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Thursday, 1 August 2013

The changing world and its impact on social media

by
Jodie Clock

Outside of death and taxes, the only thing for certain we can count, on is change!

My day job happens to be a funeral home owner/director for both humans and pets. Some people may find this profession to be a bid odd, morbid or even down right depressing. Me, well, I find it incredibly fascinating. I get to learn interesting information about people. Not things like where they were born, or how many children they have (although that type of learning can be very interesting), I’m talking about things that really impacted their life.


It’s the 21st century, and presently our population, has more people over the age of 65 than ever before. In our funeral home, it’s not uncommon that we are taking care of centurions, nonagenarians and octogenarians. 


While I was writing Navigating the Eldercare Journey…without going broke! I had the pleasure of talking to one lady who was in her 90’s who came in to pre-plan her funeral. As we were capturing information, I asked her what was the biggest thing she had experienced that changed her quality of life. Her answer was “paved roads”. Many of the stories she remembers as young child revolve around traveling in a covered wagon. This response leads me to ask about her other inventions such as the television, which in her lifetime went from a large black and white monstrosity to the digital television we have today. 

VBT Cafe
This very wise lady got my interest peeked and forced me to reflect on what has impacted my life. In all candor, both personally and professionally speaking, I can say technology. Through the use of technology, I was able to pen and publish Navigating the Eldercare Journey…without going broke! in less than 18 months. The internet enabled me to communicate with my publisher, editor and even public relations team in real time. It’s only been within the last 20 years that the internet has been utilized to by the general public and not just the military. Think about how many things technology has changed! Books are now available in a digital format as well a paper bound format. The newspaper in some cases has all but physically gone away and has transformed into digital. How about social media? If you had asked me just 10 years ago what social media was, I don’t think I would be able
to answer that question. In a very short period, this concept we have labeled “social media” has transformed the way everyone communicates. Heck, there are now even college degrees that revolve strictly around social media.

As a small business owner and author, the invention or platform of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google have provided more affordable tools at my fingertips, which can provide an incredible experience for my consumer. As an author, the ability to have readers place reviews about my book on Amazon is incredible. Creating a Facebook page for my book that challenges me to create a fan base only inspires me to become a more efficient communicator. Social media, if used properly can be a powerful tool. The only downside I can see is that once you put something out there, there is no turning back, it’s there for the world, and I mean world, to see.

What is critical is to find the balance where your posts are consistent, but not over the top in terms of length of posts or frequency. Twitter promotes brevity, but can be difficult to understand all the tweet terms and protocols.

Facebook has a wonderful business page side that allows people to create pages (book’s page). It also has wonderful “how to” sections to learn how to market your book to your target audience. I love the fact that it allows you to upload videos, create polls and even have private email conversations with your readers. Amazon’s author page has some of these tools, but not all of them. My next venue will be to learn Goodreads and begin to promote my book.

Blogging has turned into an interesting animal, if you will. It seems the rules for engagement change to the point of really anything goes. Blogs are turning out to be powerful. Initially, they reminded me of an online brochure – now, they are becoming just as important as your website. Think about this – the fact that my book is on a virtual book tour is still difficult for me to wrap my mind around. The internet really is changing the face of communication, business, relationships, education, recreation – and the list goes on.

So in closing, what’s my point? My point is that as an author and a small business owner, I have found both writing Navigating the Eldercare Journey…without going broke! and running the business is far easier than promoting.
I find social media a double edge sword. It can, and if done correctly, provide a solid platform to market from and establish a relationship with your target audience. The challenge is monetizing it. We know that social media will encourage people to act on purchasing your book or seeking out your services, but what we don’t know is how many social media touch points it takes for that action. Like anything else, once we figure that out the information will be yesterday’s news, as at the end of the day, the only thing certain besides death and taxes, is change! 



Jodi M. Clock 
For over 25 years, Jodi M. Clock has worked in the ‘end-of-life planning’ industry, including family and corporately owned funeral homes, advance funeral planning companies, casket manufacturers and insurance agencies. Having personally witnessed the financial confusion that families endure, especially at an emotionally taxing time, Ms. Clock has centered her career on helping people to understand the options that are available to them. She currently writes and speaks about the basics of Medicaid and asset protection and is a seasoned expert in end-of-life directives.

Ms. Clock wrote Navigating the Elder Care Journey...Without Going Broke! to help people appreciate the important facts they need to know in order to make the right financial choices, in one easy-to- understand guide. It is her hope that through the personal stories, straightforward information, and family care plans which include checklists, she will help people manage this process. Her goal is for everyone to become informed on options available that will not leave their hard-earned assets unnecessarily exposed, potentially saving them hundreds if not thousands of dollars; qualify for Medicaid; and have their funeral expenses pre-paid, therefore allowing their loved ones the ability to focus on what’s important and not have anxiety or stress over finances.

When she’s not consulting or helping manage the family funeral business, she volunteers with The Noah Project, a no kill animal shelter. An avid animal lover and supporter, she has a house full of pets and enjoys spending time on the western Michigan shoreline.

 Navigating The Eldercare Journey:Without Going Broke
by Jodi Clock

I dont feel old.  I dont feel anything until noon.That’s when it’s time for my nap.” 

Bob Hope


Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
We’ve all enjoyed a good laugh at the perils of getting older. But entering your Golden Years without any money is no joke. End-of life planning is a difficult subject to talk about - between facing mortality (either your parents or your own) to discussing the ever-confusing subject revolving around long term care options or understanding the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, or a living will vs. a living trust, there’s nothing fun about facing death and the issues that come with it.

Navigating the Eldercare Journey – Without Going Broke! can help reduce the challenges and minimize frustration encountered when you are placed in this situation. This easy-to-understand guide takes you from the basics of understanding long term care options that are available, how to seek out an elder care attorney and know if they are good fit for your needs, and how to qualify for Medicaid as a financial means to pay for care, including the benefits of funeral planning - in layman’s terms. Author Jodi M. Clock provides fundamental information regarding the basics in a way that helps you understand not only why her recommendations are important, but how you can minimize financial exposure regarding end-of-life events. Whether you are in a crisis situation or taking proactive measures, these valuable end-of-life solutions could safeguard you and your parents’ assets.

You have a choice – be proactive and preserve your money. Don’t leave it unprotected and unnecessarily taxed when you or your parents die. No matter how prepared you think you are, the reality of death is sobering, and expensive. When time is on your side, you can make well- thought-out, proactive decisions, enabling you to focus on what’s most important in life.



Short Excerpt:

HAVING “THE TALK”
How do you have “the talk” with your parents about wills, finances, medical care choices, and funerals?

Elderly parents may be reluctant to face end-of-life issues. This may be due to one of three reasons:procrastination; lack of experience or information; or denial.

If you are thinking about asking your parents about planning their end-of-life affairs, you are most likely motivated by love and concern. You are hoping to: 


· Honor their wishes regarding personal items, medical decisions, and funeral preferences.

· Avoid making hasty and emotional decisions in a crisis.

· Prevent overspending due to not knowing your parent’s wishes.

Sadly, elderly parents sometimes misconstrue their children’s concern as nosiness. Even worse, they may see it as an attempt to take over management of their personal affairs. Many of today’s seniors were raised not to discuss these issues openly, so don’t be surprised if the first response you hear is, “None of your business.” At some point, no matter how awkward this conversation may feel as an adult child, if your parents have not initiated this dialogue, you will  have to.

Key Point:

Just because people are aging or beginning to face health challenges doesn’t mean that they are insensitive, ignorant, or incapable of decision-making.
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