WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 11

Workshop, hand tools and workbench all come together to create an environment conducive to woodworking. A peaceful, serene area in

which we can unleash our creativity and develop hand to eye skills.

11

To recap, the dream is attainable and worth pursuing! When I eventually walked away from my former hi-tech career, it was a sense of relief. I could finally pursue my dream of being a full-time furniture maker and revel in the freedom of waking up to a new, fulfilling life. However, there will be struggles and challenges along the way. Unlike regular employment, there is no paycheck at the end of a weekly or two-week period. The onus is on you to acquire commissions. Marketing is key to your survival as a furniture maker. There is a distinct advantage to being a furniture maker today compared to only twenty years ago. The advantage is the Internet and social media.

Social media empowers us to successfully market ourselves at little cost. In my business, I use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and Twitter to my advantage. My clientele is no longer restricted to my immediate area or region. Social media allows a furniture maker to market themselves and their work on a national and international scale. Social media allows a furniture maker to develop a following or tribe with further access to each member's tribe.

This exponential effect results in exposure to tens of thousands of people. As a caveat, remaining relevant is critical through regular posting to social media platforms. I often create short videos and images of techniques or of workpieces currently on my workbench. People enjoy seeing what a maker is working on and follow you if they like your work and if you consistently post. A website is vital in marketing yourself as a furniture maker. A website provides information about yourself, your furniture making philosophy, and features an online gallery or portfolio of your work.

Clients today expect a furniture maker to have a regularly updated website. Large hosting companies make it simple to set up a website and populate it with information and images. Unlike a few years ago, the need to develop a website from scratch is eliminated. Be prepared, marketing and social media exposure will take time away from your studio work. You will eventually learn to manage time and set aside a few hours a week for marketing and social media.