New & Exciting Promotional Products


It’s been a little over a month since I attended my big trade show for the year. I came back excite, exhilarated, exhausted and sick.

I’m finally healthy and caught up with everything, so it’s time to wade through the photos and catalogs and samples of what I saw at Expo.

Once I’ve uploaded my photos from my phone to my computer, I’m going to write the occasional blog about some of the items I saw that got me thinking and creating.

This seemed to be a big year for wine-inspired promotional products – from bottle stoppers to wine carriers to ice buckets to special glasses for drinking wine on a boat (yeah, really!).

Also, new styles in tumblers, including one that allows you to infuse fresh fruit flavors into your water and one that mixes the powder for your protein and other health drinks into your water better!

Want to promote healthier eating, watch for the portion control plates.

And, the last teaser, for those of us looking for added sun protection, a real sunbrella that provides proven SPF category protection.

Keep watching for detailed product information and ideas.

Marketing – It’s the Unofficial Aspect that Can Make or Break You


Did you ever stop to think that almost everything that you do during the course of your business day has some impact on marketing?

The way you answer the phone – that’s often someone’s first impression of the company.

If you blog/tweet/post/publish or have any kind of written communication from a professional vantage point – are you presenting yourself as a professional with good grammar and spelling?

Going to networking events? Are you dressed for success or for a party? How many “adult beverages” did you have? You might act sober, but if you don’t smell sober, people will notice.

Are your public areas (restrooms included) neat and clean? I know more than one person who will not go back to a restaurant if the bathrooms are dirty, no matter how good the food was.

If you have a storefront or office, is there always someone in the customer service or reception area to greet people as they come in or are people left to wonder if you’re still in business?

Yes, these are all fairly small things and many would never be directly linked to your marketing efforts. Nevertheless, marketing is about people knowing you exist, understanding your branded image and wanting to do business with you because of that image.

If you customers and prospects perceive you as lazy, unprofessional, unclean, or unfriendly, that will become your branded image, no matter how much money and resources you pour into your “official” marketing.


Get out There and Speak!


My older daughter participated in a Lion’s Club speech contest for high schoolers yesterday. She didn’t win, but she gave an amazing performance, especially considering it was her first time speaking in public in a venue other than a classroom.

It reminded me of the importance of public speaking. Taking the time to put together your thoughts, then standing in front of a group of people and speaking those thoughts out loud takes time and effort. Considering that public speaking is the number one fear for people – higher up the scale than even death – getting through giving a speech is really quite an accomplishment.

What can feeling comfortable speaking in front of a group do for you?

Well, there’s always having more confidence in one-on-one conversations like at networking events or asking your boss for a promotions or raise.

Giving a toast at a wedding? Now you can do it without feeling terrified for every moment of the day before; or, worse, yet, having to get drunk to do it.

You will have the ability to ask questions with greater poise and clarity at departmental or company meetings.

Your vocabulary will improve, making you sound more professional.

All-in-all, there is no down-side to being a proficient public speaker.

Not comfortable just getting up and speaking? There are coaches who can help, but my best recommendation is to join a Toastmaster’s group in your area. These groups are usually a good mix of amateur speakers and people who just want to feel more comfortable expressing themselves verbally. Occasionally, there’ even a professional speaker in the mix. If you attend the meetings on a regular basis and allow yourself to take advantage of the many opportunities available at each meeting to speak, you will improve and feel more confident in no time at all!

Go, ahead, try it. If a 16-year-old can do it and feel good about herself, so can you!