Managing Criticism

This post is inspired by a friend on Facebook that posted a recipe she is trying out to meet her new nutritional needs due to a recent heart issue. Several people immediately criticized her for using fat free cheese. Since this is a very recent event that she is recovering from she is trying to find her way with the assistance of her physician and family to what is best for her health. A post she made follow the criticism showed that she had been hurt by this. This lady is not immune to criticism as she is a blogger, writer, speaker and teacher. But the way in which the particular comments were delivered were especially hurtful.

Why Should You Attend a Social Media Workshop?

Yesterday I attended one of Mike Wise‘s Social Tech Boot Camps. When I added this event to our calendar, my husband asked why I needed to attend such a workshop? After all, I spend a lot of time involved in social technology, I work with agencies on their social media plans and best practices. The majority of the attendees a this particular session were involved in benefits coverages. That brought a whole different perspective for me based on their views verses those of the property and casualty sector of the industry.

Blogging for Engagement Not for Numbers

I recently posted a review on Dictapad for iPad Review. I wasn’t even aware of this app until a friend of my needed a solution for transcribing interviews. I went in search of such apps, read about them and felt that this was the best one available. I have since used the app to transcribe a recording from my Livescribe pen. It does exactly what you want it to. I knew that the post would be interesting to a very small audience. I wanted to show on a bigger scale that there are lots of solutions out there, you just need to search them out.


I’ve Opted Out of Klout

Saturday evening I was working my way through the various articles in my iPad App – Zite. I really like the way I can see a snapshot of the article and choose which ones to read and which to skip or know I have read elsewhere. In my social media section “Why I Deleted My Klout Profile“. Just last week I saw a post on Twitter where another social media guru said that they had just deleted their Klout profile so this article really caught my attention. If the social media gurus are opting out there must be something here.

Now you might be wondering as a public person with a blog, twitter account, personal and business facebook pages, etc, etc, etc. why would she be worried about Klout.

Pat Alexander

Always Learning

A few weeks ago I had the honor of be a presenter at the PIIAC Annual Conference. My afternoon workshop was “Your Brand, the Web and Social Media”. I love doing this session. Since the landscape of the subject matter is constantly changing it is always a challenge to be as current as possible. I am no expert in any of these fields but I do have lots of working experience and study on these subjects and their interconnectivity. I find that many insurance agencies don’t have grasp of the importance of this. When doing this workshop I like to find an agency in the area that is doing all of these things really well.  Besides the audience learning awesome, practical information, I get to learn new things as well.

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Does It Matter What Your Website Looks Like?

There is much debate about this. There is proof in both opinions. Some very successfull websites just don’t appeal to me. They look junkie or have no “personality”. But it is easy to see what your next steps are. They use big colored buttons to guide you through what you need to do. However, I do believe that a site can be both really functional, clean and nice looking. An example of this would be GRSites. I subscribe to this site and use it to build custom buttons for websites. My comments about this site:

  • It is clean and easy to read.
  • It is clear by their use of buttons what you need to do to subscribe.
  • In the subscription section of the site you are easily led through the process of creating and customizing your buttons.
  • Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

I very much dislike websites with black or dark backgrounds as I find them hard to read. So I just move on. If a site is not easy to navigate and information is not easily accessible, I am not spending anytime there unless it is my only alternative.

I spend a good deal of time working with agencies to design the look and content of their websites. Most of them have very strong opinions about their look. I think their look is an important part of presenting themselves to the public and represents their brand and many of them have an idea based on printed materials that they use to promote their business. Most of my clients are usually stuck on content. Some are even paralyzed to move forward because they have no idea what their site should say or do. They also have trouble envisioning how their website should be a tool for their clients or how to attract prospects.

Just recently I received an email from one of my clients that read:


I had a client come by this week who had received the names of several potential advisors to utilize. She said she got on all the web sites and really liked mine the best and that’s how she decided to come see me!

I wanted to share that with you! So thanks for doing such a great job on the site!

Martin Day, CFP®
Financial Advisor
1200 S. Main St., Ste. 1600 • Grapevine, TX 76051
P. 817.865.1810 • F. 817.424.1404

Box Financial Advisors

Now, how the look of the site would attract clients was not a discussion Martin and I had. Our discussions revolved more around content and functionality and a bit on the design. But what a wonderful thing to know that you have a site that a prospect would think enough of and gathered enough information from to contact you. I think it is a balance of all of these issues that need to be considered when working on your site.

If you are looking for someone to help you with your site, check out Agency Web Strategy. This site provides you with information about my services in website design and creation. What are your questions and concerns about creating or updating your website?

The Business of Social Media

I have heard many people say that they don’t think social media is a very good way to meet people. Usually they say that it is only valuable to meet people face-to-face. I guess these people have forgotten how they probably first met many of their clients by a telephone call. Either the client called in as a prospect or as a new producer they spent a good deal of time making telephone calls to introduce themselves and get interest from the prospect. Also, think about those insurance carrier underwriters and brokers that you talk to almost every day. Have you met all of them in person? Did you always know them the 1st time you ever called them? My experience is that the answer is often, no I haven’t met them. But I have built some great, long term business relationships and friendships with a number of these individuals and I still haven’t met some of them.

I look at today’s social media as the new phone call. Best part is, there is no playing tag or leaving voice mail. Over the past 2 years I have met some pretty great people via social media. Sometimes I am introduced, other times, I introduce myself. Some of them I have never met and some of them I have never talked to on the phone. However, that has not impaired our ability to communicate, help each other and do business together.

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So You Think Your Staff Doesn’t Use Social Media

I beg to differ with you.  People have actually been using social media since before phones were installed in insurance agencies.  I would actually suggest that the written letter (by hand, typewriter, word processor or computer) could also be considered social media.  In these “old fashioned” communications, while business was being conducted, relationships were also being built.  Many of those letters and phone calls included some personal interaction along with the business communication.  The next step up from the phone and letters were teletype communications, then along came faxes and emails.

Candlestick phone

I Am a High School Basketball Player!!!

I have written before about the use of Google Alerts.  When you have a common name like Pat Alexander, you daily alerts may be about you, or a myriad of other people.  I wrote previously about my name appearing in an obituary.  Also, I frequently have alerts about Pat Alexander, Author.  There are others named Pat Alexander that twitter or appear in other articles on the web.

However, the past few weeks I have found that I have a new Pat Alexander in my alerts frequently.


So when this alert appeared yesterday I thought it was time I check out this Pat Alexander.  This Pat Alexander seems to be an overachiever as anyone with this name should be.  This is the 2nd or 3rd alert I have received where he has been the top scorer on this team.  So to check out my new career go to:

S-O improves to 4-5 with Spirit Lake win

You should set up at least one google alert on your name just to see what other people with your name are up to.  It might also be beneficial to set up a google alert on  your company.  What is being said about your company?  You might also want to set up alerts about your competitors.  What are they up to and what are people saying about them?  Do you use google alerts?  If so, how?  What do you find important about this tool?

The Value of Who I Follow on Social Media

One of the lists I have created in twitter is PatAlexander/Influencers.  Who is in this list and why is the question.  This is the list that I pay attention to through the day.  I edit this list from time-to-time.  I might try someone new in this list and find that they really don’t contribute information or content that I find useful.  Recently someone in this list began posting promotional tweets, around 10 at a time, several times a day.  It was difficult to get through the clutter to read everyone else.  Thus, that person has been removed from this list.  It became so bad that I actually un-followed the individual.  As I find new people to follow and as new people follow me, I think it is important to see what they are about.  I really appreciate good conversation and ideas.

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