Some of the most talented people in the world work in complete anonymity. If they are lucky after death somebody discovers their work and it becomes something of value. A professional should receive re numeration for their work and money too! Ha! How do you make the necessary connections with a qualified customer?
What Is Your Brand?
For years I was a general furniture maker. I built a large number of beds, tables and cupboards. I was a furniture maker with very little identity in a town determined to make price the main issue of any purchase. My plan was to take any (hopefully profitable) job available. Wrong plan!
Specialize! It is a better plan.
What do you want people to associate instantly with your business. With Maloof it was the handcrafted, high-end contemporary rocker. Krenov was known for the small cabinets on a stand. They all had a brand. It didn’t just happen it developed and when they discovered it they were photographed with the piece over and over again. You may have noticed Sam even favored particular angles of his rocker.
First you have to produce a signature piece to develop into your brand. What is your product? What piece of furniture do you make that draws the greatest interest? Is it different? Is it something that will sell as you develop the design? Sam developed the rocker over many pieces. What types of work do you enjoy the most? The piece you are most passionate about is what you will enjoy developing the most.
Once you decide what to build hire a professional photographer to shoot a collection of digital hi-resolution pictures. Have the pictures stored on a disk or card, etc. You will need two of each. One for print (300 resolution) and JPEGs for web use. Don’t skimp! Have shots made with different backgrounds. Lighting and background colors can make most woodwork pop. You have to find the right one though and that will take time and effort.
My big break came from emailing a professionally made picture to a company in hopes of getting a link from their website to my blog. Several weeks later I received a call from the company inviting me to teach the classes that Sam had historically taught at their school. I always lead any print ad or class ad with one of two pictures. One picture includes me, the other is the same picture of the rocker. This picture was chosen because it connects my rocker with the inspiration of Maloof.
Next, I will tell you how to get your branded product in front of qualified customers.
-- Charles Brock