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Looking Forward To ONTRApalooza 2014

Looking Forward To ONTRApalooza 2014

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Picture from last years Confernce

I am looking forward to attending ONTRApalooza 2014 from October 1st-3rd. This will be my third year at this conference. Each year has been an amazing opportunity to meet some amazing people changing the way business is run. These are thought leaders, and innovators who are using Ontraport software to change the game and grow their businesses. The best part of attending the conference is being able to sit down these leaders and take their ideas and applying them to my clients businesses.

We all know Ontraport is an amazing tool for lead generation, lead follow-up, and customer retention, but at ONTRApalooza you are able to learn even more innovative ways to use these tools to rocket your business to new levels.

Did I mention the speakers? Well here are a few I am looking forward to hearing:

  • Jack Canfield – Best-selling author, self-esteem expert
  • Shelby Larson – Found of Content Divas, SEO expert
  • Paul Hoffman – Musician, speaker, author and teacher
  • Franziska Iseli-Hall – Award winning entrepreneur

To see the rest of the list check out www.ontrapalooza.com

If you will be attending I hope to see you there. I am looking forward to learning new things, making new friends, and enjoying the Santa Barbara sun.

How is Your Social Media Etiquette?

How is Your Social Media Etiquette?


If you haven’t noticed already, Social Media is here to stay for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and for as long as we both shall live. In fact, a report released by Forrester’s Research indicates 73% are consuming some form of social content on a regular basis. Now more than ever it is critical to know the ins and outs of social media etiquette especially if you’re using social media to build your business.

We at AIMS offer solutions for you to maximize your social media, but we want to share a few basic principles that are good for all to know.

Truly build your profile – No one likes to check out a page only to find out there isn’t even a photo uploaded to the account. This is a half-hearted approach and readers will take notice. Invest the time to fill out the “about you” information and build a robust profile worthy of checking out.

Give credit where credit is due – you know that content creation takes hard work, research, and, most importantly, time. For that reason, you should treat others’ content like you would want your own to be treated. Sharing is always fine but be sure on your business pages and profiles you’re giving the original source credit and not claiming as your own.

Be human – If someone interacts with your page, interact back just as you would in real life. One of the top complaints people have about business pages is when they try to engage they get no response. This can alienate your customer in a flash. Especially true when dealing with customer challenges; never hide from an issue or delete comments, rather quickly respond best you can (without being defensive).

No begging allowed – It’s a bit invasive to ask for retweets, or page “likes”. People want to choose what is interesting to them and not feel obligated. Being creative with ways to grab their attention and gain engagement is a more effective way to gain the audience you want.

Tag responsibly – Tagging people on your business page photo is a great way to expose your business to other friend networks, however check with the person before tagging. This can avoid invading what feels like personal space. Same goes for posting your event, article, or blog on someone else’s page.

Avoid self-serving content – Make sure you’re sharing things that your audience truly cares about. One way to aide you in this is always ask yourself “does anyone care about this except me?” Similarly avoid constantly pushing the sale with your content – this is neither engaging nor fun for your readers. Tips, tricks, pictures and valuable content is key!

To help guide you through this ever changing, fast paced, critical world of social media, contact AIMS today and we’ve got your back!

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

Abstract logo about social media, concept vector illustration

Are you tired of handling your business’s social media accounts? Are all of the Facebook and Twitter updates too much for you to handle? Maybe you’re just too busy. Instead of handing it off to another employee, we here at AIMS recommend that you consider hiring an outside social media manager.

Hire? Outside? For something you can do in house? Yes, and here’s why: Unless you plan on hiring someone solely for the purpose of managing your social media accounts, it is just an added burden on your employees who already have enough on their plates. Here at AIMS however, this is what we do, and we do it well.

Do you need someone to engineer engaging and entertaining Facebook and/or Twitter posts? How about someone to manage your LinkedIn or Google+ profiles? Is your business listed on Yelp or Foursquare, and is that information up to date? A social media manager will do all that for you and more!

But you can’t trust just anyone, and even the big guys make mistakes (see: 10 Worst Social Media Meltdowns of 2013). That is why it is important that the person you hire to manage your accounts is experienced, tactful and stays on task.

Here at AIMS, we understand that social media presence is important, and as a business, you need to put your best foot forward, so why not do so with someone who has the experience to help keep your company relevant? A good social media manager won’t just post to your page once a day, they will actively engage with your clients to ensure that your business is being well represented.

Want to know more about the social media services offered here at AIMS? Contact us for more information. We will be more than happy to put together a social media plan for your business!



Photo – © madpixblue – Fotolia.com

Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Web code sample

Did you hear that? It was a collective groan from the Twitter community.

Twitter recently announced that as early as 2015 we could be seeing a new algorithm derived newsfeed. What does that mean? It means that the tweets in your newsfeed will no longer appear in reverse chronological order. Instead of seeing the newest tweets first, your newsfeed will instead feature what an algorithm deems to be the most relevant tweets according to your interests.

Speaking at the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York on September 3rd, Twitter CEO Anthony Noto said that the change in philosophy is because arranging tweets according to time “isn’t the most relevant experience for the user.” His solution? Develop an algorithm to better relay interesting content to users.

This isn’t a new concept. In fact, Facebook introduced a similar system a few years ago. If you’ll remember, the Facebook timeline was once very similar to Twitter. You were treated to updates as soon as they happened. To some people, the new Facebook timeline is great; to others, not so much.

Good or bad, the changes to Twitter are coming, and you are going to need to adjust your branding strategy. All that info we’ve released over the years concerning the best times and days to post or schedule tweets? Toss it out, because what matters now is sharing content that is most relevant to your target audience.

This is going to be tricky. Over the years, Twitter has been outstanding for breaking news and getting info out fast. So what do you do when there isn’t a guarantee your followers are going to see your post when you want them to? Our recommendation is to zero in on content marketing.

There are still a lot of people out there guilty of flooding your timeline with empty offers and regurgitated articles. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to share news and events that interest you, it only means that you need to work on targeting. Who do you want to see this? Is it important and/or relevant to your business? Is it a quality piece?

Who knows, maybe the new Twitter algorithm changes are going to be great, maybe it will spur a rise in new and improved digital content. Stick with us as we all work to navigate the upcoming Twitter changes!


Photo – © adrian_ilie825 – Fotolia.com

Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

facebook gate

Facebook fan gates are overrated. There. We said it. And we don’t mind that they’ve been banned.


In some circles, such a statement is blasphemous, especially since they help so many company get likes. But let’s be honest here, what good is a like if you didn’t come by it organically? What incentive is there for someone to share your page, or your content, if it is something they never had any true interest in in the first place.


But let’s back it up here for a moment. Some of you are probably scratching your heads right now. What is a like gate (or fan gate, to some of you)? A like gate is, in essence, a tab that business owners can add to their Facebook page and run a contest or offer coupons and discount codes from. The catch? In order to enter the contest or gain access to the coupons and discount codes, participants have to like the page first.


If you didn’t already know what like gating is, then you probably aren’t too concerned that it is banned from Facebook starting November 5th.


Why would Facebook ban such a successful program. It’s pretty simple really, and this statement from Facebook explains it best:


To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.


Got that? What Facebook is saying, and we here at AIMS agree with, is that companies should be connecting with those who like their pages because of the products and services they offer; because the liker believes in it, not because you have a super rad deal that everyone wants, but will then either disregard or hide you once your purpose has been served.


Our advice? Don’t sweat the like gate ban. Instead, get creative and start connecting with your customers again.


Photo – © trialhuni – Fotolia.com



Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think

Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think


If you’ve logged onto your Facebook account recently, then you’ve probably noticed all of the hullabaloo about the new Facebook Messenger App. Facebook is now forcing all of its mobile users (i.e. nearly everybody) to download a separate standalone app to send and receive messages.


For some of you, this isn’t a big deal. A little inconvenient yes, but resisting really isn’t worth the time or effort. But for other out there, the whole thing is making you a little uneasy. After all, you’ve heard things. Like how the new Messenger App can send direct SMS message from your phone to contacts in your phonebook. Or that Facebook Messenger’s App can use the microphone on your phone to record private conversations.


But none of those is true, not entirely at least.


For starters, you can still circumvent downloading the app by using the Facebook.com messaging service on your phone and not the mobile Facebook app. It is kind of a pain to connect to the sit directly and not just click on an icon, but it does help prevent you from having to switch over to Messenger.


To address another issue, yes, one of the permissions that is required when downloading the app is to allow it to access your contacts so that Facebook can send, receive, edit and read SMS or text messages. That doesn’t mean Facebook is going to start spamming your friends. The purpose is actually to send you a confirmation code via text anytime you add a phone number to your Messenger account.


Finally, just because you allow Facebook to access your camera and microphone (permissions, again) does not mean that it is going to record your private conversations. The only reason FB wants access to your microphone is for voice calling, a feature that is not included the usual mobile app. The same goes for the video camera. If you want to send a video, Facebook needs permission to access your store videos.


Need help setting up Facebook for your business account? Contact AIMS today!


Photo – © Tsiumpa – Fotolia.com


Agency Revolution Conference: PDX

Agency Revolution Conference: PDX


Hello there followers! I just wanted to get the word out that I will be attending the Agency Revolution Conference in Portland, OR this upcoming week.


As some of you may already know, I was born and raised in the insurance industry. My parents own an agency in La Pine, OR and I was practically brought up in the office. What I am getting at here is that insurance runs in my blood, and I have a very strong appreciation for the people over at Agency Revolution. Not only have they helped my family market their business in a way that is both efficient and affordable, but, through my experiences managing the application of their software, they also gave me a platform to jumpstart my own business. Who knew playing around on the computer would lead me to AIMS?


Some of you I have met before, some of you I have not. Either way, if you are also attending the AR conference in PDX I would love to hear from you!


In the words of Ray Kroc:  If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.

Here at AIMS, I am always looking to improve upon our services. So if you see me, tell me: What is working at your agency? What isn’t? Where are you seeing growth, and what can/should be cut back? A healthy exchange of information is the best way for me to better structure my business so that I can better serve you.


Want to connect before the conference? Just click on the “Contact Us” portion of the AIMS website and shoot me an email! I can’t wait to see you all this Wednesday!

#Hashtag your next Event

#Hashtag your next Event


Back in July we talked to you about How to Step Up your Hashtag Game and this week we wanted to take it one step further to teach you how to hashtag your next event.

As we’ve talked about before, hashtags are great for branding. But do you know what they are even better for? Organizing an event. Not only will it help get the word out, but it will also help you get a handle on just how much buzz has been generated. You can now track hashtags across the most significant platforms in social media. That includes: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

It’s simple. All you have to do is come up with a #hashtag to brand your event. We recommend keeping it short and simple, something that will stick with the event’s participants and attendees.

As an example, let’s say we here at AIMS decided to throw a conference for insurance marketers. We know that we need a hashtag that isn’t already in the rotation, so we’ll go with #AIMSConference. It is specific to the event and easy to remember.

In order to get the word out to those attending our event, we start the branding process early. That means #AIMSConference is featured prominently on the event website, invitation and confirmation emails. It is also a good idea to start using it as you plan the event. That way, you can share your progress with your followers and keep the hashtag fresh in everyone’s minds.

At the conference (or whatever your event may be), there should be a reminder for everyone to hashtag their photos, tweets and videos with #AIMSConference.

When it’s all said and done, you can sit back and review your event through the eyes of the hashtag. People tend to be far more vocal on social media than they are in real life. This then, will be a great way to evaluate your event: Did people have a good time? What are the positive reviews? What are the negative reviews? What can you do next time to make the event better?

You might not always like the answers you get, but at least you’ve developed a baseline and can better develop your event in the future. Or, the outcome will be positive and you can bask in a job well done! Odds are the truth will lie somewhere in between.


Photo – © zakokor – Fotolia.com

Insurance Marketing: Why do scare tactics work?

Insurance Marketing:

Why do scare tactics work?

fear word in wood type

Fear appeal is an attempt by the marketer to induce feelings of anxiety or fear in the consumer so that they are more inclined to purchase their product. Sometimes the campaigns are nuanced and feature more innuendo than an overt message of doom and gloom. Others, yeah, they really are just doom and gloom. Sound familiar?

It should, because scare tactics work. That is why we see so much of it in insurance marketing. Actually, with just one look around the insurance industry, you could say that we’ve cornered the market on fear appeal. That’s what happens when your business is built around preparing for loss.

But we aren’t the only ones using fear appeal as a basis for marketing. Just ask the CDC about its efficacy. Their anti-smoking campaign has been incredibly effective. Rolled out in 2012, it has been estimated that 1.6 million Americans have since attempted to quit smoking with 100,000 succeeding as a direct result of the campaign.

What they found is that people don’t so much care about the images they see, so long as they don’t have to experience them first hand. Once they get it in their heads that the ramifications of smoking are real and applicable to their everyday life, only then do they make an attempt to change their ways.

As insurance marketers we can take that theme and incorporate it into our campaigns. Instead of telling people “Your house is going to burn down, you need homeowners insurance” we can say “Hey, this is what happens when a home is lost due to fire; this is how difficult the recovery process is, and it can happen to anyone.” The difference between the two statements is subtle, but it is important for effectively communicating your message.



Photo – © Marek – Fotolia.com

How Checking Out can help you Check Back In

How Checking Out can help you Check Back In

at the seaside


Did you know that the US is the only developed country in the world to not require even one paid vacation day or holiday? That means fewer and fewer of us are taking days off for leisure, and that’s a shame. Here at AIMS, we believe that checking out for a while is important to staying engaged and on top of your game.


Here are five reasons why checking out helps you check back in:

  1. Vacations help you de-stress. Did you know that too much time in front of a computer screen has been linked to stress, loss of sleep and depression? Our solution? Power down for a while.
  2. They’re good for the heart. Okay, so we could have tied this one in with number one, but it bears mentioning: According to the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine middle aged men with a high risk of coronary heart (CHD) are less likely to suffer a debilitating attack if they take regular vacations.
  3. You can catch up on your reading. No, we’re not just talking business books. But we have found that reading for fun can actually help spur on ideas in the workplace.
  4. Vacations help clear your mind. Have you ever found yourself thinking about that one problem at work that just won’t take care of itself? You’ve invested so much time, but nothing seems to be working. Stepping away for a while can be helpful if only to allow you to clear your mind. After all, a clear mind is an open mind.
  5. After a vacation you’re ready to get back at it. We don’t know about you, but when we take a few days (or weeks) off, we come back refreshed and ready to go! Everything seems shiny and new again, which bodes well for creating a positive work environment.


So now you know why we like vacations, what are your reasons?


Photo – © olly – Fotolia.com