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Ryan Hanley's Keys to Digital Marketing Success in 2018

26055782_10156127078746803_6680124367884636503_n.jpgCan you believe it? The clock has already struck midnight and the calendar now reads 2018. It's a new year which brings about new beginnings, new goals and new opportunities to improve upon all of last year's activities. But with these new opportunities also comes the challenge of determining what to do in order to bring about positive, long-lasting changes that help us grow. When I find myself at a crossroad like this my preferred method is to consult the wisdom of an expert. Fortunately, the Big "I" has several qualified individuals to one can turn to and I was able to chat with Ryan Hanley, CMO of and Agency Nation, and get his keys to digital marketing success in 2018.

Why You Should Let Go Of Being Perfect This Year

Screenshot_20180102-111438.jpg This interview was initially inspired towards the end of last year when Ryan Hanley shared this video ultimately suggesting that we get out of our comfort zone. I was so moved by his story that I decided to reach out to Ryan, who I look up to professionally, to secure an interview. Much to my surprise, he immediately replied agreeing to my request.

Much to my delight, the interview went well and the 41 individuals who watched it live chimed in with questions and commentary. Could I have done more effectively? Of course. Logistically are there items that I wish I could change? Absolutely. In fact, you are reading this article instead of watching the replay of the conversation because I didn't figure out the right settings to keep the video longer than 24 hours until AFTER I finished conducting the interview. However, as Ryan shared during our conversation, it's better to get started and gain experience rather than waiting to be perfect before getting started. Thankfully, he shared a few other strategies for taking your marketing to the next level this year.

WHAT TO F.O.C.U.S. ON IN 2018?

1 . Creating a strong voice in your marketing

Because of the nature of the insurance industry it is easy to have a risk averse mentality. Understandably so considering that one mistake can have a tremendous impact on your client's lives or business. However, when it comes to marketing we have more freedom than we think. We don't have to be so cautious. In fact, captive agencies have been taking these kinds of risks for years.

For example, consider the Mayhem commercials. Dean Winters is essentially known for his scruffy appearance and embodying practically every worst case scenario that an agent can imagine. Likewise, Progressive has banked on comedy by creating characters like Flo to inject humor into the insurance buying process. So what do these companies know that most others don't? They understand that in order to reach their target audience it is necessary to cut through the noise and demonstrate their ability to help their customers and their marketing reflects that.

2. 2018 is going to be a big year for video

For Ryan Hanley and Agency Nation especially, video will be a major area of focus in 2018. "I think video is an enormous opportunity for creating another form of human to human interaction," Ryan shares. " They can be short and punchy. You don't have to have crazy production value or have some big outgoing personality in order to be successful either as long as you just be yourself. You don't get into the insurance business and stay in the insurance business unless you actually care about the people you are serving and that level of genuine care is so transparent on video."

3. Understand that it won't be all roses.

FOCUS.jpgRyan Hanley himself referrenced that he missed the mark on a number of items in 2017 citing his lack of focus as the reason why he didn't attain the level of success he was hoping for. He grew bored with his routine and rather than focusing or "following one course until successful" he instead overextended himself by hopping around between writing, podcasting, and video projects. I call it the curse of the creative.

The irony is that if you were to spend an ample amount of time you'd probably notice that Ryan preaches being consistent in your efforts. That just goes to show that even the experts can miss the mark sometimes and no one is perfect. But that's the point! It's through our actions that we find success and in the event that we fall short of our goals it's through those same actions that we learn valuable lessons that we can apply to our future endeavors.

So as we turn the page on a new year and begin writing a new chapter of our lives in 2018, I encourage you to try something new this year. Make a bold move. Allow yourself the freedom to fail. And beyond everything else, like the famous tagline from Nike, Just Do It.