He bills himself as Atlanta’s “only live insurance agent” — and he brings insurance to life on his Atlanta Insurance Live video blog and Web site at atlantainsurancelive.com.
Insurance entrepreneur Chris Jordan has been profiled by Inc. magazine in a story on businesses that entrepreneurs can start in their pajamas. He was also heard on an Insurance Journal TV Onpoint podcast with Peter van Aartrijk and Rick Morgan, who got him to talk about his creative use of technology in a segment, The Video Insurance Guy.
Jordan utilizes a digital camera, a webcam, live chat, social networking — and his sense of humor — to build relationships with people who might become customers.
Jordan buys into the notion that insurance is about relationships, but believes relationships can be forged online as well as in person.
“I think that using video, being available on a webcam, live chat, gives agency owners and agents the opportunity to connect with their customers like customers have really never seen before. I think it’s really what the consumer is going to be ready for in the coming years.”
People who view his site come to feel like they know him, according to Jordan.
“[I]‘ve gone to events here in Atlanta, and it’s funny because, I’ll introduce myself, and they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re the video insurance guy.’ So it puts you out there. People feel like they know you before they know you,” he said in the podcast.
They even get to know his family and pet.
In his video blogs, he discusses insurance topics, managing to keep them light and fun.
To tape a recent Valentine’s Day video message, Jordan immersed himself in a tub filled with soap bubbles. Calling himself Atlanta’s “most romantic insurance agent,” he advised newlyweds to contact him for auto insurance discounts and homeowners coverage for those new wedding rings.
Walking through Tampa’s airport recently gave him an idea, so he flipped on his camera to record a message about how homeowners insurance will cover items damaged or stolen while away on a trip.
He has a live tab where visitors can connect with him online on a webcam for real time chat, which adds another degree of availability.
He uses social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to drive traffic to his site. But he doesn’t try to sell on those sites.
“[W]hat I’ve done is I’ve gone out on Facebook and Twitter and really just started trying to make friends with people sincerely. And those tools are what essentially drive people back to my website.”
He does not use expensive equipment— just a 10-megapixdel camera. He uploads his videos via YouTube and then embeds the code into his blog, which he set up on WordPress.org.
Jordan finds that his social networking marketing approach is best suited for personal lines right now. For commercial lines, he makes use of the old-fashioned phone, too.
As a former direct agent for a large carrier, Jordan feels that he is freer to be more creative and informal now that he is an independent agent.
“[I]t doesn’t always have to be suit and tie any more, especially with generations X and Y… it is very exciting to be able to step outside of that box and do things differently,” he told van Aartrijk.
Thus far, doing things differently is working.
“This has been a fun project for me and continues to grow. Business is picking up steadily,” he told Insurance Journal.
He’s started his own marketing firm, Agency Edge Marketing, which specializes in working with independent insurance agents and agencies to help them improve their online effectiveness.
He’s even talking with a traditional brick agency in Alabama on the possibility of becoming its Web presence in Georgia.
While he’s a big fan of technology and social networking, Jordan also believes in mixing his high tech with a personal touch. He does not quote directly online but offers a form for customers to request more information. It asks for the best time for him to contact them for additional information — using the mature technology of the telephone.
Also, things are about to change as his wife will be home for the summer with his daughter, allowing the agent who likes to step outside the box more time to step outside his home.
“This will allow me to get out and shake things up in person. I view it like this: I’ll have a reason to go out and have a conversation with people about insurance. I have a fun platform. I think this summer is when I’ll begin to see many of my goals realized,” says Jordan.
Editor’s Note: For other stories on how independent agencies are using social media, see:
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