Top Tips To Leverage LinkedIn For Insurance Agency Web Marketing

If your target market includes businesses, then you need to add LinkedIn to your Insurance Marketing strategy. With LinkedIn you can connect and network with business professionals in your target markets, and better determine the decision makers for these companies. LinkedIn differs from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it’s a business centric social media platform requiring a different approach to be successful. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

  • Professional Picture: You need a professional picture for your LinkedIn profile. Smile and look friendly but don’t use a selfie, a low res (blurry) image or a picture which is too casual.
  • Explain How You Help Your Customers: Don’t just copy and paste information from your resume on LinkedIn. Use the Summary and Experience sections to show what you can do for your customers and how you can help your ideal prospects.
  • Skills and Endorsements: Include all relevant skills on your profile and ask current customers who are on LinkedIn to endorse you so that connections will see you are an expert.
  • Make It Easy To Communicate With You: In your profile, include your contact information (address, phone number and a link to your Website) to make it easy for prospects to reach out to you.
  • Post Articles – Long Form Publishing: Posting articles which is called long form publishing is another great way to share your knowledge and reach out to potential prospects.
  • Don’t Just Join Groups In Your Profession: LinkedIn Groups is a great way to network with other agents, brokers and wholesalers but it is also a great way to communicate with prospects. Join groups which are applicable to your target prospects.
  • Don’t Sell In Groups: When you do join groups that contain your prospects don’t post messages that sell your services. Most groups forbid selling by members in the group and the other members will believe you are only there to find customers. Instead post relative content and communicate with group members in order to network with them.
  • Message Occasionally: You are allowed to message 1st degree connections, but you don’t want to bombard people with marketing messages. Instead message them occasionally with helpful information or just to let them know you are there to help them if they are interested.

As a professional network, LinkedIn is a great way to communicate with business prospects. As a part of a digital insurance marketing strategy, LinkedIn is an effective tool to locate potential prospects and engage with them in a professional manner.

Signtronix Style Design – Top 10 Sign Design Tips

I am amazed every day I drive down the street and look at the same outdoor advertising graphic design mistakes repeated over and over. Business owners trying to make a living with a street-side presence that barley commands attention.

There are two scenarios that I see on a regular basis.

  • A potential customer walks into a custom sign shop and indicates their budget. The sign shop owner is weak, afraid of losing a potential sale, so he delivers a sign product designed to fit the proposed cost. With some simple education style selling the sign shop could have sold a product that would have made more money, for his shop, and the customer.
  • Another customer walks into the sign shop with a layout, or design concept that stinks. Again, fear of losing the customer causes the sign manufacturer to deliver the useless sign. Money down the drain.

Here are some key design elements that I have learned over 15 years in the outdoor advertising industry.

    1. Remember that potential customers of all backgrounds and ages are looking at your business from a moving vehicle, in traffic, day and night. They must be able to see and read your outdoor advertising easily. Don’t attempt to sell them with information on the sign – save that information until they are in your business.

    2. The correct design and layout of your sign is critical to its effectiveness. Crowding the sign with too much text makes it impossible to read from a car, or at a distance. Therefore, the fewer words the better. Use the age-old adage – K.I.S.S. method – Keep It Simple, Son.

    3. Understand the concept of “First Read.” There should be a focal point located on the sign that will have impact and command attention. Ideally, the first read should incorporate Branding elements like a large graphic, or your company logo.

    4. Your sign is your “first impression” with the mobile market, and first impressions are lasting impressions. Your outdoor advertising must project the positive image you want the public to have of your business. Potential customers will judge the inside of your business by how it looks on the outside.

    5. Many owners mistakenly think of a sign as merely a device that identifies the business. What they fail to realize is that over half of all new retail sales are a result of impulse buys. People see, shop and buy. If your outdoor advertising is ineffective, it will cost much more in lost sales then the entire cost of a good sign.

    6. Your outdoor advertising must have visual impact. It must make your products or services, and your location, easy to remember.

    7. Make sure the colors are used in contrasting patterns. Green on blue is not readable, whereas black on white is extremely visible.

    8. If you have several colors in a graphic, stay away from multi-colored lines of text or words (they will compete with the colors in your graphic). Black text is better.

    9. Ideally, the design and the colors of your location or building should reinforce the design and colors of your sign (or vice versa). Color is probably the easiest and most cost-effective device for this coordination of design for business identification.

    10. “White-space”. This is the surface area of a sign’s face that is left uncovered by either text or graphics. The proper amount of white-space is just as important for quick readability as are graphics, text and colors. In fact, 30% to 40% of the sign’s face area should be left as white-space for optimal readability.

© 2007 RightNow Communications

10 Top Tips To Successful Dropshipping

Many entrepreneurs have found success in the dropshipping industry. For those who aren’t familiar, dropshipping is a business term used for a situation where a seller sets a retail price for an item, collects the payment, sends the wholesale cost to a dropshipper and the item ships directly from their warehouse. In most cases, the seller never even handles the merchandise because every aspect of shipping is handled by the dropshipper. As successful as the industry has become, there are concerns that arise from this method of selling. In order to familiarize you with those concerns and other helpful information, a list of 10 tips has been compiled. Anyone in the dropshipping industry, or who is considering it, should take their time and gather as much information as possible.

Tip 1: Check out the dropshipper’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau in their area. How long have they been in business? Has anyone ever filed a consumer complaint against the company? If so, has the complaint been resolved? This information can be found at http://www.BBB.org.

Tip 2: Ask the dropshipper how quickly they will be able to fulfill and ship the order. Be sure to inquire about whether or not a tracking number will be available. The tracking number will be very important because, if an item doesn’t arrive, you will need to have some means to track the purchase and to make sure that it was shipped. If a customer doesn’t receive a product, they will look to you for answers.

Tip 3: If you are dropshipping, this means that the item you are selling is not in your possession. It’s very important to let your customers know this. Sellers should indicate that the item will ship directly from your supplier.

Tip 4: An important factor to consider is the delivery time. It’s pertinent to let buyers know that, because the item is shipping directly from your supplier, they may need to allow extra time for delivery. Make sure to ask your dropshipper how long delivery takes so that you may pass this information on to your buyers.

Tip 5: If a problem should arise during the course of shipment, or if a shipment is delayed, promptly address the issue with your buyer. It’s important to have good communication and to let your customers know that you are always there to answer their questions.

Tip 6: Be cautious of a dropshipper who requires that you pay a fee to access their product line. A legitimate dropshipper should not charge to set up an account.

Tip 7: When ordering from a dropshipping company, there should not be a minimum order. It’s normal to get discounts on larger quantities, but the dropshipper should be able to accommodate any order size from 1 to 100.

Tip 8: Consider doing business with more than one dropshipping company. It’s always a good idea to shop around for a larger variety of better deals. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

Tip 9: When you begin doing business with a new dropshipping company, order a few test products for yourself. Afterall, you are the one who will be selling the products and you will want to make sure the company offers quality products, reliability and accuracy in filling orders.

Tip 10: The whole idea behind dropshipping is wholesale. You are buying a product at such a low price that you should be able to sell it for a profit. The dropshipper is the wholesaler and you become the retailer. It’s easy to forget that some things really are too good to be true. Just like everything else, there are scams out there so be careful. The bottom line is that regardless of how wonderful the deals may seem, start slow and build up to larger orders as you become more comfortable with the process.

Top Five Home Renovations Before Selling Tips

If you’ve done your homework and found that property makeovers are a financially sound decision to make before selling, there are a number of aspects you should keep in mind before you let a contractor begin swinging his sledge hammer.

Particularly, choosing to complete home renovations before promoting may be decidedly different than if you were making the house renovations for your own satisfaction. We have therefore put together a list of the top five things to consider when dealing with property restorations prior to selling:

Get more than one estimate

Within the rush to get the work completed and the house on the market, many sellers fly through the procedure for choosing a contractor to accomplish the work. However, not taking the time to find the right licensed contractor can mean disaster, both for the renovations and the following effect it can have on your ability to sell your property.

In short, get at least three estimates from three contractors who come with sparkling references. Also, don’t forgo calling references provided to you, and ask important questions, such as: Did they complete the work on time? Was the job completed to your full satisfaction? Did they accomplish the work on spending budget? Would you use them once again for a property restoration project?

Check and double-check the actual deadline with the service provider

Unless the contractor can definitively complete the actual project within your time frame, choose another expert, as deadlines for people selling their property are more important than ever. Make sure you reiterate the significance of finishing the job on time, and make sure the contractor incorporates this deadline within the contract.

Get just about all applicable permits

Don’t skimp on the details with your property renovations before selling, as the buyer may very well ask to see the permits. Display for the buyer that you required all necessary steps to ensure that the job had been completed professionally and safely by getting all appropriate permits.

Stay neutral

When selecting finishes for your home renovations, think neutral. In other words, you may enjoy red tile in the bathroom, but the truth is that most buyers will not. Think in terms of a wide audience, and stay as neutral as possible as to appeal to the majority of potential buyers.

Think mid-range for many projects

In order to ensure that you stay within budget and that you realize a return on your investment, think mid-range in terms of materials and finishes, (the only time this particular rule may not apply is in very expensive houses or mansions). Although many buyers would appreciate stainless appliances in the kitchen, the very fact of the matter is that you may not see a return on this investment. Choosing good-quality, sleek black appliances, on the other hand, will still show well in your renovated kitchen, however will cost you about a third of stainless steel home appliances.

Of course, before starting upon any house renovations before promoting, consult a real estate agent to make sure you will be able to see a return on your investment whenever selling.

The FSBO Seller’s Top Ten Tips For Selling Their Home For Sale By Owner

If you’re considering selling your home by owner, congratulations! You’re part of a growing trend toward FSBO property sales. If you’re worried that going the FSBO seller route means that you’ll miss out on all of those great agency sales tactics, you’re wrong. You can do the same things that any real estate agent would suggest. To get you started, here’s a list of the top ten things you can do for your home when you’re trying to sell your home by owner.

1. Create multiple means of exposure. Houses sell when they’re exposed to potential buyers. The more exposure you create, the more likely you are to sell. “Multiple means of exposure” means listing it on a FSBO site, providing pictures, tours, and information buyers want to know. Advertise your home in the newspaper. Print flyers that list the details of your home and be available to show home. Some buyers have turned to television ads for sale on real estate channels to attract buyers. The more exposure you provide, the easier it is for potential buyers to find.

2. De-clutter rooms and closets. A home looks nicer and shows better when it isn’t cluttered. Remove magazines, books, furniture, stored items and things you no longer want. You’ll have to pack all of this stuff before you move, so why not get an early start?

3. Fix peeling paint and other minor imperfections. Peeling paint can be a sign of deferred maintenance, bad painting or water damage. All of these things will turn off a buyer. Putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls and ceilings is easy and inexpensive.

4. Consider staging and research some ideas on the internet. Staging involves making your home visually attractive to potential buyers. It may involve re-arranging the furniture, renting new furniture, repainting, re-carpeting or minor redecoration to show off your home’s best qualities. Staging doesn’t have to break the bank, but a home that shows well sells. Whatever you can do to improve the look of your home will help your buyer see its potential.

5. Price the home right. Check recent sales in your neighborhood for an idea of what your home is worth. Do not overprice your home because if your price is substantially higher than other homes in your neighborhood. You will not be able to sell because overpriced homes whether Fsbo or MLS do not sell. Buyers want to feel as though they’re getting value for their money. If your home is the most expensive one in the area, buyers will focus on finding a comparable home that’s priced lower than yours.

6. Always have a yard sign and flyers. When potential buyers visit your neighborhood to see a particular home, they’ll look for other homes that are for sale. If visitors don’t know your home is for sale, you may miss potential sale opportunities.

7. Fsbo sellers need to create an online listing for their home on the internet and may consider using the FSBO marketing services that are available on the web. The key to selling your home is proper exposure and your chances of finding a buyer are greater when you make it highly visible to potential buyers.

8. Answering your phone is paramount as a Fsbo seller. It sounds simple, but many people who are selling their homes Fsbo miss potential buyers who are calling to inquire. Make absolutely certain you or someone else is available to take calls. Don’t assume that an answering machine or voice mail service is sufficient because many potential buyers won’t leave a message when they call.

9. Spend some time on landscaping. Making the outside of a home look appealing and fresh is just as important as making the inside look nice. Remove or trim bushes. In the summer, plant attractive flowers, cover beds with wood chips or mulch and keep things weed free. Mow the lawn frequently. If you don’t know anything about landscaping, check with a local nursery, gardening club or even a nearby university with a botanical program. Students are often willing to take on landscaping projects.

10. Partner with a bank or lender to offer potential financing sources for prospective buyers. Local banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers may be able to offer financing deals that can help a buyer get into your home. Offer all visitors financing information from your local bank or lender when they tour your home. You want to make sure any potential buyer is qualified to buy the home.

These are just a few of the things you can do to help your home stand out. In current market conditions, selling a home is about pricing, location and exposure. If you have all three of these elements in place, there is no reason to think you won’t sell your home as effectively as any real estate agent.