It’s easy to justify your own lack of marketing success as not being born with epic marketing skills.

Unfortunately, no one is born with epic marketing skills.

You either work hard and develop great marketing skills or you don’t.

In this episode of The Show we dive into how you go about developing epic marketing skills when, like everyone else, you weren’t born with them:


[Video Transcript]

Not Good at Marketing? No Problem.

I am just going over my presentation that I’m going to do at Westfield Insurance.

It’s a brand new keynote called “The Next Five Years.”

Specifically, this new keynote focuses on what should you be doing from a marketing and customer experience standpoint to stand out, to thrive in the new digital marketplace over the next five years?

What are the things that we can be doing?

One of the key ideas that I’m adding into this keynote from some of the other material that I’ve done is a new concept that I actually took from Seth Godin, which is around working from the edges.

unique insurance consumers

That the standard curve, the average, the thing that we try to shoot at most because we feel like it’s the meatiest, that standard bell curve of what people like actually doesn’t exist when we’re trying to build a business that can survive today in an Internet-based world.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none” inject=”#customerexperience”]We need to build for the edges because that’s where most people are.[/tweet_box]

This one simple idea, really, when you think about it, it is the difference.

It is what makes certain people stand out and not others. It’s why some people push ahead and make ground on their competition while others just struggle to keep up.

What to Do if You Weren’t Born with Epic Marketing Skills

We’ve reached the end of the night here. It’s about 8:39.

I am in the Detroit airport. I did my keynote for Westfield this morning.

Went and looked at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown, which is going to be where Elevate 2018 is, which looks great. I’m super excited about that space. It has a completely different feel from the Pfister had.

It’s super modern, about 30-foot floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake, which is really cool.

Now I have left Cleveland and am sitting in Detroit.

You can kind of see it’s late. The airport is winding down.

I wanted to share with you something that came out of my keynote that I did for Westfield today.

I’m not sure that I have my head completely wrapped around this idea, but one of the things that I think you guys have to be aware of is I don’t necessarily have any deep, intrinsic education in marketing. I’m a math major.

The reason I share this with you guys is because I think some people – and I’ve gotten feedback in this way – feel like I have a predisposition to this stuff, that somehow I have a special skill or talent that has led to my ability to create content and do these videos.

That’s just simply not true.

I was a sports jock, math major, super into science.

Didn’t do well in social studies. Didn’t do well at all in English.

Took the sports journalism elective in college just so I could get a C+ and get my elective credits and move on. I was not a writer. I had no disposition to it.

All the things that I’ve done for the Murray Group, all the things I’ve written, all the videos, all the podcasts, that’s all self-taught.

It’s literally 100% self-taught.

Every single bit of it I learned just from doing the work.

There’s a great book by Steven Pressfield called Do the Work. You have to read that book.

My point in telling you this is I don’t want you to make excuses like somehow because you don’t feel that creating is a natural talent for you, that gives you a reason to not do it.

You can say that you don’t have the time, and then maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. But my point is, this is all stuff that you can learn.

The only way you learn is by doing the work.

I literally picked up my camera here. You can see where I’m at. I’m just sitting in a relatively empty area in the airport, popped open my camera. I probably look like a complete wackadoo to the people who are walking by, and I’m completely cool with that.

Because you know what?

I want to share this message with you.

It’s more important to me that I get this message in front of you and that I do the work of practicing video in front of the public.

Thankfully, right now there are just not that many people walking around, but the idea is that I want to be more comfortable creating video in public in front of complete strangers.

Not just audience members who have either paid or have come to an event to hear me speak, but rather complete strangers who look at the fact that I’m holding a camera and talking to it like that’s weird.

I’ll tell you, there is a pressure in this.

As I’m sitting here, I can see out of the corner of my eye people turning their head, and that’s something that makes me a little scared, like am I a weirdo because I’m willing to do this type of video right now?

The answer is maybe, maybe not.

But at the end of the day, I have to get the content out and I travel for work, and if I’m only going to wait for the optimum times to create content and share that with you and share my thoughts with you, then I’m not doing my job.

Here are the two thoughts I want to leave you with in this episode:

1) One, if you want to do something, you just have to do it.

You literally just have to do it.

I feel very uncomfortable right now doing this video. Even though it may or may not seem that way, in the back of my head as I’m talking to you, I’m thinking about the people who are walking by.

Maybe that makes it so this product isn’t as good as other videos that I’ve done. I don’t know.

We’ll see when I hit the editing floor.

But a fear point for me is doing video in public in places where it’s not natural and having complete strangers watch me do it. That’s a place that causes me fear.

So, I’m going to start practicing this more so that I can get better at it.

Because there are moments when I want to share ideas with you that I don’t actually pop open my camera or my phone because I’m worried about the other people around hearing me or watching me or thinking,

“What the heck is that guy doing?”

And that doesn’t allow me to deliver the most value to you.

2) Two, you don’t need predisposed skills.

I wasn’t born a marketer. I was born… I don’t know what I was born. I was into sports and I liked math and science. I was a super geek. I read fantasy novels.

I don’t know how that helps me in any way be a marketer, but I needed to learn this skill when I was trying to sell insurance, so I learned the skill.

That evolved into something that I really enjoyed, and that became the career that I have today.

But I didn’t even have Facebook in 2009 when I needed to learn how to use Facebook to market my insurance agency.

I certainly didn’t have LinkedIn.

I didn’t use those tools.

I wasn’t in those places.

I started using social media so that I could sell insurance.

Granted, I may have become more proficient in them because I did enjoy them – there’s no doubt about that – but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have to learn the skills.

What I’m telling you is run toward the things that cause you fear if those things are important to your business, because if they cause you fear, it means they probably are tough, it means people probably aren’t doing them, but what it also means is it’s going to help you stand out.

The Rub

I’m trying to live my advice that I give to you.

I’m going to wrap this video up because I’m sick of watching people turn and look at me and wonder what the hell I’m doing when I’m sitting here, but I don’t care.

I feel like this is an important lesson.

I hope that you will do something this week.

I’m trying to live the advice that I give to you. So, here we go. Now I’m going to go home.

I have to go catch my plane.

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley


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