If it’s free, it’s me!


This weekend I went to a free “shredding” event in our neighborhood. I brought three file boxes of old tax and financial files and had them torn limb-from-limb by a monster truck.

Quick, easy, and free.

In addition to shredding, you could drop off old electronic devices for safe disposal.

The event was sponsored by a local real estate agent, husband and wife team. They set up a barbecue and served hot dogs and bratwursts (I had two) and said hello to the people in line.

What’s the point? No, not that I only ate two brats, although that is remarkable. The point is that this was a simple and inexpensive promotion, so simple, even a lawyer could do it.

And shredding old documents is a natural promotion for a lawyer, no matter what your practice area.

I’m guessing it cost them a few hundred dollars to pay for the shredding company to send a truck for three hours and a couple hundred for dogs and cookies and drinks. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they got the electronic pick-up truck at no cost because the raw materials can be profitably recycled.

It looked like their “team” was there, helping out, so no labor costs. The city promoted it in their newsletters and website. The real estate brokers put up signs directing traffic to the event.

What did the brokers get out of it? Maybe a few people asking to talk to them about selling their home. And some goodwill and name recognition.

But I’ll tell you one thing they didn’t get. They didn’t get any propaganda (brochures, etc.) or notepads or pens into the hands of the folks. Which surprised me. I would have given everyone something, anything, with my name and contact information on it, along with an offer, e.g., free appraisal, free “get your home ready to sell” booklet, etc.

Anyway, summer is coming and it’s a good time to fire up the bar-b-que and hold your own event. Let me know when and where and what you’re cooking.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula