Get the most out of your promotional items and give aways.Like most attorneys, you probably have a whole mug full of pens on your desk with the name of your firm printed in them. Maybe the mug sports your logo, too. While freebies and giveaways are a good way to remind clients that you are available, it only works if it grabs their interest—and in most cases, these promotional materials aren’t worth the plastic they’re printed on.

Here are a few legal promotional materials that aren’t worth your money:

  • Same Old Boring Pens. These have become a common handout, and as a result, they don’t really work anymore. People grab pens in their homes without reading them, just like they grab shampoo from the shower or a soft drink from the fridge.
  • Plain Logo keychains. Everything comes with a free keychain these days, but they seldom get used—especially if they are bulky or oddly shaped.
  • Plain Bumper stickers. Making bumper stickers for your business costs next to nothing, but anyone can make one. Unless it’s got an interesting quote or a funny saying, nobody’s going to put it on their car.

Every one of those items above can be "spiced up" by producing the right message or by changing the connection created to the item. For example, so attorneys have used "Watch for Motorcycles" bumper stickers to build a larger brand for themselves with great success. But they put thought into it ahead of time and aren't just out to "build a brand." They consider the audience that they want to reach first.

We've found these promotional items to be of practical use to clients, so they pull double-duty for your advertising dollar:

  • Tote bags. Not only are your clients reading your name on these bags, but they are taking them out in public and giving you even more advertising. They’re also lightweight, so they’re easy to mail in your informational package.
  • Magnets. Magnets are easy to distribute and stick almost anywhere. A magnetic frame or mirror is even better.
  • Utility keychains. People don’t want another keychain cluttering up their kitchen drawers. However, they’ll be quick to grab one if it offers a tool, such as a flashlight, bottle opener, tape measure, or laser pointer.
  • Calendars. Wall calendars are good; pocket and desk versions (or again, magnetic versions for the kitchen) are more likely to be seen by others.
  • Frisbees. Flying discs may seem like a silly investment, but think about it: how many times have you seen college kids on the lawn throwing a Frisbee on a nice day? They’re also low-cost, used in public, and you can fit a lot of information on them.

Once you’ve started branding your promotional items, you need to get to work on your other freebies: your website, your blog, and your book.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.