When things need to change, just have a global pandemic!!! Sounds crazy, right? Well if you know me, you know I am an individual that thinks outside the box and likes to shake things up. The way I see it is that change can happen 1 of 2 ways: either slowly, with small consistent actions over a long period of time. OR by a large sudden event, that seems to come out of nowhere. And I think the print industry needed this explosion!
I don’t know about you, but before all of this happened, I felt like I was stuck in a rut. Repeating the same actions over and over and somehow expecting different results. Einstein’s definition of insanity. But then BAM everything changed overnight, and it was time to look at things from a different angle. It was time to find a way to stand out from the rest or get dragged under. I am never one to give up on a challenge.
In our industry we all know how important the human connection is. Trade shows, seminars, association meetings, plant tours…. etc. are such a large part of what we do and how we do things, and literally overnight they were all gone. So, it was my mission to figure out how to bring that back. And maybe I was driven by the fact that I had been stuck in my house with 4 children and craved some adult conversation. But regardless it set me on a mission.
I tried everything I could think of: emails, LinkedIn messages, webinars, zoom calls, my keyboard was on fire. But I still wasn’t getting that connection I so desperately needed and knew other people needed as well. Then while watching my kids with their online school, the answer hit me, video. Why not create videos to reach people. My audience can see me and hear me and feel the message I am trying to deliver. So, it was time to get out of the yoga pants, dust off my business casual attire and get in front of the camera.
My first video was just a simple message of letting my audience, be it potential clients or other departments in my organization, know that I understand how they are feeling, that we are all in the same boat and that we can still stay connected even when stuck in our own houses. It was a perfect jumping off point to get my feet in the water and connect with people. Although it was nerve wracking and a little intimidating, making that first video was my first step in finally connecting with my audience, something I was sorely failing before COVID.
Next, I needed to use this new platform to send out the message myself and my company, Heeter, wanted to express, or in most of your cases, making your organization aware of what services you provide and still have available. In my case Direct Mail seemed to be the perfect topic, not only for what I was trying to sell, but for the resurgence of Direct Mail in the industry. Using the popularity of my topic and combining that with a short quirky video, I was able to grab people’s attention and send the message I wanted to deliver all at the same time.
You could equate this to educating your organization on what is going on in your in-plant. How about making a “Did you know” weekly series? You can use the same tactics as I do in my sales videos to create short yet educational videos that can be shared about your organization to educate the other employees of what is going on in your department. Gone are the days of the mass company email. They either end up in the spam or deleted folder. But by using the power of video to send your message you are so much more likely to grab their attention and send that powerful message you are trying to send.
Putting yourself out there may be scary and intimidating but once you get past that there are so many more upsides vs downsides. People crave real, human connection and right now, more than ever we are accepting of the things that make us real.
Letting my kids make an appearance in my videos, even when not invited, helped give me that “real” feeling. So many people can relate to having kids running around while trying to work or popping up in Zoom calls while they should have been doing schoolwork. Funny enough it’s those little “hiccups” that make your connection with people, more, human. In sales it can help you land that customer you may have not been able to reach otherwise, or in your case make a department aware how relevant you still are in the organization.
Things will never go back to way they once were, and in my eyes that is an amazing thing. It’s time to look at things through fresh lenses, find solutions to problems you may have never encounter, and try things you may have been too scared to try before.
Print is not dead, it’s been reborn, and we will shape its future.
Amanda Bronowski is currently a sales executive for the commercial printing company, Heeter. With over 20 years’ experience in the industry and a degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, she is no stranger to the print world, no stranger to the IMPA Association. Previously she ran her own in-plant operations for over 5 years and was an active member and speaker for IPMA. Currently she is using her talents on the internet to spread her knowledge of print with the use of video marketing messages on Linked In. Focusing on Direct mail and the power of personalization, she is showing her audience just how alive print really is.