While there are numerous ways you can earn money off from 3D printing, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You can’t just buy a 3D printer and expect to sell any 3D-printed items you make. Running a business requires a little bit more than that. You’ll need to get the word out on what services you can provide through your 3D printing business. Below are some examples of how you can market your services to the right people.
The Power of Samples
3D printing is considered “cutting edge” technology. It isn’t something that a lot of people are familiar with. In order to get people to avail of your product and/or services, you need to be able to show them what value you can provide. Start out by creating 3D-printed products that you can give away to people. You should also start building your online portfolio – creating videos of you printing your designs, compiling photos of your different products, and visuals of work you’ve done for past clients (if there are any).
Get on Social Media
To drum up business, you want to make sure that you’re on everyone’s radar. To be more specific, you want to catch your target audience’s attention. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to share your online portfolio on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, GoogleMyBusiness, LinkedIn, and even TikTok. Promote your work through photos and videos. You can do short how-to videos on using a 3D printer, creating designs, etc. You can share photos of your latest creations. You can also create infographics on various topics related to 3D printing such as SLA vs FDM or what materials work best.
Another thing you can do on social media is to offer discounts or freebies. Remember those samples we talked about? This is the platform you can use to give them away while generating leads and increasing brand awareness.
Display & Search Ads
One of the best ways to get new customers to check out your work is to advertise on Google. When they search “3D printing online”, you want your business to be the first thing they see. However, competition can be quite fierce in this landscape. In order to get the most bang out of your buck, you’ll need to make sure that you’re targeting the right customers and location. In addition, your ads should be short but very persuasive. You need to be able to convey the value of your service and include a call-to-action.
3D Printing Forums and Facebook Groups
Getting the word out about your 3D printing business is more than just posting on social media and placing ads on Google. Though those will certainly help, you will also need to build a reputation in the community. You want to become a recognized business in this industry which means offering advice, opening discussions, and at times sharing designs.
You’ll not only learn more about the technology and become a recognized authority on the subject, but you’ll also be able to get referrals from members. In addition, you’ll be able to attract new customers who are searching for businesses using these channels.
Content continues to be the king when it comes to marketing a business. This means providing valuable content and search engine optimization or SEO. Now, there are two ways you can use SEO to raise awareness for your 3D printing business. One is website optimization. If you want to show up on Google search results, you need to make sure that your website contains the relevant keywords. Aside from on-page SEO, you need to use SEO when producing valuable content. And by valuable content, we mean information that your customers – potential and current – want to know. Some examples of valuable content include case studies and articles on various 3D printing topics such as “how to choose the right process and 3D printing materials for their product”.
It might be old school but email marketing is very effective when it comes to raising brand awareness and generating sales. For this reason, you should definitely invest time and money in creating email marketing campaigns for your business. You can email your target market about discounts or promos you are offering, articles on 3D printing, and videos that you think might interest them. The key to a successful email marketing campaign is to personalize your emails, sending your customers the information that they are interested in. This means that you will need to take time to gather data on who they are and what they are likely to buy from you.
Trade shows and Conferences
Most of our recommended marketing methods have been focused on your online presence. And that’s fine because of where people usually are. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your physical presence. And by that, we mean going to trade shows and conferences to show potential customers what you’ve got.
The best thing about these events is that you already have access to an audience that is interested in what you’re offering. That’s why they’re there. In addition, this is your chance to give an onsite demonstration of what you can do with 3D printing technology. You can demonstrate how the machine works as well as provide evidence in real-time on how fast the process is.
More importantly, they will be able to inspect the final product and ask relevant questions that can help you close the deal. People are more likely to buy when they understand what they’re getting. With face-to-face interaction, miscommunications and misunderstandings are less likely to happen.