6 Ways Your Insurance Agency Should Be Using Google+ Hangouts
Depending how far back you go, there might have even been a time when you considered yourself the “king of the living room” and champion bad coffee drinker.
That's what you’re good at, what you have always known.
What if I told you there was a way for you to go home again and you didn't have to leave your office or drink another subpar cup of coffee to do it?
Google+ Hangouts puts you in anyone's living room, kitchen or office, anytime.
I thought I would kick off my GROW career in style with a three part series on the power of Google+ Hangouts, ways to use them, how to use them (lighting, audio, etc.) and how to successfully host one.
So let’s get right into it and talk about six ways you can or should be using hangouts in your agency.
1. Hangouts On Air
Imagine if you could take the value you provided in that living room once upon a time and multiply it by a really big number.
You should have an illuminated light bulb floating above your head right now.
Google decided they wanted to give everyone the ability to produce their own live web show and broadcast it to the world, for FREE!
I don’t want to hear another word about not being able to keep up with the big box insurance companies. Most of them don’t even know what a hangout is, believe me I know, I’ve asked.
This is a tool so powerful, I don’t know why I’m not watching a HOA every day.
What you can do with a HOA is really only limited by your imagination, but the most common use you will see is a discussion based show with a panel of guests.
This is a perfect opportunity to invite some old friends or make new ones and talk about things connected or related to insurance.
For example, I host a weekly hangout series titled the “Health. Care. Insurance. Hangout” with the main goal of helping people put the health back in their health insurance.
You might not only be surprised how fun it is, but the value of talking with multiple people each week connected to your industry brings.
Which leads us to reason number two.
2. Power Networking
When you host a Hangout On Air, you have the ability to not only provide great content to your audience, you also have the ability to kill two birds with one stone and make powerful introductions that will provide your guests with “tons of value.” (credit Ryan Hanley)
Inviting a guest on a podcast is great, but invite that same guest on a HOA to join a panel of one or two of their industries most respected people. That's powerful stuff.
Que the light bulb again.
That’s what we like to call a done deal.
I could end the article right here if I wanted too.
3. Open Offices Hours
Why go to them when they can come to you and no one has to go anywhere.
If you can tell me a better way to allow your clients, prospects, readers, fans, etc. the ability to casually drop by and ask you a question face to face, all without leaving home... I’d love to hear it.
This also allows you an opportunity to have motivating and inspiring discussions with a unique group of people.
The power networking concept could also apply here as well.
The only obstacle you face right now is we are still crawling out of the early adoption phase for hangouts and not that many people are comfortable joining one, especially without a direct invitation.
But hey, you're on this site, reading articles like this because you aren’t afraid to get a little bloody on the front lines.
4. Virtual Meetings
Sure you can pay for a service like GoToMeeting, but why would you?
Yes, Skype has been around forever and provides you with this ability, however you have to make sure the other person has the program installed on their computer and that they are added to your contacts list... Bums me out just thinking about it.
With a hangout all you need is a gmail account.
Start meeting with clients and even company representatives this way and cut down on your travel time and expenses. Sure it’s nice to shake hands and kiss babies every once in awhile, but there’s no reason a majority of your meetings can’t be handle this way.
It also allows for greater flexibility with short notice and impromptu scheduling. In reality there’s no reason, after sending a few emails back and forth you can’t jump on a hangout and hammer out the rest of the details.
It just hasn’t become part of our working culture yet.
Not to mention, it gives you and/or your agents a little freedom to work outside the office. If you really want to check up on them, start a hangout and see what they’re up to. Want to have a team meeting? No problem, you can have up to 10 people in one hangout.
Bonus: If they have a smartphone or tablet with cellular connection, hangouts work over a 3/4G connection. I’m still amazed at that.
5. Broadcast Live Speaking Events
So you have put a ton of time in preparing for your next group presentation at your local chamber of commerce, library or whatever other fancy place your town does things at. Why let that hard work stop after everyone walks out the door?
Bring one or two laptops to your next speaking engagement and have another employee produce the broadcast, switching camera angles and changing on screen graphics.
If that wasn’t good enough, that talk was just automatically recorded and uploaded to your YouTube channel.
I should see at least three light bulbs now.
6. Master Minds
Rumor has it there is an insurance marketing mastermind hangout floating around somewhere, however I haven’t been able to snag an invite yet. Their first rule must be not to talk about the insurance marketing mastermind.
Anyway, this is a painfully easy way to connect with a group of other really smart people to infuse a tidal wave of ideas, inspiration and energy into your daily grind.
At the very least it could serve as a good group therapy session with others dealing with similar industry struggles. (compliance, transparency, general boringness)
I truly think hangouts, or something like it, will not only change the way we work, but communicate on a daily basis in general. It’s probably in your best interest to get started now to lessen the learning curve and start creating great content.
I know there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding the specifics of each of theses ideas, don’t worry that is what we will be going over next time, learning the different types of hangouts, how to start using them and even get into some audio and lighting tips.
You Tell Me
Which method are you going to start using first? Do you have any other different ideas for using hangouts?
Because I want you to actually get started and take action after reading this. Stop what you’re doing right now and invite someone to a hangout, I dare you.
If you don’t know anyone else on Google+ invite me.