Our businesses are built around our clients’ needs and finding the right products to fit their campaigns and meet their goals. That focus is where our success comes from.

It can also be a blind spot. What about our needs? That’s why I want to talk about self-promo.

Great self-promo makes sense. It fits the market and the needs of the distributor. It’s something that clients and prospects will hold onto and represents an avenue for follow-up or a call to action.

Self-promo is also an opportunity to do something different. You’re not constrained by your clients’ needs. Show off. Explore a little. Self-promo highlights what you can bring to the table.

Need some new ideas? Come to The PPAI Expo and see what’s out there and what’s new. Talk to exhibitors and see what’s hot in the market right now.

A distributor investing in self-promo is ordering from a supplier to promote their own business. Suppliers are often willing to work closely with distributors on these orders, offering decoration options and favorable pricing. This is a wonderful opportunity! So, let’s explore what makes a great self promo.

Designing The Perfect Self-Promo

A close working relationship with your supplier pays dividends here, just as it does when you’re collaborating on the needs of your clients. The supplier will give you valuable feedback based on their capabilities, their knowledge of what works well and what they’ve seen out on the market.

The right self-promo also makes sense in terms of your clients’ needs. You wouldn’t necessarily send the same piece to a client working on a construction site as you would to a client working in an office or at home.

The design must also align with your goals. Does it communicate what you want it to communicate, and at the right time and place? For example, if you want customers to visit your website, your self-promo item should be something they’d keep at their desk.

Giving Self-Promo The Right Way

Your goals for your self-promo also drive how you give them. You shouldn’t just be giving out promo to give it out. The product you pick and the message it includes should all support what you’re trying to accomplish – and how your clients or prospects receive it should support that, as well. Create a plan and be intentional with it to support your goal.

An Opportunity To Follow Up

The most important aspect of any self-promo campaign is the opportunities it creates after the product has been given out. And it’s often the most overlooked. Don’t just hand out the product and move on.

How we handle this depends on whether we expect to see that person again. If you’re at a trade show or an event, make sure that your self-promo includes a call to action. Something like, “Visit our website and do this,” or “Book a meeting with me,” or “Subscribe to my newsletter,” or “Follow me on Facebook” –something that encourages them to connect with you in some further way.

If it’s someone you already have a relationship with, like a client, or if it’s a warm prospect, treat what you’re sending them as a gift. It’s an avenue for you to follow up directly with them and a basis for a conversation on what you can do to meet their business needs.

Davis is PPAI’s director of business development.