Making money with woodworking does not have to be difficult. Most of the time, it is just small simple steps that leads you to success. I am going to give you five of my best tips for making money and creating the life that you want to live doing what you love.
P.S. I have a video that goes in-depth over this that you can watch here
I am fully confident that if you take these steps and start applying them to your journey with whatever you're doing, that you are going to see success. Let's jump into it.
#5 Establish Your Business Name or Brand
Showing up and selling without an established name or brand makes you lose instant credibility with potential customers and clients.
If you do not take yourself seriously, no one else will either.
I highly recommend you take the time and get a brand name for yourself that effectively communicates what you are doing.
Let's hypothetically say there is a random guy named Steve that makes custom furniture.
Steve wants to start selling his woodwork but needs an established name that COMMUNICATES what he is doing.
Steve decides on the name: "Steve's Woodworking".
Do you see how that communicates what his business is? The last thing that you want to do is to confuse your customer.
Remember, you don't always need to put your main name in the mix of what you're doing. Use your creativity on this.
P.S. My YouTube video goes into A LOT more detail over this! Watch it here
#4 Make Sure Your Product Fulfills a Need
Let's use a story to put this into perspective:
Steve, from Steve's Woodworking just launched a business where he makes custom chairs. This fills a need, right? I mean, you have to sit down at some point or another, right?
So what stops the customer from going to the furniture store to buy a chair instead of going directly to you for their need?
PLEASE catch this...
The client's NEEDS are different than the PURPOSE of the product they are buying.
The customer's decision to buy your product is more of an emotional decision than a practical one!
The chair's purpose is to be sat in, but the NEED of the client is different. If you catch this you WILL start selling more!
So instead of a boring chair, what if the client is looking for a small, wooden rustic chair with a pink butterfly on the back of it? This chair will go in the guest room of the house for decoration.
Do you see what I'm saying? The PURPOSE of the chair is to be sat in, but the NEEDS of the client are different. Please take your time and reread this to fully comprehend if need be. This concept. It is marketing 101. There is not a doubt in my mind that your business will grow once this principle is put into practice.
Your uniqueness is what your customers/potential clients are looking for.
No one can do it like you can! Put your creative spin on what is ordinary and watch how people react. You will be awarded in more ways than one.
#3 Local & Online Opportunities
There is so much opportunity waiting in your backyard. I remember getting a call from an artist friend of mine who invited me to a local Arts market. This opportunity opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me (It also allowed me to make a lot more money).
The connections that you make with people are your most valuable resource.
The help of another person is required to get us where we need to go. Don't go at it alone.
Look to see if your town has any type of art shows, farmer's markets or any type of public gatherings that will allow you to set up a booth and start selling and making connections with people.
If your town is small and doesn't have a lot of opportunities in it, seek out other opportunities in the cities and towns beside you. I have a lot of well-known friends in the art world that travel out and make their living doing so.
A little effort will take you a long way.
Take Your Business Online
Taking your business online can seem daunting at first, but as with anything else, you will learn with time. There is an unlimited amount of customers online... on top of that, you have no idea how many people that you are going to inspire and meet online. (Do you remember what I said about connections?)
The way that people find what you do is through social media. I encourage you to get on the various platforms of social media and see which one you like best.
If you are just starting I recommend Facebook & Instagram.
Each platform has there own pros and cons but the important thing is that you commit to them. Watch a YouTube video on how it works. You will be surprised at the success you will see once you apply yourself.
Here is a brief description of a few social media platforms:
Facebook: The largest platform - Has a built-in local marketplace tab where you can sell - Has groups where you can connect with other makers and buyers. This is one of the easiest way to show off your work and get in front of a crowd.
Instagram: A social media site that allows you to post pictures and text. I recommend posting pictures and videos of your product and maybe showing some behind the scenes of how it is made. People LOVE this.
YouTube: As you may know, this platform is video-centric. People log on to YouTube for one thing: To be "Edutained". If you want to grow your YouTube following I suggest teaching people how to make what you make. When you teach other people it gives you the authority on your craft and people will want to buy from you.
Make a business page with your brand or business name on the social media site of your choice.
Begin posting pictures on a consistent basis showing your work.
Pro Tip: Avoid saying "for sale" all the time. People want to know the story behind the pictures you are posting. Tell them why you got into woodworking. Explain your difficulties in making the products you make.
All these factors SHOW that you are a regular person like the customers are and it will create a connection with them. You will earn their trust and they will buy from you.
Take pictures of your products early in the morning, or right before dark, which is known as the golden hour. The lighting is really nice at these times and your work will look great. Avoid taking pictures in direct sunlight if you can.
If you are indoors, take pictures of your product beside any large windows in your house. This allows a lot of natural light to come through making for a great-looking picture.
Good photos will sell your product.
Remember, show progress pictures. Show the beginning. Show the middle. All steps of creating your product. People will get emotionally involved with what you are doing because you are giving them a complete picture.
#2 Learn to Price
Every Artist has struggled with this topic, including myself.
There are different ways to price your products, but I am going to give you the two most basic:
1)Pricing based on the value that your product brings
2) Pricing based on labor-per-hour
If you are creating a product that no one else has, the value will go up because there isn't another product competing with it.
If you're working on a lot of projects of the same kind, I recommend switching to the hourly-rate system so you can accurately measure your time and cost.
The value-based system does play a role in the hourly-based system, but you have to look and see which method works best for you.
A lot of people seek other's approval on setting their price...and I have to tell you, that is YOUR decision.
Don't let ANYONE put a value cap on what you make.
If you want somewhat of a guideline to follow, I recommend finding a business, company or individual who is doing what you're doing and look at their pricing. This will get you into a ballpark of where you might need to be.
I'm not telling you to copy them. I'm just saying look and get a better understanding of where you need to be financially.
If you are just starting with woodworking and you don't have a lot of experience, it's unfair to the customer If you are charging them per hour on a project when you are still developing your basic woodworking skills. Customers will feel cheated if you charge them on a 10-hour project that takes someone else 2 hours to make. Find the balance and develop your skillset.
In my YouTube video, I explain this in detail. You can find it here
#1 Make the Decision to START
Everything that I have shared with you here is completely worthless unless you take action and do something with it.
New actions will produce new results.
If you want something in your life to change, you're going to have to take action and do something completely out of the box.
I want to tell you something simple, but yet profound. You are going to use the same amount of time sitting on your couch watching your favorite T.V. show as you do pursuing the greater purpose for your life.
You get to choose where you put your energy. You have a product on the inside of you waiting to be created. Imagine how you could enrich someone else's life by saying yes to whatever that is that you have put on the backburner.
If you know what it is that you are supposed to pursue in life I encourage you to throw yourself into it. You got this!
If you do not know what it is that you are supposed to create then keep searching. I promise you will find it!
Which one of these tips was your favorite? Leave it in the comments below. Also, if you have a tip feel free to share it below in the comments. I know a lot of people would like to read it!
Feel free to share this blog post on social media or in a group if it inspired you!
Watch the full video of this blog post here: