Don’t Just Sell Printing. Spread Ideas!

Here’s a quote from Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple: “Technology is really just an amplifier of our abilities. It lets us do more—and faster.” You and I both know the printing industry has witnessed its share of new technology. We can certainly do more, and do it faster than ever before.

I remember my first taste of the printing industry. It was in the late 1980’s when I was in college getting my Music Education degree. (That’s a story for another time!) Looking for an excuse to get into the Mac lab, I signed up for this curious new class about desktop publishing. Knowing what I know now, it hurts to think back to those days of Mac II computers and 300 dpi laser printers. Today is definitely “more and faster!”

Let’s get back to Steve Wozniak. He goes back even further and says “…when the printing press came along, it let us spread an idea further than ever before.” Did you catch the essence of what he’s saying? Printing isn’t about putting ink (or toner) on paper. It’s about spreading ideas! I know that, and I’m pretty sure you do too. But sometimes it’s too easy to get so deep in the trenches of our day-to-day activity that we forget printing is so much more than ink on paper. It’s the spreading of ideas!

And that’s the opportunity. (Or, depending on how tight you wear your blinders, a warning.) Are you doing everything you can to make sure you’re not “just selling printing,” but are actually helping your customers spread their ideas? Are you teaching them how to add value to their printed materials by complimenting their printing projects with email and social media?

Wozniak is right, of course. Suddenly, people could spread ideas using the printing press and movable type, technologies no one had ever experienced before! That Mac II did the same thing back in the 1980’s, and it’s the same thing with today’s email and social media. More. Faster.

You want to sell more printing. And we’re here to help you sell more printing. Don’t forget your bigger calling, though. Don’t just sell printing … help your customers spread their ideas!

Here are two questions for you: How are you using technology to amplify your abilities beyond ink on paper, and how are you using that technology to help your customers spread their ideas?