simply combine it to what you already know.
- Following through on your actions is important, but never as important as measuring the results and efficiency of your actions. That’s why the most important thing to do is AB Test.
- The word “Diversify” is overused, but is important. It’s important to ensure you will always have a job either through freelancing, corporate, or any other organization. By diversifying your skills so people are always clamoring to have you work for them.
- And as always, Be Persistent. As college is not the real world and half the time what you learn there is not directly translatable to the real world. You need to be persistent and use college in a way to have it deal more directly with the real world.
In conclusion, it is in your best interest to act today and find people who are successful in the real world. Talk to them. Help them if you can and learn from them. See what they do right and build upon it.
It’s your future. W.P. Carey is just the beginning. Imaging all the possibilities if you follow Chris’ advice.
Thanks to Chris Huntley for the interview!