There is one sneaky personality characteristic key to improving your marketing ROI that all the greatest marketers have in common: humility.

If you’re not humble in your marketing, you’ll never maximize your return on investment.


Because we don’t know what is going to work.

In this episode of The Show, we learn how to maximize ROI by limiting our assumptions and testing everything:

Subscribe to The Show:

[Video Transcript]

How to Improve Your Insurance Marketing ROI

Guess what came in the mail today?

improve marketing roi

When I study the careers of the most successful marketers in this space, some people who have been incredibly successful over and over and over again, campaign after campaign, company after company, there’s one quality about them that I find transcends, despite their outward personality.

There’s one quality that transcends every great marketer that I see – Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Baer, Marcus Sheridan.

I even look at my own career and the success that I’ve had at the Murray Group and now at Agency Nation and at

When I look at the career of these marketers, there’s one character trait that transcends everything they do, despite their outward personality.

There’s one character trait: they’re humble.

Now you may say,

“Ryan, Gary Vaynerchuk is not a humble guy.”

You may say,

“Ryan, you’re not a humble guy.”

I don’t know whether or not that’s true from the standpoint of our public perception, but the idea is a sense of humility when it comes to marketing is an absolute necessity if you want to be successful.

How does humility impact doing marketing well?

Being successful in this space, what does humility actually mean?

When it comes to marketing, being humble, having a sense of humility is simple.

Basically, you have to realize that you don’t know shit.

You have no clue what’s going to work.

I believe this every single day. You can ask any member of my team. I am positive that if you were talk to Marcus’s team, Gary’s team, Seth’s team, Jay’s Baer’s team, any of these great marketers, Ann Handley, you talk to these great marketers, they would tell you all the same thing.

They have absolutely no clue what is going to work.

What they do instead is test everything. Now that isn’t to say that experience and expertise and knowledge don’t play a role in where you start.

Obviously, over time you’re able to develop a sense and an instinct and just a history of knowing where the best places to start in a marketing campaign are and the strategies and tactics that may actually be the most successful, but ultimately we have no idea even inside of those strategies and tactics what is going to actually work.

That is where humility comes in because the people who dash themselves across the rocks, the marketers who waste the most money are those who believe they already know the answer before they begin marketing.

I’m telling you right now, I don’t care how many pay-per-click ad campaigns you’ve run, how many Facebook ads you’ve done, how many blog posts you’ve written, how many videos you’ve produced, you have absolutely no clue what is going to work until you test it.

You have to test.

You have to be humble enough to say,

“I don’t know what’s going to work, so I’m going to test everything until I figure out what does work.”

And here’s the rub, my friend: then you double down on that thing or that group of things or that tactic or that strategy.

Once you figure out what actually works, you have to have the balls, the chutzpah to dive in and do that thing more, to really push that button and take your business to the next level.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none” inject=”#roi #marketing”]You have to be willing to go all in once you figure out what works.[/tweet_box]

How Humility Improves Marketing ROI

I want to give you an example of this from my own career.

Back in 2012, I did something called the 100 Insurance Questions Answered in 100 Days video series – a horrible name for a marketing campaign, but ultimately it describes what I did.

I took 100 questions about insurance and I answered them in two minutes or less via video. I uploaded that to YouTube so I had a YouTube video of that answer.

Then I took the YouTube videos and I embedded them on my agency’s website.

You can still go back and see those videos on the Murray Group’s website today and on their YouTube channel.

One of those videos in particular made up for about 80% of the overall revenue generation of that campaign.

It was one video – one out of 100.

Out of 100 videos, one made up for about 80% of the revenue that we generated from the entire campaign.

I had no idea which one of those videos would be successful.

To be honest with you, to tell you that one of them would generate most of the revenue from the campaign, I would have never been able to pick which one. I would have never told you that’s the way that it ultimately would have worked.

But what I did was I did the work and I tracked it.

I tracked every single call that came in as best I could in the time.

I wasn’t the most sophisticated at tracking, but we tracked. In a million years, I would have never guessed the video that was the most successful.

To be honest with you, if I had actually created the questions myself, which I didn’t, I would have never picked this question as one to include in the 100.

What I did to collect the questions was I asked customers.

I asked customers of the Murray Group Insurance Services, my wife’s family’s agency, to just give me one insurance question that you would like to have answered.

One of those customers, a woman business owner, asked me,

“Ryan, I’d love to know what New York state short-term disability is.”

It’s a policy that a business has to hold if they have employees in the state of New York, and it basically covers injuries outside of the workplace.

The premiums on these things, even if you add 10-20 employees, were only in the hundreds of dollars, so these weren’t large policies.

They weren’t incredibly important policies to the standard commercial insurance pitch. So when a large carrier in the state of New York decided that they were going to non-renew all their customers for New York state short-term disability, a ton of businesses in the state of New York received non-renewal letters.

Now we all know what happens when our customers receive non-renewal letters: all of a sudden the antenna goes up.

What every single one of those businesses did was they went to Google and they typed in “What is New York state short-term disability?”

No one had ever answered this question before.

Not even the state insurance department of New York had answered this question.

They have information about short-term disability, for sure, but they had never answered the question directly: what is New York state short-term disability?

So all these businesses found my YouTube video, and that is how we wrote a ton of business.

I could have never guessed. I only knew it from testing. I only knew it from doing the work and being humble and that I didn’t know better.

If I wasn’t humble in my marketing work, if I wasn’t humble in that moment, I would have canceled that question out and said,

“That’s not really an important policy. I won’t really spend any time on it. Who really wants to know that? No one ever asks about it.”

Because I allowed the process to take place, because I didn’t assume I knew what the correct answer was in the time, we ended up writing a ton of business.

And ultimately, that one YouTube video made my career as an insurance agent.

That took me from scraping by to being a legitimate producer in our agency because of one YouTube video that if I had really thought about it, I would have cut right out of the program, never answered the question.

I would have missed that entire opportunity, and most likely would not be sitting here in front of you.

Learning that lesson that I don’t know the answer, that I have to be humble enough to assume that I don’t know what works and that I’m only going to figure it out by doing the work and testing and tracking, only by learning that lesson am I sitting in front of you today sharing it with you that we have to be humble.

We don’t know what works.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none” inject=”#roi #marketing”]We’ll never know what works until we do the work.[/tweet_box]

Test. Learn. Iterate.

Over time, you’ll grow instincts the help you maybe start closer to what works, but always, always, always test, learn, iterate; test, learn, iterate.

Then have the chutzpah to dial in on that one that works.

When you really find it, when you have that thing, you’ve seen it, it’s converting at a twice higher rate than any of your other campaigns, cut those campaigns and dial into the one that’s working.

That’s when you just start dumping cash into that program because you know it’s producing a positive ROI on the backend.

That is how you’re successful in the marketing space.

This is the sneaky characteristic that the best marketers in the business have: they don’t assume they know the answer.

They do the work.

They test, they learn, they iterate. They do it over and over and over again until they find the answer.

Then once they find the answer, that’s when they double down. That’s when they go hard.

Then they look like rock stars, and everyone asks,

“How did you figure that out?”

Well, they only figured it out not because they’re geniuses or some lightning bolt came on or the muse touched them.

They figured it out by doing the work, testing, learning, and iterating over and over and over again until they looked like geniuses. Until it works. Until they’re getting that positive ROI.

The Rub

That is the sneaky characteristic of winning marketers. I promise you, if you hold this idea in your head that you don’t know what works, that I don’t know what works, that nobody knows what works, but a willingness to test, learn, and iterate is the sole characteristic that’s going to make you a successful marketer.

I don’t care how large or small your marketing campaign is.

I don’t care if it’s regional, local, you never know what’s going to work.

Always test.

You never create one ad. If someone creates just one ad for you, they are not doing right by you.

That is never the answer.

One ad is never the answer.

There always have to be iterations: different colors, different words, different sizes. Sometimes you have an image, sometimes you don’t have an image.

These are all the things that need to be tested.

You test them over time.

You test them by being calculating in what you’re doing and having a strategy and tracking what’s working. Track, track, track. There it is. That’s the deal.

So my friends, what is the sneaky characteristic of winning marketers?

They’re humble.

Are you humble?

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley

P.S. Subscribe on YouTube and never miss an episode of The Show.

Share This