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Print Shop Radio
63 minutes | May 10, 2019
Marketing That Will Waste Your Money
Week in Review Keli and Neil: Attempting to take some time off here and there to see how the shop runs without us ALWAYS at work. And…not talking about Avengers: Endgame. Michael: Printing shirts and not talking about Avengers: Endgame. News from the Print World Whattheythink.com: Print Business ChallengesInteresting info but I’d really like a bit more context for the data collection. Listener Feedback Great note from a listener out there: “…I’m constantly looking for resources to learn more about the business and the way other people do things as I formulate a plan to try to grow and expand, your podcast has been such a wonderful find.” Main Topic Marketing that will waste your money (if you’re trying to grow your print shop) Contradicting? maybe…. Printed Marketing materials…I know, I know…Newspaper print ads…not worth itOnline Newspaper Ads…. Possibly market dependent. If you’re going to work with a newspaper, this will probably get you more bang for your buck.Hiring a Marketing Company to manage your social media pages – If you’re not a huge company, hire a millennial. Way cheaper and faster. If you are a big company, hire 2 millennials.Sponsoring Events that happen less than a month out. Approached about events happening in a week! NO! This happens all the time. Its not going to give you enough exposure. Price comparison for Print Ads Vs Google Adwords Newspaper Ad – 4.25 x 5.5 ad is $450ish per run issue depending on area – If you run it 1 time per week for 4 weeks and you get a 10% discount: $1620.00, Compared to adwords? Google Adwords allows you to target your audience and location and even more demographics can be chosen if needed to be more specific. We currently target a 20 mile radius of our location. We have no further selections because we will print for anyone that needs any kind of printing. We have three ads running built to advertise the three main product/service categories we offer: signage, paper and printed apparel, March 1st to April 1st for the total of 3 ads we have had 5187 impressions, 150 actual clicks on ads, $524.38 spent in 30 days. Google ONLY. How many people do you think you would get a call from running a print ad in a newspaper in 4 or 5 issues? Radio Ads might be in same situation as above but will probably get more exposure for same cost as a print ad and it’s repeated multiple times a day so hopefully it will catch someones attention. Work out a partnership where you can trade your services for air time if you want to try this route.Magazine Ads that are not local OR advertising with a new magazine for full price. VERIFY circulation numbers. We’re not crazy about this method either UNLESS you are printing the magazine. It might be worth picking a magazine or circulation that is well distributed and free and/or experimenting with it for a few months. Based on our experience, we’re pretty sure customers will still google you to find you later anyway….Direct mail…… Ah the mail system…good, bad, ugly…all of the above for sure. We’ve tried it. Repeatedly.Do people care?Is it worth it?EDDM? Probably your best shot with a coupon! Postage Going up?! Return on Investment – way too low! Must do it over and over again to get noticed – cost adds upYellow Pages advertising in hard paper copy NO GO, even online might not be your best bang for your buck anymore. It’s the 21st century. We can see a plumber or HVAC company needing to still be in a hard copy book but even that’s questionable. When you see the cost of that ad, you’re going to think it’s being made of gold! Coupons….. We all LOVE coupons but…We did a coupon in a quarterly Magazine for about a year in a half. Circulation was 30,000 households every quarter and it rotated between 2 parts of our community on a schedule. We offered 10% off their order and a disclaimer that read: “must be presented before project is quoted” and had an expiration date 3 months out. No one seemed to care or take notice, We had the same 3 people WAIT for the coupon in the mail, bring them in and try to use them after they expired AND wouldn’t tell us they had the coupon before we quoted the job. We would show them the fine print and they would get upset. Maybe this would be OK if we had lots of people bring in coupons but I didn’t happen. It cost us about $450 per quarter which seemed reasonable for 30,000 homes BUT, Zero Return for NEW clients after 18 months! Not very cost-effective. Neil
45 minutes | Apr 10, 2019
Printing Ruined Our Lives
Week in Review Keli: Hunkered down and cranked out some upcoming episodes on marketing! Stay tuned for these! Michael: Enjoying his brand new tunnel dryer! It’s a beast! Neil: Big trucks…DONE! And I discovered a new toy to remove old vinyl Link in product recommendation below News from the Print World Totally blew it this week. My bad. Product Recommendation If you need to remove vinyl graphics in a hurry, this thingy is AWESOME! Main Topic Printing Ruined Our Lives Join us this week as we bask in the warm glow of misery that is life in printing. Just kidding (mostly). If you’re in this business, you know what its like to have your wife, husband or whatever tell you to stop looking at random graphic items out in the wild or boring them to tears while you dissect and analyze random junk mail. The pain is real, folks. And we share ours with you. Neil
75 minutes | Apr 2, 2019
What does it mean to be a Service Business?
Week in Review Keli: Got pulled into the fray on de-lettering some big trucks because she has (or had) fingernails. Michael: Michael’s new dryer was delivered! Unexpectedly…but the electricians are busy getting it powered up. Stay tuned for a report on that! Neil: Big trucks with old vinyl that needs to be removed…’nuff said. News from the Print World Michael ran across some interesting news…CorelDraw is now out for the Mac! Main Topic What it means to be a service business It’s time to take another look at what your customers experience when they work with your shop. We talk about some examples of common service businesses we can all relate to and see which one of those experiences we want to emulate. What is a Service Business?Auto Repair ShopHVAC companyFinancial AdvisorInsurance AgentDoctor’s Office (YES IT IS A SERVICE BUSINESS!)Don’t forget the “Service” part of what we all doCommercial Printing is a hybrid: Service AND ManufacturingWe tend to focus on the products more than the serviceEveryone can print stuff, the service will win customers4 questions to ask your top 10 (or 20) customersFrom your perspective, what to we do well?From your perspective, where can we improve?Why do you choose us over our competition?What improvements can we make with our service experience? Neil’s article about customer service problems Keli’s favorite jewelry…good luck finding a dealer with a good selection! (If you’re wondering why this is here, go listen to the show!) Neil
59 minutes | Mar 19, 2019
Outsourcing Your Print Work
Week in Review Keli: Took a day off! And still training our CSRs to be able to handle things without her. Michael: Still printing shirts and still counting down the days until his new toy. Neil: Nothing. Nothing at all. News from the Print World Well I thought this was cool until we kinda determined it might be completely defunct… If you know the status of this, let us know. Main Topic Outsourcing Your Print Work We know it is a very debatable topic so we have a pretty open discussion about when and why and what we outsource. We also talk about why we don’t outsource screen printing. It’s an interesting conversation where we learn about ourselves as well as hopefully spur some conversation with you guys. Topics covered in the show: When does it make sense to outsource?Run length? Overflow for high volumes?Capabilities you don’t have?Are there things you absolutely do NOT outsource?Certain customers?Specific jobs?Do any other factors stop you from sending jobs out to a print vendor?What worries you most about outsourcing?Lack of control?Communication?General anxiety about another company touching your stuff? Michael’s Forbes Article Link to Instagram about outsourcing to build volume in screen printing Neil
55 minutes | Mar 14, 2019
Sponsorship IS Marketing
Week in Review Neil: Hopefully finalizing the gear setup for phone interviews so we can bring you some cool, new content. Michael: Printing shirts and prepping for new toy. Keli: Adapting to a conjoined office with me and training a new customer service rep. Lucky girl. News from the Print World This one comes from Printing News and it really makes my head spin a little. The announcement is about Trotec (the laser people) selling some of their materials/substrates on Amazon. What gets my attention is that I’m not sure how I really feel about a move like that. We don’t have any laser engraving or cutting stuff in our shop but if we did, I think I might actually feel a little disgruntled if just anyone could buy the same materials I’m using to run my business and make a profit. Then again, I’m also annoyed that the Trotec products on Amazon aren’t Prime with free shipping! I obviously have conflicting feelings about all of it. Send me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you guys would think about your industry suppliers opening up their catalog of products to the Amazonian world. Main Topic Sponsorship IS Marketing I know quite a few business owners in my community and I probably talk to them about sponsorship stuff almost as much as I talk to them about how hard it is to find employees. But they aren’t in the print industry…and we are. And because we are, we have some very distinct advantages to leverage our skills and services to not only support whatever we’re sponsoring at the lowest possible cost to our company, we get to build good will and put our brand in front of many, many eyeballs. It’s the best promotional dollars you can spend, in my opinion. Topics covered in the show: The unique opportunity printing companies have for sponsorships Trading printed materials for sponsorship is the best case scenarioYour company brand is everywhere (marketing!)Structure your agreement to benefit everyoneIt’s not donated money, it’s expensed advertisingYou can propose a combination of paid and free products and STILL make a profitResidual BenefitsIt is marketing, but it shows community involvement and supportPuts your shop name in front of many people for a long time (i.e. Event T-Shirts)Another long-game tactic Good sales tactic for getting in the door with some clients (beginning of year sponsorship budget)Best practicesChoose your sponsorships wiselyTry to avoid religious and political affiliations Look for schools, community events, specific nonprofits, foundations, etc.Supporting nonprofits almost always leads to future orders and long-term relationshipsMake sure the agreement includes adding your name everywhere possible (all printed materials obviously, PLUS electronic communications)Remember your partnership with these organizations can be a reflection on your company Neil
57 minutes | Mar 5, 2019
Video, Marketing & Social Media
View this post on Instagram Looking for a cool way to promote your business? Check out @silipint! Go to our bio to get in contact with us about all the size and color options available. . . #weprintstuff #yourlocalsolution #silipint #drinkware #microwavesafe #ovensafe #flexible #printable #promoteyourbusiness #printing #printshoplife A post shared by NC Printing LLC (@ncprinting) on Feb 4, 2019 at 11:53am PST Week in Review Remodeling, rearranging, improvements and a new staff member. Yes it was a busy week. News from the Print World Ok…it’s not actually from the print world but we talk about the 20 year anniversary of “Office Space”. Yes it has really been 20 freakin’ years! Grab your red swingline stapler and reminisce with us. Main Topic Marketing, Video & Social Media While we went into this week’s show with a general outline, we have more of a open discussion about what we’re doing and what we think we want to do moving forward with video and social media. Below are some of the topics we cover. Who are we marketing to…existing customers and/or potential new customers?What are the techniques/strategies we’re trying?FacebookInstagramYouTubeWebsiteWhy video?How do you measure results?Paying for Facebook boosting We will return to this topic as needed to update you guys on what’s working and what isn’t producing results for us.
39 minutes | Feb 26, 2019
Everyone is a Designer…
What’s up inkslingers? Today’s show is a totally different format. We actually recorded this before we had our awesome format with weekly news topics, etc. We wanted to bring this one to you because it is a fun topic that EVERYBODY in the print world can relate to and we absolutely HAD to share it. Who doesn’t love those “designers” we all get walking into the shop or sending pretty files that don’t work? Oh yeah…we’re going there…check it out below!
51 minutes | Feb 19, 2019
Digital Printing vs Offset
Week in Review Michael talks about some new promo videos for the print shop. Neil paraphrases a Facebook post about one of competitors firing a customer. News from the Print World “Convergence” is the new buzzword in printing these days so here’s an article about another two groups ganging up for a trade show. That’s not what interests me. What struck me about the article was a paragraph about the ongoing trend of small shops adding diversified (and somewhat related) services to their goodie bag so customers don’t have to shop around. Product Recommendation Michael is liking the new screen emulsion from Texsource. Main Topic Are any offset shops NOT adding digital? We came from offset shop (with digital copy shop next door)We knew the processes of bothDigital quality finally rivaled offset around 10 years agoLow barrier to entry if offset is already presentPurchase or Lease?Quicker setup and runLess-skilled labor to run and maintain machinesSame bindery equipment (mostly)Customers don’t care…the quality is greatIf you’re not already printing on paper and want to add digital…Get ready to drop some coin on peripheral equipmentUnder no circumstances get talked into expensive in line finishers unless you KNOW you have the work for it.Lack of flexibility, inefficient print runs, etc. READ THE CONTRACTS CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHINGMake sure the per-click charge is what you agreed to and that it is only a single click for each side of paper regardless of sheet sizeMake sure the buyout language is clear or it may cost you more to return the machine than buy it at the end if you leaseAsk for the purchase price of a machine before you ask for a lease price
48 minutes | Feb 11, 2019
How to Lose Customers in 7 Easy Steps
PSR Week in Review Cold, Ice, Rain…good times. Michael’s dialing in some PSR SWAG and Keli barely has time to do a show because those pesky customers keep calling, emailing and ordering stuff. News from the Print World Vehicle Wrapping Business Adds Textile Screen PrintingI found that article on Printing News and I thought the story is acutely reflective of the business evolution small shops like ours are going through. We embraced the idea of diversifying our shop pretty early on, mainly due to our customers asking for it repeatedly. It just made sense. We have your artwork, we’ll put it on paper, vinyl, metal, clothing, whatever you want. I’m sure it’s not the first or only article written about this change, but I do think it’s worth reading if you’ve resisted Keli’s Corner Keli throws down some stats on how many promotional items you have in your household. Regardless of age or location in the USA, the numbers are pretty darn consistent. Yeah…you’re gonna go home and count. Main Topic None of us are perfect at Customer Service…and some of us (me) really stink. Keli’s list of 7 things you can do to get rid of those darn customers might just hit home with some of you…hopefully in a good ole pat-on-the-back sorta way. How to Lose Customers in 7 Easy Steps: Let the phone ring endlessly (It makes that sound for a reason)Project a sense of absolute authority over your customers (Nothing makes a buyer happier than knowing they’re giving money to royalty)Respond to a quote request 3 days later (Seriously…)Talk trash about your competition (It WILL bite you in the buttocks)Tell your customer to go climb a tree when you lose a bid (Always a good way to build long-term relationships)Blame everything but your shop when your shop screws up (I’m sure it was your file that caused us to drill holes in the wrong spot)Be completely vague about turnaround times (Calendars are for birthdays)BONUS: Make sure you charge way more on the invoice than the quote (Everyone loves those kinds of surprises) Dont forget, send us a question or comment via our ‘Contact Us’ tab at the top of the page and if we use it on the show we’ll send you an official Print Shop Radio T-Shirt!
65 minutes | Feb 4, 2019
Adding Garment Printing to Your Shop
PSR Week in Review Well…I’m still in video editing hades… I know, I know…I’m climbing the steep learning curve and I should probably just stick to printing stuff. Michael is playing with PSR Swag…well that and printing for customers, because that’s important too. News from the Print World I found an interesting article that ties in with our recent episode about expensive printer’s websites. This is the opposing viewpoint: link. I’m sticking to my guns. You may feel differently. I think its always good to look at things from opposing perspectives. We’d love to hear about your web to print experiences! Hit us on our contact form up at the top. Main Topic Michael dives into the ins and outs of adding screen printing (and/or DTG) to your shop. There’s a lot of information to consider before decisions are made. He explains a few things in detail… InfrastructureYou need space, lighting, a little bit of plumbing, and some dark storageBasic Screen Printing EquipmentPress, Dryer, Transparency Film, Exposure Unit, Screens and…you guessed it…inkThe ProcessCoat Screen, Expose Screen, Wash Out screen, Setup on Press, Print, Breakdown and clean up. Rinse and RepeatTrainingLive and (of course) the interwebsDTGWhat it is, why it is, how it fits and why it shouldn’t be the first step. But we do like it and it DEFINITELY has its place. Links TexsourceRyonetCatspit Dont forget, send us a question or comment via our ‘Contact Us’ tab at the top of the page and if we use it on the show we’ll send you an official Print Shop Radio T-Shirt!
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