Isabel: Hello and welcome back to ED Going Digital. My name is Isabel and I am your host. In this series we are sharing all things digital marketing and giving you an insight into our world! Today I have one of our wonderful clients with us Craig from Business Insurance Consulting. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Isabel: I know that it is a very busy time of year at the moment. So we’re very grateful to have you here. Firstly we’d love to know a little bit more about yourself. When did you establish your business? And what drove you to start?
Craig:Thank you very much for having me. I’ve been an insurance broker now the last year and a half after a transition of working in Insurance underwriting for 21 years. It was a natural transition or progression to get into broking. Not working for large corporate companies and insurers and having the opportunity to work by myself and deliver the same customer experience. Having the opportunity to connect with clients through a great network. That’s amazing.
Isabel: Prior to becoming one of our digital Partners what sort of experience have you had with digital marketing companies?
Craig: Nothing working for the insurance companies. They have their own it and developers. So in saying that, when I did start my business a year and a half ago. I knew as a very small business owner that if I didn’t have a digital footprint on the internet for people to find me and to find my services that the business was not going to really evolve. For a very long time so it was critical to engage with the website.
Isabel: Is that what you ended up doing?
Craig: I didn’t end up doing it through trial and tribulation. I did a lot of research on the internet trying to get really value for money. Yeah, and I was very much looking for an Australian based business, which I did get engaged with a business that’s stated. They were based in Australia after several months of dealing with them. I found through critical statements that I was being charged US tax and they were based in US Dollars. Then I knew from that alone and that I was not being dealt with in an honest manner nor as an australian-based business.
Isabel: So do you feel quite burnt from that experience?
Craig: Look at it all kind of came true and started ringing true to me when I started making phone calls to them. They were not in the same time zone as Australia. They would tend to respond roughly about 48 hours after each email sent. So yeah, the person I used to speak to on the phone did have a quasi American accent though. I knew he wasn’t American either. So yeah, I can certainly feel like I was being lied to and false representation from the business. So I really wasn’t happy and then through further experiences with them basically unleashed hidden costs and additional services that they promised upfront as a platinum customer.
Craig: That’s a lot of the details that I needed for the business in terms of SEO and they weren’t actually covered in the Platinum package. Then they were extra and in terms of extra we’re talking 25 then a thousand, five hundred thousand dollars, so it went from literally there. Or a $49 logo. So roughly that’s $6,000 but as a small business, that was a lot of money that I didn’t have put aside or had thought that I’d have to pay for a website.
Isabel: Yeah, that’s definitely expensive. Especially when you were first starting out in your own business yourself.
Isabel: So what made you decide to make this shift to Englander Davis and how have things changed in your business since jumping on board with us?
Craig: Well, once I called out the offshore web developer that I was dealing with after the continuous lies and their ongoing expenses that were not disclosed. I really started looking again through Google for the locally based businesses based in Queensland so that I could speak and pick up the phone and talk to a local person if not come and see you in your office like we are today.
I found a couple of businesses online. But once I spoke with Sam from Englander Davis, I was really impressed. He was very engaging and professional. The professionalism came through through the phone call itself. It showed the professionalism of what they could offer for my business and with no lies. I thought they were very upfront from the start and today we’re now coming into six months of dealing with each other. No, no hidden costs.
It’s all been very much up front. Slowly starting to work and I think with the enhancements that you’ve done to my webpage. I really feel like all the content jumps off the page which engages. It’s not a boring website. It’s very engaging and you really want to scroll down and see what’s next. So when clients are looking for my businesses I really want them to be engaged with content that yes gets their attention and makes them feel local as well and looks very professional and Englander Davis have done that for me.
Isabel: Oh, that’s perfect. And yes, Sam is very knowledgeable here at Englander Davis isn’t he?
Isabel: So what part does digital marketing play in your business?
Craig: Look when I did start my business a year and a half ago. I did speak with a lot of other brokers who have been friends for many years. They work for particular networks though and have all their IT and everything done in the background. So they don’t have to do any of that stuff. So as I’m managing a business I had to do that myself and through many conversations. I thought that having a website would naturally drive business to me. After having several conversations with some IT people.
They said that having a website alone will not bring any business to you whatsoever. It was all around the SEO and the keyword searches that would drive clients towards my website into my business. So yeah, that’s where Englander Davis had really pushed and driven my business and we’ve seen a 25% rise even in you know, six months business has grown exponentially compared to the last developer who I don’t believe had an SEO program working for me.
Isabel: That’s great that it’s increased since being at Englander Davis.
Craig: Absolutely. Well, yeah, like I said, I had no idea why I thought a website would actually bring business towards me but having the SEO working in the background when a client looks up insurance or business insurance, I come up on the first page. So that’s brilliant. It’s been a learning curve and I’m so excited to see what the future holds.
Isabel: You are very busy running your own business. What are some of the pain points and challenges for you when it comes to running your business?
Craig: Look yes starting off was very much from a cold case. I didn’t have a client book of clients to deal with so that’s why I really felt that I’ll get organic growth. It’s like a petrol station where there is one on every block. So I really did need to have a website that was engaging and showcased my expertise after 21 years and insurance underwriting.
Isabel: Yeah, and there’s so many people online these days that you really do want to get your business online and seen online don’t you?
Craig: Absolutely one of the things I’ve noticed with what you do with your website or your Google searches in insurance is your major players all your top insurers e.g Allianz. They always have the very top and I’ve noticed that there’s an AD. The little section of the top which I found out as a paid ad. Again, these are all things that I’ve never known in the past. So in discussing with Englander Davis, the opportunities that I can engage in to have paid traffic and what the alternative options are for me to drive, you know promotions Facebook, LinkedIn and all that type of stuff. Yes. It’s been fantastic. It’s been all I’ve done for me.
Isabel: Yeah. Perfect. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about recruiting a digital marketing agency, but hasn’t quite taken the plunge yet?
Craig: From my point of view when they say if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is or if it looks like a duck and sounds like that. Don’t be sucked into advertising on the internet where they say $29 for our website logo or brand logo because before you know it you’ll be sucking into how professional they really are. Terms of their sales techniques they will tell you that the color white is actually black and you’ll believe it. Yeah, so you’ve really got to do your research on companies. Yeah, there tends to be a lot of review sites on companies. But yeah word of mouth, look for recommendations, but also I’m a firm believer and you know supporting local businesses because I’m a small business and I think that helps.
Isabel: What are your goals for 2021 one in regards to your business?
Craig: As a new business back in 2020 having covid really being a big barrier. Many businesses that are shut down for a period of time shut up shop all together. One thing that’s been kind of good for me is insurance. We are very fortunate in Queensland to be somewhat protected from it. But yeah, just looking for some really solid growth and expansion in my business and a lot of that does come with the engagement with Englander Davis and new marketing. Marketing expertise and what they can do for me so it’s not always about me doing it for me. But you know if I’m engaging with my marketing team, what can they do for me and how can we build?
Isabel: Thank you so much for your time today Craig! That was wonderful Insight from one of our very own clients, thank you so much!Craig: You’re very welcome. Thank you.