Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Home Front – How an Information Marketer Manages Working-at-Home

My uncle once told me that he thought working at home was for “slackers” and meant a “do-little job.” He was a lifelong farmer who rose at dawn every day to tend to his 200 acres of cattle pasture. My uncle prided himself, as I did, on his old school work ethic. Funnily enough, he also admitted over a beer or two that he wasn’t a man of the modern age, so maybe he wasn’t hip to people who worked at home.

As an info marketer, you are a person of the modern age. One of the benefits of being this person is the ability to work at home. But most people don’t understand what it means to actually do this, especially younger entrepreneurs. It doesn’t mean a “holiday-at-home” and, if you don’t understand how to be a good work-at-home entrepreneur, you run the risk of having your business fail right before your eyes.

Here are some tips on what you need to be a successful work-at-home information marketer:

— A work space: Find the best place in your home to work from. Make sure it is well-lit, spacious, and free from distractions. Some find darker areas like a basement better, while others like the traditional, sunlight drenched attic space.

— A desk area and tools: Within your workspace, carve out where you want to work. Whether it is in a corner or in the area’s center, find the most comfortable place to work from and arrange your desk and computer there. Put everything you need around it, including books, paper, stationery, phone, fax machine, and photocopier. Don’t worry so much about being neat at first or even creating a mess. Despite protestations from his wife and cleaning lady, our associate Bill Hebden prides himself on being surrounded by his own “disaster area” and knows intuitively where everything he needs is located. His time-honed professional performance has shown this to work best for him.

— A schedule and agenda: Create your own agenda for what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis. Schedule your e-newsletter releases and do up a list of the next day’s activities before you go to bed each night. Schedule breaks for yourself on a regular basis and do not deviate from your self-made arrangement.

— Discipline: This is your business right? You have to make it as successful as possible and cannot forget why you are working at home in the first place. You have to work. Get in the mindset of remembering this and over time your discipline in working at home will become habitual.

I should mention that I had to learn all of these things thanks to a previous publishing job. From the get-go, we were allowed one work-at-home day a week. I did okay with this privilege as I got to work right after I woke up and finished most tasks before early afternoon. Some of my colleagues, though, didn’t do well with this arrangement and goofed off too much at home. They almost lost their privileges as a result.

Learning the skills of working at home is invaluable to the information marketer. The success of your business will be constant and you will never have to step into another person’s office again.

The Direct Marketing Manager’s Dream Come True – Variable Graphics with True Offset Quality

Following the recent introduction of cutting edge technology we can now offset print full colour brochures and flyers including colour photo of the individual recipients, on each one, on the fly.

And you can do all this with offset quality.

You can print a full colour multi-page document one page at a time, in the correct page order, ready for binding.

You can run a live press proof, on the correct stock to see exactly how the finished product will look.

You can print say a small run of annual reports (say 10) at minimal unit cost.

The press is called the Indigo and here’s how it works.

The Indigo is a Digital Offset Press and it’s strength is the ability to print subsequent sheets entirely different from the previous sheet and the following sheet.

It’s primarily used for short run colour work and personalised direct mail documents.

Its printing process is based around the ElectroInk technology, which uses small colour particles suspended in Imaging Oil (Isopar) that can be attracted to the sheet or repelled by means of varying voltage.

The ink forms a very thin and smooth plastic layer on the surface of the paper.

These particles are so small that the printed image does not cover the underlying surface of the paper, as is generally the case with laser printers.

This process brings the Indigo print quality closer in appearance to conventional offset lithography, whereby the ink is actually absorbed into the paper.

The suppliers of the Indigo provide the option for users to mix their own ink colours to match Pantone references. This is common with non-digital offset litho presses, and is one of the primary features that separates them from other digital printing devices.

Users can also order special pre-mixed colours, for example fluorescent colours such as pink, orange, green, yellow, red, etc can be printed with great success.

Some Indigo presses can print up to or seven colours in a single pass.

The name Indigo comes from a company founded by Benny Landa in 1977.

His idea was to manufacture photocopiers, however the development of ElectroInk technology lead him to create a Digital Offset Press by replacing the traditional ink with the new technology.

The E-Print 1000 was the result, released in 1993, a plateless digital offset press.

Hewlett Packard, a long-term research & development partner of Indigo, purchased the company in 2002.

Basically there are two versions of the Indigo Press, which can be broadly grouped by commercial (sheet fed, mainly for paper printing), or Industrial (web fed, mainly for packaging).Operators need to be specially trained to run Indigo’s as they are quite different operationally to conventional offset presses.