Updated: Feb 15
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Let me begin by saying that i have nothing by the utmost respect for anyone who takes a digital platform and uses it to create a socially engaging community of like-minded individuals so they can grow and help ensure success; not only as professionals, but also as people.
"The insurance industry needs more social outlets that promote growing and understanding of trends and changes."
This brings me to the point of this blog entry:
I am not able to view the group (because I have been banned from their community) but the link above should take you to their community page where they have over 32,000 members.
WHAT IS INSURANCE SOUP?
So, what is the insurance soup Facebook group? It appears to be a group of licensed insurance producers who share memes, advice and tips for producing insurance as well as the occasional lead when it is across state lines or in an industry that someone has little or no experience in.
This is an amazing concept and I am proud to support the idea.
As a matter of fact, EIA has been working on building this idea out on a non-social platform since our introduction of our new website (CLICK HERE for more information about our new updates).
However, it would seem that at the roots of the Insurance Soup lies a marketing company (or something similar) who has the intention to capture agents and convert them to a platform called CIA (which I think may be a competitor to the EIA Access Platform™) and they seem to have intentions of selling chatbots and other insurance related technology.
MY EXPERIENCE IN THE SOUP
I joined the Insurance Soup Facebook Group about a month ago and during my short, short time in the group I noticed a few things and most were extremely positive examples of agents helping agents and offering advice. But, i did notice one very interesting detail:
Those who were in charge of the soup rarely provided in-depth knowledge to address producers concerns on topics. Most of the time, it was a peer lead conversation (which is good). However, if the Soup Gods have a background in carrier aggregation, agency building, technology, and social media then I guess I just expected them to share that knowledge with the group from time to time.
SO I OFFERED MY ADVICE
Whenever I came to a post asking for advice, input, or help I would take the time to type out MY ACTUAL TRAINING and give away my tips and tricks (that some people have paid to receive through other outlets) in order to help build the "greater good" and prepare up-and-coming agents for what is ahead of them.
Now, did I name drop www.JoinEIA.com a few times? Yes, yes I did. However, when I did so, I tried to always include a competitor in the same industry to balance out the bias that may come across in my post. It would appear that my non-bias approach was still bias as I was not promoting their captive partnership (or ownership) deals they have with the other vendors or companies.
My advice was ginuwine. It was helpful. And it was without the intent to solicit business.
I was never there to recruit or convert people to the EIA Agency Network™ or to sign them up for the EIA Agency Platform™. I was there as an industry professional with more than a decade of marketing and branding experience to help members of the soup grow as producers and work toward agency ownership.
WHAT INFORMATION DID I SHARE?
Since I was removed from the group I will share a summary of what advice i gave for free here in this blog and I plan to follow this blog with individual blog entries that detail out each topic.
COMMERCIAL INSURANCE SALES - I detailed how I used a blend of grassroots marketing and sensory marketing to capture the attention of commercial clients in my local area and expand a commercial book of business tenfold within a year.
SOCIAL MEDIA USE - I detailed a brief overview of how to use social media to increase leads. But, this was more about how to actually use social media not generating leads. Actually learning social media is the key. Once you are "using it" the leads will come natural.
SO WHY THE BAN?
Maybe I violated the terms of their group by name dropping EIA and the other competitors. Maybe I violated some other terms of the group. But ultimately I feel as that I was banned because when I name dropped a competitor I did so in a way that helped the average producers understand how the industry works and how to disrupt some of the "norms" that we have lived with for so long.
This post is not to rant about being banned from a group. This post is not intended to be a giant sob story. This post is to point out that in an industry where options are available, even the companies that want to help you achieve freedom from the traditional agency model are still (knowingly or unknowingly) controlling the information you have access to.
IS EIA ANY DIFFERENT?
Yes, we are actually so different that we put our competition comparison chart on our public website (CLICK HERE to see it) and we also offer a completely transparent comparison of our product vs our competition LIVE in our webinars (SIGN UP HERE)
When we compare us to the competition it is done LIVE and we allow you to supply us with the data. Like average policy premium, average number of home and auto sold each month, commissions, overhead costs, etc. Then we use our completely transparent spreadsheet to compare EIA to the competition.
We encourage our prospects to ask questions, compare us to the competition, and share any information that may be vital to other producers growing in the industry. We are attempting to create a revolution in the industry by disruption how insurance is sold. We are not trying to control the existing industry.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE SOUP?
Yes, if you are a producer who is wanting to steal memes for your social media page or if you are wanting to vent about bad customers (not a good look in my opinion but people do it), or if you want to ask a group of peers their opinion on client management systems, then yes, join the soup (JOIN HERE)
But, if you are looking to go independent or looking for comparisons between aggregators be prepared that peer reviews may be limited as the group seems to control to flow of any information that conflicts with the partnerships they have in place.
I never received a single personal message, comment, or business contact request from anyone in the group. As, this was never my intention. So, any post or references that I would have made to EIA or any other platform was done as a peer recommendation and not as a marketing tactic.
I was prompted to write this blog entry by an insurance acquaintance AFTER he noticed I had not been sharing my expertise in the group. This blog entry is ONLY to serve as a notice that I (Benjamin) have a passion for marketing and enjoy sharing my knowledge.
Keep an eye out for my next blog entry. I will detail how I have personally achieved success in commercial lines AND how I have trained multiple agencies to do the same. I will share a very, very detailed breakdown of the same information that i shared inside the Insurance Soup Group.