In this episode of True Grit and Grace, host Amberly Lago sits down with entrepreneur Nick Hiter to discuss the power of resilience, entrepreneurship, and the importance of personal branding in the digital age. Nick shares his journey from athlete to successful business owner, highlighting the lessons he learned along the way. They delve into the significance of social media presence, the impact of podcasting on business growth, and the value of consistency in content creation. Join Amberly and Nick as they explore the world of entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and the transformative power of podcasting in this engaging and insightful conversation.


  • [00:06:37] Identity crisis after sports career.
  • [00:11:38] Safety nets in entrepreneurship.
  • [00:26:25] Importance of social media.
  • [00:34:51] The power of podcasting.
  • [00:38:41] Starting a digital presence.
  • [00:43:59] Overcoming perfectionism in posting.
  • [00:47:19] The evolution of advertising.

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(00:00 – 02:33) Amberly Lago: Hey, I just wanted to say thank you so much for tuning in to listening to True Grit and Grace. And over the past few years, it’s been an incredible journey. And thanks to you, you have made True Grit and Grace a top 1% podcast globally on Apple. So I just thank you for listening. And so appreciate you being here. And I just wanted to say we’re going to make some big changes. I’m refreshing True Grit and Grace and I’m going to now be calling it something else. It’s going to be called the Amberly Lago Show Stories of True Grit and Grace. I’ve moved to a beautiful studio in Dallas and I’ll be interviewing guests in person just because I feel like In person, it is just electrifying when you get to meet someone in person and I want to bring you the best content with the most energy. possible. So it’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be, you know, same content. I’ll be doing solo cast as well, but it will be renamed the Amberly Lago Show. And I just wanted to give you a heads up. This is the last episode of the actual true grit and grace podcast. And next week it will actually be called the Amberly Lago Show. And again, thank you so much for being here and now onto the show. Thank you for tuning in to the True Grit and Grace podcast. I’m Amberly Lago, and I’ll be sharing inspirational stories of resilience and empowering ideas to elevate your business and your life, ignite your passion and fuel your purpose. Hey there, it’s Amberly here. Thank you for tuning in to True Grit and Grace. I have a legend On the show today, you’re in for a real treat. I have Nick Hiter with us. Y’all, he’s the founder of Team Hiter, a business enterprise focused on helping entrepreneurs drive growth. And he’s got a huge podcast, a beautiful studio in Nashville that I can’t wait to get to. But he’s been featured on so many things, NBC, Fox, CBS, Yahoo, the New York Times. And he is just such an incredible leader and entrepreneur. And so I can’t wait to get into this conversation. Nick, thank you for being here.
(02:33 – 02:44) Nick Hiter: It is, uh, my great honor and pleasure. And, uh, that was a wonderful introduction. I’m looking forward to filling the big old shoes that you just laid in front of me. Let’s rock and roll, baby.

(02:44 – 03:07) Amberly Lago: You’re, you’re, you’re amazing. All that you’ve overcome. And I want to get into the digital marketing and branding and podcasting and what a difference that makes in your business. But before I get into that, I just want to really acknowledge, like you were an incredible athlete into baseball. Do you feel like being an athlete has helped you as an entrepreneur?

(03:07 – 04:11) Nick Hiter: No doubt. It’s probably, I wouldn’t be the person I am without it, obviously, but the greatest thing that like my sport was baseball and baseball was a great life preparation tool because the best player on earth when they’re on offense, they get out 70% of the time. So the best in the world fails 70% of the time. They fail more than they succeed, right? So being able to control your mind and focus on the next pitch or the next at bat or the next game to keep things moving forward and learn from whatever it is that just happened. So in baseball, we say you win or you learn. You never lose, right? Because there’s always another bat and always another game to play. So that and that alone is a huge thing for – I think all kids should play sports to some degree. It teaches you how to play well with others. Team sports, you know, so you win and lose as a team, yet you’re successful as an individual. I got paid as an individual, yet we won and lost as a team, right? So there’s always that fine balance. It’s a lot like being in the workforce.

(04:11 – 06:37) Amberly Lago: Yeah, that’s so good. And I think that I agree that kids should be into sports, to have that outlet. My daughter’s a horseback rider, and I can’t tell you how many times she gets thrown off her horse. My mom came to watch her ride the other night, and my mom the whole time was like, Oh, oh, oh, is she going to get thrown off? Oh. And I’m like, Mom, she’s going to be fine. Like she gets thrown off. She gets like now she doesn’t even like stop to like dust off the dirt. She just gets back up and hops back on. And it teaches so much about resilience and grit. And I just have to tell you something funny. So I got asked to play in the celebrity baseball tournament. And I said yes. And my husband was like, are you crazy? You don’t even know how to play. And I’m like, but I want to play. It’s it’s a good cause to support veterans. And so I get there. I played last year and I played this year. They actually asked me back. I don’t know how that happened. But this year, oh, my gosh, I get there and there’s real like there’s like professional players there, baseball, football there. And then there’s me. We’re lined up and the coach is like, yeah, Amberly, you’re going to play second base. And I’m like, What? And I freaked, I think I started sweating. And I went over, I was like, hey, look, I am here to support and I’ll get up to hit the, try to hit the ball. But I don’t think it’s good for our team if I play second base because I’ve never really played before. So I didn’t play. I didn’t play. I got up, you know, I was there, ran around a little bit. But yeah, so I really admire you for being able to just catch a ball, throw a ball, slide into first or home run. I don’t know. I just admire you for that. But I wanted to ask you you said something I’ve been stalking you on social media and your podcast and everything listening to your podcast And one thing you said was knowing who you are is more important than knowing what you do Was it hard for you when you stopped playing baseball to try to discover? Okay, cuz I would I my whole identity was being a dancer then my whole identity was in the fitness Industry and then when I lost all that I’m like, oh my goodness. Who am I? Was that hard for you?

(06:37 – 08:22) Nick Hiter: Yeah, it was incredibly hard. I’ve spoken to that a lot of times. It’s something that when I’ve interviewed some of the best college baseball coaches in the game today, and we spoke about that in depth. When I was done at 27 years old, when I had played my last game, when I had finished my baseball career, I did some other things, and we actually did some things in the hospitality industry at an elite level. I was still the baseball player. I dressed the same way as I did as a player for probably ten years after I wasn’t a player. It took me a good ten years to figure out what my impact was going to be here, what my purpose was outside of the game of baseball. So it was something that I’ve talked to the college coaches about, like, you know, how can we help your seniors shorten that journey? Because it is, it’s all of you. Once you get to that high of a level, it’s all of you. It’s your whole being, you know? So when that’s all of a sudden over, it’s kind of what happens. You know, when you lose somebody close to you in life, whether it be a spouse or something, there’s a period of mourning where it takes to kind of get over to be able to look forward of what it is. And I guess, you know, the best advice I ever got when I lost somebody was take the time right now. It’s going to happen. Take the time now to kind of like to get through the storm so you can get to the other side of it, you know, versus If you run away from the storm, the storm is eventually going to catch you and you’re going to go through it anyway, it’s just going to take longer. So when it came to baseball, it’s like that’s the thing, it’s like alright the game is over, let’s just sit down and pause for a minute, let’s look back, let’s say this is what it was and it was great, but like now we’ve got to start to look forward. You’ve got to mourn a little bit I think.

(08:23 – 08:44) Amberly Lago: Yeah, I, I agree. And, um, thank you for sharing that when you were talking about running away from the storm, that’s what I did for a long time. And it does catch up to you. And then there there’s a saying that, um, I think I could be getting this wrong, but when there’s a storm that buffaloes run right into the storm and they get through a disaster.

(08:44 – 08:44) Nick Hiter: They sure do.

(08:46 – 10:19) Amberly Lago: Yeah, and I remember when I stopped dancing and I told my agent, I was like, I’m not going to dance anymore. I had a baby and I didn’t want to be away from her and travel all the time like I was doing. And I remember when I became a fitness trainer, I would go into the gym and I still danced like, I mean, I still trained clients and showed up like I was a dancer and I don’t know if anybody knows this, but dancers usually wear cut up sweatshirts, flannels, you know, tied around their waist. And I had one of the owners of the gym come up to me and she said, where do you buy your clothes? She goes like, do you get them at Goodwill? Do you find them in the trash can? Like, this is not perfect. You look like a slob. You don’t look professional. And I was like, wow, it was really hard to hear. But after that, I went out and I bought like matching track suits, but you know what? It worked because I then became like dressed like a professional fitness trainer. And so, yeah, when you were telling me, when you were telling us that, you know, you dressed like a baseball player for so long, I totally relate to that. So being an entrepreneur, like you were in the bar business, that’s actually where you met your, your wife. Uh, y’all worked in a bar and you did everything. You were a DJ and she, yeah. And was she, uh, she was, uh, a Bart. I was a bartender, uh, once. Um, and so you worked in, in a bar. That’s where you met your wife.

(10:19 – 11:25) Nick Hiter: It is. She was, she did everything from, she was the shot girl. She was the, she did beer tub. She was a bartender. Um, she ran some of our establishments for us and was amazing at it. Ran two or three at a time at the same time. for us. So I mean, my wife is a badass, like she’s a rock star, man, you know, but that’s kind of what, you know, as an athlete, I played at an elite level. And we got into the bar business. And within five or six years, we went from people that, you know, frequented them to or worked in them to owning them and owning multiple ones and owning some of the biggest and best ones in town. So we did that at kind of an elite level. Then we got into insurance, and it took a little while, but then as personal producers in our own agency, we became recognized on the national level. And then as launching other people’s insurance agencies, we became recognized on the national level. So that’s just kind of been a theme for us. So when we got into podcasting and digital marketing, and even what we’re doing with Sirius Radio and credit card processing, everything that we do, we’re just climbing the ladder, because we feel like we can access the top.

(11:26 – 11:38) Amberly Lago: Oh, that’s amazing. You said one thing that I loved that, what was it? Oh, I don’t need a safety net. I need a ceiling to be removed. I love that.

(11:38 – 12:12) Nick Hiter: That’s right. That’s right. Well, there’s an old saying that the William Arthur Ward said, um, that, uh, you know, some men, uh, some men break records and records break some men. I kind of butchered a little bit, but it’s, it’s, it’s basically pressure makes diamonds and pressure burst pipes, the same pressure. And that, and that’s kind of a choice that you get to make. Right. So, um, when, when it comes for us, we choose that. Like, I feel like if you have a safety net, you’re going to use it. I feel like if you have a safety net, you won’t be as focused as you could as if you didn’t. Right. So.

(12:12 – 13:12) Amberly Lago: Oh, yeah. Because I remember when I left Texas, I left when I was 18. I had worked four jobs to save up twelve hundred dollars and had some like gift certificates to McDonald’s. And I was like living on ramen soup. But I moved to California and I had no safety net. I had people saying, oh, you’ll be back to Texas. And I was like, no, I’m not going back because I ran from a lot of being not safe and think trauma that had happened and I was like, there’s no way I’m going back. So I didn’t have a safety net. So I was like, this has to work out. Like I have to figure out how to keep a roof over my head and just keep going. But and I think that athleticism and being a dancer and running track helped me because I knew how to push through hard things. What are some of the lessons that you’ve learned being an entrepreneur? Some of the toughest lessons that you’ve learned that have helped you along the way?

(13:13 – 14:26) Nick Hiter: Well, first of all, as a man of faith and a big believer, you wouldn’t recognize good if there wasn’t evil. You wouldn’t recognize light without dark. You know, so it kind of goes back to the last time that my parents bailed me out financially, I was 32 years old. And the greatest thing that they told me at that time was, is I’m 43 now, right? So it was 11 years ago. I needed $300 to basically reserve my spot as an insurance agency that basically just paid for the state licensing. And they wouldn’t give me the contract if I didn’t enroll in the course. I didn’t have the 300 bucks. So I had to walk outside and call my dad and say, can I borrow $300? And he said, this is the last time. And that was the gift. The $300 wasn’t the gift. It was him saying, this is it. You’re on your own from here on out. It’s your turn. You know what I mean? It’s your life. Own it. And from then on out, going back to when my wife and I truly started to achieve success, or stability, or happiness, or whatever you want to call it, it goes back to that moment. Because we knew then, from then on out, that was the safety net had been removed. Right. So that our parents were our safety net.

(14:26 – 16:48) Amberly Lago: Yeah. You know what? I remember I never asked my parents to borrow money. I started working really young and I never asked my parents to borrow money except for one time. I was going through a divorce. I was 23 or 24 years old and I wasn’t working as much as I was because of having a baby. She was a year old at this time when I was going through a divorce. I needed $2,500 for a retainer fee for a lawyer. Called my mom and she said I don’t have it. I I can’t I don’t have it called my dad and he said no and so It was a good lesson for me. I was like, okay, there is absolutely no safety net and I absolutely need a lawyer and so it was the first time I I went to the bank and of course the interest rate on that loan was a lot but I was able to borrow $2,500 from the bank and And that was because my first credit card was at 18, I got an American Express card and I’ve had that card, same card forever. And that was a way for me to build my credit. I paid that card off. I never have been in credit card debt, ever. I always pay it off every single month. It really pushes you to go, okay, it’s up to me. Like I got to get my butt in gear and figure out a way. It’s about being resilient, you know? And so I want to get into, well, I had questions about insurance. Can I ask you real quick before we get into the digital marketing stuff? Okay. Okay. So we have life insurance. We’ve got health insurance. My husband always kids around and says, Oh, you just married me for my health insurance because he was Lieutenant commander with the CHP and he does have really good insurance by the way. Yes, he does. He does. He does. And, um, he’s always like, yeah, you just married me for my dental plan and my vision plan. And I’m like, well, I do kind of like it. let me tell you it is I don’t understand how people do not have health insurance. I’ve always had health insurance because you never know when something’s going to happen. And after my motorcycle accident, Nick, we had $2.9 million worth of medical expenses. Can you believe that?

(16:48 – 16:49) Nick Hiter: Yeah, absolutely.

(16:49 – 17:05) Amberly Lago: We had a lien on our house. It was crazy, crazy. So give the listeners a little bit like, if they’re saying, I don’t have money for health insurance, what’s something that they can do? Contact you?

(17:05 – 21:41) Nick Hiter: Yeah. I mean, obviously. Like just in the state of Tennessee, just my family and I alone, there’s hundreds of options. Some through the marketplace, some through private carriers. For instance, the private carrier stuff, most of those you have to go through an agent to even get a quote. So if you’re just shopping on your own, you’re not seeing the whole entire market. And a lot of those private plans are going to be available based on a lot of things like a record of good health, your income, all the way down to like your zip code and what’s available to you through there. So there’s always a great place to start, but like get somebody that you can trust, an agent that you can trust that’s going to show you all your options that are available to you at that time. Have a conversation with them once per year. Get in, get in and get early because you’re going to get the best rates early. As you know, you can’t buy insurance after the fact. That’s not how it works. The biggest misconception that I see that we’ve seen for years about health insurance is People want to use their health insurance, but they don’t want to use any of their other insurance that they have. They don’t want to use their car insurance. They don’t want to use their homeowner’s insurance. They don’t want to use their life insurance, but they want to use their health insurance, right? And I’m like, well, what’s the difference? Why does health get put up against something else? Well, they want to use it for the preventative. All right, cool. How much preventative does your homeowner’s insurance do? How much preventative does your life insurance do? How much preventative does your auto insurance do? And if it did preventative, don’t you think it would cost more? Right. So it’s basically just getting things on a level playing field where they understand that health insurance. Let’s not let’s let’s make sure that you’re comparing apples and apples as the most that you can. You know, and also understand that, like, you know, the more you use your health insurance, then the more it’s gonna cost as you go, because claims are claims, and you buy insurance, and those insurance companies are for-profit companies, man. They’re in it to make money. So, you know, they’re gonna, the rates you get, especially if it’s privately traded, are based on the risk pool that you’re being put in. So, basically, it’s like an association. So, that’s why you gotta have an agent or an advisor that understands all the ins and outs about the market, but most importantly cares most about you, the client. I was very, I’ve always been very clear letting people know this is how we get paid for doing this, right? And that’s. We get paid by you being a happy customer, paying your premium for a long time. So we don’t want to just go in and get you to spend a whole bunch of money that you’re going to cancel in two or three months. We want to find you something that’s going to be a fit for at least a minimum 12 months at a time. And then we like to review every 12 months because the market goes up and down. There’s been so many changes since 2014 every single year. I talk to my accountant every year. It’s not something where I hired her, She does my stuff and I never hear from her again. We have ongoing conversations about making decisions and so on and so forth and just like law changes and everything else with that. I don’t know all that she does and I don’t want to know all that she does. That’s why I hired her and I trust her. So find you somebody when you make a decision like that because A couple years ago, there was a statistic that came out that was mind boggling. And it was like 76%, give or take, of the people that filed bankruptcy due to health claims had a health insurance policy in place. Right? Yeah, but if you don’t, if you’re if you don’t buy the right network, right, if you’re not tied to the right network, all those things matter, right? So network, in my opinion, is besides affordability, network is the first thing you need to take care of. Because like, again, The best way I knew how to describe it to my clients the most was I was like, hey, everybody loves Broadway in Nashville, right? So I was like, if I could give you this card, this membership card, that’s going to get you free drinks anywhere that accepts it, right? You skip the line, you walk right in, first three drinks are free. They’d be like, I want it. That’s great. But then they get down there and they realize, man, Nick, I went down there and nobody took it. Right? That’s what happens in a lot of times with insurance. You know what I mean? So you got to make sure that you want the biggest, most robust nationwide network ever because a lot of the plans are locally, like the networks are local only. Well, what happens if the accident happens when you go to Disneyland and you’re out of town or on vacation or traveling for work? A lot of plans through the marketplace don’t cover if you’re on the job. Right. So if you’re self-employed and you don’t have workers’ compensations in place, well, you’re not insured when you’re at work. You know, so there’s just a lot of there’s a lot of unknowns and a lot of things to think about when you do that. And you want a specialist like like myself or my wife or somebody like that to help you out with that, you know.

(21:41 – 23:57) Amberly Lago: Oh, that’s so good. Well, I have to say, too, that I listened to your episode with Bradley. Mm hmm. I love Brad. Oh my goodness. I was on his show probably around the same time. Yeah, probably around the same time that you were on his show. And I tell you what, I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t have probably done it. I was hit by a car the day before. Yeah. I mean, not in a car. I was riding my Razor, you know, the little scooter, uh, with my daughter and we were going through a crosswalk. And we were both taken out by a guy who just was speeding and not paying attention. And luckily we were thrown and not rolled over, but it, it was pretty, pretty scary. But I had told Bradley that I would be on a show and I, I, when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. Although when I get, I got there, I realized I was, I got there, I still had like, a scabbed up arm. And I was a little, I was a little shaken. I was a little slow. And so I’m just like, man, I should have told him, Hey, I just got hit. And I did, I think on the interview say, Or maybe we start before we started recording. I was like, yeah, I just got hit by a car and then Got in my car and drove all the way to Vegas from LA But he cracks me up and I loved all the questions. He was asking you about insurance, too Yes He just cracks me up, but that was a great episode life insurance I, we have life insurance. I was having a surgery and it wasn’t, this is after my motorcycle accident. And it was one of the surgeries, maybe a year after the accident where they had to go in and do some work on my ankle. And, um, we get there and my husband looks at the doctor and he’s like, Hey, so what are the chances of her dying in the surgery? And the doctor was like, uh, he goes, cause he goes, my husband’s like, cause I just upped her life insurance. And I’m just checking and I’m like, he’s kidding, I think. Do you think everybody needs life insurance?

(23:57 – 25:53) Nick Hiter: You know, it just depends on if you leave unexpectedly, who and what you’re leaving behind, right? So, you know, we specialize, our bread and butter has always been the health. All right, so the life, I always, something as important as insurance and as hard as it is to stay current on everything else, especially with all the regulations, like, you know, I don’t know a lot about automobile, home and auto insurance, but I have great people that do that, that are also who we vet out our, who we refer out our health clients to. But when it comes to life insurance, the earlier you can get it get into the your risk pool the earlier you can get it the better just because you are you’re going to get the best rates ever right then and there right and there’s a lot of financial that depending on how you structure your policy there’s a lot of financial advantages if you if you get the right life insurance policies right so you can you can You can have access to the money while you’re still alive. You know, there’s there’s a lot of things that you can do when it comes to life insurance. But if you plan to have a family or you plan to have a lot of things, maybe like I just I couldn’t stand if something happened to me today is my wife and kids taken care of. Right. And what’s the dollar amount that I would feel comfortable with being gone with today that would take care of them? And that’s what you need to have insured. Right. So, yeah, I think everybody should consider it at least. And based on wherever you’re at in your life, it should be something that’s on your roadmap as you grow because you might say, well, we don’t have enough to worry about right now. Well, I hope you don’t plan on staying there your whole entire life. You know what I mean? I hope you want to achieve some level of success, maybe own a home or whatever it may be. So you want to be able to ensure all those things to make sure that if something happens to you unexpectedly, which is usually, that’s how a lot of accidents happen. You know, even the healthiest people on earth have accidents. You know what I mean? So I just want to make sure people are taken care of.

(25:53 – 27:39) Amberly Lago: And I know like your business boomed in 2020, like COVID happened and your business just boomed with the health insurance. I can imagine people freaking out and being like, I need to get some health insurance. I don’t know what’s going on with everything. And then is that when you start, when did you start transitioning into, I mean, your podcast is beautiful. I mean, y’all got to check him out on Instagram because like your videos and the production is beautiful. And I love that you talk so much about like it, If you’re not out there, if you’re not showing up on social media, if you’re not being a personal brand and letting people get to know you, then people are going to Google you, they’re not going to find you, you’re not going to get business. And that’s what a lot of people… They don’t understand the importance of social media. And I remember when I first got on social media, my husband thought I was, he didn’t understand it. I’m like, no, I got a plan. Like I am building a community here. I want to, when I launched my book, I want people to actually show up at the book signing to come hang out with me. I don’t want to show up at the store and nobody be there. And lo and behold, I’d like really focused on social media. And a year later I, cause I didn’t have social media. And a year later I did build a community. Can you tell us like, when did you get so involved with, cause I’m, I’m sure the health insurance had to keep you really busy along with all the other things that you’re doing. When did you get so involved with the podcast and the branding and the digital marketing and all that you do?

(27:39 – 27:49) Nick Hiter: Well, we got really good at digital marketing in the hospitality industry because it’s extremely competitive. It’s all promotion based, especially on Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee.

(27:49 – 27:50) Amberly Lago: Oh, I can imagine.

(27:50 – 28:24) Nick Hiter: Yeah, back then it was a different city and you always had to have promotions in place, you know, to have something to tell people this is why you should come on this Friday versus Thursday or Saturday or whatever it may be. We’re going to have this act in this band or this DJ, this promoter is going to have this event, whatever it may be. So we leveraged social media a ton back then. And when we got into insurance, The first thing they did is, you know, it was like, hey, you know, call the people, you know, and tell them what you’re doing. And then there was this thing, these things called leads, basically data, people’s email addresses, phone numbers, as much information as you could get on them. They’re like, now call these people.

(28:24 – 28:26) Amberly Lago: So you were just doing cold calls with that?

(28:27 – 28:57) Nick Hiter: That’s the, most people start that way, because if not, how would they sell a policy? Nobody knows that they have an agency, right? So, in the insurance space, if most of them don’t come in with a personal brand, and most of them don’t come in with a very, a strong presence on social media, or have a strong digital platform of any type, as a matter of fact, most people get into insurance not by choice. It’s because they failed at everything else, and they’re at rock bottom. Oh, you’re kidding.

(28:57 – 29:01) Amberly Lago: So, you know, they’re thinking, okay, this is sound trial that I’ll give this a try.

(29:01 – 29:27) Nick Hiter: I don’t think anybody stands up on career day in school and says. I’m going to be an insurance. I don’t think nobody does. I don’t think that happens one time. You know what I mean? So but what happened was is my wife and I had a pretty engaged audience on Facebook back then. And so I was like, man, we had all these great static images. We had some ads made and whatnot. And we just started. And I was like, there’s nobody else in insurance.

(29:27 – 29:31) Amberly Lago: And what year was this when y’all had like a really good Facebook following?

(29:31 – 29:35) Nick Hiter: This is like 2015 and 16. Oh, wow.

(29:35 – 29:38) Amberly Lago: I don’t even think I was on Facebook then.

(29:38 – 30:52) Nick Hiter: It was wide open. You could go on Facebook and in the search bar type in health insurance Tennessee and I’m all you’d find. Wow. I’m all that you would find, right? So we just went there. We started calling and we did that stuff and I was like, God, I just don’t think I can, I don’t want to do this long term. Seems like there’s a better way. Seems like we have other tools that make us unique. So we did that. And we crushed it with that. And in 2020 is the year that I met Brad and Bradley. And he looked at my Instagram and he was like, he said, you’re not doing any videos. And I was like, nah, man, we’re doing really well with static images. And he said, well, how well would you be doing if you use videos? And I said, That’s a great question, man. He goes, you want to find out? And that’s literally one of the first conversations we ever had. I talked to him about a week later. And in that week, I had hired a camera guy. I had filmed footage. And I’d got videos online. And I’d literally almost copied, frame by frame, exactly what he was doing. And so he called me up. And he said, hey, man, I’m thinking about getting in the insurance space. You guys are doing it really well. I love the presence online. Why don’t you come on my podcast? And we did. And obviously, you’ve seen his studio. It’s it was it’s it opened my eyes into something. It was like being in it was a TV studio.

(30:52 – 31:13) Amberly Lago: Oh, it’s unbelievable. I remember walking in and actually I was a little intimidated, to be honest with you, because this was a while ago and I knew how big his podcast was. And I walk in and I’m in this, you know, space and he comes in and talks. And I was like, oh, my goodness, it is beautiful. It’s like a dream studio.

(31:14 – 32:25) Nick Hiter: It truly is. And so, you know, when that episode came out, I saw the boom specifically on my Instagram. And I looked at my wife and this is, you know, all this is happening during the COVID era. And it’s like, you know, we’re trying to figure out how to really, where the insurance industry is going to go next through and after COVID. And so data became way more important. But more than anything, I saw what video and a podcast can do. And I looked at my wife and I was like, we need to build that. So actually, the studio I’m sitting in today, you would recognize it because you’d be like, this looks like a smaller version of what Brad has. And when Brad uses it when he’s here, it’s the same. That’s why we did it is I felt like he did it right. And we built something extremely similar. And that was the best thing that we’ve ever done because everything that we have today, all the growth that we’ve had since then and everything else and all the other in all the other industries and spaces is because of that online digital presence and that personal brand that we’ve been working on so hard while working in the building in the background of our insurance agency and our other and our other agents agencies.

(32:26 – 34:50) Amberly Lago: Oh my goodness. I love everything that you’re saying. So good. So good. People need to really hear this. I mean, and this is helping me so much too, because, um, I saw actually, well, I saw when I was on Bradley’s show, like just the power of social media, just when he, I was like, Oh my gosh. I, and numbers don’t lie. I saw a spike in my book sales after being on his show. That’s the kind of influence that he has. And then, oh my gosh, so Nick, I was on Ed Milet’s podcast and I was not expecting, I was expecting maybe a spike, you know, like he’s huge. He’s, I love him. And after I was on his show, I got more, my DMs, my email, everything was flooded. I couldn’t believe it. I posted the video that he, his team sent me and it has, I think 700,000 views on Instagram, which is a little harder than like, you know, that’s pretty normal for Tik Tok, but Instagram, it’s like, that’s a lot. And for me anyway, I couldn’t believe it. I had more people reach out and it was a bigger deal than when I was on Hallmark or the today show or even the doctors, more people from his podcast reached out to me. That’s the power of a podcast and your studio is beautiful by the way. I mean, I see your background so beautiful and this is actually the last episode that I’m recording from my home office. I’ve just moved to a studio and I just last night I was laying in bed going, man, it’s a little bit harder traveling to go to a studio. And did I make the right decision? Is it going to go well? And you just made me feel better about moving to the studio because the studio I moved to is absolutely gorgeous. So thank you for that. But I want people to know the power of a podcast. Like it is a lot of work. I’m not going to lie. It is a, people said, Oh, it’s hard work. I’m like, Oh, they must not know me. I’ve got grit. Like I know how to work hard. It’s a lot of work. I mean, you have to have a good team. I have to have a good team. Like there’s no way I would want to edit it myself or anything like that. Tell us a little bit about how podcasting has actually helped your business.

(34:51 – 35:46) Nick Hiter: So we’ve all, we all agree that proximity is extremely important, right? Yeah. Heck yeah. And you’ve all heard the saying to be a fly on the wall in the room, you know, well, when you have a podcast, you get to, you get to be a fly on the wall with just about anybody that you want. Right. So at the end of the day, this is by far, the podcast is by far the greatest networking tool that I have. I wouldn’t know. the real Bradley if it wasn’t for podcasting, right? I wouldn’t have had a reason to have. He’s actually a buddy of mine, but one of the owners of the professional Major League Soccer team here, Marcus Whitney. What business do Marks and I have that allows us to hang out for an hour or two together and talk shop and whatnot? There’s so many people. that we’re doing deals together now because of a conversation that happened that never would have happened if there wasn’t a platform of a podcast to do it on.

(35:46 – 37:09) Amberly Lago: Oh, it’s so true. It’s so true. And I want to go back to one thing that I love that you said that So you met Brad and you were, you were like, um, well, I just start, I hired a video. You like, you take action. You’re an action taker. And you started making videos and you didn’t try to completely reinvent the wheel and do something. You just like found somebody that like, okay, this is what works. Not that you’re copying exactly what he’s doing. But you’re like, this is what works. This is what I’m going to do. And I think that’s so important. I did that this morning. Like my new producer is like, we need to work on your intro for, you know, the, the, the new videos that we’re doing. And I sent them an email right before we hopped on this call. And I was like, Hey, I was looking at like what works and I said, I need you to take a look at like Ed Miletz and what he does for his intro. I said, I want to do that with my branding. Can we do that? And so I did the same thing. Look at people that have done something and they have figured it out and go, okay, they have figured it out. Let me just go and do what they’re doing. And that’s what I teach people in my mastermind. And you are so right. I’m trying to think of who introduced us. Was it Bo Hawkins or was it Cary Jack?

(37:09 – 37:10) Nick Hiter: Cary.

(37:10 – 37:13) Amberly Lago: Was it Cary? I love Cary.

(37:13 – 37:15) Nick Hiter: Oh yeah. Oh my gosh.

(37:15 – 37:24) Amberly Lago: Cary’s amazing. Cary’s amazing. You know, we’re doing a retreat together, a couple’s retreat together in Montana. So I can’t wait.

(37:24 – 37:26) Nick Hiter: Again, to be a fly on the wall.

(37:26 – 38:41) Amberly Lago: Well, yeah, you know, I wouldn’t be doing a retreat with him if I hadn’t been on his podcast, and then he was on mine. He came back on mine. We’ve become really good friends. If we hadn’t done a podcast together, oh, and let me tell you something. I have to just say this. I haven’t shared this, but when I went to Ed’s studio, I was the first guest in his new studio because he moved. And we were trying to get the lighting right and the cameras right. So because of that, I got to hang out with him for hours before we even started recording. I mean, I was going, Oh, I was in heaven. I was like, I get to talk to you and, and just hang out. And now we’re friends. So there’s so many times I’ve had guests on the show that I end up doing a collaboration with them We help each other promote our books or you know what I mean? And so it’s incredible Where should somebody start if they’re like, okay. Well, I don’t have any digital Marketing any presence on social media. I don’t have a podcast. Where do I start first?

(38:41 – 38:53) Nick Hiter: Turn the camera on That’s hard. You just got to turn it on. Yeah. But see the people that make it hard, this is where I get them. All right. So who are you making the videos for? Is it for you? Is it for other people?

(38:53 – 39:08) Amberly Lago: Exactly. That’s what I had to tell myself because I was like, oh my gosh, I have to like film myself. This is so hard. And I wouldn’t be able to do it if I wasn’t thinking about who I’m serving and maybe the one person that I’m talking to.

(39:08 – 40:04) Nick Hiter: Man, I tell people every day when they’re like, when they come up with all the reasons that like, oh, I’m not comfortable and so on and so forth. I’m like, well, that’s about the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard come out of anybody’s mouth because you’re making it all about you when you’re supposed to be making these for other people to help other people, right? Nobody can do business with you if they don’t know you’re there. Okay, and at the end of the day, your personal brand is your reputation online, and your reputation online is your digital storefront. Remember in the old days, when you opened a business, location, location, location, right? Well, this is location now. Location, location, location, right? So, are you on it? Are you not? When they see that, people make decisions about the consistency, like your commitment to your own personal brand online. So if you’re stagnated with your consistency on how often you post and the quality of it and so on and so forth, they’re going to be making decisions about the quality of your business based on the quality of what you put online.

(40:04 – 41:01) Amberly Lago: You’re so right. I just had a conversation. I had a conversation with a client of mine and I was looking at his Instagram and I said, well, you got to be consistent. And he goes, well, what, like once a week? I’m like, uh, no, you need to be a little more consistent than that. Like when I first started, I made a commitment to to figure out one time in the day where I could absolutely make a commitment to post. And that’s how I started, you know, teaching people actually that, okay, well Amberly posts every single day at 6.30am, five days a week, Monday through Friday. And I think you teach people to go, okay, that’s when she posts. And then people start to look for your post at that time during the day. How many times do you think somebody should post a week, a day even?

(41:01 – 41:20) Nick Hiter: First of all, it’s called social media. So how social is your media? All right. So look at the people that you’re competing against. So like, you could look at, I don’t know, let’s look at Gary V’s Instagram today. Well, he’s probably gonna post five or six times today, and he’s gonna do it across all of the big six platforms, right?

(41:20 – 41:23) Amberly Lago: But he also has a team, a huge team.

(41:23 – 43:05) Nick Hiter: But again, that’s who you’re competing against. That’s who you’re competing against. There’s a lot of noise out there. So, you know, the people like, well, I don’t have a team. Well, not yet. But again, you got to get started. And you do have to do, you have to be consistent with it. When I first started, it was once a day, until it was twice a day, until it was three times a day, until it was four times a day. Right. So you got to start somewhere, but get rocking and rolling and get going. And, you know, another great reason to have a podcast is because it’s a great source for that content. You can take that 60 minute episode or whatever it is and turn it into four or five clips or more, you know, and it’s usually well produced and whatnot. But at the end of the day, man, there’s a, you know, even in the world of insurance, the biggest excuse that we heard was is that person has more leads than I do. OK, well, life’s fair. Everybody’s price is just different. Right. So that means one, you’ve got to get better because you’ve got to convert a higher a higher ratio than they do with more leads. But over time, everything that you know does start to compound. So if somebody else being further ahead of you in the journey is what keeps you from getting started. you weren’t going to win anyways, right? So and it’s not as much about its frequency is important, but it’s the body of work. So if you looked at like Gary Vee’s Instagram, so like people would say, let’s look at it. I’m going to pull it up right now just to see how many the total number of posts is what’s so important. Gary Vee, 9,191 posts on Instagram, 9,191. 191. I’m only at 6,000. So why would I expect to be where Gary is if I’ve only done two, you know, two thirds of what he’s done?

(43:05 – 43:10) Amberly Lago: And by the way, Nick, how many are you at? You’re at 6,000.

(43:10 – 43:11) Nick Hiter: Oh yeah. Let’s see.

(43:11 – 43:14) Amberly Lago: Wait, what, what year did you start Instagram?

(43:14 – 43:46) Nick Hiter: Look at me getting all competitive. 2013. However, it was very inconsistent back then. And it was all pictures. 2020 is when I did started doing video. So, I mean, four out of the 6,000 has come since 2020. Wow. So, but we can, we can all agree. We can all agree though, if you want to get somewhere like, so if you do one a day, it’s going to take you this long to get to where you want to go. But if you do two a day and three a day, it’s going to take less time to get there. The faster you can ramp those things up, right? So that’s where the frequency comes in place.

(43:47 – 45:31) Amberly Lago: Yeah, that’s so great. And you know, the question I get a lot or that I think the excuse I get a lot is, um, from people who are telling me, well, I, I, I worked really hard on this reels and I just want to get it perfect. And I’m like, no, just make progress, just post. And honestly, my post that, um, my husband was giving me a hard time about this just last night, my husband and my daughter. because I did a post where I was like, Oh, I don’t, I’m going to post today. I don’t really have a picture. And I just did a selfie and I’m on, I’m in my sweats. I’m in my short shorts, no makeup, um, glasses on. And I took a selfie and did a post with that. And they were like, Oh my gosh, I can’t. And I’m like, you know what? That post got more interactions. The insights were higher than something that was perfectly curated. And done by a graphics designer and it’s just it’s just doing it and thinking of who you’re serving And I like that you said, stop, that’s selfish of you. If you’re holding, you know, it’s selfish if you’re holding your, your gifts and your talents, there’s maybe somebody out there that you could really help. And there was this, there was a guy on Instagram once that sent me a message and I copied and pasted this and put it in my notes and saved it. And he was about to commit suicide. And he said, and I just kept hearing your voice. And so I didn’t. And I was like, imagine if I didn’t make that video that he heard, you know, so that it’s, I mean, just do it and be consistent with it.

(45:31 – 45:37) Nick Hiter: So, um, I love, do you remember the guy that didn’t post? Nobody does.

(45:37 – 45:44) Amberly Lago: Yeah. What are some of the excuses that you hear and that you tell people to get over?

(45:45 – 47:15) Nick Hiter: It always comes down to money, vision, plan. Your GPS only works if you give it a specific location. If you just type Nashville, Tennessee, I don’t know exactly where you’re going to end up. But if you start from the end, It’ll give you a route. It’ll give you multiple options on how to get there. It’ll tell you what time you need to leave, how fast you need to go, if something happens on the way and you’ve got a detour, your new arrival time. If you treat a lot of your business just like you do your GPS, a lot of good things will happen for you. But at the end of the day, Like, look, man, as a, again, a man of faith, Jesus said, you gotta go, you gotta go where people are at to help them. People are on their devices. And if you’re not there, you’re gonna lose your customers to somebody that is. And that person that’s on there is gonna get to help your customers. And I just, I truly believe that nobody’s gonna care harder or more and work harder for their clients than I will. So like, I owe it to them to be on there so that they can do business with me. If they don’t know who I am, they’re gonna look me up. What are they going to find? You know, but more importantly, like what are they going to find when they look at my competitors? They’re going to make decisions without ever talking to me based on what’s online. Right. And another thing, too, like when it comes to podcasting and stuff, pay attention to this. So you can go back to radio and TV. Radio came first. TV came second. The difference between radio and TV is you can see TV. OK, well, how did podcasts start?

(47:16 – 47:19) Amberly Lago: Oh, yeah, you’re so right. It started only audio.

(47:19 – 48:47) Nick Hiter: Now we’re doing video. Guess what? The ad spends and the ad sales are mirroring TV and radio, radio and TV as well. OK, and then radio and TV led to what led to cinema, right? Led to movies and everything else. Like you can just pay attention, like everything that we’ve done in the world of podcasts, helping other people launch their shows, teaching them how to sell ads and everything. All we’re doing is using what has been like history repeats itself. my dad was in the music business growing up, right? So everything that I do, everything I do is 100% original, but all of it is ingredients and bits and pieces from other people. Nothing I do is 100% all Nick Hider, right? And here’s the example I’ll give you. In the 80s, there was a big band called Huey Lewis and the News, which I love, right? So, well, they had revolutionized, at the time, their drum sounds, kind of set the standard for recording, okay, their drum sounds. And dad used to tell me these stories about how they didn’t know how they got those sounds, but they were literally trying to mimic those sounds on all the records they were cutting in the studio. So they were taking those drum sounds and trying to match them, just like I do when I see Joe Rogan’s clip and I’m like, oh man, I love the effects that he did there. That’s what really got my attention. I’ll send it to the team and say, hey guys, check this out. This is what got my attention. How can we use this on mine to maybe help get other people’s attention? So it goes back to the- I do the same thing.

(48:47 – 48:57) Amberly Lago: I do the same thing. It goes back to the- I looked at your videos, Nick. I look at your videos and I’m like, They’re gorgeous.

(48:57 – 48:59) Nick Hiter: They’re all inspired by others.

(48:59 – 49:16) Amberly Lago: All of them. They’re beautiful. Y’all have to check them out on Instagram. Oh, that’s where I stalk you. So now you help other people with their ads, with their podcasts. Do you have a studio where people can go and record their podcast?

(49:16 – 50:16) Nick Hiter: We do. And it’s called Hitlab Creative Studios. It’s on Instagram as well. But basically, I built the studio for me and I built the team for me. And then I was working with other ad agencies, PR companies to try and, you know, creative teams to make my stuff better. And no matter how many of them I went to, I got the exact same results. And I just didn’t feel important. I didn’t feel important, and I felt like I was doing more teaching than I was getting taught. So I ended up bringing some people in-house. I was like, well, I’m going to hire this person, this person, and this person. The guy you met before, Jim, it literally moved him here from St. Louis to run that company. We started an agency because nobody else could serve me the way that I wanted to be served, which means there’s a lot of people like me out there. So the HIT Lab was something that was built for me that now serves other people just because we feel like we believe we can do it better than anybody else can. And we believe that we’re at least going to care more.

(50:18 – 51:19) Amberly Lago: Well, that shows. And I have to say also, I love your faith. I love that you talk about faith, um, as well. So I just wanted to mention that. And there’s a million other questions. Nick, I had like two pages of questions and we didn’t get to all of them, but I just wanted to say thank you again, um, for being here. And, you know, you say hard work beats talent. I completely agree with that. And I’ve had excuses from people that are like, well, I just don’t have time to post and this and that. I’m like, you make time. Like I just this, this morning, you know, got up at five because I knew there were some things that I needed to do. I needed to get some, some material ready to post and stuff like that. But if somebody is like, gosh, I want to have content and I want to have beautiful reels on my Instagram and do a podcast, how can they get ahold of you to do that?

(51:20 – 51:52) Nick Hiter: Well, they could go to my website and send messages through there or they could literally just Go on shoot a DM on my Instagram or any of my other platforms and just use the word use the keyword grit and that’s how I know that they came from from this today and we’ll reach out to them and be more than happy to to dive in and figure out what it is that they need help with and and get them going in the right direction and The people that say they don’t have time, that’s common excuse number one. If you really want to know what’s important to anybody, just look at what they spend their time on.

(51:55 – 52:29) Amberly Lago: So true. So true. And so y’all go reach out to him on Instagram and his last name is spelled H I T E R just so you know, but all this will be in the show notes. So if you’re running around doing cardio or you’re in your car or something like that, just look in the show notes later and you can find all of his links. Um, but Nick, thank you for being here and sharing your wisdom and I hope that I get to be, well, I am planning on going to Nashville so I can see your studio in person.

(52:29 – 52:33) Nick Hiter: Come on. You let us know when you’re coming and we’re going to chop it up. It’s going to be killer.

(52:33 – 52:53) Amberly Lago: Yeah, I can’t wait. So thank you for being on the show. And y’all, thank you for tuning in. And go ahead, take a screenshot of whether you’re listening to Spotify, Apple, YouTube, and tag me at Amberly Lago Motivation and Nick at Nick Hyder. And we’ll see you next week. Thank you.