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Talking points during the Maintenance Stage

July 14, 2015 by

You’ve done the work to help your clients prepare and transition into retirement, but this doesn’t mean your job is done. During the Maintenance Stage, there are ongoing retirement needs you can still assist your clients with and services you can continue to offer.

Consider using these topics to check in routinely with clients in the Maintenance Stage of retirement:

  • Evaluate accumulation and preservation options.
  • Suggest a team approach to ensure they understand how their insurance, social security, taxes, estate planning and legal matters fit together.
  • Conduct an annual review to align their retirement lifestyle with their wants and needs.

These topics are great talking points to open up thoughtful and actionable conversations. By reaching out consistently, you may help them anticipate future needs or make changes in their strategy to ensure they live the retirement lifestyle they desire.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Be sure to watch for our final Maintenance Stage blog, as it will focus on specific marketing ideas to help you get connected with your clients.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Take what you’ve learned and market to clients in the Transition Stage

June 23, 2015 by

In order to help your clients in the Transition Stage of retirement, you should have a firm grasp on what clients want and need. If you missed the earlier blogs in this series or want to review the topics covered, visit these blogs:

Once you understand the client profile, steps and resources available in the Transition Stage of retirement, it’s time to market this information to your clients. With effective communication and marketing, you will be able to show clients what you have to offer and ideally grow your business.

The first step is to go through your existing client database and categorize clients who fit the Transition Stage profile. Once you have your database segmented, you can specifically target your emails, social media, calls or direct mail to fit clients in the Transition Stage.

Here are a few targeted messaging ideas based off of the content provided in this blog series:

  • Use social media to post basic reminders for transitioning into retirement. You can use topics from the Transition Stage Checklist. For example, suggest clients work to pay off credit card debt and loans before they retire.
  • Call your clients to see if they have tried out their retirement income plan. If it didn’t work for them, offer to help them adjust their budget with the Needs Assessment Worksheet.
  • Email out a copy of this Social Security resource information sheet to help clients determine timing. Then offer to meet in person to discuss options more in depth.

These are just suggested concepts to consider, as always, you can dig deeper or be more specific in what you communicate to your clients.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Stay tuned for our third and final Retirement Stages blog series, the Maintenance Stage. It will provide you with helpful information and resources to share with clients who are actively retired.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Resources to help your clients determine Social Security timing

June 16, 2015 by

Determining when to withdraw Social Security benefits can be an intimidating part of transitioning into retirement. While you want to help your clients with their retirement decisions, you as a financial professional cannot make specific recommendations on when your clients should begin to withdraw their Social Security benefits.

But rather than avoiding the conversation altogether, you can help educate your clients on Social Security timing and provide specific informational resources. Here are a few of the resources you can share:SocialSecurity

These resources will help clients learn about dates for obtaining benefits, ways to increase or decrease benefit amounts, calculators and planners. Download our helpful sheet of Social Security timing resources here. You can share it directly with your clients.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Don’t miss our next blog in this series, as it will help you understand how to tie all the information and resources you have learned about the Transition Stage into your insurance marketing strategy.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Introducing the Retirement Stages blog series

April 28, 2015 by

If you’re like most independent financial professionals I know, you don’t have a lot of extra time and money to put toward developing marketing materials and consumer engagement pieces. And finding professional looking materials that are versatile enough to be used with any of your clients is a challenge.

That’s why Brokers International has developed Retirement Stages, a suite of customizable retirement materials designed to help you generate new leads and re-engage existing clients.

This exclusive set of agent and consumer materials provides actionable steps for you to help any of your clients through the three stages of retirement: the Preparation Stage, the Transition Stage and the Maintenance Stage.

Over the next few months I will be posting a weekly blog that highlights the materials available in the Retirement Stages suite and shows you how you can use them to grow your business. Stage by stage, the blogs will walk you through how these materials can help you segment your current database, address your clients’ retirement challenges, nurture your existing clients to the point of sale and get in front of more prospects.

If you want an inside look at the materials right now, you can find them on Brokers International’s virtual storefront, The Compass, within the Consumer Engagement Materials section.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Project a professional image online

April 23, 2015 by

Even if you don’t realize it, a lot of your clients and prospects are researching you online before meeting with you. Whether it is your company website or social media accounts, you should take the time to ensure you have consistent, professional representation online before you ever talk to prospects.

Follow these five simple tips to ensure you’re projecting a professional image on your social networks:

  1. Know what social media accounts you have in place. Delete accounts you don’t update. Provide a consistent brand message on your active accounts. It’s important to monitor your active accounts to ensure all information listed is current and accurate. You also need to respond to anyone trying to reach you through those channels.
  2. Do not share personal opinions or jokes about potentially controversial topics. Don’t offend clients or discourage prospects from using your services because you have conflicting views. Keep your content positive, unbiased and helpful.
  3. Use professional photos and graphics. Present yourself online in the same way you would present yourself to clients in person. Wear business attire in your profile photos. Use web-quality graphics and images.
  4. Write a clear, concise company description. Take the time to write a description that includes a list of services, relevant background information, and your contact information. Be sure to use the same description in your entire online marketing presence— website, social networks, brochures, etc.
  5. Triple check grammar and spelling. Spell-check is wonderful, but it doesn’t catch everything. If you’re unsure about your own writing abilities, entrust this task to someone who possess these skills. Grammar and spelling errors could cause your prospects to second-guess your attention to detail.

Projecting a professional image can help you provide your clients with a consistent, positive experience. For more tips on creating a consistent client experience, read our post, “Consumer Touchpoints.”

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Stay active on social media with these post ideas

February 19, 2015 by

To get the most out of your company social media accounts you have to post regularly. By posting regularly, you can show clients and prospects who find your business on social media that you are committed to providing helpful information, starting conversations and building relationships.

It can be hard to take the time and creativity to post regularly, especially if you don’t have a staff member dedicated to social media marketing. That’s why we’ve come up with a few post ideas you can implement on your company social media accounts:

  1. Find an interesting statistic about how Americans are handling their finances and then share the information with your own audience. For example, a recent survey found only 39 percent of Americans have a budget and keep close track of their spending.1 You can share this statistic and then ask your audience why they do or don’t keep a budget.
  2. Feature one of your employees. You can share a photo, a few facts about them and a quote about why they enjoy working at your company.
  3. It’s tax season, so it’s a good time to share tips or reminders about filing returns. The IRS website has a lot of helpful information you can link to.
  4. If you host a workshop or seminar, take a photo during the event and post it on your accounts. With this photo you can give a quick overview of what attendees learned, and then suggest your audience register for an upcoming workshop or seminar.
  5. Link to an article that teaches your audience about the retirement strategies you offer. By sharing an unbiased article on how insurance products work in a retirement portfolio, you can help your audience become more financially literate.

Remember, these are just suggestions to help you get started and be more active on social media. You know your clients and personal style best, so tailor your schedule and topics to what works for you and your audience. As always, remember to be conscious of compliance expectations on social media use.

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1“The 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey.” The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 2 Feb. 2015. <http://www.nfcc.org/NewsRoom/FinancialLiteracy/files2013/NFCC_2014FinancialLiteracySurvey_datasheet_and_key_findings_031314 FINAL.pdf>.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Leverage the power of online video: Content

February 5, 2015 by

As we outlined in an earlier blog post, the rise of online video has shifted the way consumers view and engage with marketing content. As a result, today’s consumer has come to expect more than text and static images in communications. In part two of this series, we’ll focus on content suggestions that can help you tell your story.

For the financial and insurance professional, online marketing videos can be effective in showcasing the benefits of products, providing client testimonials, personally introducing yourself or delivering news that is relevant to an existing or prospective client base.

Whatever the message, the duration of the average online long-form video is a little over four minutes and averages about 25 seconds for an online advertisement video.1  However, 20 percent of online audiences tune out after just 10 seconds with that number increasing to 44 percent by the one-minute mark. Almost 60 percent of your audience will stop watching before they reach two minutes.2

To reach a majority of your viewers, you need to be as direct with your message as possible. To start, determine the key message that you want your viewers to receive. Then deliver it and the benefits of your business or service in the first five to ten seconds of your video.

Use the remainder of your video to explain how your service or product will deliver the benefits you’ve highlighted. You can support your message with a realistic client situation, credible statistics, news items or client testimonials. When supporting your message, be sure to avoid jargon or industry buzzwords. Instead, focus on the relatable benefits that your service can fulfill and not specific features or details.

End your video with a call-to-action. Your call-to-action should include your phone number, email address and web address. You should also provide a reason for your audience to contact you. For a refresh on writing a call-to-action, you can download tips here.

Following these content tips can provide you with a solid guide for mapping out your message, but how you choose to visually present this message is where your video will ultimately fail or succeed in its power to engage. To get the most out of your message, look for the next installment of this series on presentation.

 


1  “comScore Releases March 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings.” comScore. 18 April 2014. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-US-Online-Video-Rankings

2 Leggatt, Helen. “Online Viewers Abandon Clips After Just 10 Secs.” Biz Report. 06 October 2010. Web. 20 January 2015. http://www.bizreport.com/2010/10/online-video-viewers-abandoning-clips-after-just-10-secs.html

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

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Kick start your 2015 social media efforts

January 22, 2015 by

This can be your year for social media. As you develop your company initiatives and marketing strategies for 2015, make sure a commitment to social media is one of your goals.

Whether you post helpful articles on retirement strategies, remind clients of special events at your office or share photos of your latest community service project, every interaction on social media can help you build relationships with clients and connect with prospects.

To help you start the new year off strong, we’ve come up with five post ideas you can add to your company blog, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages:

  1. Some of your clients might be helping with their children’s college loans. Share an article that helps your audience learn ways to ease that burden on their own financial picture.
  2. Remind your audience to schedule an annual review meeting. It is a great chance to update your clients’ financial strategies for the new year.
  3. It’s time to start thinking about filing taxes. Remind your audience that they can deduct expenses like out-of-pocket charitable donations, work-related moving expenses and child care costs.
  4. Ask your audience what they dream of doing in their retirement. It’s a fun question, and people enjoy sharing their hopes for the future.
  5. Cross promote your company LinkedIn account on your Facebook or Twitter pages. Simply share a link to let your audiences know they can find more helpful information on your LinkedIn page.

If you need more post ideas, you can find last month’s social media post ideas here.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Leverage the power of online video

January 8, 2015 by

Online video has become one of the most effective marketing tools for businesses. By 2017, online video content is expected to make up 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic.1 As financial professionals, planning for this shift now can give you a leg up in engaging your next generation of clients.

Video is cost-effective, simple to produce and can creatively highlight services and products about your business. Plus, video itself can be distributed and archived on multiple online and social media platforms. Living online, these videos can then act as a gateway to new clients and leads. Consider these video marketing statistics:

  • Over fifty-four percent of internet users view at least one video online over the course of a month.2
  • Videos increase understanding of products and services by 74 percent. 3
  • Ninety percent of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision-making process.4
  • Seventy-five percent of users visit a marketer’s website after viewing a video.5
  • Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors to a website and doubles the time visitors spend on a site.6
  • Business emails that include video increase click-through traffic to websites by 96 percent.7

So what does this mean for your business? Even a quickly produced video made from a camera phone can have the potential to garner exposure when posted on your social media feeds, emails and website. But taking the time to craft an effective and polished video can build credibility amongst your online audience. For tips on creating your own video, check back here for future installments about content, tools and distribution techniques for engaging a new audience through video.

 

1  “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013–2018.” Cisco Systems, June. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/ip-ngn-ip-next-generation-network/white_paper_c11-481360.html

“comScore Releases March 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings.” comScore. 18 April 2014. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-US-Online-Video-Rankings

“Why A Video Elevator Pitch Will Improve Your Market Share.” Forbes. 10 October 2013. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/10/10/why-a-video-elevator-pitch-will-improve-your-market-share/

“50 Must Know Stats About Video & Animation Marketing.” Insivia. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.insivia.com/50-must-know-stats-about-video-animation-marketing-2013/

“25 Amazing Video Marketing Statistics.” Digital Sherpa. 9 January 2014. Web. 15 December 2014 http://www.digitalsherpa.com/blog/25-amazing-video-marketing-statistics/

6 “Content Marketing: Videos Attract 300% More Traffic and Nurture Leads.” Marketing Sherpa. 14 December 2011. Web. 6 January 2015
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/how-to/videos-attract-300-more-traffic

“GetResponse Study Shows Video Emails Increase Click-through Rates by 96 Percent.” PR Newswire. Web. 6 January 2015
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/getresponse-study-shows-video-emails-increase-click-through-rates-by-96-percent-78406237.html

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

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Promote your company social media accounts

December 16, 2014 by

Social media is all about interacting with your audience. But before you can have valuable conversations on social media, you need an engaged audience.

Here are three ways you can promote your social media accounts to clients, prospects and community members interested in your services:

  • Make it easy for readers to connect with you. Simply add links to your social media pages on your company website, in your email signature or on your business cards.
  • Make it easy to find you. Cross promote between social media accounts. For example, make a Facebook post that directs readers to your Twitter or LinkedIn profiles.
  • Build stronger connections with your existing audience. Send an email to your existing clients to let them know you are on social media. It is great way to nurture the relationships you have already built.

With social media you have the chance to interact with your audience in a more casual and personal way. It is a great opportunity to start conversations and remind your audience how your services can help.

If you haven’t added social media to your marketing mix, we can help you get started. Simply download our LinkedIn Guide and Facebook Guide for step-by-step instructions and tips.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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