Wrappers!!! Get more lines in the water!

Its a random Monday morning and an email came into my inbox today which sparked an idea for an encouraging blog post.

I believe that most wrappers understand that we are a bit of a rare breed.  A strange mix of artist, craftsperson and business person.  We love to create but also have an intense desire to succeed financially for our business, our employees and our family.  We love competition but also seem to revel in the camaraderie and support of our fellow wrappers all across the world.  That strange, and sometimes counterintuitive, view of our industry leads to the various ways we see and operate in marketing our wrap shops.

Some common questions… Should you focus your marketing strictly efforts on your local market area or devote time & resources to pursuing a more national image?  What certification should you get and which one will bring in the most business?  What should you do with social media or is it even worth it?  Should you get involved with local car shows.. compete in wrap competitions… join a prestigious networking organization…?

Yes, it can be a bit much.

Here’s the thing though.  When you think back in your life you will probably notice that pretty much all of your business is cyclical.  For months we can find our good leads coming from the PDAA and then that dries up for a bit.  Meanwhile 3M’s certified installations start popping again or the Avery Dennison CWI network could be pinging away.  Your personal local book of business goes starts doing some cool things but then your involvement in the UASG starts bringing in some good leads.  Your participation in WRAPSCON’s Wrap Olympics, WrapGlove’s Wraps LIVE or a a global competition with the FESPA World Wrap Masters links you up with other shops who need help.

And another thing, how in the world do you get social media to work for you!?  While there are a number of strategies here are a couple of tips.  Number one, directly TAG the photo itself AND tag the comment you write.  Tag the film manufacturer you used, tag the client, tag the installer who did the work, the photographer etc.  You can also tag those of us who have dedicated time and a platform to help promote wraps!  Tag @wrappermapper, @thewrappromoter, @wrapfolio @paintisdead, @wrapchannel etc.

Another way to increase your chances of being seen and re-posted is make sure you are showing off your projects as best you can.  A focus on high quality, professional grade, well produced photos / videos will go a long way.

DO: Make sure you have a clean, well-staged, well lit, uncluttered composition with interesting angles

DO: Take the time to work out and create images that show off the wrap film itself as well as the project

DO: Let us know if a particular photographer, designer etc. should be credited for work. We love promoting all aspects of a well produced wrap job. (give us proper tags to use)

DON’T: Send in photos of a dirty shop, cluttered backgrounds, unwashed cars etc.

DON’T: Submit images with big branding on the photos. We will ensure you are properly tagged and credited for the content.

Ultimately, the more lines we have in the water the more fish we catch right?

 

New Video Gives Us A Refresher On PPF Installation Techniques

Proper installation of paint protection film ensures the highest level of performance and protection. This is also true for non-traditional films launched from manufacturers that provide a special effect or finish.

This new video from expert installer Justin Pate and The Wrap Institute takes viewers step-by-step through the latest installation techniques, while demonstrating Avery Dennison Supreme Defense matte finish paint protection film on a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Spyder.

According to Pate, for a flawless install, he recommends:

1) Before getting started, be sure to have a clean surface and degrease the edges of the vehicle; including around the edges of the trunk and wheel base

2) Even if your surface is already “clean,” be sure to pre-clean the area for application. Spray the surface with a slip solution and squeegee the surface to remove any specs of dirt that may have drifted onto the car prior to install

3) When installing the film, be sure to start at the corners and work your way across the surface

4) During the install process you’ll want to even out the tension of the film using a glide solution and overlapping squeegee strokes

5) For air gaps, lift the film and even out the surface with an open hand before continuing the squeegee process

 

You’ll notice in the video how Pate and his team manage the trim line and offer a simple technique to prep the trim blade for an exact finish. Even with years of experience installing vehicle wrapping and paint protection films, it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes for a refresher that improves upon your skill set. Who knows, you might learn something new too. Check it out.

UASG rolls out the new website for 3M Certified Graphics Installation Companies!

Anaheim – New website makes quick work of finding the right 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company
When America’s businesses require the services of professionally trained and certified vinyl installers, the new vendor search portal at www.uasg.org streamlines the process of identifying the right qualified, local installation company.
For businesses in need of vinyl graphics and architectural graphics, the re-developed website features an easy-to-use interface that makes finding a 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company a simple, worry-free task. Businesses who frequently require these services include Fortune 500, large enterprises, as well as smaller, Mom-and-Pop companies. Because only UASG members may be listed in the engine, this assures users that a vendor found on the website is also a genuine 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company, a membership requirement.
For vinyl installation providers, the all-new www.uasg.org enables potential customers to search by zip code as well as by keyword. This lets vinyl vendors introduce their premier installer services to purchasers with an active need who are in their business’ vicinity. Member companies now span the continental U.S. and include Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico.
With so many of today’s businesses specifying both the 3M vinyl product, as well as its expert installation and/or removal in their requirements and bids, inclusion on the site attests to a vendor’s credibility and demonstrated expertise. UASG reflects the industry’s benchmark standard for graphic installation excellence in fleet, full & partial wraps, interior & exterior environmental graphics including floor, rough textured walls, and virtually every other branding application one may envision.
According to UASG President Julie Martin, “The new website celebrates our critical role in connecting the skilled craftsmanship of our members with the businesses who depend on it. Our work is always about elevating the trade, and bringing more recognition to both the industry and its individual members.”
Additional site features include industry and organization news and events, as well as an informational overview of UASG’s history and mission. Members with access credentials may participate in a member forum and take advantage of special pricing in a members-only tools and resources area. Slated for the near future: a small selection of branded goods available for purchase, so that members can display their pride and wear it on the jobsite.

Wrap Training with Justin Pate at 25% OFF!

Web_AD_TheWrapInstituteWho doesn’t dream of doing a killer wrap training class with world renowned industry trainer Justin Pate?  Whether you wrap occasionally or are a seasoned veteran you know that there is always something new to learn.  …and now you can for less!

The Wrap Institute is an online streaming service that provides high quality videos on how to apply graphics featuring master installer Justin Pate.  Annual memberships give users unlimited access to over 530 videos that cover topics from boats, walls, windows, cars, vans, vinyl lettering and much more. Each month 20-30 new videos are added along with new features like free pdf downloads for pre-inspection and quality control.  All content is neutral which means all techniques shown apply to any type of film or manufacturer.   Never Stop Learning!

Sign-Up now and use our exclusive Coupon Code for your 25% discount – TWWRAPPERMAPPER – in the sign-up form.  Head over to The Wrap Institute now.

WRAPS Magazine joins forces with WrapperMapper.com!

WrapsInstaller-adWe are extremely pleased to announce that the wrap industry’s powerhouse WRAPS Magazine has joined forces with The Original, World’s Largest, and Easiest Way to find Professional Wrap Installers… WrapperMapper.com

If you love WRAPS Magazine, and want to pump up your business presence, here is your chance to get involved with the “WRAPS Magazine – 2016 Wraps Installer Guide”

Are you a wraps installer? Would you like to see your name and certifications in print? Here’s your opportunity!

Get your name in front of 30,000 industry professionals in the leading publication dedicated to the vinyl wraps market, WRAPS magazine. Your contact information will be listed alphabetically by location for easy reference in the 2016 issue of WRAPS, mailing mid-February 2016, with bonus distribution at WRAPSCON, THE NBM SHOWS, ISA and SEMA.

To Sign-Up for WRAPS new publication and wrap guide click: https://nbminc.wufoo.com/forms/2016-installer-guide/

 

Avery Dennison CWI Wrappers join WrapperMapper.com

AVY_CarWrapCert_Logo_LR It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of the Avery Dennison’s CWI Certified Wrap Installers to the WrapperMapper.com website map.  All of the shops who have tested under the Avery Dennison / Mutoh America program with Justin Pate system and have earned their CWI Certified Wrap Installer status are now listed and marked on The original, world’s largest, and easiest way to find Professional Wrap Installers.  Each Avery Dennison CWI shop has a free spot on the map, their address & phone number listed and have their own certification filter to help the locate other CWI installers.

A big welcome to the Avery Dennison CWI team!

 

Justin Pate – The Wrap Institute and WrapperMapper.com

 

The Wrap Institute

The Wrap Institute

We are very pleased to announce that the WrapperMapper.com has been added to the industry’s premiere wrap training site The Wrap Institute.

For those in the wrap game you will recognize the name Justin Pate as one of the world’s best vehicle wrap installers and trainers.  Justin has spent years traveling the world teaching, coaching and training wrap installers in all aspects of wrap work.  In an excerpt from his bio “…Over his 17-year career, Justin has wrapped over 3000 vehicles, the majority of them by himself.  By closely studying the vehicle graphic installation process, Justin has created a highly efficient installation platform he calls UGIS: Universal Graphic Installation System. With this system, installers can learn how to wrap vehicles in significantly lower times than the industry average with higher quality and durability. UGIS is the basis for the workshops Justin teaches throughout the world and has been officially endorsed by Avery Dennison in North America.”  Justin’s skills are well known and his desire to further improve the application standards and skills of applicators continues to this day.  We are are proud to be a part of his continuing work.

As The original, world’s largest, and easiest way to find Professional Wrap Installers.  The Wrapper Mapper map continues to improve and grow throughout the world.

 

Graphic Installations has a new facility near Pittsburgh, PA

GraphicInstallations_NewFacilityCongratulations are in order for Graphic Installations located in McKeesport, PA (near Pittsburgh)!  The company has moved and has upgraded their facilities now boasting 3,500 sq. ft. of dedicated wrap space.  If you need wrap installation service in the area bear in mind that the Graphic Installations team is a UASG 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company as well as a PDAA Master Certified shop.

Largest list of graphic installers in the world!

Wrap Installer working on partial bus wrap

Wrap Installer working on partial bus wrap

We are very pleased and humbled to announce that, to our knowledge, we have compiled the single largest, freely available, online resource for wrap installation companies in the world!  To date, we have 475 wrap companies listed in 14 countries.  Simply amazing!

Thanks to you, we have enjoyed an incredible response to the Wrapper Mapper concept.  As a result, we have seen the site grow from a simple internet idea to a practical and useful international resource in less than 6 months.  Wow!

Whether you prefer to work with industry 3M Certified programs, the PDAA Master Certified team of professionals or with independent local installers, we have the list, and the map, that you need.  Need a window graphic installed in Fresno, CA USA?  A cargo van wrapped in Atlanta, GA USA?  A fleet of sales cars decaled in London, UK?  A chain of store barricades wrapped in Sydney Australia?  Check the Map!

So spread the word!  If you need a graphic professionally installed you need the Wrapper Mapper map.  If you ARE a professional graphics installer, get on the Map!  Let’s continue growing and adding the best wrap companies on the planet.

Thanks to everyone and happy wrapping.

Professional Wrap installer… why not do it yourself?

What?!  Those national wrap installers charge WAY too much!  This can’t be too hard.  It’s just sticky vinyl.  I can do this.

Look, despite our natural skepticism of other’s skills and firm belief in our own abilities, there are multiple reasons why wrap installation professionals ARE considered professionals.  Let us count the ways…

1. Experience: The high-end professional wrap installers have spent thousands of hours practicing their skills.  They have handled miles of vinyl.  They have run hundreds of thousands of strokes with various squeegees and tools.  They have pulled, pushed, tightened and relaxed untold amounts of films.  In short, this doesn’t happen overnight nor by accident.  A professional wrap installer has put in an immense amount of time to make it look just that easy.

2. Knowledge: Your average skilled professional wrap installer can tell within 2 two strokes if the film is laying correctly.  He or she can tell instantly, by touch, if the film is laminated or not.  They can immediately smell if a print has been laminated too quickly and whether or not this will cause extra aggression in the adhesive tac.  They know which way the seams should go, how they should line  up and where to position them for the best finished look.  How do you correct an alignment issue?  How do you position a bumper section?  How do you correctly trim body panel seams?  What is the proper angle to wrap a door handle?  Disassemble the side mirrors… tail lights…?  There are a multitude of ways to mess up a wrap install and a professional installer has a huge jump on knowing just what they are.

3. Certifications: There are multiple certification systems available in the wrap industry.  The best ones focus on experience, accountability and skill.  The UASG – United Application Standards Group for example, requires that an applicant be able to prove at least three years of wrap installations before they are allowed to apply for certification.  This guideline, combined with an actual shop inspection, in-process project observations and verification of business accountability, makes sure a shop is ready before they are even allowed to test.  The test itself consists of two days of intense hands-on, skill and specific project testing along with written practices, techniques and material knowledge assessments.  All-in-all it makes for a very comprehensive testing system.  Another excellent certification is the PDAA – Master Certified system which places a heavy focus on overall film knowledge and proper install techniques for a variety of film options.  Proper surface preparation all the way to correct finishing techniques for wrap longevity are tested and covered under the PDAA system.  These certification systems work hard to prove their competence.

4. Tools: Did you know that national wrap installation professionals have spent many hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, on EACH set of specialized tools for their crews?  The professional wrap installer has spent a lot of time and money purchasing specific blades, rollers and holders, tapes, squeegees and a variety of other specialized tools that are designed to make sure the wrap is done correctly.  These guys aren’t walking into a project with an x-acto knife and vinyl squeegee folks.  They take their job seriously and have invested heavily in the tools of their trade.

Just like a veteran woodcarver can make his knives move through oak like butter, and a martial arts master can make his spinning jump kick look effortless, a professional wrapper can make his job look easy.  BUT, it all comes as a result of tireless practice and endless dedication to perfecting their skills.  THIS is why you go with the professional wrap installer.