AGENCY INTELLIGENCE PODCAST
A look at four additional podcasts
By Christopher W. Cook
We recently introduced you to the Agency Intelligence Podcast Network (AIPN) and two of its shows. In this installment, we’ll acquaint you with four more of the podcasts available on the platform. Let’s get right to it.
The Age of Indiependence. Hosted by Katlyn Eggar, director of education and development, direct channel and agency force, at Quantum Assurance International, the
show premiered in October 2020. New episodes air the first Monday of each month and feature either interviews with industry or other leading influencers or the host walking the listeners through a topic.
The podcast originated after Eggar appeared as a guest on Agents Influence. “I hadn’t thought about podcasting, but Jason reached out to me afterward and said I should have [a show] on his network,” she says. “I was the first podcast on the Agency Intelligence platform in addition to Jason’s content.”
“[The network is] a great resource for agency owners in the industry because there are so many different perspectives; every podcast has its own value-add and its own personality. Listeners can go to one spot and have so much content at their fingertips that is so specific to the independent [insurance] industry.”
Director, Education and Development, Direct Channel and Agency Force
Quantum Assurance International
Eggar’s insurance career started in captives but, “I just got to the point where I was tired of the captive company defining what success looks like for our team, and we started
looking at the independent world,” she says. “Age of Indiependence is all about how to crack the code to high-volume, new-business growth without losing the heart and soul of your agency. We talk about systems and processes that will help you succeed and how to hit the numbers that you never thought were possible.”
When it comes to choosing guests for the show, “I try to research my guests’ content ahead of time and pick a topic that’s top of mind for them,” Eggar says. “It should strike a chord with one of our key focuses like high-volume, new-business sales; creating sustainable and scalable processes; talent development; recruitment; and customer service processes. If the guest is a pro at any of those areas or leading teams in those areas, I’m going to pick their brains about what they’ve learned and what they want to share with our agency listeners.”
Typical episodes last between 30 and 40 minutes. “Our listeners, their time is valuable. I want them to walk away with reinvigoration, or even just one main takeaway that inspires them to do something,” Eggar says. “There are challenges in the industry, and there are so many obstacles for agency owners trying to compete in the modern market, but my message is that it’s absolutely possible.”
For new listeners wanting to check out the Age of Indiependence, Eggar recommends the following episodes:
- Enjoying your Business Again with Grant Botma—January 11, 2021
- Taking the Mystery Out of Training Your New Employees, Part 1—February 15, 2021
- Are you a Coach or the Spectator?—April 12, 2021
As for the agency network, “It’s a great resource for agency owners in the industry because there are so many different perspectives; every podcast has its own value-add and its own personality,” Eggar says. “Listeners can go to one spot and have so much content at their fingertips that is so specific to the independent industry.”
Eggar recommends that agency owners find their favorite shows and listen to them with key people who help them run their agencies.
Explain This Book To Me. Hosted by Josh Lipstone, vice president of ISU-Lipstone Insurance Group, the show premiered in July 2020. The concept of the show started off with “an idea that I had a few years prior to 2020, where I wanted to do a podcast about books so that I could either ask the author or thought leader questions that I had after reading their book,” Lipstone says. “In early 2020, I knew that Jason Cass had written a book about five years earlier called Customer Service Is Just Foreplay, and I mentioned to him that he should do a follow-up on the five-year anniversary.
“We kind of married those two things together, my idea of wanting to do a podcast about books and him wanting [someone] to do a review [of his book] to see what he got right and what he got wrong.”
Explain This Book To Me has no set schedule for releases, but rather publishes after a book has been identified and the episodes have been produced. “An episode starts with me introducing what parts or chapters of the book we’ll be discussing, and then there’s some chitchat with the author or the guest, whether it’s questions about them personally or maybe something that happened on a previous episode.
“Once that is done, we jump into explaining the book. I go through a rather in-depth review of whichever chapters or sections we’ll be covering, and throughout that process I will insert questions to ask the guests. At the end of the episode, we thank the guests and then let the loyal listeners know which section or what chapters of the book will be covered on the next episode.”
The length of the book can deter-mine the number of episodes; some can be covered in three episodes while the longest was completed in eight. The amount of time the author can commit to the show also influences the number of episodes. Individual episodes generally run between 30 and 60 minutes.
As for what books are reviewed, “I pick whatever books are of interest to me, books that I may have read in the past, or ones that I think other people would enjoy learning more about,” Lipstone says. “A lot of it has to do with the ability of people being willing to come on to the podcast for something that’s more than just your typical 30-to-50-minute show.”
Regarding his listeners, Lipstone hopes they get “a deeper and a better understanding of the book that we’re reviewing,” he says. “A lot of times, when I personally read books, there are some additional questions that I have for the author, or maybe [I’d want them to] explain a topic that I did not understand completely. By getting the opportunity to speak with the person who actually wrote the book and explain it a little further, we’re able to gain a better understanding of what they’re trying to teach us.”
For new listeners, Lipstone recommends listening to the episodes pertaining to the second book reviewed, The Extra Two Minutes by David Carothers. The episodes ran in August and September in 2020.
The Ryan Hanley Show. Hosted by its namesake, the founder and president of Rogue Risk, the show premiered in September 2019 and releases new episodes on Thursdays.
The Ryan Hanley Show isn’t Hanley’s first rodeo when it comes to podcasts. “I’d been podcasting since 2012; my show was called Content Warfare, which was me teaching content marketing principles that I had used to grow my agency at the time,” Hanley says.
Hanley would later switch employers, and the show would be rebranded as Agency Nation Radio, shifting its focus solely on the insurance industry. After Hanley left the group in 2018, and after tinkering in other business opportunities, he returned to insurance and restarted the show with its current name.
He describes the show as “talking to people who I find interesting,” he says. “Sometimes those conversations are incredibly engaging. Sometimes we go in all different places. Sometimes we talk about very specific things. Sometimes I talk to people from outside the [insurance] industry.
“I just try to find people who have something to say. I don’t even necessarily care how much we talk about insurance. These people have stories, and it’s just fun to talk to them and share those conversations. When you listen to my show, it’s as if I were sitting down with [the guest], whoever it is, and we were having a cup of coffee.”
Episodes generally run between 50 and 75 minutes.
In one of his more memorable episodes, Hanley did a solo show, which he called “more cathartic for me than anything else. I was just talking about how [challenging] it was starting an agency (Hanley’s current agency open-ed right before the COVID-19 pandemic) and all the stuff that didn’t work. The feedback that I got was incredible; people were like ‘this is the way I feel. No one’s ever said this in public before.’
“The content itself was not particularly good, but so many people [resonated], and that was a nice moment.”
When it comes to specific episodes, “it depends on what [a listener] is looking for,” Hanley says. “My show is not episodic, so you can throw a dart at the wall and pick what you want or start at number one.” Hanley points out that any episode featuring Dr. Billy Williams is worth a listen. These include:
- Billy Williams Teaches Us the Assembly Line Approach to Building an Insurance Agency—January 29, 2020
- Billy Williams—September 9, 2020
- Billy Williams on How to Maximize Agency Growth in 2022
Agency Freedom. Hosted by James Jenkins, founder and CEO at RiskWell, the show premiered in May 2021 and releases new episodes on Friday
mornings. The show recently began to rotate guest co-hosts, who will come onboard for a handful of episodes each.
Jenkins spent six-and-a-half years as an agency owner on the captive side before selling it and making the “freedom jump” to the independent side in April 2019.
The original inspiration for the show was “helping people leave the captive world and go independent, because there really wasn’t anything as far as a blueprint for how someone does that successfully,” Jenkins says. “From there, it’s being exposed to a bunch of people who are doing cool things that you may not be familiar with. I think awareness in our industry is something that is lacking.
“The first seven episodes are foundational episodes and are designed to be listened to in order. They tackle 12 areas that I identified as being important for agency success. The natural evolution of the content has become helping early-stage agency principals and producers wrap their arms around what success looks like, from wherever they are to their next version of success.”
Jenkins estimates that 30% to 40% of his listeners are still employed on the captive side and are seeking the information provided.
Each episode, unless it’s a solo show of the host sharing a topic, begins with a brief introduction of the guest and the topic to be discussed. After the podcast’s bumper intro, the interview portion begins.
“Typically, they intro themselves and then we have small talk for a minute or two to kind of whet everyone’s appetite,” Jenkins says. “Then I start asking some basic get-to-know-you questions with the person, and the conversation typically flows naturally from there. With high-profile guests the interview is more structured, where I have my talking points very clearly defined and run by their PR people.”
For new potential listeners, Jenkins recommends the following episodes:
- Contractual and Physical Concerns—May 28, 2021“It’s our number-one-rated episode, strangely enough because the subject matter is fairly dry,” Jenkins says. “We’ve had more than 2,000 downloads of that one episode; apparently a lot of people are recognizing that they need to know more about legal and contractual concerns.”
- The BrainShare 2021 Party Episode—September 24, 2021
- Ty Harris On Helping Agents Serve Their Clients More Openly—November 12, 2021
In our next installment, we’ll look at the remaining AIPN podcasts. Until then …
For more information:
Agency Intelligence Podcast Network