Four vital resources for printing companies in 2014

Posted by Matthew Parker

My daughter has changed completely

When I look back over the last 12 months, I can hardly believe how much my six-year daughter has developed. For one thing, she is quite a bit taller. However, the changes run far deeper than this. Her skills have improved dramatically. For instance, she is also getting pretty good at working out what money to pay in shops (and a worrying desire to know my bank card details!). Her character has developed too. She is beginning to teach me quite a lot.

The print industry is changing too. Just like my daughter, its character is changing. Selling print is becoming a more complicated sale. New skills are needed.

Printing companies need some help

That’s why I have chosen four resources that I think will help you over the coming months.

Print companies that read these resources will be able to have more worthwhile conversations with their prospects and clients. They will have a better chance of creating a really productive relationship. That means they have a better chance of achieving their sales goals. Also, because we are talking about the latest developments in print, there should be an opportunity to discuss some fun projects.

Printing companies that do not read these resources will have less opportunity to create a fun project. They are more likely to be stuck producing every day print. There won’t be any proper relationship with clients: these companies will be commodity producers. In today’s price driven marketplace they are likely to be struggling to achieve the profit margins that they need

So here are four resources that can help you.

IAPHC, The Graphic Professionals Resource Network

1This is an extremely active Facebook group. Particularly worthwhile are the frequent postings by Kevin Keane. He focuses on the latest developments in how print interacts with video, augmented reality and similar technologies. I find it fascinating to see just how print is still an essential component of the latest communication developments.

I don’t know where Kevin finds the time to do such in-depth research. There is no way I could keep up with these developments in the way that he does. This group is vital in keeping me up to date with what I need to know in this area.

Ink On Da Paper

index1Ink On Da Paper is a new kid on the block, having only started this year. This print blog is an eclectic mix of postings: you will find some inspiring projects, new ideas, interesting facts and a fun post every Friday.

For me, this is one of the most inspiring print blogs around. I love it when it lands in my inbox.

#printchat

indexThis is a weekly discussion held on twitter at 4pm ET (that’s 9pm for us Brits).  It is hosted by Deborah Corn @printmediacentr . I logged on to my first one recently. I instantly found a series of thought provoking questions.  I also made some great new connections in the industry.

It’s well worth the time spent on this online discussion.

Profitable Print Relationships

Profitable Print Relationships logo

It’s all very well seeing lots of inspiring print projects, but you also need to know how to sell them. That’s where my blog comes in. I focus on what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to selling printing and related services.

What makes my blog different is that I used to be a print buyer. So everything comes from the customer’s point of view.

If you sign up to my blog, you also receive a free copy of “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them”.

Some people will not want to sign up to these newsletters.

Aren’t resources like this a waste of sales time?

I would argue that you need new ideas if you want to move your business forward. These blogs will give you some great starting points.

Standing still in today’s communications industry is not an option. If you do not develop and innovate, your company will eventually die.

Here are three action points for you

  1. Sign up for the four resources (there’s a signup form for mine at the bottom of this page)
  2. Make a 15 minute slot in your schedule every week to read what is sent to you and participate in discussions
  3. Write down action points from your reading

It is important that you follow this through

In 12 months’ time you want to be able to look back at your company and see the difference. You want to be able to see as dramatic a change as I do in my daughter.

Download your free copy of “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” (worth £19/$29) right now

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