LinkedIn is currently considered the largest online professional network in the world with over 200 million members as of 2012. Professionals are now signing up for membership to the website at the rate of two new members a second.

If you’re an independent insurance agent, a professional networking website like LinkedIn could provide the edge you’re looking for. Although LinkedIn is popularly used to connect with other colleagues in your industry, it offers the added benefit of building authority and improving reputation.

Become Active in the Community

If you already have a profile on LinkedIn, you’re only doing half the work. You can become active in the community by answering questions via LinkedIn Answers to build reputation and set yourself apart as an expert in your field.

Just like it sounds, LinkedIn Answers is a question and answer forum that allows members to share first-hand business information. When you answer questions as an expert, you’ll prove yourself as an independent insurance agent based on your knowledge and ability.

Other LinkedIn users have the opportunity to rate your answers. As a result, earning Best Answer for an expert response can stick with you to boost your reputation even further on the professional website.

Rub Elbows with Colleagues

One step beyond LinkedIn Answers is LinkedIn Groups, providing you the opportunity to virtually rub elbows with peers in your industry. LinkedIn Groups are available for almost any level of interest or area throughout the country.

You can join groups that pertain to the insurance industry or local business groups in your city or region. Once you have joined a group, it’s time to participate in a discussion, just like you would at a real-life networking party.

Within a professional website like LinkedIn, a group provides the occasion for niche networking. If you’re hoping to gain more clients as an insurance agent, a LinkedIn group is one indirect way to expand your connections. Since you are joining a group of like-minded people that you share common interests with, they will likely connect with you on LinkedIn after you have engaged in meaningful conversation.

In short, using the two methods above will help you to get the most out of LinkedIn as an insurance agent. Instead of merely setting up a profile and letting it go stagnant, you can become involved in the LinkedIn sphere to build your community even further. From there, it’s only natural that connections will inquire of your insurance services for themselves or for client referral.

Even a local moving company can benefit from a rock-solid marketing campaign to reach out to new customers in the community.

If you’re finding it difficult to gain new customers or simply don’t know where to begin, consider these proven marketing methods to attract customers to your local business:

  1. Offer customers a special gift upon booking. If you’re new to the moving game and want to set yourself apart from your competition, it helps to offer customers freebies right off the bat. A new customer will appreciate a special gift after booking your moving service, like complimentary moving supplies for booking in advance.This is also the perfect opportunity to work together with other local businesses in your community in a joint venture. You can offer new customers a gift card to a local restaurant upon booking; a restaurant can then agree to advertise your moving services in-store to all diners.
  2. Spread the word to local apartment buildings. Most apartment complexes are happy to find a reliable moving company that they can refer to their tenants. Take the time to prepare a professional sales presentation that you can present to an apartment manager.Even better, plan to leave branded marketing materials in the front office that tenants can take with them, like magnets, flyers, and pens, to encourage them to book your services.
  3. Focus on customer service and referrals. In the world of moving, a little goes a long way. Customers will greatly appreciate a professional moving company that sticks with their schedule and provides reminder calls before moving day. If movers are punctual, courteous, and clean, customers will remember and will have a better impression of your company as a result.Customers can also be encouraged to refer your moving company to friends and family members with referral bonuses at a set monetary amount or in gift card form. Customer loyalty is one of the most effective ways to build a long-term client base by circulating positive recommendations about your brand.

While it may seem simple at face value to start your own moving service since it’s a business that can be operated from home, attention to detail in both marketing and customer service does matter. If you want to compete with a number of commercial moving companies in your area, paying attention to the marketing tips above will help customers to remember your brand time and again.