Promoting Your Business
"Free Consultation" with Jon D'Agostino
Jonathan D'Agostino: -- be addicted to golf 15 years ago. But, business being what it is, I just don't have the time to get out and play often enough to play well. So that outing was my first outing in two years.
Barbara Federico: You almost had the longest drive, didn't you?
Jonathan D'Agostino: No, closest.
Barbara Federico: Closest?
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yeah.
Barbara Federico: Like somebody cheated though, you would have them --
Jonathan D'Agostino: I was six feet. I was sure I was getting that, but you know cheaters, it was probably Henry. Was he playing?
Barbara Federico: I don't know.
Jonathan D'Agostino: With Jerry, some of those guys?
Barbara Federico: It was Jerry Maren (ph).
Jonathan D'Agostino: But, you go to these golf outings now, and when you check in, they give you a bag of goodies. Did you have anything to do with this outing?
Barbara Federico: Some of them. I did some of the -- for the outing, yes.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Now, this particular one was for Saint John's.
Barbara Federico: Saint Johns, right I did.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Is that who you are working for?
Barbara Federico: No, I was doing something for the coolies in the outing but actually I am an alumni of Saint John's. Isn't that fantastic?
Jonathan D'Agostino: That is incredibly interesting.
Barbara Federico: Not everyone to do, I believe John.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yes, I believe, sure it will. Those days at Harvard really shaped me. What about these outings now? So you get contacted somebody trying to promote their business?
Barbara Federico: Right, either their business or the outing itself will put a goodie bag together with their information on it, and there is just hundreds of -- now thousands of different items sort of in the bag.
Jonathan D'Agostino: So how do you decide or how do they decide what it is that they want to --?
Barbara Federico: Well, what we try to do is, maybe get like a major sponsor that can supplement one of the items, and that they will defray the cost of let's say an umbrella or more an expensive item, and then if individual businesses like yourself would want to put something in as a donation into the bag, they could do that as well. So that generally happens that way, and let's say for instance a friend of mine has an outing coming up, she gets a lot of donations from Nike, from Wagner College, from her alumni associations, and that all goes into the goodie bag.
Jonathan D'Agostino: So putting the outings aside, a business that wants to promote itself. How do they find you? Generally on the Internet or what is that?
Barbara Federico: I am on the Internet; word of mouth is very, very big. I have been in business since 1989. So just a lot of customers.
Jonathan D'Agostino: 1989, and most customers are looking for what?
Barbara Federico: It really depends; they might want to increase trade show traffic in their booth. They might want to thank a customer. They might want to give holiday gifts, calendars, hundreds of different place.
Jonathan D'Agostino: You know what I like about -- I have dealt for I am not really sure, ten years, nine years?
Barbara Federico: Probably something like that, time flow is a fun.
Jonathan D'Agostino: You can keep me directly playing this morning. But what I liked about dealing with you was I am someone who likes to brainstorm, I want to think outside the box sometimes. I want the same thing that every other law firm has whatever it is, and you like to brainstorm along with me. So I like to --
Barbara Federico: You like to pick my brain.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yeah.
Barbara Federico: We don't charge for brain picking.
Jonathan D'Agostino: No, no, not always I think it is. I have to go back and check. But it's important and it's interesting to me how -- there are a lot of businesses that don't promote themselves through products at all, and it can be very simple. I mean, what's the most common say product that companies need or require or want. What is good.
Barbara Federico: We do a lot of pens, a lot of magnets. Let's say under the $2 range, $2 per item.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Okay. Now I came to you and I said, a one pen, but I don't want a pen that just says the name of the firm, and at the time what we were using the tag that we get big results. So we will start spending, and it just still happens to have, but you came up with which is the pen.
Barbara Federico: The big results pen.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yeah. So we called it a big results pen, and we were able to put the name of the firm, and it was you know what, you know what's great about this pen? Not only this works, but because of the size, I find that our clients, the elderly clients love it because those with the price that -- the grip is very easy and it's very --
Barbara Federico: I think there is two miles of ink in that pen.
Jonathan D'Agostino: So far we have not any complaints, and you can always find it in your pocket book, and in fact I am going to put it right here because I will use it, I will use my pen. What do you have?
Barbara Federico: Oh, this last minute.
Jonathan D'Agostino: What is that? What is that pen?
Barbara Federico: This is the Rubik's cube pen.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Let me see.
Barbara Federico: And those are the different items that we sell that's a promotion that we are giving out.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Oh, you are promoting yourself. I was going to say, because the last thing I want to do is sit around with my pen and solve the puzzle.
Barbara Federico: You never know.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Trust me, I know. I like doing puzzles, outside of work.
Barbara Federico: But that's something new that just came out. So full color is a big thing now. So you could put --
Jonathan D'Agostino: So I can design this or what.
Barbara Federico: Right, we could put a dog's face and may be the T's thing.
Jonathan D'Agostino: What are you saying, look like a dog?
Barbara Federico: I was just --
Jonathan D'Agostino: Okay. So I can put whatever it is that the firm does? You know the firm?
Barbara Federico: Yes. Yes. Everybody knows your firm.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Good, good.
Barbara Federico: I think you have a bus stop specifically in front.
Jonathan D'Agostino: But, that's pretty cool. I didn't think of it that way.
Barbara Federico: That just came out, we just got those. We are out of shell, we do a lot of shows throughout the country. When I say do, we attend a lot of trade shows of a lot of factories, 2000 different promotional factories. So we are always on the look out, that's why for the last time I was in Vegas, I had picked a pen out for you.
Jonathan D'Agostino: So this came from Vegas?
Barbara Federico: Yes, yes and actually John, they have if you want --
Jonathan D'Agostino: A bigger pen?
Barbara Federico: Bigger results.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Really?
Barbara Federico: They have a larger pen.
Jonathan D'Agostino: That can be used?
Barbara Federico: Yes.
Jonathan D'Agostino: That's just a gig.
Barbara Federico: No, no, no it's an actual pen. It's double the size of that.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Really?
Barbara Federico: Yes.
Jonathan D'Agostino: I don't know.
Barbara Federico: If you want to get the coins bigger.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Big results. Oh please, then you get carried away, I don't know. Yeah, but you do have to draw the line between being serious at your point, and it seeming like a gig.
Barbara Federico: A gimmick, right.
Jonathan D'Agostino: You know what gimmick. What else?
Barbara Federico: No, I wanted to give you this, this is the bug band for your next golf outing.
Jonathan D'Agostino: A bug band.
Barbara Federico: So I could imprint your name on that.
Jonathan D'Agostino: So I put this around my wrist?
Barbara Federico: Your wrist, your arm, your leg, your ankle and it repels bugs at the outing. I know you got clouded with a lot of bugs.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Well, I don't think I am going to sweep. I was the only one. I mean, so I am not going to get bitten, on my wrist is that it?
Barbara Federico: Right, well ideally the whole body.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Let me see. What is that?
Barbara Federico: Oh, this is a --
Jonathan D'Agostino: Wearing the band.
Barbara Federico: This is a chapstick holder.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Will this get me safe from bugging me also?
Barbara Federico: Ideally. That could clip on to really anything.
Jonathan D'Agostino: With the golf pick.
Barbara Federico: Golf pick. Those we got at another trade show, they were part of the lanyards with our trade show idea on it, so that clipped on to that, and that's a chapstick we did for one of our clients.
Jonathan D'Agostino: I have seen your catalog, and the choices are endless. You can just go crazy.
Barbara Federico: You can really, 958,000 items from imprinted coconuts, imprinted walnuts.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Well, so let me ask you, if somebody gives you a call, and they know that they want to take this thing well. I don't know. But somebody calls you that want to promote your business. What do you say then?
Barbara Federico: Well, we see what they have done that the industry that they are in.
Jonathan D'Agostino: So if it's somebody who is a sign maker let's say, puts up signs for businesses all around and he is looking at the --
Barbara Federico: Business with no sign is a sign of no business.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Is a sign of no business. But, you know, so let's just take that kind of business. You start thinking in terms of -- do you think in terms of a budget?
Barbara Federico: We do. That might not be the first portion of it. It really all depends, all depends on the budget.
Jonathan D'Agostino: The audience, who they are targeting?
Barbara Federico: Right, the audience. How much they have to promote a new business, just getting out there, do they get word of mouth, do they want to promote a lot of times? There is so much business within the business that you have. For instance if you have Chase Manhattan Bank as a client, you might only have one office on one street in Manhattan where you can -- we try to make you think to go deeper within the industries that you are already serving.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Okay. Now you don't get involved with advertising?
Barbara Federico: Not per say, no, we use to do advertising.
Jonathan D'Agostino: This is a niche.
Barbara Federico: Correct, correct. This is the promotional products niche of the advertising industry. So this is truly targeted marketing because we can cut out the fluff.
Jonathan D'Agostino: How do you know it works? How do you know, how does a customer know that whatever it is that they are using is working, if it's a magnet or if it's a --
Barbara Federico: Well, we can have a call to, also we can do a mailer with a magnet. Sometimes they set up separate numbers or they put a name as for Erika, so they know there is really no Erika there. So they know that particular magnetic mail had worked.
Jonathan D'Agostino: We have an Erika.
Barbara Federico: Oh okay. So we would change the name for you.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Okay, you can do that. Thanks. It's interesting how you have promoting your business, advertising your business, marketing, branding. They are all separate, and yet they all kind of lean on each other one way or another.
Barbara Federico: Right, they sort of match together.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Do you get involved with branding at all?
Barbara Federico: Well, I mean branding could be considered through the promotional products, the branding. FedEx, if they are doing, the FedEx branding the colors. I remember there was a big promotion with FedEx when they started shipping ground and they made coffee in the coffee bags that FedEX has ground or something like that, FedEx ground. So branding is like that buzz word right now.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yeah. And a lot of it is planting seeds.
Barbara Federico: Correct.
Jonathan D'Agostino: And I am watching some business grow. I talk about that all the time. I talk about how -- when I wear the marketing hat in the firm, I am thinking of ways to promote brand and advertise to plan seeds to let people know what we are, what our service is all about, and a lot of -- and you hope that eventually, when somebody needs your services, they are going to think of you, and that's really all it is. The chance is that, if we did a campaign where we give these pens to our clients. They come in and they leave with a pen.
Barbara Federico: And you know what's funny, I have a lot of clients that come into my office and they see the pen, and they are like, "Oh, that's the attorney with the big pen." So they have been to your office I guess, a lot of my clients do it.
Jonathan D'Agostino: We have done trade shows at the mall, and we give out the pens. They love them. They come up, can I have one for a friend, can I have one for my mother. And I don't know really why other than its kind of cool and it works and it's easy to find, and for whatever reason and the message on it works. But, we can sit here and we can take a look at this pen, and we can think about what kind of campaign do we want to build around this pen. We have got to set a number of things, but the big results works. What about some other items that people generally will go for?
Barbara Federico: The coffee mugs.
Jonathan D'Agostino: The mugs.
Barbara Federico: We do a lot of mugs.
Jonathan D'Agostino: They are expensive, right?
Barbara Federico: Yeah. Well, now with the shipping, so much of our business is based on shipping rates. We just did some mugs for an outing and the shipping cost was nearly as much -- and actually they weren't mugs. They were pint glasses. But the shipping costs were nearly as much as the actual item, because this is a 12 ounce mug or 16 ounce mug. So it's all based on we.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Now, you get involved in the design of the mug? I mean is there an artist that you do?
Barbara Federico: Right. We actually have a couple of graphic designers that we work with and sometimes clients that we use mainly more of our larger clients, they have an in-house graphics department. So when I say the word PMS, they understand what I am talking about. If I say PMS to you, do you understand what I am speaking about?
Jonathan D'Agostino: I don't know, but I am thinking right now.
Barbara Federico: You see, anyone in the industry would know it's Pantone Matching System which is you know like -- you have more books that have the in-colors on it, right that's the same thing, that's the PMS for the industry, with the industry. So if you needed to have PMS red 185, and your office is in California because we deal with offices all over the country. Actually, we have done things for Japan, and France, and England. So there is no second guessing. We know PMS 185. It's PMS 185, wherever you are.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Do you get involved in coming up with the idea? I mean do you get involved with the logo at all?
Barbara Federico: Sometimes, sometimes to help out at what colors go good with what colors.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Do most people know what they want or they pick your brain?
Barbara Federico: They pick my brain.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Really?
Barbara Federico: My brain is losing.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Losing, there is not much left. Take that all these years.
Barbara Federico: I was a Mensa member, but now not anymore.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Amazing, it's amazing.
Barbara Federico: We just get everything.
Jonathan D'Agostino: So most companies don't really know what they want and you have to think about what message you are trying to convey, what you are trying to accomplish?
Barbara Federico: Correct and you can only do what was successful in other clients throughout the country that we could parley.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Can you think of a common mistake that people make in trying to promote their business, and I am not trying to put you on the spot, but I mean people generally don't know what they are doing in this area including me. I mean there was a time when I was clueless, and I relied on people like you, I am pretty hands-on. So I always knew what I wanted, but I have no artistic ability. So I would sketch things out or I would write a six figure tagline or something and we put something. Sometimes though I have done things that just not only did they not work, but I actually lost place. I will give you an example.
Barbara Federico: Okay. I was just going to ask, can I have permission?
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yeah. I mean, I will give you an example. I advertised on a shopping cart. Now, some businesses thrive from doing that, works very well. In the shopping carts now they have these advertisements. To me, it was a no-brainer, pick a supermarket in your neighborhood, the people were there pushing the cart around for an hour and they are looking at your face and this is easy. I actually turned the clients off. I actually had some clients call me say, "I don't want to use lawyers on my shopping cart." Now, you are going back 15 years, but I learned a lesson from that, that you have to be careful whereas let's say the real estate agent may pick up a lot of business from advertising a shopping cart. It was turning people off.
Barbara Federico: So you might have oversaturated.
Jonathan D'Agostino: I may have or I sent the wrong message or whatever, I don't know what it is. You never really know.
Barbara Federico: And that's unusual that people would give you feedback, usually you wouldn't hear from them. So that's great that they told you.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yeah, I actually tried to reach out. It was one woman in particular who decided that she wanted to switch to another law firm and we had nothing wrong. The case was in good standing, everything was great, and I called her and I asked her, and that's what she told me. I just don't want a lawyer who was on my shopping cart.
Barbara Federico: Wow!
Jonathan D'Agostino: It was about 15 years ago, but I talked to a rehab facility recently that was telling me that they are going to be advertising on pizza boxes. Again, seems like the piece of your service in neighborhood and you are in that neighborhood and you are going to be on every box. Everybody is going to see you when they open up the pizza, why not. But, my comment was do you want to be known as that facility that's on the pizza box? You seem like you were pizza box operation.
Again, it may work great for another business. I think, if you're in any professional capacity, it's probably not the best thing to do, my own opinion. So when you are picking a product, I think you probably have to be careful that not only that you are going to get business from -- it will plant the right seeds, but that you are not going to turn anybody off, because you know there is a lot of -- I have seen in the catalog a lot of fun stuff you can get. But, if you are a lawyer or a doctor or something like that, you might turn somebody off. You know band aids? You can put a nice tagline on a band aid. Have you done any of that?
Barbara Federico: We haven't done band aids.
Jonathan D'Agostino: I mean how about magnets that look like band aids.
Barbara Federico: Oh yeah, we have done that yes.
Jonathan D'Agostino: And those can be very professional. But as an injury firm, I wouldn't want to put something on a band aid, that's too cute because it just may not sound right. You know what I mean? But in general --
Barbara Federico: I am just thinking maybe a good magnet field, we have done some glow-in-the-dark magnets. So that's a good fitful.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Do people still use the magnets? They still put them on their refrigerator?
Barbara Federico: Actually yeah.
Jonathan D'Agostino: See, my wife doesn't allow anything on the refrigerator.
Barbara Federico: Well, there is file cabinets, refrigerators. Those are the two big uses in the offices.
Jonathan D'Agostino: I mean I don't know, I just don't know. Again, these are seeds. These things are all seeds putting in everything. So I am not going to get a new client who says, I got you from seeing your name on a pen. It's not going to happen.
Barbara Federico: Right, but you have its repetition, repetition, repetition.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Repetition and only --
Barbara Federico: When it comes time that they trip then fell, or slip then fell. I know there's a fine law in between flip and slip.
Jonathan D'Agostino: That they may think of me, and not only they knew people, but don't forget I handle a case for you today, and two years from now hopefully you'll still remember me and you still remember that you're happy. But if you know somebody who needs a lawyer, maybe you still have my pen in your bag or a rat laying around the house of you. That's what I am hoping.
Barbara Federico: Maybe you sent me a calendar.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Maybe I sent you a calendar or what else could I have done. I mean is there something that happens seasonly with the holidays or Christmas cards.
Barbara Federico: Calendars, we call them holiday cards now, that's the political correct term.
Jonathan D'Agostino: With a calendar.
Barbara Federico: With a calendar.
Jonathan D'Agostino: With a Christmas cake?
Barbara Federico: Great coffee by the way.
Jonathan D'Agostino: You like that. Not drink your coffee.
Barbara Federico: But you want to keep reaching out what, you can do some firms, do birthday cards, Thanksgiving cards are big. Thanksgiving cards are getting bigger and bigger every year because people want to get a jump start on the barrage of holidaycards.com.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Now, do they do the Thanksgiving card, is it called the Thanksgiving card?
Barbara Federico: Yes. That will be politically correct.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Do they send the Thanksgiving card in lieu of a holiday card?
Barbara Federico: Some firms do both.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Some firms do a bunch.
Barbara Federico: Right, exactly, exactly because they give the Thanksgiving card which is just a nice heartwarming, heartfelt appreciation of your business.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Okay. That's what we want, heartfelt messages.
Barbara Federico: And then maybe they would do a calendar, magnetic calendar, desk calendar, a planner. Even more calendars.
Jonathan D'Agostino: You like calendars, or cards?
Barbara Federico: What kind of cards?
Jonathan D'Agostino: Holiday cards.
Barbara Federico: Holiday cards are nice.
Jonathan D'Agostino: We actually get more into that.
Barbara Federico: Because calendars, you refer to your calendar a dozen times a day, some do, some don't.
Jonathan D'Agostino: We designed our own get-well cards, and we are designing our own birthday cards right now. But, you know it's all good, it's just a way of reaching out to the client.
Barbara Federico: Right, just different thing. We did for a law firm, and just things popping in up because we have how many, 19 years of case studies so to speak. But we did for one lawyer, he was a divorce attorney, and we had a congratulation -- it was on a box. It was a congratulations card with a balloon. The balloon say congratulations. They opened it up, it said, congratulations, you are divorced. And he got so much positive feedback from that.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Now, who came up with that? Did he see it somewhere?
Barbara Federico: We kind of looking -- he was about a year into divorce practice, and he wanted to do that.
Jonathan D'Agostino: It's always good if you can find something, something that people will remember or talk about. And that's my concern with the magnets with -- I just don't know, I don't know. I just don't know. I guess if it's something that they are going to use, like I have seen the calendar a little -- we call them little books.
Barbara Federico: Like a pocket planner.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Pocket planner.
Barbara Federico: Or a diary, whatever you call it.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Diary.
Barbara Federico: So that might not be --
Jonathan D'Agostino: Right. I don't know, I can --
Barbara Federico: We did those Halloween bags that time, how did that work out?
Jonathan D'Agostino: Well, it was good. We had characters stand on the corner and hand out candy to the children.
Barbara Federico: Which had a safety message.
Jonathan D'Agostino: That was great. The kids loved it, the parents loved it, and was safe. Again, we are not going to pick up from business from that.
Barbara Federico: Right, but you just said --
Jonathan D'Agostino: It's exposure, you are doing the right thing, people see the name. I mean, no one is ever going to call us and say we need an attorney, we've got your Halloween bag which is not going to happen. Hey, you never know.
Barbara Federico: This is true. You never know.
Jonathan D'Agostino: But it's not going to happen. But, there are just so many ways to promote your business, and how many trade shows do you go to a year?
Barbara Federico: I try to scale it back, because there is like one every other month. I go to probably four or five a year major ones.
Jonathan D'Agostino: And you are looking primarily for the next newest most interesting stuff?
Barbara Federico: Right, right. Sometimes what's old is new.
Jonathan D'Agostino: They bring something back.
Barbara Federico: Right. The first show I went to was in Dallas, Texas. And I think I shipped back about 15 boxes of ideas.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Really?
Barbara Federico: Because it was just one great thing after the other.
Jonathan D'Agostino: How come they didn't call me? I am looking for great things.
Barbara Federico: I didn't find your number.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Who are you giving those great things to Barbara? They are not coming to me.
Barbara Federico: We will get you some new ideas.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Give me some ideas, I need. I got three kids going to college, please.
Barbara Federico: Where is your current picture?
Jonathan D'Agostino: Oh, my pictures, up there I say.
Barbara Federico: That's the latest.
Jonathan D'Agostino: My son is almost 20, daughter is 17, and I have a little one who is 7. So I need products.
Barbara Federico: Baby needs shoes.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Baby needs shoes, the wife need shoes. Did you see my shoes?
Barbara Federico: You can do the whole of them.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Oh my God. Well, you know when they say about the shoemakers, shoes --
Barbara Federico: No shoes.
Jonathan D'Agostino: No shoes, but listen, let's get together, let's talk, let's brainstorm, spin the wheels, and I will meet you at Starbucks to figure something out.
Barbara Federico: Well, they just closed one. So we better go fast.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Yeah. They didn't promote the business.
Barbara Federico: This is true.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Even Starbucks has realms. They need you, if you call Howard Schultz, tell him.
Barbara Federico: I will get him on the phone.
Jonathan D'Agostino: Oh my God. Alright.
Promoting Your Business
Imagine your business logo or message on promotional merchandise such as promotional bags, business cards, award trophies, stick notes, promotional t shirts, pads, promotional umbrellas and on wide range of promotional merchandise....
Venturing into business isn\'t easy, you\'ve got to risk a lot of things and hope for the best. The first step in having a successful business is the advertising and therefore the marketing strategy that you will use, for your business to be known locally....
At Complete Promotional Products we are planning to build a very special company, renowned for the best promotional products company for the best service, quality and originality....
Through there are many products in the market that can be customized as distributed as the promotional products, the products that are useful on day-to-day basis are more popular. T-shirts, pens, caps, flash lights, stress balls, tape measures etc are some of the popular promotional products....
As discussed earlier, there are number of advantages of promoting your business using Pay per Click advertising....
Are you wondering why companies are exploiting the public networking sites? Literally, the answer would be for valid purposes on business....
Marketing and promotion is a very vital element of the business sector. Now that you have stepped into the business field there are certain promotion techniques that you have to keep in mind and apply them. There is always a target market that initiates a businessman to start a business. Capture the attention of that market first....
Properly promoting your business is a great way to boost sales and increase your customer base. There are numerous ways to promote your business- newspaper advertising, radio ads, and even offering free gifts with a purchase. One of the best ways to get your name out there is to purchase and distribute merchandise with your company name and logo on it....
Customised promotional products have become enormously popular in Brisbane...
Rather we start by taking an objective look at your organization\'s current social media presence....