When people first began calling me the LTC Queen – when I started to receive faxes and other correspondence addressed to “Queen” or “LTC Queen” on a fairly regular basis – was when I first realized I’d successfully branded myself.

There was a reason I wrote about karma last month – karma plays into branding very well. In order to brand yourself well, you must emanate not only success, but also confidence and knowledge.

Much like actors who “stay in character” off-camera, people must consistently think of you as a long term care insurance expert, except in purely social settings. This involves showing a lot of passion for long term care, as well. Once you’ve committed to doing so, the rest is easier.

You’ll need a 30-second elevator speech. Keep honing it so that you say more with fewer words. I admit, I use gimmicks; don’t shy away from gimmicks; they work.

Gimmicks do two things. First, they reinforce other efforts to brand yourself, such as a professional-looking website, impressive magazine ads, and networking. Equally important, they reflect your LTC passion. When people notice them, the passion grows.

Here are some of my favorite trade secrets and gimmicks.

  • When you meet me, I introduce myself as “Honey Leveen, the queen, by self-proclamation, of long term care insurance.” People are tickled with this, and it certainly sets me apart from anyone else. To further reinforce my brand, I actually bought a tiara for myself. I display it on a pillow at trade shows (and I would happily wear it if it weren’t so uncomfortable).
  • I have four magnetic signs on my car – one on each door. Two read, “Long-Term Care Insurance is Good for America” and are adapted from artwork provided by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). The other two display my picture, phone number, and website address. These signs cost about $50 each; the people at the sign-making stores even create the artwork for you to approve.
  • My license plates have been featured in AALTCI’s Sales Strategies Magazine. The ones on my car read, “LTC GAL.” The car my husband usually drives has plates that read, “LTC WIZ.” I know that people notice the signs because I watch drivers read them at traffic signals all the time. Somebody once asked me to pass my business card through the car window of an inquiring driver. I’ve had other traffic intersection chats with people who want to tell me they know me, or that they’re the child of one of my clients.

Most of these branding tips cost little or nothing. If you use them, they will increase your long term care karma and exposure.

Honey Leveen has been an LTCI specialist for 19 years and blogs regularly on industry trends at www.honeyleveen.com. She can be reached at honey@honeyleveen.com.