10 Activities to Get New Customers to Screen Print with You

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The best-detailed guide to getting the new screen printing customers you want.

Did you know that screen printing originated in China during the 9th century? As a popular modern method for designing merchandise, it’s easy to forget this technique has been around for over 1,000 years. That’s a long time to learn what works and what doesn’t. And the most effective way to screen printing success is having a stream of new customers.

If you are looking for a strategy to getting new customers for your screen printing business, this is the definitive guide for you. At Speedy Sep, we’d like to help you get started on your path to printing success.

Below, we have highlighted a ten-point list to help you get started. Each prioritized point ranges from easiest to hardest, cheapest to most expensive.

 

Mindset

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First, there is something we would like to say up front; you can’t do everything on your own. On the list below, there are several places we recommend you hire a professional. We want to say this at the beginning so:

 

1.) there are no surprises and

 

2.) you understand why this is important.

 

The fact is, hiring a professional is better than trying to learn to do everything yourself. Not to mention how much time it will save you in the long run. To succeed in business, you have to get your head in the game. When we say mindset, what we mean is the determination and decision to invest in your company. But don’t worry, we are here to help you.

So, without further ado, here are ten steps to getting new screen-printing customers.

 

  1. Get Your Strategy Developed

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A great idea is only as valuable as the plan to execute it.

 

Your strategy is your road-map and you should not approach this topic lightly. Unfortunately, because every business is different, we can’t lay this one out for you. We listed some import things to consider when developing your screen-printing business strategy.

 

  • Research, research, research.
  • Create a website and outline your services (especially if you do custom work).
  • Put some serious thought into your “About Me.”
  • Keep track of your inventory.
  • Create a 6-month, 12 months, and 36-month sales plan.
  • Prepare to adapt to the changing market.

 

Again, there is no way we can really cover everything in this step for you, but hopefully this will help get you started.

 

  1. Get Leads

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This is a big one. You can’t reach out to customers if you don’t know who they are. The good news is, it’s not that hard to get them, but, the most efficient way is to hire a professional.

 

The best way we’ve found is to hire a virtual assistant and ask them to create a lead document for you. You can find a virtual assistant for the best price on Upwork.

 

Upwork

Go to Upwork and post a job for a virtual assistant. Ask them to compile a spreadsheet for local businesses in the following industries:

  • Promotional Companies.
  • Privately owned coffee shops.
  • Privately owned restaurants.
  • Privately owned gyms.
  • Real estate agencies.
  • Car dealers.
  • Movers
  • Locksmiths.
  • Plumbers.
  • Landscaping.
  • Towing companies.
  • Auto body shop.
  • Carwashers.
  • Dry cleaners.
  • Hair salons.
  • Bars and clubs.

After your virtual assistant has compiled a list, have them organize it like this:

  • Business name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number.
  • Email.
  • Links to their Instagram.

 

This should cost roughly $0.10 per lead.

 

  1. Create an Email Campaign

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Now, that you have a list of leads you will want to get in touch with an email marketing professional. Once again, you will want to spend a little money on Upwork. Look for an email marketer who can create a funnel and landing page. You will want them to start by crafting multiple emails to start an effective campaign.

 

Ask them to develop several different emails to appeal to a wide range of leads. Then, ask your email marketer to automate this process to save you valuable time and effort.

 

The End Game

The goal here is to have the email serve as an introduction to your potential customers. People are more receptive to sales calls from businesses which they are familiar. It’s even better if you can get them to your contact page.

A good email marketer can create multiple automatic emails and get people to respond. This should cost you about $500 a month. You will also have to pay the cost of the email server that is used to automate the process.

 

  1. Make Cold Calls

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Now that you’ve run your email campaign (and hopefully got some responses) it’s time to take to the phone. Start with the list of people who responded to your email campaign. Make sure you check which email they responded to help tailor your sales pitch.

 

Work Down the List

Then you can move on to the other businesses on your list that never responded to your email. Getting a response on the phone and turning that into a sale is a numbers game. The more people you reach out to, the more likely you are to getting a hold of someone interested in your service. Try to aim for ten calls a day.

 

  1. Pay Per Click Advertising

Advertising

 

Good, you’ve reached out to the business you think are interested in your services. But how do you find the ones you don’t know about? Through Pay Per Click advertising (or PPC).

PPC advertisements are a common form of internet advertising. This form of advertising allows you to bid for placement of sponsored links. You only pay for the number of times people click your ad (hence pay per click). By clicking the customer is redirected to a page on your website.

 

Facebook

One of the best platforms to develop a PPC campaign is Facebook. With Facebook’s two-billion active users every month, the social platform is a great place to gain access to lots of new customers. Since the point of a PPC campaign is to get people to notice our products, you want to go where the people are.

 

This is when the budget planning you did in step one really comes in handy. The amount of money you spend on PPC will effect the number of people you reach. But don’t worry about the cost too much. Once you know who your new customers are, you can collect the new leads and target them better in the future.

 

The thing to understand when it comes to advertising in the digital space is how to get people’s attention. More people spend time on the internet than they do any other activity. But when you make a PPC advertisement, you are competing with all the other internet distractions. The bottom line is; you need to get people’s attention and it’s much easier to accomplish when your ads are everywhere they are scrolling.

 

You can either hire someone on Upwork (ask your email professional to do it for you) or set the PPC campaign up yourself.

 

  1. Local Marketing Sponsorships

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Take your advertising out of the digital space and market through local sponsors. This is a great way to get a foot in the door of your local business community.

 

Finding Your Market

Brand recognition is the easiest way to build a customer foundation. To get a local sponsorship, simply find out where your customers shop. To figure this out, keep track of the following local events.

 

  • Local Facebook events
  • Street fairs
  • Marathons
  • Local sports
  • Charity events (they are always looking for sponsors)
  • Concerts

 

Pay attention to the events that interest your customers. You can also prepare free merchandise to hand out at these events. People love free stuff, so give them some with your logo.

 

Stickers
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A great marketing idea in print making is handing out stickers. They are low cost, small enough that no one views them as an inconvenience, and if people use them it’s free advertisement for you. Everyone loves stickers too and have fun slapping them everywhere. You’ll be advertising all over town before you know it.

 

  1. Local Marketing Promotions

 

 

This goes hand-in-hand with local sponsorships. It is also where you can put the calendar you developed to good use. Once you have local sponsors, you can start advertising a special deal or limited time offer. You’re probably already familiar with these kinds of promotions from when you stay at a hotel and get deals for meals at nearby restaurants.

 

  1. Represent Your Small Printing Business Like a Big Business

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Even if you are a one man show or you have three employees (and if you’ve followed all the steps leading to this one, you should), that is no excuse to think small.

 

You have some word-of-mouth advertising in your community now, but you need to think bigger. Make sure your website looks good. Compare your website and Facebook page to one of the big screen-printing companies to see how you stack up (and then make them better).

 

Play Like the Big Boys Do

Pay particular attention to what big companies are offering that you aren’t and fill in that white space. Do they post on social media often? Keep track of the types of posts they make and what you like about them to incorporate in your strategy. Post your new prints and any deals you are running. It’s a community platform. Use it.

 

  1. Hire Sales People

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No matter how strong your sales skills, you are only one person and eventually you will need extra people to cover more ground. Apart from an ability to divide and conquer, hiring sales people allows you to focus on higher level tasks.

 

We understand that this step will likely be the most expensive but it is vital to your future success. Hiring a sales professional to focus on your funnel and help you make cold calls is an invaluable asset to growing your business.

 

Consider Commission

There are a lot of good hiring options out there if you aren’t ready to staff full-time employees. Business and marketing college programs always have students looking part-time work. Also, the benefit of a sales position is, unlike other salaried positions, you can pay people in commissions. That way if they aren’t bringing in clients, you aren’t out a lot of money. It will take a little longer to find the right fit for this position, but it will be worth your time in the long run. Remember, we are thinking big picture here. Setting up your business structure this way can help mitigate costs until you are ready to hire full-time staff.

 

  1. Hit the Streets

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The final step is to hit the streets. By this we mean getting out there and putting everything we’ve discussed into action. Only you can follow through and get everything we’ve laid out accomplished. We saved this one for last because we believe it’s the hardest step. Everyone likes to come up with ideas and think about getting things done but actually doing them requires time and dedication.

 

One-On-One

It’s a great idea to physically go and see your clients at least once a week. Not only does this make them feel special, but people have a more positive customer experience when they put a face to a company. It also helps you as a business owner to better understand your client base.

 

Who knows what kind of insights you could learn from a simple monthly visit? You might start to see that many of your customers have similar pain points which you can help them solve. You might realize that your customers share other things in common. But you’ll never know if you don’t take the time to get to know them.

 

Monthly visits also give you the opportunity to educate your customers about upcoming promotions or changes.

 

You might not complete all these steps in one day but if you can complete all of them you will get the clients you want. Stop dreaming and start growing your screen-printing business today.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The final thing to keep in mind is that you should apply the Lean Method to every step. The Lean Method is a strategy designed to increase the value of your product or service. Use two steps: content evaluation for improvement and customer input. You should always look to improve your product or service to cater to what your customers want. Think about designing graphics for your target market or customer’s fabric preferences. The main takeaway here is; don’t waste time or money on something your customer base doesn’t want.

 

The idea is to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is the most bare-bones version of your product you can release on the market. This allows you to develop your product with minimal costs.

 

For example, you may want to test out a new ink for your printing. You wouldn’t use an expensive shirt but rather might try a lower quality or lower cost product to test it out.

 

Quick Recap:

 

  1. Develop Your Strategy
  2. Get Leads
  3. Create an Email Campaign
  4. Cold Calls
  5. Pay Per Click
  6. Local Marketing Sponsorships
  7. Local Marketing Promotions
  8. Represent Your Small Printing Business Like a Big Business
  9. Hire Sales People
  10. Hit the Streets

 

Read through the list again and pick out one or two you feel ready to start today (we honestly think creating a list of leads is the best place to start).

 

Everything we’ve discussed today is to help you get new customers to your printing business. With each of these steps, you can start converting business owners, internet users, and festival-goers into customers.

 

If you have any questions about the steps we’ve highlighted feel free to reach out to our Contact Us page. We are experts in streamlining the entire screen-printing process and we’d love to hear from you!