Posted on 20 January, 2012 by (0) Comments

Join me in Boulder on May 7-9 for Aartrijk Brand Camp 2012

This is where I will be on May 7-9. This is the third Brand Camp and if past history is any indication of success – this is an event you won’t want to miss.

One of the sessions I am particularly  interested in will be, “Major Surgery or Reincarnation? The End of the Insurance Business As We Know It.”  This panel discussion will take a look at the  the future of the Insurance industry and the independent agency distribution system. Major trends that will have an impact on our industry such as emerging technology, diversity, and demographics will all be discussed in the context of the business relationship with the connected consumer and with an eye towards the actions agents and brokers and our industry in general must take to secure a successful future.

Click the ticket above for all the details.

If you are wondering what goes on at Brand Camp check out this video by  camper Mike Wise.

Posted on 14 December, 2011 by (0) Comments

Merry Christmas

 

….. and may 2012  be filled with exciting opportunities.

Photo Credit: JoAnne Morgan – Boulder Flatirons

 

Posted on 13 November, 2011 by (1) Comment

Don’t Make This Big Mistake

This post originally appeared on August 20, 2011. Yet, it is still relevant and a good reminder.

Clearly, there is an ongoing surge in social networking use within the insurance space. That is the good news. The bad news is that many are using (or more accurately abusing) social networking platforms to amplify their sales message. As I see it, this is the biggest mistake being made, especially by those new to the social networking.

I know that many of you reading this blog fully understand this point. Yet, I think it significant enough to the ultimate success of anyone expecting to benefit from social networking that there is reason to revisit the issue.

Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.

There is a fundamental difference between the old push or interruption type of marketing and social marketing. When using social networking it is expected that before you try and sell someone you first build a relationship with them, Or said another way, consumers in the social space expect to have a relationship with you and a certain level of trust before they buy. Be present so that when they are ready to buy they can find you. Just as you the first words out of your mouth at a chamber mixer would not be, “I sell insurance – please buy from me”. The same holds true on Facebook, Twitter or any other social app for that matter.

Spend time building and nurturing your relationships with friends, fans/likes and followers. You do that by being a participant in the conversation. Comment on others posts, provide subject matter expertise, and be transparent and honest. Remember, there is no quick fix here. Building relationships (online or offline) takes time and effort. Be a good social community citizen and be patient – success will find you.

What other mistakes do you see being made?

Posted on 9 October, 2011 by (0) Comments

Keeping Busy with Aartrijk and ACT

The picture with this post is from Ridgway State Park, which is where JoAnne and I spent the summer volunteering as camp hosts. We liked it so much we will be going back again next summer.

Yes, summer is over and I am back home in Broomfield. In fact, yesterday the foothills of the Front Range in Colorado saw their first snow. Some of the mountains in received over a foot of snow and Wolf Creek ski area is open.

From a work perspective, I continue to serve as the Chair of the Social Media workgroup for ACT (Agents Council for Technology). Most recently, Cindy Donaldson and I hosted a “Facebook for Insurance Professionals” webinar, which had close to 1000 participants. ACT continues to do great work and if you have not already, I would encourage you to visit their website and consider getting involved.

My role as Sr. Vice President at Aartrijk is where I focus most my effort. I have great respect for Peter van Aartrijk and the entire Aartrijk team and in my role fully enjoy helping our clients find their “voice” in the “social” space.

Which reminds me, have you taken a look at Google +? I think you should. I know, the last thing you want to think about is yet another social site to add to the time suck of social networking. Yet, I am really liking Google +. I find it much cleaner than Facebook and really like to “circle” concept for organizing my communities. I do not see Google + so much as competition to Facebook. Rather, I think it may be the beginning of a very compelling “cloud” environment that will grow as Google integrates all of its apps. If you join Google + (or are already there) please add me to one of your circles. You can find me at: http://gplus.to/rickjmiv or just click the “Add to Circles” button in the right sidebar of this post. If you want a Google + widget for your website or blog you can get it here.

Finally, while I am going to provide periodic updates to this post, most of my blogging will be on the Aartrijk blog. My most recent post: Disaster Communications: We Can Do More with Social Media. So, again please consider following me and the rest of the Aartrijk team: Here.