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Weasel words can weaken your writing

Do you use “weasel words”? I don’t mean a furry critter that goes through your garbage in the late hours of the night. Weasel words are terms and phrases that are deliberately fuzzy. Rather than providing clarity, weasel words obscure your message. Weasel words get their name from the crafty weasel, which sucks eggs without breaking the shell. Similarly, weasel words suck the meaning out of your message. If you communicate with phrases like “highest quality,” “prompt service,” or “highly qualified,” you may be weaseling, even if inadvertently. Before you write, ask yourself, “What exactly do I offer?” If you believe your product is of the highest quality, explain why. For example, tell your clients that you represent only A-rated insurance carriers and briefly explain the importance of that rating. This offers much clearer information to your potential customer. If you offer prompt service, you might say “We return all.

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White Papers keep your business in your prospects’ minds

More and more insurance industry organizations turn to White Papers to spread their message. What is a white paper? A white paper is usually a “thought leadership” paper of about five-to-12 pages that highlights one or more of the benefits of your business. Insurance organizations use white papers to educate the public by delineating a problem or a challenge then posing a solution, usually highlighting your services. Here are some of the key elements of a white paper: Cover page Executive summary Description of the problem or issue the paper addresses A solution to the problem An action step (how readers can take action utilizing your product to solve their dilemma) Charts and graphs, if needed Footnotes, if needed A conclusion Information about your company Once written, organizations distribute their papers either electronically to sites your potential clients visit, to sites that warehouse business data, or to their customer list..

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Lose those adverbs and strengthen your writing

Part of our ability to promote and persuade in the insurance industry hinges on our ability to write clearly, concisely and unemotionally. By eliminating adverbs from our writing, we can reduce the clutter in our communications. What is an adverb and why should anyone care? An adverb is a part of speech that modifies several parts of the language, including verbs and adjectives. Often, adverbs end in “ly.” Adverbs often answer questions like “when,” “how often,” “how,” or “in what manner.” Here are some adverbs: · admittedly · sadly · totally · highly · completely Adverbs weaken your writing. Most adverbs can be eliminated from text without losing one iota of meaning. We see adverbs often in insurance writing. Have you ever written any of these sentences? “The home was totally destroyed.” If it was destroyed, why do you need to add “totally”? “Admittedly, you made a valid point.” If.

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Improve your insurance technical writing by removing passive voice

What is passive voice and why should you avoid it in your insurance writing? No matter what you’re writing for the insurance industry, a blog, a technical report or a white paper designed for marketing your business, passive voice weakens your writing. Once you understand a little about passive voice, it becomes much easier to find and eliminate it in your own writing. What is passive voice? Passive voice sentence construction occurs when the subject of a sentence becomes the object of an action. I know, it’s a grammar thing, something we disliked in school. Here’s an example of passive voice. Our underwriting team was defeated by the western region. Passive sentence construction weakens your writer because, in a nutshell, no one takes responsibility for the action. Written actively, this sentence would read like this: The western underwriting region defeated our sales team. Ouch! That wording smarts a bit more,.

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Tips to avoid a dryer fire

How safe is your dryer? According to the US Fire Administration (USFA), about 2,900 dryer fires occur each year in the United States. These fires caused five deaths, about 100 injuries and over $35 million in property losses annually. While the leading cause of dryer fires is accumulated dust, fiber and lint, the type of exhaust hose you install can greatly reduce your risk of fire. Using a plastic or vinyl dryer hose can cause fires, according to the USFA. The photo shows in the top half the type of dryer exhaust hose you should use. If you are currently using the bottom type, a plastic hose, replace it immediately. These types of hoses can melt or ignite. It’s always a good idea to take a few other preventative measures. 1) Clean your lint filter after each cycle. 2) Install a smoke alarm in your laundry room or adjacent to.

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How Do I Write a Professional Bio?

Every insurance professional should develop several professional biographies. Why a bio? Because despite our increasing reliance on electronic communications, people still want to know a little about you before they contact you. Your bio is a marketing tool that helps to build your brand. Your brand is your name and the name of your company. When people consider insurance, you want your name to be the one that comes into their minds. This can only come through repeated branding of your name, or the name of your agency, with insurance. Here are the top reasons to write your professional bio. There are thousands of insurance agents and other insurance professionals for people to choose from, plus growing competition from direct writers. Therefore, it is imperative that you set yourself apart from the crowd. A professional bio quickly showcases your experience and sets you apart from the crowd. A bio is.

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Are We Too Focused on the Goal?

A few years ago, the Oakland Police Department spent hours trying to oust a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his house. After firing tear gas canisters into the house, the officers finally noticed the home owner standing beside them in the police lineup, chanting, “Please come out and give yourself up!” It’s a great thing to set goals and feel proud of our successes. However, to truly succeed in life as well in business, we should remember there are others beside us, also helping us to succeed. Survey after survey shows employees feel increasingly disenfranchised from their work, which hurts productivity and creates customer service issues galore. Employers complain woefully about a lack of talent, yet fail to do everything in their power to keep the very employees they currently employ. Take a moment today to listen to and sincerely respond to those who help you to succeed, including.

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Squirrel! ADHD Officially Hits Training

Ohio has become the first state to officially allow continuing education for accountants in ten-minute increments. I don’t know whether to yell “Squirrel” or applaud them for understanding the way most people seem to learn today. What do you think? Would you want your accountant doing his or her continuing education in ten-minute increments?

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Risk Avoidance and What the Heck is Wrong With People?

I rarely go into Circle Ks or convenience stores or places of that ilk because I’d prefer not to get shot (risk avoidance). However, on the way to a volunteer gig the other day and against my better judgment, I stopped in a Circle K near Interstate 17 in Phoenix to buy a pop (or soda, as some call it). As I walked in, I noticed there was a mop bucket full of black water near the register and that my shoes stuck to the floor as I went to get my pop. As I filled my cup, I noticed a sign that said, “Out of straws.” At the register I said hello to the cashier and asked the young man if he was holding out and if perhaps he did have a straw. He nearly started crying. He said they ran out of straws earlier in the day and.

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How to Manage Today’s Insurance Professionals

I recently spoke with risk management consultant and former insurance agent Dan Weedin, author of Insuring Success. Weedin and I share something in common: A passion for the insurance industry and a concern that today’s top insurance talent is disappearing. We talked about some of the challenges facing agencies and insurers as they try to align staffing needs with retiring talent. As millions of Baby Boomers retire within this decade, the industry’s talent crisis is real. An added area of concern for insurance organizations is that many of those “Boomers” are deciding whether they should take that last chance and change careers. “Burnout, disgust, and unhappiness in one’s job will lead to change, especially at an age when timing is of the essence,” Weedin says. As these long-tenured and valuable employees leave, so do all their “smarts” that organizations accumulated over the span of their working career. That is how.

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Should We Use Stamps or Metered Mail in Marketing Mail?

One Christmas I was in a long line in the post office in Garden Grove, California. An elderly woman was in line in front of me and when she finally got to the counter, she ordered a book of stamps. After her request, she qualified her statement by saying with a great deal of irritation, “And none of those darn Elvis stamps, either!” Everyone within earshot tried not to laugh out loud. While bulk mail may save a few pennies, I always use a real stamp. In fact, I often get creative and use stamps with themes or beautiful pictures just to draw the letter opener’s eye to piece. If we can help you write copy that will produce sales, contact us at 602.870.3230. We help agents, carriers and insurance thought leaders throughout the US with their blogging, marketing and ghostwriting efforts. Why not call for a free consultation? With.

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More WordPress training to help you optimize your insurance marketing results!

Did you know that about 20 percent of today’s websites and blogs are developed on WordPress? I’m taking more WordPress training today so I can continue to help you deliver stellar social media results. Small changes to the way you handle your social media tasks can really help improve search engine results for your business. We will cover some tips for WordPress users in the near future.

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Is Enterprise Risk Management Still Important to Today’s Organizations?

Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) framework can provide strong benefits to organizations, helping to integrate and manage regulated operations. In this survey sponsored by Corporate Governance Consultancy Services, 33% of respondents shown in this infographic state that enterprise risk management is the most important. 27% of the respondents say that enterprise risk management continues to be important. For more details please visit  http://www.care-web.co.uk/blog/grc-software-guide-to-organizations/     Courtesy of: CAREWeb

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Journalists Covering Insurance can Benefit from Free Handbook

The Insurance Information Institute offers a free, 200-plus page handbook for journalists who cover insurance. It’s available as a free download at this link. While it can be hard to understand the intricacies of insurance jargon and how the industry operates, this guidebook answers many questions and provides a handy reference to various organizations who can assist journalists with more information.

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Take the New and Improved Associate in Claims 37 Class

In conjunction with Prepademy, I’ll be teaching the revised curriculum for The Institutes Associate in Claims Class, AIC 37, Managing Bodily Injury Claims, beginning August 28, 2013. For more information about this exciting web-based training opportunity, click this link. We’re just winding up the Workers Compensation portion of the AIC. Prepademy is a convenient and easy way to study for your Associate in Claims designation.  

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The AIC 44 Workers Compensation Claims Practices Class Begins May 23

I’m teaching the new and improved Associate in Claims class, AIC 44 Workers Compensation Claims Practices, on-line at Prepademy. This class begins Thursday, May 23 at 5 p.m. Pacific time. Register with Prepademy for a great preparation for the AIC 44 class. Visit this link for more information. As a former workers compensation claims manager, I love teaching this class, especially in its new, streamlined format. And if you miss the live presentation, Sandy Masters, the owner of Prepademy, makes the classes readily available on line so you can view them at your convenience. We hope you can join us!

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