You’ve been to the seminars and CE classes on social media. You’ve read multiple articles and sat through numerous sales presentations on the matter.

You know you need to revamp your web presence, but you also realize you need to spruce up your logo, business cards, letterhead and agency brochure and start getting serious about your marketing. After all, the future of your business depends on it.

Now what?

Who’s going to do all of that? The last sales presentation you sat through, the salesman used so much jargon, lingo and fear tactics that you don’t even know where to begin. You could:

A.)  Buy some expensive software package that you have no idea how to use, nor have the time to use
B.)  Hire someone on staff to do it for you
C.)  Outsource it to a professional

We’ve already talked about Option A in our past article, “It was Never About the Technology”, but we’ll go over it briefly here because it really leads us into Option B.

Technology is everywhere, and in some cases, it’s inexpensive. That’s not the problem, however. Having a dedicated person on staff that knows how to use the technology and use it consistently to make it work for your agency is the problem, but most agencies can’t afford to have someone on staff do this. Some owners try to do it themselves, but they don’t have the time to do it on a consistent basis.

Web design, social media and online advertising are not rocket science, however, you need someone with experience and skills. Your niece who took a design class in high school and is on Facebook for 8 hours a day is probably not qualified. If you’re going to invest in a staff person, you need someone with skills and experience.

Here’s a breakdown on what it’s going to cost to hire a GOOD social media marketer…

Annual Costs:

Salary:  $41,000  (source: Glassdoor)
Employment Taxes:  $3,075
Benefits:  $3,000 (we’ll assume you’re hiring a single, healthy young individual and you’re picking up 50% of the health plan costs)
CE Reimbursement:  $100
Software Licenses:  $1,700 (you pay for that copy of MS Office, right? Also includes your AMS or Applied license fees, etc.)
Accounting:  $100  (payroll, W-2, etc.)

So, we’re at $48,975 and we’ve probably been conservative and forgot a few things, so let’s round it up to $50,000.

Let’s not forget the upfront investment…

We’re going to assume you find someone local so you don’t have to offer a signing bonus and/or relocation expenses. Depending on where you are located, those might be a factor as well.

Computer, Software, Setup:  $2,500 minimum
Initial Agency Management user license:  $1250  (yours might be less, but that’s pretty typical for AMS or Applied)
Misc Office:  $500  (they need a chair, a stapler and business cards) or similar employment ads:  $250

I’m sure there are dozens of other things that could come into play here as well, but let’s stop for now…

Total one-time cost: $4,500

So to hire an employee to take care of these things for you, you’re going to invest $4,500 up front and commit to paying out at least $50,000 each year. And you won’t have any clue whether that person is any good. You won’t be able to direct their activities (because you have no idea what those activities should be) and you’ll have very few ways of judging their effectiveness.

The Solution?  Option C

Option C is to hire an experienced outsourced marketing firm to take over your agency’s online and offline presence, leaving you to focus on sales and service – the things independent agencies do best.

You want to work with people who KNOW the insurance industry (the last thing you need is someone tweeting about “full” coverage…) People you can trust to know just what should or shouldn’t be said. People who know that difference between E&O and E&S.

You also want someone who’s going to get dirty, get down in the weeds and do the work for you. A “consultant” is not going to help. You’ve already decided you don’t have the staff to handle this (Fittingly, that’s why Option A doesn’t work. Someone has to run those fancy programs.)

A good outsourced marketing firm will have clear pricing. They will include most everything in their monthly fee and they will be completely upfront with you about what ISN’T included in their pricing.

You want people who have a track record of building companies, handling the marketing for their own, and other , companies. Someone who lives in your region and understands the local carriers and the local market.

We are AgencyEvolved. We’re your Option C. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help.

About AgencyEvolved

AgencyEvolved is an outsourced marketing firm, dedicated to insurance agents and brokers. Founded by two insurance industry veterans, our mission is to help insurance agencies evolve by creating long-term growth and value through strategic marketing.

Smart Marketing. Done Right. By People Who Know Insurance.