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Jan 23, 2022


EP - 60  When I first started this podcast, my plan was to focus on how amazing a career in this industry is. My business at the time was marketing, I helped companies attract new business. My goal was to work with insurance professionals and help them with marketing.

Then, my mom got sick and I realized that it was time for me to get back into the insurance business. Ive been licensed for more than 30 years, but I took a detour…..and now I’m back in the insurance business, focusing on individual benefits packages, specifically for those on Medicare.

I’ve been applying my marketing skills to my new insurance agency and the phone has been ringing off the hook. The busy season in this space is October 15 - December 7. It’s like tax season for accountants. You have a certain amount of time to help everyone! Honestly, it’s insane!

Today I’m going to talk about my marketing experience last fall, what worked and what didn’t. 

I’ll wrap up with my marketing focus in 2022. 


The primary area I focused my marketing efforts on was the eastern shore of MD.

There’s a lot of farm area, a lot of retiree’s and as you get closer to water, there’s a few very densely populated areas. I want to work this market because I hope to purchase a home there soon and live there year round! I’ve been traveling this area all my life, but have never thought about living there until recently! 

You could say that it’s new to me and I don’t know that many people there, so not only am I a new agency, I’m marketing in an area where I don’t know many people. Oh, and we are in the middle of a pandemic, in a state that is fairly conservative with masking and activities!

My marketing plan for 2021 included the following:

  • Worked at a retail store - Cost of $1500, but my FMO and upline each contributed $500 so my net cost was $500.
  • Direct Mail - spent about $2000 on postage for  mailing postcards. The service I use does not charge for printing
  • Speaking Events - educational events on Medicare - had a $5,000 budget to promote
  • Referrals from clients - mailed a clever post card and asked people to tell their friends and family about me - postage cost included in direct mail


3 weeks in, I began to panic…and for me, panic creates paralysis. Fortunately I found someone to step in and help me with a lot of the back end work, but training someone new in the middle of your busy season, isn’t the smartest idea.

One thing I did that kept me so busy is that I put my calendar link everywhere so people could schedule meetings at their convenience. The concept was great,because it kept me from having to do the back and forth scheduling, but the problem was that I was booked from 8 am to 8pm with minimal time to go to the bathroom or get some food. My lesson learned was to modify my schedule somewhat to leave time in between meetings to finish up paperwork and take care of life’s necessities. When I originally set up my calendar, I blocked out the time I would be in the retail store, but not for everything else.

Over the 10 week period of AEP, I ended up with over 150 prospects and wrote almost 100 new policies. That doesn't include my current clients who also needed reviews.

So, let’s dive into each of the items on my marketing plan and discuss what worked and what didn’t. 


Worked at retail store - pay to be there, had to commit to 20 hours a week, table at the end of the cash registers (not a lot of privacy) 

  • Build rapport
  • When someone sitting with me, 3 people would stop; when I was alone, felt like having to reel them in - 
  • Visible to everyone 
  • Company branding, not my own; had table top posters, my laptop and mask said ‘ask me about medicare’
  • Not a lot of privacy - tried to schedule zooms
  • Referrals from pharmacy
  • Several employees purchased insurance

Why it works at this retail store - near retiree community, not in the big city, biggest competition is TV ads, and people asking me what the ads were all about.

Direct Mail

I use a platform called I get unlimited postcards, I just need to pay for postage and I get 250 free cards to send each month, again I just pay for postage.

  • - bought leads; created postcard geared towards veterans
    • Handful of calls - less than 10 - I’ve heard that direct mail wasn’t working as great as it had in the past. I think if I were going to try this again, 1) I would send 3-5 cards 2) it needs to be done more than one year 3) I think advertising workshops might work better than trying to get them to call me!
  • Next year I think I’ll do another postcard mailing to current clients letting them know I’d be at walmart again and maybe a mailing to one community (in real estate they call that a Farm area) but I don’t think I’ll buy a lot of mailing lists or mail outside of one zip code.



Aside from Walmart where people could see me regularly, referrals is where most of my business came from. The referrals came from

  • Financial advisors
    • Financial advisors do reviews with their clients at the end of the year -when people are thinking about retiring, it is often at the end of the year which coincides with AEP - and November was the great retirement month - ironically I think November was dubbed the Great Retirement Month - where more people retired than any other month in history!
    • My plan when I first started the agency in 2019 was to focus on marketing to referral partners. I had to get past the loss of my mom, but as I did that, I started setting up meetings with financial advisors, positioning myself as a resource and seeing success….then COVID hit and well, we know what happened there. I fell off the wagon of reaching out to referral partners and didn’t do much to build up any new relationships. That stopped January 1 as I’ve already started touching them and letting them know I’m here as a resource. 
  •  Another place where I was surprised to receive a lot of referrals was from a local list serve. Now, I must be honest, I have no idea how to get on this list serve, but two people posted about me over the past 12 months, and boom, it really made a difference. 
    • One of the people that talked about me is someone that was is also a medicare agent. I had agreed to mentor her and show her the ropes, but after a few meetings, she decided the business wasn’t for her so when she hung up her hat, she started to promote me. She’d been promoting her husband who is a hairdresser on the list serve with great success, so when she wanted to thank me for the time I had invested in her, this is what she did. 
    • A second person that offered to promote me on his list serve is someone I volunteer with at a local tennis tournament. We've worked together for several years as volunteers and last year he offered to promote me and boom, the phone just rang, rang and rang…..


This was going to be my number one tactic for marketing when I started over the summer 

Luckily, I met a few wonderful agents who wanted to partner. I had tasks, they had tasks. We both met our obligations, except for execution. I got the funding for mailings, they got the venue, but we never got the mailer designed and sent - part of that was a carrier issue, part of that was my limited time - by the time we got the funding, it was early October - the events could have been anytime in October or November, but at that point I was slammed. 

Needless to say I put a lot of energy into speaking events, only to not have one from October to December.

To recap, most of my business in 2022 came from working at the retail store and referrals.

  • referrals  from strategic partners, clients and list serves.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling medicare, life insurance, boat insurance or high end homeowners. Figure out who can refer you business and build relationships with them. 

Referral partners differ for different product lines. You just need to figure out who is ideal for you and start building relationships with them. I did an episode about referrals awhile back, it’s episode 6, so check it out if you want to learn more about building your referral business. 

As the dust has begun to settle and I’m putting a bow on all of last years business implementing my marketing plan for 2022.

My focus for 2022 is my referral partners.

I plan to mail them once a month, send them items of value and make sure they feel loved. I want to be their go to partner for their clients with Medicare questions.

We really never know what will work from one year to another, but outside of insurance, I have been teaching people how to build their business through referrals for over 20 years. I know what needs to be done and how to do it……

If I do another episode next year on what worked in 2022, I’m confident that I’ll have doubled my referrals from my referral partners.

In addition to focusing on my referral partners this year, I’ll also do more public speaking and webinars. I believe it is a good way to get in front of people and let them know they shouldn’t be calling the 800 number!

I plan to mail to my current clients and referral partners once a month this year and ramp up my webinars and my podcasts!

Stay tuned for updates on the results I’m seeing!

Until next time, keep creating opportunities.