You don’t have to becoming a marketing service provider to make money in the printing business. If you just use the tools you have around you to communicate with your customers, you will be ahead of your competition. But the key is to have that personal contact so customers can put a name and face with the information they are receiving. The personal contact lets the customer know they are dealing with a professional.
Microsoft Publisher Still Strong
The Microsoft Publisher Service Provider Program was changed with the release of Publisher 2007. Commercial printers can’t get a free copy of Publisher anymore, but Microsoft is still providing support to professional printers. Printers with Publisher problems can get special help online. Microsoft has two sites that offer information and provide direct support. If you have a problem with Publisher you can visit http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/publisher/HA010772741033.aspx and http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/publisher/FX010833971033.aspx for help. Microsoft promotes the use of PDF when submitting a Publisher file to a commercial printer.
Most customers providing printers with digital files are not trained graphic designers nor do they have printing experience. It is up to printers to teach their customers the correct way to submit files. My recommendation: Have someone on staff who knows Publisher and then have them train the customer. A blog site and Twitter can be good tools to get information to customers about how to use Publisher to create files for commercial printing.
MacFixIt Now Free
MacFixIt, an online source of information on Mac-related repair and troubleshooting advice is now available free. CNET recently purchased MacFixIt and plans to expand the information available at the site. The URL for the new site is http://reviews.cnet.com/macfixit/.
Businesses Slow To Adopt Social Networking
Social networking may be getting a lot of ink, but businesses are slow to adopt it as a marketing resource. Discover Financial Services’ Small Business Watch recently took a poll that asked how businesses use social media. It reported that only 38% of those responding were members of online social networking communities. Only about 45% of those who did belong used it to promote their business. If the poll is representative of small business, printers will still have to use other means to get leads. A simple and inexpensive way to find out what businesses are around you is to use Google Search. Search for a type of business that typically uses printing, and see who is close to you but not using your services. Just find your location on the Google map and then use the “Search Nearby” feature. You may be surprised by how much business is right in your neighborhood and you didn’t know it. When you click on “More Information” you can find out if the company has a Web presence.
John Giles is the author of “12 Secrets for Digital Success” and “The DTP PriceList.” He is Technology Director for CPrint International. Contact him at 954/224-1942 or email@example.com. You can also find John on Twitter.com (Search for JohnG247) and Linkedin.com. You can also visit his website at www.johngiles.com and link to his blog.