Do It For Yourself


Los Angeles, California-based real estate agent Tami Pardee was recognized last year as L.A.’s most successful female listing agent for selling 150 properties totaling $261 million in 2014. This amounts to closing one deal almost every other day. In the media attention that followed, Pardee attributed her success to two things: hard work and investing more on self promotion than her competitors.

Suppose you already have a handle on the hard work required for high-quantity sales. The big question remaining is: Are you adequately promoting yourself and your company’s services? Crafting and dispersing self promotions can easily lose out to higher-priority tasks, but the need to reach new clients, say hello to former ones and show off your menu of services is ever present.

Self promotions that put products in the hands of prospects are one of the most effective ways to showcase the medium and win new business. But this can only happen if you stop procrastinating and resolve to build a creative self-marketing piece. Be it time, money or worries about appearing too promotional, here are three common excuses business owners use to delay their self promotions and examples of how others in the industry overcame them.

Reason No. 1

I don’t want to be a pest. This instinct is good, so use it to craft a self promotion that is mutually beneficial for you and your prospect. The campaign could help potential clients with their work responsibilities, highlight a discount on services or provide entertainment. If you don’t hit the mark the first time, note recipients’ reactions to your self promotion and recalibrate for next time. This is what New Fairfield, Connecticut-based distributor iPROMOTEu/Stay Visible (UPIC: 7951097) did when creating its PPAI Image Award-winning promotion for the Major League Baseball Diversity Summit. Their first time at the event, staffers noticed purchasing agents responding unfavorably to catalogs and brochures. The following year, they upped the wow factor by creating custom-printed boxes containing leather coasters and trading cards with company “stats”. The promotion was accepted by 100 percent of the intended audience, and the goal for sales appointments was exceeded by 200 percent.

Reason No. 2

It’s too cost prohibitive. We all want more—more clients, more business, more sales, more growth. But progress that occurs gradually is still progress. A PPAI Image Award-winning promotion from Sterling, Illinois-based distributor HALO Branded Solutions (UPIC: HBS) focused on just seven companies and nine prospective buyers. The campaign featured the five senses of promotional products, and the total cost was less than $1,000 for the products, packaging, postage and postcards. The five “sense” mailings, plus a sixth closer, were mailed weekly. The result was three thank-you calls, five face-to-face appointments, five new clients with high-sales potential and one major corporate account.

Reason No. 3

It requires too much time. Yes, good things take time, but scheduling, advance planning and breaking tasks into small chunks helped Brett Wynn of Newton, Iowa-based distributor Newton Manufacturing Co. (UPIC: NEWTON) execute his PPAI Image Award-winning self promotion. The campaign took a year from the original idea until the launch of the campaign, but Wynn worked on it when he had bits of free time, such as traveling to and from clients. His self promotion strategically targeted 36 current clients, and 36 prospective clients and involved mailing campaign materials packaged with stress toys and hand massagers to each of them. The mailings were calls to action for a Twitter contest, where retweets earned entries into a drawing for a Kindle Fire HD or an iPhone 5s. The contest generated almost 15,000 retweets and a 14-percent response rate.


iPROMOTEu/Stay Visible upped the wow factor with custom-coaster self promotion for members of Major League Baseball.


This campaign from HALO Branded Solutions featured the five senses of promotional products and cost less than $1,000.


A distributor from Newton Manufacturing Co. spent one year designing this self promotion, which utilized social media.

>>Draw more inspiration for self promotions by subscribing to PPAI’s IDEA Source archive of past PPAI award winners. Find it at




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