Progress. Growth. Success. None of these things happen alone.
Networking is an essential component of owning and operating a small business (print-related or otherwise). It acts as an incredible resource to help you find answers to your questions, bounce ideas off of others, or find encouragement from others in the same walk of life.
To help you get started and find a networking niche of your own, check out this list of excellent places to connect within the printing industry (listed in no particular order):
The National Print Owners Association (NPOA) was founded “by printers for printers” to serve small to mid-size printers throughout the country.
NPOA offers products and services that enhance the growth and profitability of its members, including operating a popular list server, known as the PrintOwners List, to share ideas and address questions and issues that members face in their daily activities.
“NPOA provides a way for printers like myself to connect and exchange ideas and best practices, because someone else has already faced these issues and I can learn from them,” says Barry Martin, Owner of Copyquik Printing (Hagerstown, Maryland) and Past Chairman of NPOA.
NPOA also offers a yearly Owners Conference convention in the spring, as well as a LinkedIn Group as additional ways for its members to network together.
>> Click here to learn more about NPOA and the networking opportunities provided.
“When I need real answers without a sales pitch, I come here, to PrintPlanet.”
“We try to keep a tight ship that’s solid, sought after and educational,” says Paul White of PrintPlanet.com
APTech offers a variety of services all geared to “support the entire printing value chain,” and agrees that networking is an essential part of success in the print industry.
As Thayer Long, President of Association for Print Technologies, says,
“With so many challenges and opportunities confronting our industry, the more we can collaborate, troubleshoot, and create new ways to create value — the better. Think of the online community, APTech Connect, as an expert virtual peer group designed and built as a platform to drive engagement across all areas of the print industry. And that means everyone — manufacturers, printers, designers, creatives and all who have a connection to print. It is for the innovators and idea generators and those who want to be associated with them. We hope this is exactly what you need to help your business grow.”
APTech Connect is free to join, and getting involved is as easy as setting up your profile. Engaging in the discussions is as easy as sending and receiving emails.
>> Click here to learn more and set up your profile. You can also download and follow the tips in the APTech Connect ‘Getting Started Guide’.
Another powerful resource on LinkedIn, the Print Production Professionals group is undoubtedly one you don’t want to overlook if you’re looking to step up your networking game.
“When it comes to developing business relationships, networking is an essential ingredient that combines what you know, with who you know”, says Deborah Corn from Print Media Centr, and owner/manager of Print Production Professionals, the #1 print group on LinkedIn.
With 96,000+ members who have gathered to connect, share, find partners and become trusted resources for the industry, Deborah wants to make sure you know that “the power of the Printerverse is a just a click away.”
>> Click here to join the Print Production Professionals LinkedIn group.
Boosting over 90,000 members, the Digital Printing group on LinkedIn offers members “from all disciplines and backgrounds across the wide world of Print…” to join together to discuss “news, technologies, successes and challenges!”
No matter the issue you’re facing in regards to digital print, you’re sure to find the answers to your questions with this helpful resource.
> Click here to join the Digital Printing LinkedIn group.
Start your workday by keeping your finger on the pulse of the printing industry, research products and companies, and get connected with real-time lead generation.
WhatTheyThink.com and PrintingNews.com are excellent online sources for “exclusive features, news aggregation, targeted video content, industry data & statistics, webinars, white papers, surveys, and blogs.”
Gain access to exclusive commentary and analysis, as well as industry data and knowledge by becoming a member. Whether you choose their Basic or Premium membership, you’ll be well-positioned to network with others in the industry.
>> Click here to learn more about becoming a member of WhatTheyThink.com.
PrintingImpressions.com is your source for the latest printing trends and on-going connection with others in the print industry.
“Our goal is to connect our readership with cutting-edge solutions and provide stories of success that will drive the future goals of their organization.”
Featuring a print magazine, email newsletter, events, and social media options, you’ll quickly have a wealth of information and connections at the click of a button.
>> Click here to subscribe to PrintingImpressions.com.
Looking to toss around ideas regarding your direct mail plans and strategies? Consider joining the Direct Mail LinkedIn group.
Featuring nearly 30,000 members, this group helps connect Direct Mail Production and Direct Marketing Professionals together. Ask questions, learn trends, and learn about the competition all from this helpful group.
> Click here to join the Direct Mail Group on LinkedIn.
Founded in 1887, the Printing Industries of America has been helping to “enhance the growth, efficiency, and profitability of its members and the industry through: advocacy, education, research, and technical information.”
On the PIA website, you’ll find programs, education and certifications, resources, event information, and more. For a more peer-to-peer connection, become a member by reaching out to the local PIA affiliate here or join the Printing Industries of America LinkedIn Group.
> Click here to join the Printing Industries of America LinkedIn Group.
Don’t forget these other fabulous sources to follow for print industry news and networking: