Crazy Stupid Print Love

pink and magenta heart collage

I’m a systematic person when it comes to sales, always have been. So what in the world was I thinking when I spontaneously upsold something so big it would double the price of the customer’s project? You guessed it. PRINT. Crazy stupid print – and it worked! I’m going to walk you through how I add print plus video – and how print stepped up and performed like crazy.

Many years ago, I ran a video production company specializing in how-to videos. The process involved getting to know the customer, spending time on site, and learning about their business deeply to produce the best video. 

The client and I always discussed marketing and distribution of the final product, even though I didn’t handle that part. I wanted to be sure they felt the investment was worth it and saw the project as a success. 

Meanwhile, having grown up in a print family, I produced many freelance print projects over the years.

I always had print in mind and knew how effective it was when paired with other media. Print plus video could be a winning combination.

One day, in a burst of inspiration, I said to my newest client, “What if we created a printed workbook to go with this video?” She was a power athlete who had developed a set of jump rope routines to work every part of her body. (I know, how cool is that?)

A printed handbook with photos could break down the steps and zoom in on the proper form for her routines. 

From a marketing perspective, adding a printed handbook would make her video more meaningful, memorable, tangible, and valuable.

A book could even become an additional source of revenue for her. She could bundle the video and handbook and sell them at fitness trade shows and conferences. And an illustrated handbook would differentiate her fitness video from others out there.

Unlike my usual sales approach – lots of research, a minimum viable product, and the knowledge I could produce it – I just blurted out the idea of print plus video – And she said yes! 

It was crazy stupid – and it worked.

an image showing upcoming events for women in the printing industry

I could charge twice as much for the total project and deepen my connection with an existing customer. 

That began a new era for my business. I pitched handbooks with every video, and I became known for that expertise.

(A treasured clipping in my collection is a front-page newspaper article and publicity photos of me shooting videos and laying out a client’s handbook. )

Before long, I was building up my print offerings to include other publications. You can read about one of my favorites here. 

What a game-changer it was to bring print into my video projects. 

What about you? Is there a place in your business or career strategy where you could get crazy stupid? 

Here’s the sequence:

  1. Get in a creative state of mind with your customer, prospect, or someone you are networking with.
  2. Become genuinely interested and excited about what they’re working on. 
  3. Make an outrageous pitch.
  4. Find a way to produce the idea. (Tip: build your network with can-do people!)
  5. Test the idea with other customers. 
  6. Price your offering correctly. 
  7. Go out boldly – face to face if possible – and sell your idea.
  8. Create a suite of marketing materials around your new product. (Tip: Get to know printers if you’re not a printer – they can help you be even more creative and execute impeccably.)
  9. Generate so much demand that people wait in line to work with you.
  10. Have fun!

If you work for a print company, make friends with video production companies. There are many ways you can help them add value to their work.

I love print, understand print, and know how well it pairs with creative projects. Yes, it was a whim to suggest adding a print product to my core offering, but it wasn’t a risk. I knew then as I know now: Print pulls its weight.

Crazy stupid print – don’t you just love it? 

Check out all of Sandy’s posts here.

Read last month’s post: Promote the Cozy Qualities of Print in 2024

Sandy Hubbard is a Marketing Strategist and Advisor specializing in print, media, and tech. She helps print companies leverage their marketing strategy and improve positioning to get seen and become more credible. Sandy is also the host of #PrintChat, a weekly global gathering of the industry’s most influential thinkers and leaders.

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