My testing of Facebook Live with two different hosts did not work out well on the audio side, so here is the transcript of my conversation with Linda Fullman, from Fullman & Lawrence Agency, in Texas.
John Tate: Hey everybody! This is John Tate, I am Live in our Insurance Agency Marketing Mastermind Group*. I'm going to pull in Linda Fullman here and I've never done this before on live video so we'll see how it works and hopefully the audio and video will be okay for you.
Linda Fullman: Hi, John! Good morning!
John Tate: Linda thank you so much for hopping on video with me, because I thought it would be great for others in the group to hear about your success on Facebook and Instagram, as it's kind of funny because you're a little bit of an introvert, right? And you're new to Texas, and you really didn't do much social media before, and you're even new to the insurance world, right?
Linda Fullman: Absolutely. So I moved to the state of Texas at the end of 2012 and joined the insurance world. I was … I had moved from Florida over to Texas, so I did not know anybody in the town that I moved to, and then in addition to that, starting in the insurance field. And in my town it's a smaller city, it's about a city of 80,000 population, and I was competing against agents where they grew up with everyone. So how do I compete in that world.
John Tate: So what are some of the things you've done in the past couple of years in order to really get your personal brand out there?
Linda Fullman: Great question, because I really didn't embrace social media as you said, I'm an introvert. I had a social media account but rarely used it, and so what I thought was people buy from people they know and trust, and how could I get myself out there? And so for my surfaces what I ended up doing was a little bit of tongue in cheek, I wanted to educate but I also think it's boring when someone talks at you. And so no one wants to hear an insurance agent talk all day long, so I had to really overcome that, and then also just because I'm an introvert I was trying to find a way to relate to people, and so I created a character called the insurance lady.
So it was a way for me to have a little bit of fun with the public, and then not just talk about insurance, but things that interest people. So I started to listen to people about what they were struggling with, things that they wanted to improve in their lives, because as much as we're protecting assets in their lives we're protecting their whole life, the quality of that life, and so I wanted to connect with people in a different way. So if you'll follow me on social media you'll see I do a lot of self-development and improving their life, and I talk about insuring their best life. And that's not just their assets, but some of their person, and so now I have a fairly good following of people that follow me for all these other things, and then they also want me to protect their assets.
John Tate: And you went from being unknown where you're located in Texas to now be driving growth as The Insurance Lady.
Linda Fullman: It's kind of funny for me because from zero no-one knew who I was to all of a sudden I can go grocery shopping, I'll go pump my gas and someone will wave "Hey Insurance Lady." When I go to a restaurant "Hey there's the insurance lady. We loved your video from last week." To people actually seeking me out now and messengering me things that they want to see on my Live videos. Like today's Live that I did was someone messengered me this morning for the topic they thought would be helpful to other people.
John Tate: What was it?
Linda Fullman: So it was the quality of the people that you spend time with influences the quality of your life. so they sent me a picture so I decided to do a Live on that. So I published it in my topic today.
John Tate: And you're using … are you getting this more of the engagement from Facebook or from Instagram?
Linda Fullman: Interestingly enough … so I get much more engagement from Facebook but a lot of it is because I'm still learning Instagram. So some of them are slicks that I've made on Instagram are about hashtagging correctly. So the type of people that are gonna follow you is dependent upon the informational content that you're putting out there, but also the type of hashtagging that you're doing, so that's an area that I need to improve on. And I can tell you in terms of people that you want to learn Instagram because Instagram people are action-oriented and they will buy, but you have to do it differently. If you look at the demographic, at the age group that we as insurance say is our niche, our wheelhouse, they're on Instagram, and so we need to do a better job of connecting with and providing content they want to follow.
On Facebook my conversion rate from followers is huge, it's amazing. I'll give you an example. There's a gentleman that started to follow me on Facebook in another city about an hour away, and he started to engage me on my motivational posts. And then last week he Messengered me saying that he wanted to support my agency for providing such great content, and we actually ended up writing all of his business on Monday. So those are the types of conversions I'm getting, I'm getting people that are following me for content, and they like … they become your friends on Facebook. In a world where it's superficial you're connecting with people [inaudible] they're looking for someone they can trust, and they'll also messenger me about information about their policy from another carrier and ask my advice, and on how to fix it I will do that. It's about giving more than what you expect to receive, so sometimes I suggest a fix for something on their policy, later they remember that and they come back to me and I end up writing them.
So form your relationships. These are people I could be mailing to or be cold calling and never give me the time of day, but this relationship they see me as a real person to work with, and I'm accessible, and it completely changes. It's a game changer.
John Tate: Linda you're a captive agent and we were talking last, you mentioned that this has been a way that you've been able to overcome some rate increases and situations where you might not have the lowest price, right?
Linda Fullman: Absolutely. So I'll give you another instance of that. So I had someone that was referred to me to review their business, and they were shopping, they were looking in independents, they were going to all these different places to look for a quote, and my quote was considerably higher. So what ended up happening was they connected with me, they messaged me on Facebook, they really liked … I think what it was is they were able to connect with me on Facebook and see the type of person I was, my values, my opinions, and value the advice I was providing for free, and they thought any type of agent that would do that, it's worth it for me to pay a little bit more for someone I believe knows what they're talking about. So it ended up we were $800 more.
John Tate: Wow. That's significant. It's all about the relationship right?
Linda Fullman: It's relationships.
*The Insurance Agency Marketing Mastermind is a closed Facebook Group, but if you have an interest in marketing your agency and sharing ideas with other agents like Linda, request membership here.