Marketing your Woodworking Business

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by joey posted 03-19-2008 06:01 PM 2058 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View joey's profile


396 posts in 3898 days

03-19-2008 06:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource

I was wondering how some of you guy market your woodworking business, I just thought that maybe if we share some of these thing that worked and didn’t work. I am hoping this will help all of us. I know some of my pass failures like fliers, ad on a cable show, door to door cold calls, yeah that was brilliant, the act of a desperate man….lol

I had some successes also I did a demo at scout show, marketed to other woodworkers in my area to do piece work and laminate work, contacted lumber stores and did mill work for them, worked for some local interior designers. I donated a play table for a local library and they ran an article in the local paper about at and I got work from that.

Marketing is much of an art as it is a science, without marketing we don’t have any business, and in most case’s as a woodworker we have to market ourself more than we do our work, so share please share your ideas about what you think works and doesn’t work, and if you feel like it tell us why you think they don’t work, and maybe we will all benifit from our shared knowege.


-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

11 replies so far

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3773 days

#1 posted 03-19-2008 06:40 PM

You might do a search on business in forums. It’s a topic that has been discussed a great deal.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3933 days

#2 posted 03-19-2008 06:42 PM

Good point Dave, I started going through all the entries and there is a wealth of information there. I even started taking notes. Plenty to work with.

-- Working at Woodworking

View RusticElements's profile


167 posts in 3720 days

#3 posted 03-19-2008 07:24 PM

Ok, for us total newbies here, do you mean a business forum here or off site? If off site, which do you suggest?

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - - -

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3933 days

#4 posted 03-19-2008 08:25 PM

It’s the “Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking” forum here on the site.

-- Working at Woodworking

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 03-19-2008 08:31 PM

ABM. Always be marketing!! Whenever I meet someone new, that might be a customer, I try to gather what their intrests are, then figure how what I do could help them, or make them want to buy my stuff. For example, I try to have projects out where people can see them, and hopfully the project becomes a conversation topic, and we then start woodwork talk. I make wooden puzzles and leave them on my desk at work. They are kinda cool looking, and people want to pick them up and play with them. Thus, we talk woodwork. “Yeah, I made that, but I also make…”

Seems to work sometimes. Good luck.

-- christopheralan

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3768 days

#6 posted 03-19-2008 09:40 PM

Hi Joey

Your best advertising is your work and satisfied customers. It takes time to build up your reputation and clientele. I did some work at my church once. They bought the materials and I donated the labor. Besides feeling good about helping out the church, which was my main intent, I got a lot of business from it. I also donated a gun cabinet to a wildlife club I belong to. Same deal there, they bought the materials and I donated the labor. Once again, I got a lot of business from it and they made money on their raffle. When I built the gun cabinet for the widlife club, I ended up making two. It does not take that much longer to build two. I turned around and sold the second one at full price. Get your work out there!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View joey's profile


396 posts in 3898 days

#7 posted 03-20-2008 08:52 AM

yeah, I call that cosmic repayment, lol

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

View joey's profile


396 posts in 3898 days

#8 posted 03-20-2008 07:11 PM

I know some of this may seem like we are re hashing an old subjects but I am sure we have new members and maybe one of them has some enlighten input that will illuminate this ongoing dilemma well probably not, but I’m sure they have some good ideas anyway.


-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

View joey's profile


396 posts in 3898 days

#9 posted 03-20-2008 10:50 PM

I have been reading a lot on marketing this pass couple of weeks, three books, several magazine articles, podcast, lumberjocks forum, I even dug out my college text, I have wrote dozen of pages of notes, and I am still comfundled. its like ice skating on thin ice using a flame thrower to clear the snow in front of you, I guess I just need to go though all of this and try to make some sense of it.

I guess listening to everyone telling me how I all ready doom to fail is starting to get to me. I know I shouldn’t let but it does. I know its not easy. hell I can get by tools out and go back trimming houses for 12 dollars an hour using my own tools driving 80 to 120 miles a day maybe working 40 hours this week, or 80 next week or none at all the next for two weeks after that, no insurance half the time no workman’s comp. here a lot of them want to hire you by the hour but put you down as a subcontractor on paper, so they don’t have to pay your SSI and there are a lot of young carpenters out that do it. even the union shops have been busted here for using illegal workers off the books paying them 9 bucks an hour and then charging the job prevailing wages. me personally I blame the contractors who are getting fat off of cheating people who are just trying to feed their families and I would rather stock shelves at a local grocery store that drive one nail for them kind of builders. they are the same one that will plead your price down then sell you out the first time they thing they can get a better price then call you back wanting to fix the house that the was messed up from the guy that under cut your price, yes that has happen to me a couple of times. I guess ranting sorry about that any way I do understand all the frustration of marketing your work not just woodworking but carpentry, I worked with builders and homeowners, and would rather the latter esp in this economy. well I am going do a little market research and then I will try to make some sense of all this and write a blog on my marketing plan. Thanks every for your input

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3810 days

#10 posted 03-21-2008 12:45 AM

I liken woodworking to all the other artsy-fartsy stuff like artistic painting, musicians, potters, etc.

Most of the success stories I’ve heard about are of people who do it whether they get paid for it or not. Because that’s what they like to do. They’re never over-night successes. Some where along the line somebody finds them and they start making real money.

I don’t think woodworking is the kind of business where you think up a product, design your ads, and start selling things. I’m not telling you that you will fail, I’m telling you to do it because you enjoy it. If you’re good, people have a tendency to find you. Yes, you do have to be good if you want to make real money. You will succeed, one way or the other. You may not have any money, but, you’ll have a bunch of wood stuff around the house.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4024 days

#11 posted 03-22-2008 10:30 PM

Hi Joey – Marketing is the biggest part of making a success or failure of a business. You can make “crap”, but a good sales man will sell it for you again and again – or you could be the best craftsman in the world making something for the lowest of lowest prices, but if nobody knows about it, you’ll never sell it.

I would have to say, that marketing is my biggest downfall and problem with my business – not only am I bad marketer, I also do not speak the local language well enough (double trouble).

I rely mainly on my web site and word of mouth for sales, I have tried news paper advertising , but that did not work, I have had several articles printed about me and my work in local news papers (that just led to many people wanting me to train them and PAY them for the privilege!!)
The next attempt is to give some lectures and demonstrations on woodworking, but that will really be targeting the Breadwinners in the family, not the decision makers (no offence meant to the ladies), but any publicity is good publicity – it just takes time. So many big companies with mass produced, inferior, low cost, imported products to deal with today it is a an uphill struggle all the time. Thankfully we are doing a job we love, not that we have to do!
Good Luck

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics