The print market has changed massively in the last 15 years. The internet has broken down geographical barriers making order handling much more efficient for printers. This, in turn, has made the entire process more accessible and cost effective for buyers making the entire landscape more competitive across the board.
Yet there are some things even the internet cannot solve…the issue of artwork. Without artwork, there can be no print and plenty of businesses still don’t have access to skilled graphic designers. Print and design are inextricably linked and you can be there to fill in this gap! The following reasons showcase why offering design to your clients is a hands down winning strategy to grow your print business.
1) It Creates a Competitive Advantage Over Online Printers
While print itself has become more accessible to buyers, good design that will help their campaign succeed has not. Many online printers have tried to get around this issue by offering “design online” tools, whereby customers select a template and edit the text and images. Any business or graphic designer will agree this only goes so far to solve the issue.
Maybe a business already has an established brand which won’t fit in with these templates. Others want something unique to them which isn’t available to everyone else. The bottom-line here is that templates are limited when it comes to design and often don’t meet the needs of businesses.
Offering design, therefore, gives you an edge over other printers that can’t. You are fundamentally adding value to the customer by solving the inevitable issue which arises when ordering print. It’s an important part of your value proposition which sets you apart in a competitive market (and is something more to talk about when marketing your own business).
2) Carrying Out Design Work will Allow You to Win the Print Work
Admittedly, for customers with a design, there is little you can do here. They will probably do a search online and opt for one of the big online printers since they have little barriers to buy. This is more the case with younger shoppers who are more comfortable buying online.
Yet, have you ever asked of the big online printers if they can design? The answer is usually no. If you were in this customer’s mindset earlier on in their campaign, before they commissioned a designer, there is more of a chance for you to win that print work.
Then there’s those who don’t have artwork prepared. People want convenience; especially businesses with tight schedules and deadlines. If you are using design to bring in business and also offer to outsource the print, then you have killed two birds with one stone.
3) It Increases Loyalty
Any marketer knows that consistency is key when it comes to branding. With the vastness of channels, both online and offline, now available to business, retaining consistency across them all if they are outsourcing services can be a massive headache.
If your client really liked the work you’ve done for them in the past, they’ll be keen to keep that consistency of quality. This will lead them to come back to you again and again, especially if you can provide quality designs for print and digital.
4) It Makes Your Clients Life Easier
Agreeing to print for your client, only to send them away to go and get their own artwork isn’t helpful. Many consumers are not aware that there is a separation in services between the design world and the print world. It will only frustrate those who assume “if you print it, you also design it”.
Any blockers placed between yourself and the buyer risks them turning away to another supplier who will source the print for them or another that will do the design. Bridge the gap between these two worlds and offer a comprehensive service that takes another stress out of their day. The key is to make your service the most attractive choice.
Unable to house a full-time designer at the moment? Partner up with a local designer. Make sure you can easily put the buyer in contact with them and act as a middle man. It’s a good half-way option while you make the transition.
5) It Opens Up New Markets
Design applies as much to print as it does to digital media. Not all design work you undertake will be for print. At face value, you could see that there is less billable work. However, it could also open up new markets for you to venture into. Clients might want a campaign that stretches across both online and offline channels and if so, you can deliver and manage both the design and print.
The door to web design is even an option. There are many people now selling web design using services such as Wordpress that don’t actually require you to know the ins and outs of HTML. Alternatively, you could take the step of hiring a web designer to leverage your existing client base further, diversify your offering and grow your business. This will expand your customer base to newer businesses, who in turn can be turned into loyal clients for life as their business develops and grows.
When you define your business in terms of what you really offer your clients (a way to market and brand their business) instead of just the product you sell, the possibilities of what you can branch into are endless! Centring your business around design helps you reach these goals easier.
6) It Makes it Easier to Upsell & Cross Sell Print
Adopting the design element of print puts you in a far better position to offer solutions and suggestions to your customers. A full rounded marketing solution allows you to be flexible to their needs and present your expertise when it comes to marketing their businesses.
It’s hard for customers to visualise the purpose of longer-tall products such as Roller Banners when faced with stock imagery used in a catalogue or website. Let’s say instead, you are in the position to create more relevant visualisation while you are designing flyers or a poster. You can show how their brand and campaign can be enhanced by these products with practical examples of how it would look. You may find customers are more inclined to take you up on product suggestions when you can demonstrate a brief mock-up of their logo and branding on the item.
When growing your print business is a priority, diversifying your offering is a must. To keep moving with the market you must expand the services you offer to keep up with the wants and needs of clients. The rapid rise of agencies showcases the demand for a business who can offer comprehensive solutions for clients across all their marketing and branding needs. Let your print business be a competitor in this space and take the plunge!