The Challenge of SWAG, or alternatively, How To Really Treat Your Future Clients

my life's logos

I went to visit my parents this last week, and my mom and I were sharing some views about the fact that as admins, we find ourselves sourcing some things to give away at trade shows and conferences, and that the both of us aim to choose things that meet the trifecta of quality, consistency of brand, and usefulness.

You don’t want whatevertheheckitis you buy to end up in a trash bin, and this whole conversation was inspired by a slightly terrible umbrella she had come across. A cutesy idea, this thing was a plastic wine bottle, wherein the body of the bottle, when removed, was an umbrella and you can imagine that the handle of the umbrella was the neck of the bottle.

Immediately, as a lady who enjoys food and drink, I saw a problem here. Normally the roles are reversed. Especially during prohibition times, you’d be hiding the alcohol inside the umbrella, not the umbrella inside the alcohol. On top of all that, the quality was BUNK.

Back when I was working for a laboratory, our most popular piece of swag was a double-ended Sharpie. Not a knockoff marker, but a high-quality pen with the ink we all know and love to be permanent (important for environmental samples in the field). Our logo was in the middle, nice and legible with the phone number, and everyone was using them consistently. They asked for a new one if it was lost or ran out of ink. THAT’S a nice piece of swag.

My mom remembered one, too- she was working with a lot of software engineers  and hardware designers, and she found a pocket-friendly multi-tool that was a screwdriver/magnet/LED light/etc. It was so useful that people would come by the conference booth after seeing one of them, roped in by the siren song of usefulness.

There are lots of amazing items out there to pick from, and many aren’t even offered by the traditional “slap your logo on this piece of plastic junk” companies. My advice? Think of the object, the gift or sales item you would give to current and future clients, and then figure out how to get one that’s distinctly yours, rather than looking through random objects, trying to figure out how your logo would look on them.

And in the meanwhile, do check out Decomposition Books, and how you could send high-quality notebooks into the world with graphics on them or google up/pinterest search some neat ideas. I found some outside-o-the-box stuff here and here.

Take Time to Save, Protect, and Develop Passwords

Key To My Kingdom

I saw a funny joke about passwords today. Passwords are like underpants: you shouldn’t leave them out for everyone to see, you shouldn’t share them with friends, and you should change them frequently.  I do have most of mine memorized, but then again, I also have many that need frequent changing and that protect sensitive information. It’s important to have different passwords for all your accounts– good passwords that can’t be guessed. Here are two great tools I’ve found for managing the most important aspects of passwords.

Generate a Good Password

Print yourself one of these password cards and generate passwords from there. This site generates completely random combinations of symbols for these, and yours will be unique.

Keep Those Passwords Safe

LastPass acts as a gateway, allowing you to save those impossible to remember passwords and login with just one key password to all of your stuff.

What are you using to protect your passwords for home and business? What do you like about it?

I’m building a website. Meanwhile, what can I do for you?

I’m available for your daunting projects, your information organization, your planning and scheduling, your next big thing.

There are so many things I can do for your business, for your blog, or for your image, and it’s all about your growth.

  • Copywriting and editing for bios, websites, catalogs, resumes, and technical documents.
  • Coach and project manager who can turn your “what ifs” into actionable to do lists that lead to attainable goals.
  • Researcher who will find that depth and validity you’ve been looking for in your blog.
  • Organizer of company information and documents, a creator of systems and tamer of chaos.
  • Project manager for that ebook you’ve been meaning to write and distribute.
  • Streamliner of your office practices.
  • Marketing and PR ideaperson- I can help find your customers and refine your efforts.

Put me to work. I’m ready to pull up my sleeves and dig in. These are just a few ideas, just pop me an email and we’ll chat it up.