Episode 110 — The Digital Broker Podcast

Farewell, Ryan Deeds


On this episode of The Digital Broker, Ryan Deeds looks back on two years of hosting the show. By listening to this episode, you will learn:

  • What we learned about Insurtech and insurance after over 100 episodes on a variety of topics.
  • Which episodes were the most fun, interesting, and popular, sometimes against expectations.
  • Which themes ended up characterizing the show’s run, and what they suggest about the future of the show and the industry.

After hosting The Digital Broker for over two years, Ryan Deeds is leaving the show. This is not the end of The Digital Broker; we will be on hiatus for a while, but we have every intention of returning.

How could we not? Demand for The Digital Broker, and for insurance agency content at large, has never been greater. If there’s anything that the show’s two-year run has taught us, it’s that the independent insurance agency channel is thriving. Just go through our episode list: podcasting about insurance has let us talk about freelancing, video marketing, remote work, artificial intelligence, virtual assistants, office design, Millennials, the conferencing scene, and even podcasting itself. People from all backgrounds came on the show to talk about how they’re trying to make a difference in insurance. Technology was a constant theme: our very title, The Digital Broker, impels us to keep up with all the tools that are transforming our space. But as we said in the episode right before this one, being a digital broker is about an attitude and a mindset.

Despite our fondness for technology, a primary takeaway of the show has been that technology is close to useless if you don’t know how to use it. If you want to make the most of the tools you have, you need to go beyond the technology, in those harder-to-see places, to discover what success really looks like on a day-to-day basis at your employees’ desks. This has brought us to do episodes about culture and leadership that touched on technology only marginally. Interestingly—and against our own expectations—some of these episodes turned out to be our most popular ones, such as Account Manager Burnout, where we implored insurance agencies to take account managers more seriously. Sure, there are plenty of tools that expedite an account manager’s job—in fact, we did an episode about that, too—but none can single-handedly reorganize operations to put account managers in a better position to contribute. That’s a leader’s job.

Of course, technology was still a central topic of many episodes. Even there, however, we kept going back to the importance of an overarching principle: the value of data. Without good data, and the proper means to measure it, agencies are pretty much lost, regardless of the tools they’re using. But to get the right data for your agency, you need to figure out what you’re doing and what’s worth measuring. We have tried to get you closer to those answers, but they’re likely to vary among agencies. That’s why Ryan closed many episodes by encouraging you to talk with your team.

In the time we are off air, we hope you will keep having many of those conversations, because we will be the first to want to hear about them. When we talk about “what we learned” after two years of The Digital Broker, we’re not referring only to our listeners, but to ourselves as well. This podcast has been an incredible source of information for us thanks to your willingness to talk to us, on the show and in our LinkedIn group, which will remain open. So please keep talking, and remember what you learn: we might want to do an episode about it when we return.

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