Building Relationships: The Benefits of Local Engagement
May 8, 2017
From the time Farm Bureau Financial Services was founded in 1939, our roots have been planted in the local communities we serve. In the early years, our focus was on meeting the unique and specific needs of farmers and members, but today, our members come from all walks of life – rural, urban and everything in-between.
If you’ve been contemplating the next move you’re going to make in your career, and you find that you genuinely want to help protect those around you, becoming a Farm Bureau Financial Services insurance agent may be the right step for you.
Farm Bureau agents contribute to the livelihood of their community and representing your community as a Farm Bureau agent may be a natural extension of who you are and what motivates you. After all, when you build a strong sense of community, you build stronger relationships with your client/members.
BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
No matter where Farm Bureau agents call home, they work hard to not only protect what matters most to the client/members they serve but also to give back to their communities.
There are countless professional benefits to engaging with your local community, such as raising brand awareness or gaining a better understanding of what your community needs. Take a look as we break down some of the benefits of engaging with your community.
Raising Brand Awareness
As we mentioned above, getting active in your community is an excellent way to raise awareness of your services. Whether that’s sponsoring the local athletic teams, having a float in a parade or volunteering on behalf of your organization, the best way to get people to know your name is to get involved! The more people see your name, the more likely they are to reach out to inquire about the services you offer.
Understanding Insurance Needs
What’s the best way to understand the needs that the people in your community have? To get out there and talk to them, of course! By attending local events and gatherings, you have more of an opportunity to talk to those in your local area and find out whether or not their livelihood is being protected.
Continuing to Build on Existing Relationships
It’s important to find new client/members, but it’s also important to never forget about your existing client/members. Show them you care by inviting them to coffee at the local bakery or volunteer at a big event they’ve been planning.
Tips to Get Involved
Communities across the nation rely on volunteers to bring projects and organizations to life that might otherwise lack the support they need. Do the parks in your area need to be cleaned up? Is there a charitable organization that needs funding? By understanding the needs of the community, you will be able to identify different opportunities where you can get involved.
Not sure where to start? Contacting your local newspaper, visiting the community center or contacting the school are all great ways to find organizations and projects in the area that needs your support. Here are some other suggestions to help get you started:
Coach a Local Sports Team
Community sports teams are always in need of coaches, and volunteering to help can create lasting relationships with both children and their parents. In addition to building trust, community members will begin to recognize your face and learn more about your hobbies, interests and leadership abilities.
Skills you’ll practice when coaching a team: communication, leadership and patience.
Get Involved With City Council
Becoming active on City Council will show the community you understand what is important to them and are willing to work with other council members to make the concerns and needs of the community heard. By playing an active role on City Council, the community will begin to see your leadership skills in action. In addition to helping the community, getting involved with City Council can also help develop your own job skills. This is a great way to improve leadership and communication skills.
Skills you’ll practice when on City Council: time management, public speaking, critical thinking and listening.
Yes, shopping is a way to get involved! Show local business owners that you care about his or her livelihood by shopping in their stores. Furthermore, shopping locally is a great way to stimulate your local economy, which can hopefully lead to more opportunities for community members.
Skills you’ll practice when supporting local businesses: interpersonal skills and professionalism.
Volunteer in Your Community
Schools often have a number of volunteer opportunities available. Whether you dedicate time to help with a festival, work at a fundraiser or become a member of the school board, volunteering with the schools shows you value the future of the community and share the value of family and education. Working with the school is also a great way to instill these same values in your own children and can be a way to bond with them, too.
If volunteering with the school isn’t your cup of tea, that’s okay. Look into any area nonprofit organization, like an animal shelter, for example, that may be in need of volunteers. Often times, nonprofits need volunteers to make their organization operate. Volunteering shows that you care about the wellbeing of your community and that you want to see the community succeed.
Skills you’ll practice when volunteering: timeliness, communication, teamwork and the ability to work with many personalities.
In today’s day and age, we have the world at our fingertips with the web. This also means that different groups and organizations in your community likely have a social media profile of some sort. Use your social media channels to engage by liking and commenting on different posts and events that are happening in your area. Show that you’re excited about different community happenings by tagging them in social media posts, especially if you’re sponsoring or have something to do with the event or happening.
Skills you’ll practice when networking online: technology use, community management and relationship building.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make the Next Move
Building strong relationships begin by making genuine connections with community members and finding ways you can help. These important connections can lead to referrals, increased trust, can develop a stronger community, as well as lead to personal growth.
Farm Bureau agents truly make a difference in their communities, and so can you! Click ‘Get Started’ to apply to become a Farm Bureau agent today.