In August of this year, Marty Agather and I spoke to a group of young agents about social media.
Sure, we showed them some actionable tips and engagement techniques.
But more than that, I was hoping they’d walk away seeing social media in a totally different way.
I wanted them to see social media as more than a potential referral-generation tool (aka another way for them to make money).
I wanted them to see it as a tool that could make their business more human.
In a world where agents live, eat and breathe ROI, it almost felt wrong to stand on stage and tell people to stop thinking in terms of leads and start thinking in terms of personality.
And then The Question landed.
A young agent in the crowd asked: “How do I convince my boss that this isn’t unprofessional?”
She explained that her agency was older and more traditional. They might see her posting pictures, adding her own unique commentary and just having a bit more fun as “unprofessional.”
So, I asked her how she would define “professional” (or how they would). And she basically described this terrible stock photo:
Stuffy, serious and….boring.
Look at grey suit guy’s strained smile! White shirt girl’s completely unconvincing interest! I’m pretty sure we can all agree pink shirt girl is daydreaming. And why is blue shirt guy sitting in the most awkward spot possible??
It’s so fake. So….un-human.
They’re so concerned with giving off the right image that they give off no image.
If this wins the “professional” award, then I am 210% ok with being “unprofessional.”
I would rather be “unprofessional” and really connect with people than be “professional” and constantly at arm’s length.
Sometimes I wonder if this is what keeps agents from getting into video: the fact that they can’t create super duper, amazingly edited, stunningly beautiful, “professional” video.
It’s that obsession with creating the perfect online image.
Everyone looking perfect in their perfect suits in a perfect office with a perfect coffeemaker saying the most perfect things.
Welp – guess what. People don’t relate to perfection. People do relate to humanness.
Humanness: that inner concoction of weirdness and coolness and makes you, you.
And if you think businesses haven’t capitalized on this mind-blowingly normal concept, check out Samsung’s latest YouTube ad for their 360 video:
(over 2 million views in 24 hours)
And Nike’s legit fuel-band ad:
(over 22 million views since last year)
Combined, these videos have over 24 million views.
Now, obviously, I’m not saying you should build a human flying drone or drop a couple grand on a crazy international adventure. And I know these videos have heavy editing. But they’re a clear diversion from the “professionalized” ad you typically see on TV.
They feel more raw, unscripted and vulnerable.
“But I’m an insurance agent!”
Cool! You’re perfect for this. Check out agents who are already killing the “unprofessional” video:
1. Meiers Lombardini Lemanski Insurance
Will, Lisa and Ryan get young agents hyped about the Young Agents Leadership Institute. Booya.
2. Davis & Massey Insurance Agency
Chuck Everham uses Facebook’s Live Video tool to share an inside peek of the office on the first day back to school. Bomb.
3. Talladega Insurance
Boyd McGehee drops some knowledge on why you should use an Independent Insurance Agent.
Here’s to not letting “professionalism”, that obsession with the perfect image, stifle our voices.
P.S. All of the agent videos were taken with an iPhone. If you have an iPhone, you’re a verified videographer.
P.P.S. This article may have been an excuse to talk about Casey Neistat.
Best of luck!
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