Danielle Douglas

A native of Colorado, Mrs. Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant, currently resides in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, with her husband. Mrs. Bryant is a published author, freelance writer, novelist, editor, ghostwriter and a literary and entrepreneurial advocate. She is the founder and owner of Literary Wonders! and Bryant Consulting. She is acting editor for AMAG For the Conscious Professional magazine, and part-time columnist for RAW Sistaz Literary Services and other literary venues. Mrs. Johnson-Bryant is a member of The Nussbaum Entrepreneurial Center for Women, Women of Leadership and Learning (WELL Women), Toastmasters and conducts workshops and classes on writing and entrepreneurship. She is also a member of several reading and writing groups.

Bryant Consulting

Using Promotional Material to Boost Publicity and Business

When I first moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, I needed employment. A number of job fairs were being held, but the attendance for the first job fair was so great that candidates were turned away. I arrived extra early at the next job fair to ensure that I would get in and have some face time with prospective employers. I shook hands, networked, passed out resumes, and collected my share of promotional materials. By the time I made my way through the job fair, I had postcards, business cards, flyers, pens, coffee cups, water bottles, key chains, and more, all with company information stamped on them. At first, I didn’t think anything of the items, well, except that I had an abundance of pens and wouldn’t have to purchase any for a while. And, yes, I had another coffee cup to add to my growing collection.

After a couple months of unemployment, my husband brought me paperwork for open enrollment with his employer. It’s no secret that men aren’t fans of doctors, so my lovely spouse was no help in choosing a family physician. After looking through countless directories, something sparked a memory. For the last week I had been drinking my coffee from a mug I had collected from the previous job fair. On that mug was the logo for Eagle Physicians. I thought if they are good enough for my morning java, they are certainly good enough to provide my family’s medical care. Of course, I did do my research and was satisfied with their range of specialists within the network. Just imagine, had I not gone to the job fair and not happily accepted the free coffee mug, perhaps my search for a primary care physician would have been more difficult. If that wasn’t enough to make anyone gleeful, later I was offered a position within their company; however, by then I was already employed.

Imagine your company is Eagle Physicians Network and I am a potential client. Exciting isn’t it? You reached me by using an effective promotional item. And the great thing is there are promotional items available for every budget. By doing your homework, you can find the right item to promote your business or product.

I have three businesses. I have branded my name, Yolanda M. Johnson (www.yolandamjohnson.com), my freelance business Bryant Consulting (www.bryantconsultingonline.com), and my literary business Literary Wonders! (www.literarywonders.com). I have promotional material for each of the businesses. My favorites by far are the pens and the coffee mugs. You can’t go wrong with them. Everyone needs a writing utensil and something to drink from. And each time someone comes back to your products they are reminded where or who that very product came from.

Earlier this year I had a potential client contact me after he had obtained one of my ink pens that advertised my company. He did not know where he got the pen, but he visited the Website, got a brief overview of Literary Wonders!, and decided he wanted to be part of it. He is now a loyal client of not only Literary Wonders! but of Bryant Consulting, as well.

Publicizing your business with promotional items can be inexpensive, moderate, or expensive.

Vista Print
Vista Print is a good source for those on a restricted budget. This fan favorite offers promotional material for free; all you pay is shipping. You can pick from hundreds of their preselected

designs for your items—of course, a small caption of their logo is imprinted on the product. FREE is FREE. They have a broad variety of free products from business cards to car magnets to caps. Vista Print offers the option to personalize your items with your company logo for a minimal price. Two hundred fifty personalized business cards cost between $9.99 and $39.99. Visit Vista Print at www.vistaprint.com.

Nashville Wraps
I love this company. Nashville Wraps sells lovely gift bags, boxes, tissue, and accessories. The design selection is amazing. And best of all, you can personalize these items with your company name or logo. Their prices are reasonable, starting as low as $10 for twenty-five bags. Visit Nashville Wraps at www.nashvillewraps.com.

National Pen
National Pen has a broad array of items such as bags, letter openers, coffee mugs, water bottles, magnets, labels, lunch bags, umbrellas, and, of course, pens. National Pen offers low minimums, free credit terms, and personalization. Visit National Pen at www.pens.com.

Idea Art
Idea Art offers items such as personalized letterhead, certificates, and awards as well as personalized folders, portfolios, and emblems. Idea Art offers over three thousand products on their Website. Visit Idea Art at www.ideaart.com.

Twig One Stop
Twig One Stop is another one of my favorites. In 2006 I ordered five thousand bookmarks for the release of my novel Circumstances. I still have about three hundred left. They are full color on front and back and I paid only $109. Twig One Stop specializes in bulk promotional items on just about any promotional item you can think of and at very reasonable prices. Visit Twig One Stop at www.twigonestop.com.

Carson Wrapped Hersheys
Carson Wrapped Hersheys is an excellent idea for those wanting to take their promotional items to another level. Here you can get Hershey’s bars, Kisses, and other chocolates personalize with your business name and or logo. Visit Carson Wrapped Hersheys at www.wrappedhersheys.com.

These are just a few examples of promotional resources, but there are hundreds of promotional items companies and resources for you to choose from.

During the Christmas holiday, I ran a promotion offering a small discount off my books and included one of my bookmarks that was decorated with a lovely tassel and snowflake at the end. I made sure that my readers could not lose their places in my novel. I received many compliments on that unique, added touch. With that said, in addition to using promotional items to boost your publicity, find creative ways to leave an impression on your potential customers so they will not forget you, your company, or the services you provide.