PLATFORM: Get Noticed in A Noisy World – Book Review

I read a lot of business focused books. Or let me say, I start a lot of business books that I don’t find compelling enough to finish. Not so the new book by Michael HyattPLATFORM: Get Notice in A Noisy World. About two weeks ago I saw Mike post a twitter about applying to join his launch team for this new book. I was attending a meeting about branding and already on knowledge overload, but this was too tempting. 794 people applied. I feel really lucky and honored to become a part of this team. You can see the PLATFORM Launch Team here.

PLATFORM: Get Noticed in A Noisy Word

Generational Issues in the Insurance Workplace

This morning I am reading a great  article from “Property Casualty 360” titled As Older Agents Try to Adapt, Younger Agents Want to Be Heard. Over the years I have worked in a number of firms that were family owned with children becoming part of the firm or small firms adding young producers. Even though today’s internet and social media issues did not exist, some of the same conversations did exist. Those of you that were the “young” guys then are the “old” guys now. You need to think back and take stock. I heard more than one of your bosses say you would never make it.

Shakespeare  Punk

Aartrijk Brand Camp 2012

Look at everything we are going to learn. It will definitely be information overload, but always so worth it. “I’m so excited, I can’t hide it!” Twitter hash tag #BrandCamp12. Follow us and see what we are up to.


Microsoft Office on Your iPad

In my continuing effort to make my iPad as functional as possible for personal and business travel I continue to seek the best apps to achieve this goal. Over the past few weeks two Apps have become available for the iPad that let you display and edition Microsoft Office documents and do PowerPoint presentations. There is at least another app out there that does PowerPoint presentations, but to have an app that encompasses all of the products I need would be preferable. The two apps I have been testing are CloudOn and OnLive Desktop.

Combo clouds

Traveling With Your iPad as Your Computer

Last week I set off for an initial visit with a new client with the following technology:

This was the very 1st time I have gone to a client’s office without my laptop. I have been preparing for this for several months. I have traveled a couple of times on personal business and one conference with these tools in order to become comfortable with relying on these tools. It also has taken a good deal of research and testing to find the Apps that allow me to do this.


Change With A Positive Attitude

This past week was my 1st visit to a new client. Over the past few years agencies in small towns have taken a real beating.

  • Shrinking businesses in their town and surrounding area = less clients and prospects.
  • Businesses and families struggling to make ends meet. Insurance needs my come last and be bare bones.
  • Insurance carriers cutting agencies that can’t meet production standards.
  • The continuing soft market.
  • Difficulty finding qualified employees.

Frequently I often find everyone from the owner to the receptionist depressed or pessimistic or both.

So how does an agency remain above the fray, survive, thrive and keep up that positive, optimistic attitude?

Never Give Up

Insurance Agency Goals for 2012

2011 seemed to be a really slow year for insurance agency initiatives. Most of my clients updated document templates as necessary, updated a website or two and seemed to do only business improvements that were necessary. Reasons I have heard are:

  • Budget constraints.
  • We need to work and write business and not make improvements or changes.
  • Nothing new happening with our systems so no updates or changes needed.

I get the budget constraints. But the other “reasons” are not valid in my opinion. If you are sitting still you are falling behind.

Old Covered Bridge

Testing Blogsy for iPad

 I continue to search for tools that will allow me to be productive on my iPad while traveling or out and about. One of the areas that I have really struggled with a great blogging app. While WordPress has an app, it just doesn’t give you the tools you really need for doing hyperlinks, adding media, etc.
One of my favorite apps is Zite. It searches the web for content based on the categories I have chosen. An article “How the iPad Became My Favorite Computer“. I already use the Zagg keyboard that is mentioned in this article. I will check out some of the other apps discussed, but I immediately downloaded the Blogsy app.

Instant Inspirations

A couple of Friday mornings a month I make the trip to the closest Central Market. It is about twice as far as my regular super market and there are things you just can’t buy here. Things like Pork N’ Beans for example. But I love this place. The selections of fresh vegetables, cheeses, meats, seafood, and specialty items abound. I primarily go here as it is the only place I can buy Bison meat, which we have grown to prefer over beef. However, I always find many more things than are on my list.

On this particular Friday morning the only thing I need from the produce department is mushrooms. However, while getting my plastic bag for the mushrooms I see fresh okra out of the corner of my eyes. WooHoo!!! It is way past fresh okra season so this is a pleasant surprise.

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