American Bungalow Magazine

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 11-16-2006 06:15 AM 1728 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey jocks:
If you are in a bookstore and are flipping through magazines, check out the new “American Bungalow” magazine, Winter 2006 issue, my advertisement is on page 62.

I ran this ad earlier in the year for the Summer 2006 edition. One old timer said awhile back that if I was really any good I wouldn’t have to advertise, the work would just find me. He followed up that zinger by saying that he has never advertised. Those hurt pretty bad, and whenever I hear criticism I try to see the truths in it.

So, hopefully one day I won’t need magazine ads to find new customers. Until then, I feel advertising and art-show presence are essential to gaining the unique market niche I am trying to create for my work.

If you have thoughts on advertising, pro, or con, don’t be afraid to tell me, I can handle the heat, and will appreciate the input.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

5 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4309 days

#1 posted 11-16-2006 06:38 AM

It is a different world today for furniture builders. I’m competing with woodworkers who get paid three dollars a day and computerized factories that produce “furniture” at half the price I pay for materials. So I don’t have much of a local market. So if I try to make all my living building custom furniture marketing is the main skill I will need to pick up. I could build kitchens or do carpentry word of mouth but thats because I already have a market. So Mark quit advertising I don’t need the competition and good luck on that ad!

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4400 days

#2 posted 11-16-2006 07:02 AM

I appreciate what you are saying. I will soon run out of customers in my local area, so I have been trying to branch out. The local market has kept me busy for the past 24 months with my new full-time business status, and with the church project I can make it another 3-4 months more. But I worry there won’t be anybody left after that. Like you said, finding remodeling/cabinet work locally seems to be much easier, but I don’t want to go that route if I can help it. I think I would rather prefer working for the “man” again than doing roofing, siding, fencing, and concrete work again.

thanks for your thoughts, I won’t run any ads in your local newspaper, I promise. ha.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4294 days

#3 posted 11-16-2006 04:50 PM

I’ve never seen that magazine. I’ll have to look for it the next time I’m in a bookstore. I hope it brings you success.
Not being in business myself, the only experience I’ve had is with my son. He is in the graphics, & vinyl sign business. I asked him if he has ever advertised his business. He said he has tried , but without much success. I guess his work is always exposed on trucks, & store windows etc. So he doesn’t have to run ads.
My Grandson is in the magnetic calling card business. You can take a look at what he has to offer. He helps design logo’s, & calling cards for his customers. He does some pretty nice work.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4322 days

#4 posted 11-17-2006 05:47 AM

I’m a graphic designer by trade (and schooling), and I work in advertising (dayjob for 12years, now I “moonlight”). The adage goes something to the effect of “your ad needs to be seen at least severa (if not dozens) of times before someone notices (or acts upon it).

I’ve had minor success helping dad get business via advertising, yes most comes from word of mouth – true of most industries – but typically one new customer will more than pay for the cost of a small ad buy. Most people know they need to spend money to make money, but hesitate to do so. Working in mass-media (newspapers) I’ve seen the same customers happy with their response, as well as insist that we’re doing nothing for them.

It is always easier (in most lines of work) to keep the customers you have, than to attract new ones, and in order to attract new ones, you have to keep your name out there…

being in a national magazine is going to give you some great exposure, as well as have a relatively long “shelf life”. Some flyers my dad distributed (mailboxes, bulletin boards in coffee shops, etc…) have generated calls weeks and months down the road. Some people may see your ad, and call later without realizing where they heard about you, or may just never mention the ad. I find having special 800 numbers to track which publications generate the most calls, or using coupons don’t do an effective job at tracking this – as people forget them, or just don’t use them. Auto dealers are famous for the 800 number trick. They’ll run the same ad in 3 or 4 newspapers in different markets, and brag/complain that the furthest flung ones generate more calls. (well of course they do, who’s going to drive an hour+ when they can call – and why wouldn’t the local customers just pop by to check things out first hand?).

Ok so I’m rambling a bit….

Let me say that there is no shame in advertising… word of mouth won’t dry up because you’re running an ad. An ad may generate one or several new calls tomorrow, or 12 months from now. Until you’re totally living off word of mouth advertising, you might as well do whatever you can manage to get your name out there.

There are a lot of talented woodworkers in NH, and unless you go digging, it’s hard to find. Case in point. I’ve been looking at schools, and class opportunities for a few years now, There are a couple options an hours plus drive away, and lo, I just discovered that Jere Osgood lives right up the road from me (now that he’s no longer teaching!) I could have walked to his house!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4241 days

#5 posted 11-18-2006 11:42 AM

Mark, if Sam Maloof still advertises, as good as he is, I’d say that guy is all wet. I see nothing wrong with advertising, especially as good as you are and, here’s the kicker, you’re too isolated. Its not like you live on main street USA and are able to get you’re name out there easily. From what you’ve told me, you’ve got a 40 square mile area that you just can’t make a living from and have to get outside that area to make money at what you really want to do. So magazines, the internet, shows are the only way to get your name out of the prairie. No offense, I’d love to live out there. How else are people going to hear about you. I mean Sam Maloof charges 20-30,000 dollars a chair and has a waiting list, because of his name, people have read about him. But he also advertises, he goes to shows, writes books, he’s out there, see a pattern. You’re really good Mark you dont have to worry about that, its getting your name in Popular Woodworking, Fine Woodworking etc. Good Luck, GB, your buddy, jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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