I decided some time ago that the Insurance Goddess should actually be brought to life, but I didn’t quite know how to pull it off. When the Logan County Networking Meetup was seeking host locations, the owner of Peach Tree Books & Company (Kip Robinaugh) and I decided to jointly co-host in May 2010 (You can reference an earlier post explaining the Meetups here). I figured that would be the best time to introduce my alter ego (Clark Kent has Superman, Peter Parker has Spider Man and Carrie Reynolds has the Insurance Goddess. OK, maybe not exactly in the same league, but one can dream).
The chosen format for the evening’s events? Why a good old-fashioned block party of course. We closed down the street in front of our respective businesses (we’re across the street from each other), and people could socialize and network out in the open. And what would a party be without food? So we asked Chattan Loch, a downtown restaurant, (yes this particular meetup was all about downtown Bellefontaine) to cater. We also further stressed the downtown via the Meetup card, a discount/promotional card that could be used at various downtown businesses. The organizers of our local Meetup, Carly & Dennis Schaub of FastTrack Signs, came up with the idea.
I have to hand it to Carly because she’s the one who really wanted me to use the Goddess theme and promote my blog, as the “hook” for the evening. Why? Because no other agency in our county (heck perhaps within a 50 mile radius) was even remotely doing anything like what I was doing. Unfortunately I think insurance is innately creatively stifling. It’s all about paperwork and legal contracts and other stuff that makes most people want to run out of the room screaming. And when you’ve worked in the industry long enough (I’ve been at it 14 years), it’s really tough to think outside of the box. The industry just stifles creativity, intentional or not.
So what was I doing? I think at the most basic level, I was adding personality to a subject that tends to have little personality. I was humanizing the industry. I was poking a little fun at myself to prove a point: Insurance doesn’t have to be scary, boring or tedious because there are real people who are trained to help. And if those trained people happen to look like Cleopatra, bonus for the customer.
So, I decided to bake (with my mom’s help) around 300 cookies to pass out the night of the Meetup. Attached to each bag was a brief description of the blog and web address, and also the other ways people could connect with the agency and me (Twitter, Business Page, LinkedIn, etc.) I enticed people to read my blog by stating, “Nothing like curling up with cookies, a glass of milk and a good…..blog?”
So the big night of the debut came and I must say I had a ball. It felt like Prom, Halloween and New Year’s Eve all wrapped up into one. I passed out cookies, and even took several photos with guests. They thought it was a hoot. And so did I.
I’m so proud as it was the largest Meetup ever- 65 people came. We ate great food, saw many new faces, reconnected with others and just had a great time.
I’ve made the decision that the Insurance Goddess will be the “face” of Alan Galvez Insurance. She’s a snappier dresser than Flo and definitely cuter than a gecko. I bet she’s also someone you can talk to and be friends with. And last time I checked, insurance is still a relationship-based business. If you had a problem, wouldn’t it be nice to put a face with a name and know there’s someone looking out for you?
She’s already been out visiting members of the community and the response has been very positive. So thanks to Carly, for helping to push me out of my comfort zone and making me take a risk. You were so right.
So, now that the Goddess is here, please tell me: what do you want to see her do next? Charity functions, educational programs? Or something way outside the box? I want your suggestions. This is your time to shine, so don’t waste it.