Realtors® buy lots of promotional items and gifts for clients, I know. I've often wondered whether they could track an increase in business back to the investment they made in magnets or calendars. And for a long time I've resisted buying anything more than business cards because I couldn't see the benefit.
But that has changed now. The trigger was a combination of two events that I wanted to support - both organizations are raising money for scholarships – but at the same time I wanted to promote by business. They both also have a silent auction. Ah ha! Finally I could see a reason to invest in a promotional item. But what?
The first criterion was it had to be something I would like to have myself. Second, it had to be of good quality. Third, it had to be something that people would actually use in a way that others would see. Fourth, it had to have a logical connection to my business. (There are wonderful key chains and calculators, but what do they have to do with books???). Oh, and it had to display my name clearly.
Thinking about those silent auctions I started with the idea of a basket for book lovers. Wait! Why not a Book Lover's Bag? Yes, that was it. A nice canvas bag with dark green handles to match my website, a pocket on the outside, and my logo on the pocket.
I picked them up today, and only wish I had done this sooner. They are just right. (Kira also approves, as you see.) And in a couple of weeks I'll be filling two of them with books for writers and readers, gourmet hot chocolate mix, a cozy lap robe, and a large bar of dark chocolate. (Didn't I say it had to be something I'd like to have?)
They will go to raise money for the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber of Congress and the Business Women's Network of Howard County. I hope the people who win the auctions will enjoy the bags and their contents as I enjoy knowing I've helped deserving students of all ages get a college education.