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Derek Hayden is a Certified Risk and Benefits Architect at Shelbyville Insurance Services, as well as a podcast host and the winner of The Protege reality show.

Learn how Derek used personalized video in the financial services industry to grab attention, build trust and make connections with prospects.

Behind the Scenes with Derek Hayden

In Vidyard’s Behind the Scenes Series, we sit down with Vidyard customers leading the charge in video marketing, video for sales, and video across the enterprise. In this episode, Marketing Specialist Olivia Cullen gets down to brass tacks with Derek Hayden to discuss how he uses video in the insurance industry.

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Getting Noticed with User-Generated Content

Derek Hayden has been in insurance for over ten years. When he first started as an agent, the insurance industry was a crowded marketplace, and he struggled to gain traction and catch the attention of customers.

To gain visibility in the market, he embraced video as an outreach tool by posting short user-generated video content on social media. After seeing some engagement with his posts, Derek volunteered to run his team’s social media accounts at Shelbyville Insurance Services.

His first project was to start producing Derek’s Tuesday Tips series, a weekly selfie-style video with tips on insurance-related topics. He posted a video on Facebook every Tuesday, often mixing valuable advice with humor to get people engaged for more likes, comments, and shares.

Looking back on those videos now, Derek knows the quality wasn’t his best, but he’s okay with that. “I can’t believe anybody watched those, but they helped me gain attention in the marketplace,” he says. “Video and social media helped me gain some traction where I was really struggling as a young producer, young agent. That’s where it all started.”

Derek was a trailblazer: He was social selling before it became a popular practice in sales, especially in the financial services industry.


Using Personalized Video to Create Connections

As a Certified Risk and Benefits Architect, Derek uses personalized video for prospecting, outreach, and virtual networking. Shelbyville Insurance works with many people across the financial services industry, so making those introductions is a priority for him, and video has been the ultimate tool to do that.

To ensure that customers and partnership agencies know who he is and to get them comfortable with who they’re engaging with, he’ll send personalized video introductions to everyone he works with, from underwriters to claims professionals and risk control agents.

I want people to understand that I’m a real person behind the name in the email. If someone can see your face and connect the dots over video, it gives you a little more credibility. People just open up a little bit more.

Profile photo of Derek Hayden
Derek HaydenShelbyville Insurance ServicesCertified Risk and Benefits Architect

Although it’s been said that selling insurance is a numbers game, Derek doesn’t want that to be the case. He likes to take a different approach by having a very focused group of people he reaches out to.

Instead of just stopping by a storefront or office and dropping off a business card, he creates and sends a personalized video message so that the recipient understands he’s done his research, and that they aren’t just a name on a checklist. Derek believes his personalized video approach shows his customers that he’s there for them and that his outreach videos reflect what working with him will look like long-term.

Derek is also the co-host of the Central Illinois Business Leaders Podcast, a place where business owners, thought leaders, and community champions from the region share their stories. For guest prospecting, Derek uses personalized video for outreach. Using the Vidyard Chrome extension, he likes to record screen share videos that show the prospect’s website and their picture in the background.

Since he usually makes connections through LinkedIn, he prefers to send the video through a LinkedIn direct video message with an eye-catching video thumbnail to grab their attention.

See it in Action

Derek used his prospect’s love of the band KISS to stand out in the inbox with this personalized video example.

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Derek is leading the pack with his innovative use of video to build client relationships and strategic partnerships. In 2021, Derek was a participant and the eventual winner of The Protege, the first-ever reality show about the insurance industry.

Derek believes he won because of how he embraced video in his video selling strategy, which helped him in many of the show’s selling challenges. In season two of The Protege, Derek is now a coach to four participants who will be creating a sales video strategy to compete in challenges and win judges’ attention.

Why Video Analytics is an Important Part of Video Selling

Once you’ve recorded and sent a personalized video message, the work doesn’t end there. Leveraging video analytics is an important part of the video selling process in order to help close deals and continue improving on content.

Derek uses video analytics extensively when sending one-to-one prospecting videos. Once he’s sent an outreach video, he uses viewer analytics to see who watches his videos, how many times they’ve viewed them, and for how long. And it’s always great to see if someone else from the recipient’s organization watches the video too. That means the original recipient thought highly enough to share it.

Derek uses video analytics to understand which prospects will be warmer on the second approach, as well as to identify which opportunities he should follow up on with a phone call. And if his video isn’t viewed, it’s an indicator that maybe a different approach is needed.

Sending a video is a memorable way to get your foot in the door, especially in an industry that is new to video selling. It helps you stand out. It’s easy for someone to hang up the phone in a cold call, but a personalized video is a non-intrusive way to get in front of someone. If they want to engage with you, then they can click and watch the video, and we can communicate further after that.

Profile photo of Derek Hayden
Derek HaydenShelbyville Insurance ServicesCertified Risk and Benefits Architect

How to Start Video Selling in the Insurance Industry

When you start using video in your sales outreach with insurance customers, Derek recommends beginning with video proposals. He saw a lot of success when he began using video proposals to present quotes to his prospects.

With video proposals, if you don’t like the way you explained a specific coverage or a certain policy, you can hit stop and re-record it. Recording a video allows you to practice and then put your proposal in front of prospects quickly, to watch on-demand at their convenience. They can even watch it multiple times and refer back to it.

See it in Action

In this example of a hybrid video, Vidyard’s legal team uses both the webcam and screen share option to walk a client through a contract change. This type of hybrid video is perfect for video proposals.

When reviewing a contract internally, with clients or with third parties, try a hybrid video to talk through any questions or feedback to ensure your concerns are clear.

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Virtual selling is still relatively new to the financial services industry, but it’s quickly becoming the preference for many financial service professionals. Over 96% of financial services professionals would give up a percentage of their salary to work from home permanently rather than go back to the office, creating a landscape ripe for video messaging and a digital transformation.

In an industry built on trust, secure video sharing is a high priority for Derek and other professionals making the leap to embracing video messaging and selling, in order to make sure that all communication is safe and follows all the legal requirements. By using an enterprise video platform that provides secure video sharing, he’s able to make sure that industry requirements are met.

Online Video Platform Built for Business Enterprise video hosting and sharing solution that’s built to meet your needs. Learn More


Derek’s Advice for Getting Started with Personalized Video

Derek has one last tip for all those starting with video: Just hit record and talk to the camera like you’re talking to someone in real life. There’s less pressure in creating a video than in making a cold call or meeting in person because, in those situations, you can’t just stop and re-record—but with a video, you can.

Another way to get comfortable on camera is to try and embrace imperfections. No one’s perfect, and sometimes minor mistakes show that you’re human and relatable. You’ll get more engagement from your viewers if you’re just yourself instead of nervous or robotic. Just like anything else, practice it every day, and you get better.

And if you’re someone who learns by example, there are a ton of great sales video examples out there to get you inspired to create.

About Shelbyville Insurance Services

Shelbyville Insurance Services combines the knowledge of insurance and risk management with proven expertise in individual and employee benefits to provide a comprehensive approach to all of their customer’s insurance and benefit needs. Since 1978, they have been providing insurance and benefits solutions for individuals and businesses in Shelbyville and the surrounding communities.