By now it should be pretty self evident that your website serves as the first impression of your company in many cases. While your capabilities and services are of course relevant, as a Print Producer I usually skip right over that type of information and go directly to your portfolio first. I want to see what you print, who you are printing for, and the quality of that work – the best that I can over the internet of course.
With that being said, I come across a ton of Printer’s websites that do this very poorly. Shooting material with a camera phone or on some horrific background isn’t of any help. Sometimes all the shots are flat and the piece itself has components that arent shown. Also, I think it would be of a HUGE benefit to your company (and Print) to provide a detailed description of what you are sharing as far as color, paper, finishing and bindery. If you are providing any marketing technology services such as QR code creation and data tracking, sharing the promotion information as well as any results permitted by the client would be an added bonus. The more information you share here the better I understand who you are.
But back to the first step – the images you are presenting to the world REFLECT on you. If it appears you are just slapping samples up there to have some, I can infer you will treat my work the same way. So, since Printer’s normally don’t have in-house still photographers on staff, it came to mind over the weekend there might be a way to kill 2 problems with one phone call.
Here is the concept: Ask your employees, or your clients at local Ad Agencies or Marketing firms if they have a local digital photographer referral if you dont already know of one. From names submitted, review their online portfolios and make a list in order that you would like to work with them. Contact them and TRADE Print for a Photoshoot of you materials for your site! Photographers are usually very print-friendly, even ones shooting digitally. They are constantly handing out business cards and often send out postcards or other materials showing images of their work to potential clients. If they aren’t sending out postcards or promotional pieces, here is an opportunity for you to add value to the trade!
Now that you have a working relationship with a local photographer, you also have an opportunity to help THEM add value to their services and add customers to your business. Photographers have access to people needing, for example: invitations, promotional items, event/happy holiday photo cards, signage, and the big one – photo books! With a decent digital press and the proper paper stock you can even go further and make prints and partner as a photo lab! Check out this video from Mohawk Make Ready.
If the barter pans out, seems like a win/win. The most important part of course is that you are professionally presenting your work at all times, through all channels, and by the way that also includes your social media icons! Check yours now – is your twitter icon bit mapped at full size? Does your logo get cut off on Facebook when you are posting? Go into your accounts and upload better images or reconfigure logos to fit into the space. Adjust your settings and fix these minor problems that unfortunately could have a BIG impact on your first impression.
The details matter!