Archive for August, 2011

19th

What do YOU want to know? REALLY.

A bit of background: I remember when I first started using Linkedin in 2007. It was shortly before the PIMA meeting in Cancun, Feb. 2008. It sticks in my mind because I spoke to many people about Linkedin at the meeting. I remember that the predominant reaction around the industry and with my network at large was a natural sense of skepticism. Some companies were a little more intentional, blocking Linkedin on their servers as part of a broader approach to Social Technologies. Many people brushed Linkedin off as a waste of time for the gainfully employed, useful only for job seekers and recruiters. In fact, some of these attitudes still persist four years later. I heard this comment just this month at the PIMA conference at the Broadmoor by one of the speakers. “I don’t really use Linkedin – I’m not job-seeking…”

Fast forward to today and the prevailing sentiment seems to be, “I’m on it, get lots of invitations to connect, some from people I don’t really know, most I accept, but I don’t really know what to do with it. I’m in a few Groups but don’t really check-in very often. Should I upgrade to the Premium version???…”

In the meantime since 2008, I have migrated from an e-commerce sales guy to an independent Social Tech consultant, facilitator, and speaker, primarily focused on the insurance vertical, with secondary emphases on coaching sales organization on how to leverage Linkedin and Twitter. I also am building a line of business helping Cleveland-based companies, across industries, with Social Media Marketing strategies and tactics.

All that to say, as a part of my profession, I’m paid to know more about this stuff than the average professional. I also use it continuously for my own marketing and sales efforts.

Thus I thought it might be useful to share some of my learnings and help move our collective use of Linkedin to the next level. How? Let’s “crowdsource” both the questions and answers.

What’s in it for you to participate?

  1. First and foremost, learning. The more you engage, think, and write on the topic, the more knowledge transfer happens.
  2. Second, you can Share the discussion with your network – and thereby help them as well.

Part One: What do you want to know?

Think about your business objectives. What are you trying to accomplish professionally today? Really.

A suggestion: Before you look at the other questions in the Comments, think of your own top 1-3 questions. Then add your questions to the list, regardless of whether someone else already asked about your issues. That way we’ll get a great list, including redundancies indicating added importance to those topics.

Above all, please don’t LURK – add value.

Oh yeah, it may be tempting, but please perhaps check yourself from answering the questions in this round. I’d like to curate the questions and then open up the flood gates for answers in Part 2 – a little more organized approach from the left-brain side of things.

Thanks in advance for participating. Ask a question in the Comments below (and perhaps subscribe to the blog or the Comments), then copy the link, post it on Linkedin or Twitter, and ask your network to ask a question as well. Let’s crowdsource this. I know you’ll be pleased with the results.

Thanks again.

1st

Professional Insurance Marketing Association 2011 MidYear Meeting and Tradeshow

Following are a few sound bites and images I heard and saw. What did YOU hear and see??? Please Share thoughts in the Comments section below. I’d like to hear from you. Subsequent readers would as well. What were your top one or two take-aways? I REALLY want to know. Thanks in advance for taking a few minutes…

Most important items from my notes:

“This is the essence of affinity marketing – connections and relationships.” -David Zach (Pics)

“Multi-channel marketing will make for a much happier client as well.” -Deb Gustafson (Pics)

Paralympic video with Wounded Warrior: 6k to 105k Likes on Facebook in one month! -Hartford Life

“Don’t over engineer it, make it so complicated, get raked over for the ROI. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on advertising.” -John Steber (Pics)

“Data is going to be the make-or-break-thing for the insurance industry. It’s all about guardrails, not rigid prescriptions.” -Ellen Carney

“My tweets opened up a dialog with a strategic industry contact that my PR agency couldn’t crack.” -Sam Fleet

“Social networks are a big deal. Mobile and apps are a huge deal.” -Brian Sullivan (Pics)

“Best conference I’ve been at in a long time.” Bunch of people

Ignite – excellent way to communicate a lot of information in a short amount of time. Reminded me of the power of viral video’s – rapidly changing visuals with voice overs. Props to Derrek Barfield for cheerfully going first, Stephanie D’Amico for best presenter (IMHO), Kathie Kinde for best content (IMHO), and Bill Suneson for the anchor leg and a great product. All presenters made a great effort in the midst of hectic schedules – not to be taken lightly. Sherri and David did just phenomenal jobs on the intro’s – an important key. (Pics)

Props to Sherri Lagana and David Schaeffer, two of the most energetic, positive, funny, and savvy people I’ve worked with (to take nothing away from others I’ve worked with (FH, KK)). BIG props to Bill Tyson for helping with the Multi-channel Marketing presentation – a BIG challenge on several levels. More props to Denise Friday and Mona Buckley for orchestrating and facilitating, encouraging, reminding, and smiling all the way.

On a personal note, I greatly appreciated the chance to dine with Affinitas Partners and Quicken Loans as well as with Sherri Lagana and Liberty Mutual. Nice to be included as a Business Partner and hope I added value. Oh, and thanks to the peeps that stopped by the Cabana and made it fun. Hope you find the contents of the USB drive useful. Here’s a link to download the content for anyone else that missed or would like a raft of Social Tech resources.

WebWisedom Social Tech Sales and Marketing Resources PIMA MY2011

Finally, thanks to all the speakers, the engaged audience, the Business Partners that contributed so many of the moving parts, and the spouses that support the whole thing, especially, Diane Wise, without whom NONE of this would be possible. Mad Love and Respect.

Business-wise, I’m encouraged. The Broadmoor suits me right down to my toes – terrific people, location, and amenities. Phenomenal.

PS. A lot of people need a lot of help understanding how Linkedin works and how to leverage it on several levels. I’ve got a seminar on that. (And so much more…)

See you in Florida if not sooner!

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